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O'Dwyer hails vital boost for Irish diaspora

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Mick O'Dwyer

Mick O'Dwyer

Mick O'Dwyer

KERRY legend Mick O'Dwyer has welcomed the GAA's controversial deal with Sky because it allows Irish emigrants greater access to Gaelic games,.

While admitting the move would upset parts of the GAA membership, the Waterville maestro believes the benefits for the diaspora outweigh the impact of the loss of some games from a free-to-air channel.

Under the new deal, Sky will broadcast Gaelic games across Britain while all 45 championship games will be shown on free-to-air TV in Australia. The GAA will also launch an online subscription service which will make games available in other parts of the world.

"I suppose the grassroots of the association will be doing a little bit of kicking up about it," said O'Dwyer, who was inducted into the GAA's Hall of Fame.

"But generally we must think of the people who had to leave the country, some great GAA people who played the games here, they will have a chance of seeing all these games now, which is a good thing.

"A lot of them gave their time to the association when they were here and it is no fault of theirs that they had to go and get employment in other lands. Overall, it is a good thing.

"We have a wonderful product. Football and hurling are two marvellous games and people will be amazed with the skill of hurling when they see it. I think it will help to promote the game as well."

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