Stream All-Ireland football final free to fans around the globe- Philip O’Connor
Author Philip O’Connor has today (Sept 14) called on the GAA and RTE to stream this Sunday’s All-Ireland Gaelic football final free to fans around the world.
The writer and Dublin GAA fan is chairman of Stockholm Gaels in Sweden, where he has lived for the last 12 years. His book about the Gaels, “A Parish Far From Home”, was recently published by Gill and Macmillan.
“The football and hurling finals are the high-point of the Irish sporting year, whether you live in Ireland or not” O’Connor said.
“It’s bad enough seeing people forced to leave the country to find jobs, but the fact that many won’t even be able to see the match online is another return to the dark days of the 80s”.
“Live video of the final is currently only streamed within Ireland via the RTE website. That means that from America to Australia, Sweden to South Africa, thousands of Irish emigrants won’t have access to the biggest game of the year.”
“Many of the 27,000 people who left the country last year will be denied a chance to see the Dubs take on Kerry,” said O’Connor, who as a schoolboy was a teammate of Dublin manager Pat Gilroy.
“Even if tickets are hard to come by, Irish people at home are well-served with TV, radio and web coverage. But for those beyond Ireland’s shores, unless you live in a big city you have little chance of seeing the game.”
“I’m calling on the GAA and the RTE to reach an agreement to lift the restrictions so the match can be watched online anywhere in the world.”
The GAA boasts some 400 clubs outside the island of Ireland, many of whom have seen a sharp upswing in membership as Irish people once again emigrate in search of a better life.
A confident O’Connor hopes that the GAA and RTE will be able to reach an agreement. “It’s been a long time since Dublin claimed an All-Ireland crown, and I’d like to see Irish people all over the world the chance to share our joy!”