The Gaelic Athletic Association is an organisation rich in history and entwined in Irish culture but it can not stand still and must embrace change or risk extinction.

A 'Gaelic Report' look at the history and current place of the GAA in Ireland.

Poet Brendan Kennelly  describes Mick O'Connell one of Kerry football's all time great players rowing home to Valentia Island.

He hauled the boat in, sheltered near a rock
And smiled to hear the sea's defeated roar
Breathing as though the air were infinitely sweet,
He watched the mainland where the hard wind struck.
The island clay felt good beneath his feet

In Kennelly's poem Mick O'Connell the hero of crowded football stadiums is transformed once again to an islandman with an ordinary life when he returns to Valentia.

Reverend Doctor Thomas Morris the Catholic Archbishop of Cashel and a patron of the GAA talks of the history of the organisation with a tradition of having bishops as patrons. He shows letters and belongings to another Archbishop of Cashel Reverend Doctor Thomas Croke a founding member of the GAA. 

Despite a strong history, journalist John Healy warns that the GAA needs to identify once again with the issues of modern Ireland or it will die.  

Before the year 2000, it'll be but a thing in the history books like the Land League.

This episode of 'Gaelic Report' was broadcast on 29 January 1973. Niall Tóibín reads Brendan Kennelly's poem.