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McBurney/Declan Bogue



Pictured Declan Bogue



Date: Thursday 12th April 2012

Location: BT Offices

Credit: Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

Copyright: Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX



Liam McBurney - RAZORPIX

liammcburney@gmail.com

+44 7837 68 57 67

Rural GAA clubs are in urgent danger without support

Declan Bogue



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Hanging tough: Ulster champions Kilcoo are an example of a rural club that copes well without the huge numbers of other clubs

Hanging tough: Ulster champions Kilcoo are an example of a rural club that copes well without the huge numbers of other clubs

�INPHO/Evan Logan

Hanging tough: Ulster champions Kilcoo are an example of a rural club that copes well without the huge numbers of other clubs

Strap yourselves in for an uncomfortable truth. There is a notion that we are all born into a club; we take our first steps there, we begin playing and then we move into coaching, management and administration to 'give something back', and the cord will never be broken. Well, it's nonsense. Clever nonsense, but nonsense all the same.

The idea of being with one club for your entire life is a relatively new concept. It is one that AIB, in their long-running sponsorship of the Club Championships, have exploited with sharp marketing slogans such as, 'You don't choose your club. You inherit it', or, 'You don't support the club. You are the club'. Not to mention the daddy of them all, 'One Life, One Club'.

Truth is, up until the 1980s players moved flagrantly across parish and county divides for work and life reasons. The late Matt Fitzpatrick, a freelance GAA writer, used to tell a story of playing games for Newtownbutler (Fermanagh), Clones (Monaghan) and Annagh (Cavan) over the course of one weekend. Back then, games were frequently delayed as heated debates were kicked up with players' allegiances questioned.


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