“What colour am I daddy?” asked my then four year-old daughter.
Why wee pet? I answered, knowing full well what was coming.
“A boy in the park said I’m black and dirty….”
Welcome to Ireland. Cead Mile Failte and all that…

I would say my wife complains about experiencing various forms of racism at least 2/3 times a month. This is in Derry, which I always thought was very moderate in terms of their acceptance of a multi-cultural society.

I would think that though as a middle-aged white male. I’ve led a sheltered existence. Never had to live in the shoes of direct or indirect discrimination and racism.

I mention all this because last week Cricket Ireland began Equality, Diversion and Inclusion focus groups.

This is certainly to be welcomed and hopefully leads to positive outcomes. The lack of diversity throughout Cricket Ireland is certainly an issue. At all levels, both playing and non-playing.

Why now? Better late than never. I’m guessing it’s partly due to pressure from Sport Ireland for all their bodies to have wider representation.

Plus, back in June there was a Diversity, Inclusion and Equality Workshop and Survey in Cricket Ireland. The results of which made for some disturbing reading.

81% of the staff surveyed had no faith or trust in senior management.

51% have experienced or witnessed bullying in the workplace.

That prompted senior management to apologise, admitting to taking their eye off the ball, and that staff could complete ‘listening sessions’ where they could raise their concerns.

To be fair to the governing body they are taking the issue seriously and Chairman Brian MacNeice has stepped in and became the “Culture Champion” in their effort to improve the atmosphere at headquarters.

It will be a tough job but Brian in my limited dealings of the past has shown himself to be an empathetic person, genuinely shocked and disappointed at the staff survey.

We wish him well with his efforts.


There could be some good news on the horizon with the possibility of India coming to Ireland once again in 2023. The financial powerhouse are rumoured to be close to agreeing two One-Day Internationals in Dublin this summer.

The financial boost that this would be bring the governing body can’t be underestimated. While they are still likely to need a loan from ICC to tide them over until the increased funding model kicks in at the start of 2024, the millions generated from an Indian visit would mean the pressure would be off the stretched budget considerably. There may even be enough to invest in some facilities…


During the summers of 1976 and 1977, I stayed with my grandfather at his farm while our house was being built. He had a huge (to me) colour tv, which had a special aerial that could pick up RTE. One day while I was channel hopping (well there were only five channels in total back then) I can remember my delight at coming across live coverage of Ireland v West Indies and the following year, the Aussies. Can you imagine hours of cricket live on RTE?

Not now anyway, and judging by the coverage cricket got on their annual awards night, not anytime soon either.

In a year where Ireland won a series in West Indies, beat eventual winners England in the T20 World Cup, and the Women won a series in Pakistan, none of this was deemed worthy of mention. The retirements of Kevin O’Brien and William Porterfield did get included in a montage along with other sports, while KOB did get a question. That was the lot though. Not great.

Why has cricket fallen down the pecking order so much? Surely we deserve better? Answers on a postcard to RTE Sport….