Joe Brolly has labelled Colm Cooper's testimonial dinner a 'very disappointing development' for the GAA.
Cooper is planning to hold a corporate-sponsored dinner at a Dublin hotel on 27 October, with a percentage of the proceeds going to the charities Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin and Kerry Cancer Support Group.
The former Kerry player will become the first amateur player to embark on such a venture, and GAA officials say they have no issue with his plans for the event.
Brolly however, has taken issue with the testimonial, and says it goes against the amateur ethos of the GAA.
Speaking on RTÉ's Saturday Sport programme, he said: "It’s a very disappointing development.
"The idea is gaining traction through all the developments over the last 10 years that the GAA is no longer, ‘well, what can I do for you.’
"It’s no longer about selflessness and volunteerism and the community.
"But the idea of taking from the GAA and ‘what’s in it for me?'
"It’s a philosophical thing and some people will say that that’s fine, let him at it. And obviously there are plenty of people prepared to go to the event.
"A GAA footballer of that status will already have been making a considerable amount of money from endorsements, which is fine and there’s no problem.
"He’ll be in a very privileged position compared to the vast majority of the GAA volunteers."
But I think it’s something that he’ll live to regret, I’ve said as much to him and I think it’s an extremely disappointing development.
Brolly added that he would have "no issue if this was an entirely charitable venture and something selfless" but feels that events of this nature could lead the GAA down a worrying path.
"He does have a privileged position, he added, "he will always earn well as a result of that privileged position and he will be very well looked after wherever he goes in the country. That’s great and it’s exactly as it should be.
"But as part of that, it would be much better for Colm to show example that the GAA is not about ‘me,’ or 'what I can make from the GAA'.
"I just think it’s very disappointing this has happened, and it’s a clear signal that this type of thing is okay.
"I think the testimonial is an extreme example of where we’re going. The GAA is supposed to have a principle of amateurism and volunteerism. It’s very disappointing."
Listen to the full interview with RTÉ's Joanne Cantwell here:
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