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How Jack's Army forced GAA to rethink its approach and capitalise on national buzz

Greater crowds, sponsorship, summer camps - Association reaped benefits of Charlton era

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Deep in ‘enemy’ territory: Ireland manager Jack Charlton and his assistant Maurice Setters being welcomed to Croke Park for the 1989 All-Ireland SHC final between Tipp and Antrim. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Deep in ‘enemy’ territory: Ireland manager Jack Charlton and his assistant Maurice Setters being welcomed to Croke Park for the 1989 All-Ireland SHC final between Tipp and Antrim. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Deep in ‘enemy’ territory: Ireland manager Jack Charlton and his assistant Maurice Setters being welcomed to Croke Park for the 1989 All-Ireland SHC final between Tipp and Antrim. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Go dtuga Dia solas na bhflaitheas dó. Our sincere condolences to the family of Jack Charlton and our colleagues in @FAIreland

A tweet from the official GAA account on Saturday afternoon was perhaps lost in the deluge of messages of sympathy and fondly recalled stories of an illuminating time in Irish sport and life that centred around the late Jack Charlton's stewardship of the Irish soccer team. But it carried some resonance nonetheless, because even the heaviest of boats were lifted on the tide that he generated.

A note of appreciation might have been stretching it, but like all aspects of Irish life at the time, there were benefits, even for a sporting organisation that was perceived to be potentially the biggest casualty of new interest in an international team that had a reach around the globe and had the capacity for growth in a sport that had been in the slipstream of Gaelic games in the Irish public consciousness.