Memories of a great footballer, the FAI and Europe

By Dermot Keely (@keelysbar)

It is with a heavy heart that I write this piece. I got the news yesterday morning that my old friend and fellow Dundalk player Jimmy Dainty has passed away. Jimmy, who was a smashing footballer, was also a wonderful person, although born and bred in England he loved Dundalk FC and the people of Dundalk, and this love was reciprocated.

He came back to Dundalk regularly to visit the friends he had made and was as well known around Dundalk as any local. Jane and I had the pleasure of meeting him and his wife Helen in Birmingham a couple of years ago. Needless to say the craic was great and a few drinks were had. We were delighted when Jimmy and Helen joined us in Lanzarote last September for our wedding and he really enjoyed the sun, the few drinks and the chat with football people at the wedding.  

To Helen and family I would like to extend my deepest sympathy. I cannot imagine the pain you are going through but you are in my thoughts. Words cannot express how sad I feel at the moment. Daint, you are one of my abiding memories of the Dundalk I love. Rest in peace my friend.

The next section of this piece is even harder to write. I go from a man who loved our League, to the machinations of people whose only interest in our League is what they can get from it.  

There is an EGM this week, and AGM next week, with the FAI people who have been directly responsible for the mess that we are in going up for re-election. There is no change in the culture of the FAI. In our typically Irish tradition they have decided to let things lie for a couple of months and then when everybody forgets we will just continue as before.

Well I say NO!!

NO to any of the board going up for re-election

NO to a continuation of the status quo

NO to a new board infiltrated by previous allegiances

YES to a new era of openness

John Delaney is gone, but is he?

Nothing has been said now for a couple of months, is he still getting paid?

Why is there no set of Accounts available for the AGM?

Will the AGM be the same as before, no reporters, no questions, no information?

As you may understand I am angry, I am angry that a good friend has died, but I am also angry because I don’t believe there is the stomach for any real change in the FAI. Maybe I am wrong, we will see in the next couple of weeks as the BLAZERS gather.

Back to the League I love. Europe was a disappointment. Cork and Pat’s are effectively gone. Dundalk I thought were disappointing, I feel they were afraid to give away a goal. Riga were well organised and came for a draw and got it. I still believe that Dundalk are a better side and Riga has to try and win this time.

That will suit Dundalk and hopefully we will get a win.  C’MON THE TOWN!

I was mightily impressed by Shamrock Rovers. They were particularly strong in the 2nd half. They are in a great position to go through. My fear for them is that they do not have an out and out striker to finish off their lovely football, but hopefully this not will prevent them from getting through to the next round.

In the 1st Division Shels look to be in a great position. Their next three matches are against the 3 teams towards the end of the table. But this can sometimes be a negative if attitude isn’t right. Hopefully they will do the business and get Shels back to the big league where they belong. Drogheda and Longford are keeping Shels honest. I obviously can’t watch the graveyard that is the 1st Division but these two teams appear to be capable of winning a playoff against a Premier Division side.

Well done to Collie and UCD, great result against a really good Bohs team. Houdini O’Neill.

Today as I mourn the passing of Dainty, I remember Tommy Mac and the Craic we all had together, both now gone. I feel my mortality….


Photo Credit: Dundalk FC

One thought on “Memories of a great footballer, the FAI and Europe”

  1. john tuft .hello.dermo..just back.from..jimmys funeral.painful.time cant believe it what a great guy.god help his family helen done dainto.proud on a very sad day..

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