O'Neill pledges to bring major final to New York

Updated: Monday, 26 Nov 2012 11:11

GAA President Liam O’Neill has pledged more support to international clubs and supporters, including holding a major final in New York in 2014 and improving television exposure abroad.

O’Neill spent last weekend in New York as part of the All Star trip and spoke of his delight at the grass roots development of games in the city and the strategic-thinking of the clubs.

The GAA President, speaking in an interview on Saturday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1, revealed the organisation will turn down a request to hold the 2014 Congress in New York as he believes it is not feasible to bring the event to America.

But he has pledged to bring a major final to the city as part of their 100th anniversary celebrations.

O’Neill said: "We always had America, New York, Britain, London that are very strong. Now we’re beginning to be strong all over Europe.

"We have a presence in the Gulf region, Asia, Australia is still very strong and we’re finding now that as the Irish go abroad, they are setting up GAA clubs.

"We discussed ways of publicising that event (100-year anniversary) and giving them a significant recognition. We intend to bring a significant game to New York, at least one significant game where a trophy will be presented because we think they deserve that.

"There is a double-agenda too where we want to promote our games in North America and by playing a significant game there we hope to get that televised and get people to be aware as are good as they are. We want to recognise the contribution New York has made to the GAA in its 100 years."

O’Neill also stated that the association will endeavour to strike a more favourable agreement for exiled stakeholders in the game in their next rights agreement, hoping to benefit families and online users to broaden their audience.

He said: "We are constrained a little bit by the fact that our next negotiations are not until 2014. But we will be putting it very much on the agenda and that, whatever package that we go with overseas, it has to be a package to get our games out where our people want.

"It was fashionable at one stage to bring people to clubs and pubs to watch games. We have families involved in the GAA now that do not want children in pubs abroad watching games.

"They want to be able to see it at home either through a computer or through their television.

"That is going to be a significant challenge now when we negotiate the rights the next time that we can bring that to families at home and where they can congregate together and enjoy our game.

"We’ll have to be innovative, we have people looking at it, and it is going to be our big challenge. I would put the broadcasting of games and publicisation of our games ahead a little bit of finance in this one.

"We might have to take a hit on it but whatever gets the games out is important to us."

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