That development funding

The whole development funding thing has been grabbed as the almighty cudgel to beat Dublin with but the reality is that it’s influence on the current team – and probably future teams – is minimal. However the anti-Dublin spin machine, through malevolent lying and gross distortion of facts has helped to paint a picture that is no nearer reality than the 300 lads who deliver meals to Dublin players each day.

The original idea behind games development funding was to increase participation rates for Gaelic Games among juveniles in Dublin and to bring the games to areas in the city and surrounds where the GAA had little or no penetration.

The perception now is that every club has one or two full time coaches who take all young players from 8-14, male and female, hurling and football, and spend hours every day coaching them into robots, some of whom will eventually make their way onto the great blue juggernaut of the future.

With this level of structure and coaching it is hardly surprising that Dublin are sweeping all before them at underage level. After all that is where this funding would be most manifest. The Dublin minor footballers won three All Irelands in six years between 1979 and 1984. The next success was 2012 – a mere 28 years later. But now thanks to the disproportionate funding they have won … eh nothing at national level since. They have won a Leinster in the last five years though thanks to the funding. Kildare have won three in that time. Oh and Dublin won the Gerry Reilly U16 tournament in 2013. But hey.

So what are these coaches doing for all this money?
The money is actually invested at nursery and juvenile level. It’s about participation, enjoyment and a fundamental introduction to Gaelic Games – not creating super teams. But without the nurseries and the massive voluntary structure as in every other county (parents, ex-players, etc) it would be a waste of time. The volunteers are still the pre-eminent and dominant coaching influence in these kids’ lives. And many of the kids are soon lost from the organisation to other sports and none – same as always and ever. GPOs/GDAs merely scratch the surface. They can not nor do not impact on club teams or on individual players in the manner that some would have the rest of Ireland believe. But sure it must be true.

Our population has always been greater than everywhere else. Though those actively involved in playing Gaelic Games would be far less percentage wise than many other areas of Ireland and nowhere near the 1.4, 1.5, 1.6 (take your pick) million we see bandied about.

I would love if people here could give a rough outline of what their GDO does in the club – how much time he/she might get to spend with any group, time with hurlers, girls, camogs, what ages and how often. What he/she does in the local schools etc. How does it compare with the volunteer effort in the club etc. At least we might get some idea of the truth.

The whole debate around development funding is fallacious and salacious. It has little or nothing to do with the current team.


It also has little or nothing to do with the truth


I was secretary for my club for a period of nine years throughout which we had four different GPO’s . I also worked in the local primary school and so had a good input and insight into their work .
Like all walks of life their impact varied . Sometimes down to their personalities and drive , sometimes due to a lack of direction from the club.

I find it astounding that a narrative has developed that suggests this was the blueprint for Dublin’s success.

Their work in schools was broad and focused on getting players up to the club but even this was very hit and miss. It was essentially a few half hour lessons with various classes once a week and oftentimes substituted for PE time.

To be clear I am not denigrating their work but I personally think the energies we as a club had to put into raising half of the salary was of greater detriment to us as a club than it was of benefit.

The work on Saturday mornings was of value but it was really just an introductory workshop for prospective mentors ( parents) and it was not rocket science.

I don’t know if our experience is untypical but I think In general from what I’ve heard anecdotally , the smaller clubs didn’t make any huge progress on the back of this investment.


Great posts lads. Thanks. Now stop making sense and TELL ME IF MANNION IS INJURED!


My daughter told me he was walking (even jogging) around parnell pk this evening,


Great post

He was in parnell.tonight at the meet and greet ,absolutely looked fine !!! Happy ???

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Sorry for shouting. I’m a tad excitable at the moment.


He’s fooked after picking up and drinking a bottle of only our rivers run free that was hidden in the early ours of Saturday morning hogan standside…went off puking and is now down to 6 stone weight…happy now :slight_smile:

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Got down on his honkers to take a pic with my young lad so seems ok

Speaking of puking did you see the screen grabs of an alleged conversation about Tyrone spiking the water bottles and offering them to Clifford throughout the match. Their own guy Foley drank it and was hauled off after half time cos he was puking. Stephen O’Brien drank a bit and his stomach was gurgling too. Madness if true!

If is a big word. dosing an opponent would be a criminal matter. Anyone who thinks Mickey Harte would condone such behaviour clearly doesn’t know the man. Social media at it very worst.

It needs clearing up. It’s an awful accusation.


Kerry players or management need to come out and rubbish it ASAP, ridiculous rumour started by an idiot.

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Absolutely. Hopefully it’s just one of those makey uppey things. I can’t imagine any team doing that.

Someone is going to have to come out soon and say what is going on.This is growing legs.

Has to be BS of the highest order. One of the most ridiculous things I’ve heard surrounding a game

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Kerry diverting all the attention from getting all the favourable decisions from referee.


I don’t think people outside Dublin realise the vast swathes of even Dublin people in the city who have no interest in the Dubs. Never mind the non Dubs, foreign nationals etc but there is a massive cohort of Dublin people who have no connection to the GAA whatsoever. Even the numbers in the ‘super’ clubs are tiny % of the population of the area.

Na Fianna had 1,938 members in the recent study. The population of Glasnevin is circa 40k.

In June 2016, O’Dwyer’s had a total membership of 401 from a population (2011) of 57,427 - that’s just 0.7%.

There are 67,000 people living in the Nth Inner city and another 60,600 in Pembroke-Rathmines … neither a GAA stronghold!

I’m beginning to doubt this 1.4m GAA member population theory …