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GAA's core values are eroding away: Brolly

By John Campbell

Former Derry All-Ireland winner Joe Brolly has slammed what he feels is the GAA's "commercial juggernaut."

Brolly, a high-profile pundit and analyst, is dismayed at what he feels is the increased emphasis on commercial activities at the expense of pursuing the "core values of the Association."

And he believes that county board officials throughout the country are being kept in the dark about important decisions that are being made.

The fact that Croke Park was made available for a game of American Football last Saturday at a crucial stage of the All-Ireland championship, the Garth Brooks concert fiasco and the possibility that funding for various county boards could be cut have seen the focus switch away from games and onto commercial interests.

Brolly is anxious that this is an issue which must be addressed sooner rather than later.

"What we need to do now is to set up a task force under the new president and we need to look at what amateur means, what our ideals are," asserts Brolly.

"What do we believe in – do we believe in any of our core values any more? Decisions are being made behind closed doors and even officials from county boards don't know. They are done, we are told, for commercial reasons, and there is a general feeling among many that the commercial juggernaut has left the station."

Brolly's blast has already created considerable debate within the Association with a number of officials concurring. Brolly is anxious that the amateur ethos of the Association is upheld.

There have been complaints that the amateur code is being breached at a time when a number of county boards are understood to be in financial difficulties.

"This way, we won't have much left to sell. But I see hope in incoming president Aoghan Farrell. If he stands up to the rampant commercialism, he will get the backing he deserves," insists Brolly.

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