Thursday 23 January 2020

Dubs funding model the way forward

Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Awards Panel member for 2019, Tomás Quinn
Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Awards Panel member for 2019, Tomás Quinn

There is, Tomás Quinn accepts, an inevitability that a Dublin victory on Sunday would prompt a raft of commentary about the role of finance in what would be the most dominant decade of any county in the history of the All-Ireland SFC.

That, he feels, would be unfair on the people who made it happen.

"Just say Dublin do get over the line on Sunday and it turns into a conversation in the hours after, I think that's probably doing a disservice to the team," says Quinn, who has worked as commercial director for Dublin GAA for the past five and a half years.

"I wouldn't see a direct connection between the team right now, what they're doing, what they're delivering on the pitch and those conversations."

Despite the tone of much of the commentary around the issue, there are plenty of blanks to be filled in between central funding for games development and the success of a flagship team.

But the nature of such a debate is neither side can be definitive.

"This is for juveniles. This is for underage. This is going into schools," Quinn points out.

"I don't think there's anyone in the GAA saying that's a negative, trying to grow the games.

"For me, we should be trying to do it all across the country. And I think that's probably the challenge.

"You look at other counties, if Dublin is seen as a pilot scheme, to make sure that it is rolled out elsewhere.

"And it is a frustration in other counties that it's taking too long to be rolled out."


There is also the issue of shared expertise.

Quinn has had engaged with people performing similar roles to his own in other county boards.

"I know our coaching and games department have done the same," he says. "That's not to say we're doing everything right, or we have all the answers, but we've no problem meeting counties and sharing, saying 'from a Dublin perspective this is what we do.'

"So if we're talking to organisations from a commercial perspective 'this is what we can offer.' Or 'here's a presentation we'd use, this is what we'd go in and ask for, this is what we put together.'

"Ultimately it's to make the GAA better and that's something I'd feel strongly about, that if somebody approached us - as they have - we'd have absolutely no problem talking to them and giving our experience anyway."

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