Kerry Co Council urges GAA to end deals with pay-per-view TV

Local authority joins Galway Co Council in call to ensure games shown ‘for all to see’

Dublin’s Philip McMahon grapples with Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea in the drawn All-Ireland final. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Dublin’s Philip McMahon grapples with Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea in the drawn All-Ireland final. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

 

Kerry Co Council is the latest to unanimously pass a motion calling on the GAA to end its contract with pay-per-view television channels to broadcast its games.

Last Monday Galway Co Council unanimously passed a motion calling on the GAA to ensure all championship games were shown on terrestrial free-to-air channels “for all to see”.

The motion at Kerry Co Council called on the GAA to end the practice of having “many of its major championship games broadcast through pay-per-view/subscription TV.”

It deprived “very many people who are life-long supporters of and workers for the association and who may now be older and infirm. And also the young who long to see their idols, of the joy of watching their favourite players and teams in some of the most important games of the year,” the motion stated.

It was proposed by Independent Alliance Cllr Michael Gleeson and seconded by the Mayor of Kerry Fianna Fáil Cllr Michael O’Shea at the council’s meeting this week.

Kerry player

Cllr Gleeson won two All-Ireland senior football medals with Kerry, in 1969 and 1970, and captained East Kerry when it won the first All Ireland Senior Club Football Championship in 1971.

He told the meeting that, where watching game on subscription channels was concerned, “some people are unwillingly forced to go to the pub, where children are not always welcome, nor should they be.”

People “who are now aged, infirm and unable to travel to games have given many years of loyal and devoted service to the GAA games and cultural pursuits. It seems very harsh to deprive them of the joy of seeing their county teams on the big day.”

He called on the GAA to “re-examine this entire matter” saying that “for 132 years the people of Ireland and the GAA have been almost synonymous. It would indeed be sad if the generation of finance is to alienate and deprive people who have served, and those who will or may serve, in the years ahead.”