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Is there a disconnect between the GAA hierarchy and the supporters?

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

20:44 27 Jun 2018

It's been a hectic week for the GAA and one they'd probably rather was focused on Gaelic games rather than a venue in Newbridge.

The association made a dramatic u-turn on Wednesday and agreed to the demands of Kildare to play their Round 3 qualifier against Mayo at St. Conleth's Park in Newbridge after originally scheduling the match for Croke Park. 

Brendan O'Brien joined Wednesday's Off the Ball to review a tumultuous couple of days for the GAA and asked if the organisation was out of touch with the general public, he told Joe: "I think it's understandable with an organisation as big and as unyielding as the GAA that people in the nerve-centre are going to be approaching things at a different level to somebody who is involved in under-9 camogie team in Wexford or Clare or where ever it is.

"If there is elitism - I don't think it's anything deliberate or that's pushed through but it's very difficult for people in the trenches, so to speak, that are working at this everyday not to see the disconnect.

"I think this is a good example of it. I think there might be a disconnect there that they may be blind to. I don't think it's on purpose but it is something they have to address. I've spoken with guys before - and everybody has - about the professionalism of the GAA and the road it's going down, I think that's something that they almost instinctively bat away as well but there is that sense that's the road the GAA is going down. 

"I think the GAA is on a road to professionalism personally but you'll talk to the guys in there and they'll swear blindly that it's not and sometimes it's hardest to see something when you're up close and those lads are up close.

"It's very difficult even with strategic plans and everything else to step back and take a look at yourself - and that holds for everybody - even on an individual basis. How hard is it for any of us to sit back and look at ourselves and be very honest with ourselves on a personal basis?

"So, multiply that millions of times for an organisation like the GAA and I do think it's something that they kind of have to give a little more attention to."

 

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