Darragh McManus: Big Apple player ban flies in face of GAA ethos
The GAA has always prided itself on how it has supported and nurtured the diaspora – and rightly so. It's probably the greatest expression of our culture, and stories are legion of emigrating Irish people finding a welcome from the nearest GAA club, in all manner of exotic locations. Even those with no previous connection to Gaelic games have found jobs, accommodation, a circle of friends and a way of holding on to their Irishness while carving out a new life abroad.
That makes it all the more disappointing that the association is proposing a new rule that prohibits inter-county players from joining New York clubs in mid-summer. The move was prompted by recent mass defections from Laois, Armagh and Offaly squads: once their teams exited the provincial championships, some players decided not to bother sticking around for qualifiers and hot-footed it across the Atlantic.
Really, what is the point of this rule? For starters, on the most basic level, what self-respecting team would want players to stay who don't wish to be there?