Support for Clubs

I find it strange that the GAA, while stating that clubs are its life-blood, has no system to (a) grow new clubs or (b) support clubs that are in danger of falling apart.

That should be changed to ‘clubs are the lifeblood of revenue generating county panels’.

Point A being the most important thing here, in my opinion dublin needs at least 10, if not 15 new clubs. The size of some of the big clubs is absolutely nuts.

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I’m sure John Costello would argue otherwise.

How could he? 300,000 people in south west Dublin…2 GAA clubs!

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2 clubs for 300,000? Where are you counting?

But it’s not up to the DCB to start clubs, you need people on the ground willing and able to do so, I would imagine he’d give a strong argument that they support clubs where and when possible. Like in Adamstown most recently.

There are huge parts of Dublin with large populations without any GAA clubs. There are several established clubs dying or struggling…Liffey Gaels, St Pats, O Tooles, Setanta, Crumlin etc.
While the Drive for 5 is great, the DCB need to look below the surface sooner rather than later.

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There are a lot of GPOs in dublin, helping drive participation by a massive amount over the last decade. You can;t just say the DCB are doing nothing to help clubs, sure you could argue they could do more, but to say they’re doing nothing is not accurate - anyways this is totally off topic.

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Depends on where the clubs are and who plays for them

It also depends on the Culture of the club, and if they want to change & grow. Or are they happy just to continue as is…

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Exactly this. Some don’t want to be helped!

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Starting new clubs requires a huge investment by the local community in terms of time, administration and drive, that needs to be backed up with facilities and an ability to manage these facilities. DCB could probably offer more support but not sure how much change it would make, especially in non traditional gaa strongholds.

Spliting up areas where clubs already are is frought with difficulties as well. If you currently live in the catchment area for say Kilmacud you’ll be far more likely to bring your kids to the established club with a rich history in success rather than a new club where these things aren’t known. I think it was tried in Portlaoise at one stage but didn’t work.

One area DCB could be of huge help would be around committee skills with an emphasis on sub committees, a lot of clubs are run by a small number of committed people, if a couple of these key people drift away or burnout a club can suffer massive damage, having a wider base of support would be of massive benefit to a lot of clubs in my opinion

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Exactly this! Its not too hard to findpeople with the will and passion to set up a club, but there are a lot of skills involved in actually running one. And committee’s, sub-committee’s and boards could always do with a helping hand, similar to a GPO, in actually pointing the club in the right direction from the beginning.

The DCB cannot be faulted for the assistance they give to a new starter club, as my own club know first hand. But the background stuff is what gets forgotten and thats where the passion and will to drive on very quickly evaporate through burnout and frustration

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Well if you are going to make new clubs you then need to bring in the parish rule in dublin. 15 new clubs and then draw up defined boundaries for those clubs.

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HA number of new clubs have set up in recent years including Ranelagh Gaels, Na Gael Oga, Shankill, Realt Dearg to name a few. There are also a number of football only clubs who have started up hurling inc Stars of Erin, Geraldine Moran’s. Do the DCB have a “system” in place to start the clubs? I doubt it. It comes from a local initiative and then they provide support. What is worrying is that DCB don’t intervene quick enough when a club is going downhill fast. Very sad to see clubs like Liffey Gaels having to merge with Good Counsel and St Pats and Parnell’s going downhill (all for different reasons). Then there’s the green-space situation where DCB are supporting the sale of green space in areas where more green space is needed. The problem is the DCB are too laissez faire.

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Setting up boundaries is key. It would help give smaller clubs more of a pick. Dividing the bigger clubs into 2 might also be an option…obviously sharing the same facilities but it would maximise the amount of players exposed to top level hurling. Crokes and boden particularly could easily have 2 teams(picked on where the kids live) operating in the top underage divisions. The county board could do more with regards gpos to ensure that smaller clubs are maximising the number of schools they have a gpo in…which would help increase numbers.

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they need the GAA support to do it properly . The GAA don’t give a shite about areas like Tallaght and that’s a fact. the DCB can’t bankroll club development plans county wide

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Boundaries won’t work if they are based on the “parish rule”. Designate schools within a club boundary would be the best bet… But then clubs have to have the resources to go into them and when the kids come down to the clubs have to have an appropriate and welcoming culture. Some clubs have lots of small schools whereas some of the bigger clubs have big schools in their area. This is. It the fault of anyone, but it does give them economies of scale as the GPO can access more kids in one school. The schools themselves have more kids so are more likely to participate in Cumann Na Bunscoil etc so they play more.

I agree boundaries might be hard to police etc. But with regard to the schools some clubs have dozens of schools feeding into them. While others have very few and in many cases the schools may be closer to far closer to smaller clubs than bigger clubs but the gpo is going in from the bigger clubs. This is by no means a critisism of gpos or the bigger clubs who are doing great work. It is more about getting more numbers in the smaller clubs. As I said with huge numbers going into some bigger clubs it might be worth trialing setting up boundaries in these clubs and getting 2 teams playing in division 1 insteading of loosing kids. From reading articles and even from seeing the underage top divisions it appears gaa in dublin is becoming more a middleclass sort of game…how do we address that issue and get kids from working class areas playing?

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Wether we like it or not the elephant in the room is class. Middle class people are willing en mass to give up their free time to volunteer, train teams, organize, fund raise etc. etc. but a lot of working class people just don’t have the interest/motivation to get involved.

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