looking at bitter's twitter meltdown on sunday and knowing now he's reading this -
Ewan, I have indeed read your article as I'm a subscriber. its the usual cut and paste selective and partisan display of fan-opinions as "facts".
You're a great man for tweeting "Im only dealing with facts" so here are some:-
I see you posted, yet again, that famous "infographic" from Balls.ie. You keep selecting "registered players" and you keep conflating this with the ISC Grant. You know, because both myself and other tweeters are pointed this out to you, that the ISC grant goes to children, not registered players as does the developmental grants. It isnt going to Bernard Brogan and the lads.
You also know that at the age of 17 the vast majority of children who play GAA drop out. You know that in dublin the children playing GAA is vastly outnumbered by those playing Soccer. You also know that this is the reverse in every other county like here in tipp (despite your "as if soccer isnt played in any other county" line, you know you are being disingenuous).
You know that the ISC grants go to every sport, and that the ISC gives a grant to the GAA for Dublin, but as I will show later (and not for the first time to you) you are twisting selected facts to suit your narrative.
Maybe, therefore, most of that money - in your bitter world view - actually goes down the drain. However, maybe, actually, it gives kids a chance to do something positive. Maybe it gives them something fun to do every weekend, in school outside of classes and during their crucial early teenage years it may help them away from anti social behaviour, drugs, drink, away from being on the internet, away from a sedentary life and the risk of childhood obesity. It may provide them with friends for life, it may provide them with positive role models and lifestyle choices.
And even after all that, Ewan, even after all that money has been spent on them - the vast vast majority of them walk away. Like I said, in your mercenary mindset this is a waste of money. Spending it on kids in Dublin = Bad. Spending it on kids in anywhere else = Good.
Cast your mind back to the "story", explosive as it was, that there are "more players in some dublin clubs than in some counties" from earlier this year. Imagine that, that some dublin clubs have more kids (and this isnt even counting the school kids not in a club) than counties have. How do you honestly think this is to be funded, Ewan? Or do you not believe that all kids are equal and that for some reason Dublin kids should be left behind?
Luckily, in this respect, the GAA does not share this view so let's get back to the facts Ewan.
Page 150 of the 2016 GAA annual report. Dublin received a total of €2,215,324 euro. This includes the ISC grant, Ewan. Dublin has been, for GAA purposes, classed as a province for several years now. This means that Dublin cannot draw on any of the Leinster monies of €1,937,961. However, Kildare, who got €473,966, can. Cork, who got €2,671,379 (which Ewan is indeed more than Dublin) can also draw if they need to, on the Munster council's €1,486,000.
Of the €2,215,324 that Dublin gets €1,463,400 is for children. There are 1.3 million people in the area within Dublin GAA's administrative area. Believe it or not, it is hard to find how many children live anywhere but according to a report from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in 2012 the non-adult population of 25% of the population. So, 325,000 at least in the Dublin GAA area.
Ewan, thats €4.50 per child. Of course, not every child is involved, but even if it was €10 or €20, per year, is that what you are begrudging? Really?
Another fact, Ewan, is that it is part of the GAA's mandate to "Spread the word" and to "promote" Gaelic Games and Culture. I dont know if you read Anthony Daly's book. He mentioned how between Finglas and Tallaght he had one hurler, and there werent any more because he'd looked. But all over Tallaght, in clubs and schools at primary and secondary, all over Finglas too, there are full time GAA coaches trying to get the tens of thousands of kids into Hurling. Thats where the money is going, and it is to the GAA's eternal shame that they have to spend it on a catch up basis now. You mentioned on twitter about Dublin Hurling that there is "no tradition" but Ewan, there are vast areas of Dublin with no GAA tradition at all.
Do you accept that the GAA has the right to ignite that tradition in these areas, or do you believe that Kildare is a football county period, Tipperary a hurling county period and vast areas of Dublin are non GAA period?
And yet, you regularly, as you did in your column this week, have the audacity to claim you are waging a campaign against "the GAA creating a monster" when all that is happening is that the GAA is doing what it was always supposed to do - to reach out and to go into new communities to it, to spread the word, to develop the game.
The GAA can no more do that in Kildare than it can here in Tipperary. Tipperary is saturated with GAA, every square mile of the county is covered by a GAA club. Dublin isnt. For you to adopt the stance you do is deeply disingenuous and hypocritical.
I have said this before, but in my opinion, you are, despite the cloak you pull around yourself, a fundamentalist. You are quite happy in your desire for the old status quo to go on, that the GAA was, is, and forever shall be, a rural organisation. What GAA exists in Dublin is for the sons and daughters of rural families who happen to live there. The GAA is for people who live in detached houses, Soccer is for fellas who live in towns and cities.
Yours is the mindset of the candidate for the Presidency last year who said he wants to "develop the heartlands of the GAA.... and the urban areas as well"
Yours is the blinkered attitude Dublin GAA Hurling supporters get at Nolan Park when they comment at the high price at the styles and are told "go back to your soccer so"
Yours is the attitude that says that "The dublin match will be held up because they're all watching Man United on the TV" but when a match not involving dublin is held up it "a great example of the support for the GAA"
Yours is the attitude that slows slow motion footage of pitch invasions at provincial finals and says what a great thing it is whilst putting Dublin Fans on Hill 16 behind a plastic wall.
Yours is the attitude that thinks that "business plans" "nutrition" "sponsorship" and "commercial exploitation" are words one should go to the confession box for having uttered.
Yours is the attitude that takes 7 goals from Kerry with a shrug of the shoulders and a 9 point beating from Dublin with hysteria.
There's a word for that Ewan, but despite my education being every bit as good as yours, I'm a poor wordsmith. Maybe that word is in your mind right now, Ewan.
Hugs 'n' kisses X.