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  • Let Irish in UK subscribe to RTE, suggests letter writer

    Monday, June 22nd, 2009

    Irish people in the UK should be allowed to subscribe to RTE, according to a letter writer in today’s Irish Independent.

    R Mullins points out that the possible demise of Setanta Sports looming, Irish GAA fans in the UK are worried. He suggests that people who live abroad should be allowed to subscribe to RTE.

    The Irish government had pledged to have RTE International on air in the UK by this past St Patrick’s Day, but RTE nixed the move in November, blaming budget constraints. The 2007 Broadcasting Act required RTE to set up a channel for broadcasting to Irish communities outside the island of Ireland;  the legislation authorised for license fees to be used to do so.

    Related websites:

    Irish Independent letters section

    NY GAA not benefitting from Ireland’s downturn

    Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

    The Irish Times takes a look at the New York GAA scene in the context of Ireland’s falling economy, as Mayo prepares to make the trip to play New York in the opening round of the Connacht championship.

    The article notes:

    It used to be an economic downturn in Ireland was at least good for something; the GAA in New York. When players here were laid-off or couldn’t find work they typically looked to America, and particularly New York, where the promise of employment and a vibrant GAA scene – along with several other perks – was more than enough to entice them across the Atlantic.

    These days things are a little different

    The article notes that stricter immigration laws have kept New York’s GAA scene from booming as it might have in tough economic times of the past. There has been talk of an increased numbers of players coming, but “it’s really only dribs and drabs”, according to NY GAA chair Larry McCarthy.

    They key to the NY GAA’s future growth? The twelve underage clubs in the New York area, according to McCarthy, which bring players up from under-10s to minor grade.  But McCarthy notes that that the dominance of American sport is a challenge in attracting young people, and many young people lose their connection to their GAA clubs when they go away to college.

    Related web page:

    Irish Times: New York build on underage structures

    GAA conference: Croke Park, Dublin – 25 April

    Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

    The GAA in the Diaspora is one of the topics that will be discussed in an upcoming conference at Croke Park. The conference is part of the 125th anniversary celebrations of the organisation, and is being co-hosted by the GAA Museum, Sports History Ireland and the Boston College-Dublin’s GAA Oral History Project.

    The conference will feature historians of society and sport from Ireland and overseas. In addition to the diaspora, they will discuss such topics as hurling’s ancient roots, the socio-economic background of players, the GAA in film and photography, the GAA and the Irish language, and the GAA and politics.

    The conference will be held at the GAA Museum in Croke Park. Tickets, which cost 15 euro (10 for students and seniors) are essential.

    For more information:

    GAA hopes to keep players with jobs drive

    Monday, March 23rd, 2009

    The GAA is working to prevent the emigration of its players through a jobs drive, reports the Irish Independent.

    The Gaelic Players’ Association has started a jobs board website to link up players with job vacancies, while Limerick GAA has started a directory of players outlining their job skills in the hope that employers may see their potential.

    GPA chief Dessie Farrell said yesterday that “The next couple of months will be very telling and once the Championships begin you will have a better gauge of what players will be available and whether, because of the recession, names are missing from squads.”

    Irish Independent: GAA gets to work on saving its players from dole

    Galway Independent: GAA boss Doherty fears wave of emigration

    Gaelic Players Association Jobs Board

    Midlands-Argentine project launches GAA programme

    Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

    Hundreds of Argentine children will learn Gaelic games this February in a seven-day programme at the Hurling Club in Buenos Aires, thanks to an initiative originating out the Midlands. The move is the latest in a series of initiatives aimed at refreshing Ireland’s links with its fifth-largest diaspora community.

    The inaugural GAA hurling and Gaelic football coaching week is a joint effort supported by Capital Securities Corporation, the Midlands Gateway Chamber and the Longford-Westmeath Argentina Society, reports the Westmeath Examiner. The GAA is supplying hurls, helmets and footballs to the 240 children aged six to 16 who will participate.

    The week will take place at Buenos Aires’ Hurling Club, which was established in 1922. GAA games were popular among the Irish community in the early part of the twentieth century, but were eventually replaced by hockey and rugby; this move is partially explained by the fact that during World War II it became impossible to get hurleys in Argentina.

    Organisers of the project have wider ambitions than encouraging children to play the games of their ancestors. The article notes:

    President of AIT and President of the Midlands Gateway Chamber, Prof Ciarán Ó Catháin said the launching of the coaching programme in Argentina was not only a significant sporting event, but had resonance for business, education, cultural and diplomatic relations between Ireland and Latin America.

    “At a time of great economic uncertainty, it is heartening that this initiative encourages us to look beyond our own boundaries to explore global possibilities,? he said.

    “For us, the GAA coaching programme signifies the potential of the Midlands, the creative spirit, the drive to innovate and the desire to succeed that is the bedrock of this region,? said Prof Ó Catháin.

    The project was launched by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mary Coughlan, who reinforced the project’s wider ambitions when she said:

    Though in its origin independent of it, this project fits in perfectly with the intention behind the joint scheme between the Department of Foreign Affairs and the GAA decided earlier this year to support the promotion of Gaelic games abroad.

    I am delighted to be present at the launch here in Athlone of this exciting initiative and congratulate all involved in seeing it through from the initial concept to actuality. A winning combination between enterprise and culture, which hopefully will lead to many other fruitful connections between Ireland and Argentina and between The Midlands Gateway Chamber area and Buenos Aires, and between individual Irish and Argentines.

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