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16th Apr 2014

Aidan O’Shea has made some very interesting comments about professionalism in the GAA and ‘lazy’ RTE GAA analysis

Comments made by the Mayo midfielder are quoted in The Irish Examiner today and they make for very interesting reading for GAA fans.

Conor Heneghan

Comments made by the Mayo midfielder are quoted in The Irish Examiner today and they make for very interesting reading for GAA fans.

O’Shea was speaking at the launch of the 2014 Electric Ireland GAA hurling and football All-Ireland Minor championships yesterday and commented on a range of issues with a refreshing honesty that you don’t often come across from GAA players in both codes nowadays.

Speaking about the possibility of professionalism coming into the GAA on the back of the recent Sky deal, O’Shea, who posted some interesting comments on Twitter when the deal was announced a few weeks’ back, is quoted in the Examiner as saying: “It’s going to go there eventually.”

“It’s not going to happen in my lifetime, but it will eventually. We all know that. Eventually. We are not going to have 32 counties playing Gaelic football. It’s just not viable. It might be 20, 30, 40 years away but that’s the way it has to go. The way our country is set up, the way our population is, you are not going to have 32 teams.

“You will probably have franchises,” O’Shea added.

“You are probably going to have to split the championship into a different structure. That’s the way it’s going to go, players will get paid eventually.”

Elaborating on the Sky deal and the effect it might have on television analysis of GAA, O’Shea said: “My view is, it’s positive.

“The analysis of the games will go to another level, to be honest with you. That’s what Sky do. I think RTÉ are lazy. They probably got lazy as it’s been a monopoly for them and now they are going to have to challenge themselves a bit more in their production and their analysis.”

O’Shea reserved particular criticism for RTE’s analysis of Gaelic Football, saying that players in the big ball game came in for more severe treatment than their hurling counterparts, using the coverage of last year’s drawn Leinster hurling Championship encounter between Wexford and Dublin – a game he labelled as “horrible” – as a prime example.

“If that was the Gaelic [football], if it was the opposite way around, ‘worst game ever seen. Jesus Christ, what are we doing? We’re hand-passing, hand-passing, hand-passing. It’s unbelievable. Unbelievable,’” O’Shea said.

“We love to talk down Gaelic football whereas you’ll never see a hurling person talk down their sport. Which is great.”

You can read the O’Shea interview in full on the Irish Examiner website here, but his comments make for interesting reading at a time when debate is rife in the GAA community due to the potential implications the Sky deal will have on the association both in the present and further down the line.

Do you agree with O’Shea’s comments? Feel free to let us know in the comment box below.