Joe Brolly: "Genuine rage" among GAA supporters over ban on charities

The GAA's decision to ban charities on jerseys is "extremely disappointing" - Joe Brolly.
Michael Staines
Michael Staines

09.42 27 Mar 2023

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Joe Brolly: "Genuine rage...

Joe Brolly: "Genuine rage" among GAA supporters over ban on charities

Michael Staines
Michael Staines

09.42 27 Mar 2023

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There is a “genuine rage” amongst GAA people across the country at the decision to ban teams from promoting charities or causes on their shirts.

That’s according to sports pundit and Derry All-Ireland winner Joe Brolly, who was speaking after GAA Central Council rubberstamped the ban, insisting there are “other ways to promote these without modifying playing gear”.

It comes after Mayo GAA was barred from putting rainbow numbers on its jerseys in support of the LGBTQ community.


"Extremely disappointing"

On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Brolly said GAA members across the country are furious at the decision.

“It is extremely disappointing,” he said. “There was a huge groundswell against it on Sunday at the games.”

He said GAA hierarchy has become “more comfortable with the corporate world than with the GAA community”.

“It is a very damaging message, but it’s not a surprise,” he said. “This is stewardship of a corporate world with the GAA people taking second place.”


He said the GAA could easily make decisions about shirt sponsors on a case-by-case basis and refuse to promote political causes if necessary.

He said the organisation is showing itself to be “very, very happy with the corporate world” but cut-off from its grassroots.

“You’re selling junk food, junk burgers and all that? Well absolutely, we’ve no problem with that whatsoever,” he said.

“You’re a predatory bank that has caused untold suffering in our country over the last ten or 11 years? No problem whatsoever.

“You’re an enormous insurance conglomerate with a very, very dubious past? No problem whatsoever.

“But if you want to do something good for your neighbours, you want to support a humane cause, you want to support for example our LGBTQ neighbours, if you want to do something like that - like Mayo wanted to do, simply rainbow colouring - we’re not really into that.”

Opt For Life

Brolly has been heavily involved in the Opt For Life foundation which was featured prominently on GAA club jerseys in recent years – and he said the campaign has had huge benefits.

“It’s a voluntary movement, which has promoted organ donation,” he said.

“We had it in the match programmes, we had hundreds of teams wearing the Opt for Life logo which is free to use, there is no charge.

“It’s a tremendous message and it has been transformative in saving people’s lives. Organ donation numbers have boomed over the last eight years.”

"Genuine rage"

He said GAA members are furious that the cause can no longer be supported while corporate brands are welcomed and encouraged.

“I think there’s a genuine rage amongst GAA people today and it’s entirely understandable,” he said.

“People are saying, these people have nothing to do with us. The people of An Coiste Bainistíochta (GAA Management Committee) have nothing to do with us, they have nothing in common with us.

“This is a corporate world. The exact opposite of what we’re supposed to be.”

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