Sport and politics – mixed fortunes

It was recently announced that Shane Curran would be the latest former sports star to throw his lot into politics.

  The former Roscommon goalkeeper and current Padraig Pearses manager will join a long list of sport stars who have ventured into the world of politics.

 The most famous of all include Manny Pacquiao (boxing), Arnold Schwarzenegger (body-building), Jack Lynch (GAA), Dick Spring (rugby), Jimmy Deenihan (GAA) and course John O’Mahony (GAA).

  Curran is in some good company but it must be remembered that success on the field of play doesn’t necessarily mean success at the ballot.

   While many sports stars from both here and further afield have done well in local and national government, others have failed to take off.

  One example where the two spheres didn’t mix was when Graham Geraghty, running for Fine Gael in the 2007 general election, got 1,284 first preference votes — a 3.17% share.

  Curran will be hoping to avoid a similar outcome and follow in the footsteps of Romario, who was a soccer legend in Brazil and later a Senator, or Vitali Klitschko, former Heavyweight Champion of the World and Mayor of Kiev.

  There are many examples of successful sporting careers merging with high profile political ones and ‘Cake’ won’t have to look too far for inspiration.

  Jack Lynch is probably the finest example on these shores. The six-time All-Ireland winner with Cork (5 hurling, one football) became Taoiseach in 1966.

  An Taoiseach Shane Curran? Wouldn’t that be the icing on the cake for the 2013 All-Ireland Club champion.