Dublin hope to have new main shirt sponsor by July

Sponsors’ name removed from jersey to be replaced by “Pieta House – Mind Our Men” slogan for match against Westmeath

Dublin footballer Paul Flynn  and hurler Danny Sutcliffe at the launch of the jersey initiative and Pieta House “Mind our men” campaign in Dublin on Wednesday. Photograph: Sportsfile

Dublin footballer Paul Flynn and hurler Danny Sutcliffe at the launch of the jersey initiative and Pieta House “Mind our men” campaign in Dublin on Wednesday. Photograph: Sportsfile


Dublin County Board chairman Andy Kettle told The Irish Times yesterday a new and equally lucrative shirt sponsorship deal for 2014 and beyond should be completed by July.

The current Vodafone jersey deal across all levels in Dublin GAA will end this season after a three-year deal, worth €1 million per annum, was extended by 12 months.

“We feel that the brand is capable of generating that kind of revenue,” said Kettle. “A lot of things will come into the mix . . . whether a sponsor would want the complete, or whether they would be prepared to just take the premium spot. Then you’re talking about a secondary sponsor.

“My own gut feeling is that Dublin would support one major sponsor, and that sponsor would not want to dilute it with someone else.

“What we’re doing at the moment is putting together a presentation identifying potential sponsors. Over the next six weeks, we will be going to market and we hope to have someone tied up within two months.”

“Mind Our Men”
Kettle was speaking yesterday at the launch of the the Pieta House “Mind Our Men” campaign offshoot entitled “Mind Ur Buddy”.

“The fact that eight out of every 10 suicides are men illustrates the absolute necessity for a campaign,” said Kettle.

To create national awareness the “Pieta House – Mind Our Men” slogan will replace Vodafone on the Dublin jersey for the opening Leinster football championship match against Westmeath on June 1st in Croke Park.

The Vodafone foundation “World of Difference” programme is funding the work of Fingal Ravens club man David Mitchell’s attempt to get the “Mind Ur Buddy” campaign running in every GAA club.

The aim is to get four volunteers from each club to be trained in recognising the symptoms of preventing suicide.

Pieta House, the suicide and self-harm crisis centre, states the two “key triggers” that often lead to men taking their own lives are the loss of a major relationship, be it break-up or a bereavement – and anything concerned with employment – redundancy, retirement, unemployment or uncertainty in the work place.

Vodafone’s sponsorship manager Robert Hyland added: “This is all about making sure people who are suffering emotional distress are, first and foremost, spotted and then supported. No network in the country can help do that like the GAA, so we are really pleased that they are putting their full weight behind this.”

Farrell stays on
Meanwhile, it has been confirmed Dessie Farrell will manage the Dublin Under-21 footballers for a second season, despite the defending All-Ireland champions defeat to Longford earlier this season.

“It’s very important,” Kettle said. “There was a lot of disappointment when Longford beat us this year. It wasn’t unexpected, in so far as they had a super minor team three years ago.

“Dessie has had contact with that group of players right up through the development squads. He would know them. There’s one or two others that have come in as late developers.

“I think it’s hugely important that he remains for next year as he showed with the minors that he got over the disappointment of losing an All-Ireland when lots of people felt he should have won it. But Dessie got over that disappointment and came out the following year and won the minor All-Ireland.

“I would hope that he could do the same for the 21s.”

That would certainly line the Gaelic Players Association chief executive up as a possible future senior manager, perhaps even as Jim Gavin’s eventual successor.

“He would certainly be a candidate. I wouldn’t say that he’d be the only candidate. You never say never. Other people can come along and can develop.

Curran a candidate
“You could say that Paul Curran could be a candidate because of what he did with Ballymun. That’s just a name that strikes me straight off. It’s not something that is an automatic progression right up through the lines.

“But I hope Jim Gavin is there for quite some time.”