News Opinion

Tuesday 25 April 2017

Doing nothing is not an option as vanishing clubs reflect growing malaise

'The problems are not just GAA problems; entire communities and their everyday lives are being affected in so many ways, and not just from a sporting point of view.' Stock photo: Sportsfile
'The problems are not just GAA problems; entire communities and their everyday lives are being affected in so many ways, and not just from a sporting point of view.' Stock photo: Sportsfile
John Greene

John Greene

There are 20 fewer GAA clubs in Leinster, outside of Dublin, than there were 40 years ago, despite a massive population increase in the province over the same period.

Furthermore, it is anticipated that as the population in Leinster counties continues to rise sharply over the next decade, as many as 30 more clubs could become extinct or be forced to amalgamate with another to survive.

These are among the key findings contained in a recent report to the Leinster Council which was commissioned by then chairman John Horan, now the GAA's president-elect. Horan set up a working group to look at issues affecting rural clubs in the province. In the end, however, the findings went beyond that after it became obvious that the urbanisation of Ireland is bringing with it a new set of problems the GAA must also face up to.

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