Leinster hit back in blue row with Dubs
Published 15/11/2011 | 05:00
LEINSTER rugby last night hit back at Dublin GAA chiefs who accused the Heineken Cup champions of "the subliminal exploitation of Dublin's unique" blue jersey.
In a strategy document for Dublin GAA 2011-2017 called 'Unleashing The Blue Wave', the county's top GAA officials stated that the "appeal of a flourishing professional franchise" represented a real challenge for GAA in the county and that they were determined to "reinforce the fact that Dublin is GAA Country."
"The Blue Jersey is an unique, inclusive brand, uniting Dublin's dense expanse, blurring the difference in class and possession which became so pointedly manifest during the delusional days of the Celtic Tiger," it says.
"It is an extraordinarily effective promotional tool, enshrined in the anthem of the county's often maligned but fiercely loyal supporters.
"We can't copyright a colour but the subliminal exploitation of Dublin's unique sporting hue by our competitors has not gone unnoticed.
"Mutual respect is essential in Irish sport yet the appeal of a flourishing professional franchise is still a real challenge in the struggle for hearts and minds in Dublin while the demographic shift continues to distort traditional values and interests.
"Our Blue affords Dublin GAA the greatest potential to evolve as the flagship brand of commercial sport in Ireland. Successful implementation of our strategy will also reinforce the fact that Dublin is GAA Country."
In a statement issued last night, a Leinster spokesman admitted their surprise at the "tone and timing" of the Dublin comments but insisted that while they were based in Dublin, they represented the province as a whole.
"Leinster are based in Dublin but are very much a 12-county team representing one province and that is reflected in both our playing staff and support base.
"We don't see ourselves as a threat and likewise we do not see the GAA as a threat. Many of our players have played GAA and we took great pleasure in the achievements of the Dublin footballers and the Kilkenny hurlers this season.
"We are a branch of the IRFU who deal with both the amateur and professional side of our game."
Only last month, Leinster rugby chiefs scored a notable coup when signing up Dublin's All-Ireland winning captain Bryan Cullen as an academy coach.