GAAGO’s paywall on games for 2024 ‘very wrong’, says Fine Gael Senator

Cathaoirleach of the Seanad Jerry Buttimer believes there is a ‘conflict of interest with RTÉ’

The Cathaoirleach of the Seanad has described GAAGO’s paywall games selection for next year as “very wrong”.

Fine Gael senator Jerry Buttimer said as “a Cork person” he was very disappointed to see that “potentially four of Cork’s matches behind a paywall” for 2024.

GAAGO announced its schedule for next year on Monday. It will stream 38 exclusive GAA Championship matches in 2024.

Of that, 22 will be in the Sam Maguire Cup, including all four football championship preliminary quarterfinals and two football championship semi-finals.


Speaking in the Seanad on Tuesday, Mr Buttimer said while he was in favour of GAAGO, he believed there was a “conflict of interest with RTÉ”.

He said people were paying the licence fee in the first instance and then “we’re paying again twice to watch things”.

Fianna Fáil senator Timmy Dooley said RTÉ would be “wise to understand” that in an effort to rebuild confidence with the public and expecting the State to fund its operations, “putting so many games behind a paywall is wrong”.

“I was particularly incensed by the comments of the president of the GAA yesterday, someone who would do well to remember the role that he has,” Mr Dooley said.

“It was recognised in this House by him being given an opportunity to address us. When he was asked what GAAGO made last year, he said it covered its expenses.

“That is the kind of obfuscation that is unnecessary.”

Mr Dolley added that a spokesperson for the GAA had appeared on RTÉ's Morning Ireland and said “it needs to collect this money because it needs to build facilities”.

“Most of that funding that goes into building those facilities is done by this State,” he said.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times