In 2000 the following motion was raised by Donal Grady, the late Michael Courtney & Sean O’Grady at the Killarney Town Council meeting as it was our view that the Free To Air coverage of the GAA Championship could potentially be under threat by paid subscription services. At the time we were told that there was no risk of such as situation developing, 14 years on I’m afraid my fears have been confirmed.
While the GAA will argue that the games affected will be limited, and that only 2 of the quarter finals will be available on SKY, my fear is that it will only be the high profile games featuring the heavyweights such as Kerry & Dublin that will be broadcast on SKY, and of course this will only be the start of things to come.
Is it fair that GAA fans without the required SKY subscriptions will be forced to either fork out for same or to go to the pub to watch? Do we really want to encourage families with young kids to gather at the pub on a Sunday afternoon to see their unpaid heros play?. Do people not play enough for their TV license?
As a grass roots member of the GAA I will be raising this with The Minister of Communications, GAA Headquarters and also at club level. I would encourage others to raise their own concerns with their own clubs.
Extract from adopted Minutes of June 2000 Monthly Meeting of Killarney Town Council
13.06.00 JOINT NOTICE OF MOTION – CLLR. D. GRADY, M. COURTNEY & S. O’GRADY
It was resolved on the proposal of Cllr. D. Grady, seconded by Cllr. M. Courtney “that we Killarney U.D.C. ask the G.A.A. Headquarters not to sell their viewing rights to SKY, and to let the status quo remain.”