This whole controversy shows that there are potentially serious issues coming down the line and there is also a danger of precedent in this decision. There is anger among good GAA people and it is understandable. They were dragged into something that had nothing to do with them and vilified in the process. A social media storm was raging for 4/5 days before the GAA were ever approached - crazy!
The soccer crowd get off scott free. Nobody questions their gross incompetence at every level which leaves them in situations like this one. The narrative that everybody should have access to GAA facilities because of grant aid is both dangerous and disingenuous. Above any other sporting organisation the Govt can be in no doubt that every cent given to CLG comes back to them in huge multiples in terms of what it does for communities the length and breadth of this country. No other organisation is remotely comparable.
Also consider, how much revenue did Croke Park generate today. Tomorrow. Next week. The week after. It is really unfortunate to see politicians go down this road - especially ones who grant aid very wealthy sports and clubs that are far more guarded and private with their facilities - and membership - than the GAA ever were.
There is a concern now that the ‘soccer crowd’ will consider that all GAA grounds are available to them if they want them. So they can continue to do that they always did - cream money out of the sport and never mind the infrastructure - sure the GAA can provide that. Is that a totally unreasonable concern?
John Horan was right to bemoan interference. Politicians should be aware that GAA people vote too and don’t like being blackguarded or backed into corners that were never of their own making. Don’t like being blackmailed or told to be thankful for a few bob when the organisation is the very social fabric of rural Ireland and much of urban Ireland too. If there was no GAA there would be a hell of a lot more social and health investment needed in our communities The GAA have every right to be angry this evening and the twitter gobshites would do well to wake up and look at what really happened here.
The good GAA people here can be proud of how this was handled - under unfair, undue and uncalled for pressure. It is easy to throw around words like dinosaur but people who seek to protect what they have lovingly built for 135 years should be admired. The people who still operate prehistorically with no facilities, structures and lack of any self awareness of this are the real dinosaurs.