Longford Leader columnist, Mattie Fox
Returning to GAA affairs, the following was quoted in the Irish Times on Wednesday, August 1, 2018.
”Congress passed a motion last February to ban all gambling sponsorship but Guinness remain linked to the GAA via the “Bound Together” campaign.
“Look outside there and you’ll see no alcohol sponsorship [in Croke Park],” said Colin Regan, the GAA’s community and health manager.
“Under rule now in the GAA there can be no sponsorship of any competition, team, property, gear or equipment by a gambling entity.
“Unfortunately, in modern sport, those are two of the biggest revenue streams for advertising: alcohol and gambling. The GAA is delighted to be leading the way in that regard.”
Hmmm. In Croke Park last weekend, a byline was being trailed across the screens showing the games in the park, in the bar areas, saying that “the bar will remain open for one hour after the end of game”.
The culture of drink is alive and well in Croke Park on match days and it surely sends a rather contradictory message to every young person, and old, that attend the games.
In one hour - if it ends there - some people will down three or four drinks at least, on top of whatever they drank during the game!
During the game the bars are choc-a-bloc with people calling for orders, in fact the barmen can hardly fill it quick enough to please some customers.
Although it definitely looks bad, it is hardly something for debate. But keeping the bars open, for one hour after the game, and advertising the fact, seems sadly opportunistic and reckless.