There was uproar in GAA circles last week when county Longford club Dromard were fined €2,000 by the Central Hearings Committee for allowing a Jamie Carragher Soccer School event to take place on its premises in August 2015. This was not the first case of a club receiving a criticism for allowing a non GAA team use their facilities. Nemo Rangers in Cork were cautioned for allowing the Irish rugby team to train on their grounds. This non- Gaelic games activity breaks 5.1 (a) which states that property “shall be used only for the purpose of, or in connection with, the playing of the Games controlled by the Association, and for such other purposes not in conflict with the Aims and Objects of the Association, that may be sanctioned from time to time by the Central Council.”
It is now being reported that the former Liverpool player is considering stepping in to pay the €2,000 fine. This incident however highlights the hypocrisy that is sadly present in the GAA. The GAA are also rescheduling Leinster Championship matches this summer so they can host a Bruce Springsteen concert at Croke Park. Last year All Ireland Senior football semi-finals were rescheduled to accommodate the Croke Park Classic American Football game. Both of these events are “non- Gaelic games” and clearly violate the rule but nothing will be done while a small club in north Longford are fined €2,000 for providing a service to the local community.
This fine should never have been issued and in my opinion, reflects badly on the GAA.