From United Ireland, 18 October, 1884.
DEAR SIR – I am much pleased to see that you take an interest in Irish Athletics. It is time that a handbook was published with rules, &c., for all Irish games. The English Handbooks of Athletics are very good in their way, but they do not touch on many of the Irish games which, although much practised, are not included in the events on programmes of athletic sports. Weight-throwing and jumping appear to be going out of fashion in England; but such is not the case in Ireland, although those events are too often left out of programmes of what might be called leading meetings I have some experience of those things, and see numbers of young men almost daily having some practice. It is strange that for one bystander who takes off his coat to run a foot race, forty strip to throw weights or try a jump of some kind. Irish football is a great game, and worth going a very long way to see, when played on a fairly laid-out ground and under proper rules. Many old people say that hurling exceeded it as a trial of men. I would not care to see either game now, as the rules stand at present. I may say there are no rules, and, therefore, those games are often dangerous. I am anxious to see both games revived under regular rules. I cannot agree with that you that Harrier Clubs are a disadvantage, as I believe they are a good means of bringing out long distance runners, and we want some more good men at this branch of sport. I am sorry to hear that it became necessary to make some other remarks, which appear in the article on “Irish Athletics” in UNITED IRELAND of the 11th inst. I thought we in Ireland were pretty free from the abuses you mention. I know they are said to be a great blot on the sport in England, but I understand the management there are doing all they can to remedy it. If a movement such as you advise is made for the purpose of reviving and encouraging Irish games and drafting rules, &c., I will gladly lend a hand if I can be of any use.
Deer Park, Carrick-on-Suir, Oct. 13, 1884.