GAA championship matches should be freely available, demands Crowe

A city councillor is demanding the Galway City Council call on the GAA to "immediately take steps" to ensure championship matches are available to view widely and not solely on subscription channels.

Fianna Fáil Galway City Central councillor Ollie Crowe tabled a motion to this effect at Monday's city council meeting. He accused the GAA of putting “profits above principle” three years ago in this newspaper when the Sky deal was announced.

“As someone who has been involved in local GAA all my life, I know how unpopular this is with grassroots, with people who have given time all their lives to the development of local GAA clubs whether it be playing, coaching or helping out with administration," said Cllr Crowe. "Many people cannot afford Sky Sports and it is past time this wrong was righted.”

He noted the GAA spoke about showing more games to the diaspora when the deal was announced. “It’s a nonsensical justification," he said. "There is no reason why Sky can’t show matches in the UK and why the same matches can’t be on free to air television here. The product the GAA are selling is built by the hard work of volunteers across the country. Requiring the same volunteers to pay for Sky Sports to watch the All Ireland championship is simply not a morally defensible position.”

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