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GAA flying high after Etihad signs €5m deal

GAA bosses are on cloud nine after signing a €5m sponsorship deal with Etihad Airways.

The deal, covering the Senior Championship, will last five years.

And the renewed deal also gives the United Arab Emirates airline exclusive naming rights to the new Skyline tourist attraction at Croke Park.

James Hogan, Etihad chief executive, said that the deal showed how the Middle Eastern airline was doing its bit for Irish culture, after launching flights from Dublin Airport in 2007.

"This strategic partnership is an example of the way we try to embed ourselves into the local culture of our destination markets and work with the local community," he said.

He express admiration for the fastest field game on earth, saying: "Hurling is one of the world's most remarkable sports and it epitomises the passion of the Irish people."


The new Etihad Skyline, which is due to open in June, is a roof-top attraction on the country's most iconic stadium.

Visitors to the Skyline will experience a bird's eye view of the Croke Park pitch, as well as the chance to absorb stunning views of Dublin.

The attraction features a suspended walkway which stretches across three of the stands and offers five different spectacular viewpoints of the city.

The airline, which employs 108 Irish staff, has already been committing itself to sport within the country.

It is bringing one Irish team a year to Australia under its "Best Club Under the Sun" competition.

GAA President Criostoir O Cuana said that he was "delighted", adding: "Etihad has brought a fresh approach to the promotion of the unique game that is hurling."