Above: Shane Barrett during the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Round 3 match against Limerick. Photo: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

Fury at lack of GAA coverage

There was fiery passion at County Hall this week as elected members expressed outrage at the fact that Cork’s epic Munster hurling championship round three showdown with Limerick was not aired on national television.

Last Saturday’s game, which Cork won 3-28 to 3-26, was only viewable on GAAGO, a paid video streaming service run by the GAA and RTÉ which also allows fans overseas to watch games. Currently, a year’s subscription costs €79.

Raising the issue at the end of Monday’s meeting of Cork County Council, County Mayor Cllr Frank O’Flynn took no prisoners in his condemnation of the decision not to show the game on terrestrial television.

“On the greatest field that we have, SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh, the field of dreams, that we denied so many people in our country, in Ireland, in Munster, to see that game – we should be ashamed of ourselves,” said the mayor.

“I ask you all to stand up and take this on and fight it on behalf of the people.

“When I went to Boston, they were talking about hurling; when I went to Chicago, they were talking about hurling. It’s what we are, and how proud we are to call ourselves Irish.”

Mayor O’Flynn called on the council to write letters to both the Department of Sport and Communication insisting that all important GAA matches be shown on live tv.“Cork are back in the championship and Cork hurling is back. I call for all our games to be made free to air,” said the mayor.

Fine Gael Cllr Michael Hegarty added: “I think it is wrong. A lot of people don’t have modern phones, they don’t have smart TVs; it’s denied a lot of true, genuine GAA supporters the privilege of watching their native county.”


The GAA needs to explain what can be done to ensure more people see hurling and football matches on free to air TV, Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard said this week.

He said he was disappointed to hear that GAA President Jarlath Burns may not come before the Seanad to discuss the amateur organisation’s position in relation to their commercial deals, and hurling and football matches on TV.

Senator Lombard said: “It’s surprising to me that Jarlath Burns, the President of the GAA, declared on ‘The Claire Byrne Show’ ...that he won’t come before the committee. At a time when transparency is crucial, the GAA should be using the opportunity to explain their decisions, not dodging important discussions.”

Senator Lombard added: “The GAA has to remember its roots—it’s not about extracting revenue by any means; it’s about ensuring the long-term success of the game and the community it builds.”