GAA to allow a select few clubs and boards to participate in the League of Ireland
11 Nov 14
It is a historic day in Ireland as the GAA has announced that a select few clubs will be adding association football sides to their clubs. This is clearly one of the biggest events in Irish sporting history as we are seeing the FAI and GAA cooperating on an even bigger scale than they had before. Previously the two sides worked together while the Aviva Stadium was under construction and the FAI used Croke Park for matches.
On 1 November the FAI awarded licenses to nine different GAA clubs and Boards.
The Clubs and Boards that were given licenses from the FAI and approved by the GAA
Eastern Harps GAA
St. James Gales GAA
Ballinteer St. Johns GAA
GAA President Aogan O' Fearghail said, "I really like what the Football Association of Ireland is doing and I am fully behind their plan of making Irish soccer even stronger. We have had some of GAA clubs and county boards come to us about adding a soccer division, I was very unsure at first as soccer is not an Irish sport but I felt it was time to allow this. These select clubs have been chosen due to their plans and we felt they would be the best to represent GAA based clubs.”
It is said that the clubs will participate in what will be levels three and four of the League of Ireland. As of now some clubs will be looking to change their name to keep a separate but equal brand and some will go by the moniker of Cumann Luthchleas Gael (county name).
Having Cumann Luthchleas Gael or CLG attached to the name will be in a similar way to the CSKA or Dynamo brands of Eastern Europe. As these clubs are a sporting and cultural society. In English CLG means Gaelic Athletic Association.
Football Association of Ireland president Paddy McCaul said, "Having the GAA allow some clubs to participate in football has really opened up the floodgates to Irish football and these clubs could bring in a whole new energy that we have not seen before."
These select clubs will have a chance to prove if having GAA support and backing can help elevate Irish football to the top. If this risky move by the GAA works could we see more counties and clubs petition to be included in the football system??? We will have to wait and see as play begins in late July.