National Forum

The plight of the rural club

(Oldest Posts First)

Last week at the ploughing I seen an interview with Martin Skelly, former Leinster GAA chairman who spoke about the decline of the rural gaa club. He said that in his own county Longford 3 clubs have dissolved in the last 7 years due to lack of numbers and there are now only 21 clubs in the county. In my own county Kildare the rural club is suffering also as the town clubs get bigger and stronger each year as these towns continue to expand. We do well to field one mens 15 where as our nearest town team can field 3 teams if not 4. Going back 20 years things were alot more balanced as we could field 2 teams no problem however there are no jobs in rural ireland these days especially for the young. Where will all this migration from rural areas to the cities and towns leave the rural club in 20 or 30 years time? Rural counties like Longford Roscommon Offaly will suffer greatly imo as will rural clubs in counties up and down the country. Dublin meanwhile continues to grow and its hard to see how they can be stopped given the massive disparity in playing numbers

11jm11 (Kildare) - 30/09/2017 09:49:56    2051872

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Replying To 11jm11:  "Last week at the ploughing I seen an interview with Martin Skelly, former Leinster GAA chairman who spoke about the decline of the rural gaa club. He said that in his own county Longford 3 clubs have dissolved in the last 7 years due to lack of numbers and there are now only 21 clubs in the county. In my own county Kildare the rural club is suffering also as the town clubs get bigger and stronger each year as these towns continue to expand. We do well to field one mens 15 where as our nearest town team can field 3 teams if not 4. Going back 20 years things were alot more balanced as we could field 2 teams no problem however there are no jobs in rural ireland these days especially for the young. Where will all this migration from rural areas to the cities and towns leave the rural club in 20 or 30 years time? Rural counties like Longford Roscommon Offaly will suffer greatly imo as will rural clubs in counties up and down the country. Dublin meanwhile continues to grow and its hard to see how they can be stopped given the massive disparity in playing numbers"
Funny i thought the rural clubs were doing well in the Kildare club championship this year, Johntownbridge in particular have been doing well.

TheUsername (Dublin) - 30/09/2017 10:23:50    2051880

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Replying To 11jm11:  "Last week at the ploughing I seen an interview with Martin Skelly, former Leinster GAA chairman who spoke about the decline of the rural gaa club. He said that in his own county Longford 3 clubs have dissolved in the last 7 years due to lack of numbers and there are now only 21 clubs in the county. In my own county Kildare the rural club is suffering also as the town clubs get bigger and stronger each year as these towns continue to expand. We do well to field one mens 15 where as our nearest town team can field 3 teams if not 4. Going back 20 years things were alot more balanced as we could field 2 teams no problem however there are no jobs in rural ireland these days especially for the young. Where will all this migration from rural areas to the cities and towns leave the rural club in 20 or 30 years time? Rural counties like Longford Roscommon Offaly will suffer greatly imo as will rural clubs in counties up and down the country. Dublin meanwhile continues to grow and its hard to see how they can be stopped given the massive disparity in playing numbers"
You're not going to be very popular starting this thread I can tell ya, wait for it :

I know what you're saying though , I come from rural Kerry and it scary almost apocalyptic the way the place is emptying out, there are very few young people as they leave for college and many have to make their lives in the big cities.

I've mentioned on here several time in the past few months that in the 11 parishes that make up the south Kerry district they had only 5 children starting school this year.

KingdomBoy1 (Kerry) - 30/09/2017 10:38:35    2051885

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Replying To 11jm11:  "Last week at the ploughing I seen an interview with Martin Skelly, former Leinster GAA chairman who spoke about the decline of the rural gaa club. He said that in his own county Longford 3 clubs have dissolved in the last 7 years due to lack of numbers and there are now only 21 clubs in the county. In my own county Kildare the rural club is suffering also as the town clubs get bigger and stronger each year as these towns continue to expand. We do well to field one mens 15 where as our nearest town team can field 3 teams if not 4. Going back 20 years things were alot more balanced as we could field 2 teams no problem however there are no jobs in rural ireland these days especially for the young. Where will all this migration from rural areas to the cities and towns leave the rural club in 20 or 30 years time? Rural counties like Longford Roscommon Offaly will suffer greatly imo as will rural clubs in counties up and down the country. Dublin meanwhile continues to grow and its hard to see how they can be stopped given the massive disparity in playing numbers"
I agree with you that smaller clubs are struggling to get numbers to field teams in a lot of counties, but the notion that this is exclusively a rural problem is somewhat wide of the mark. People tend to look at the so called 'superclubs' in Dublin and presume that everything is easy for Dublin clubs. The reality is that there are a lot of clubs in cities that are suffering exactly the same problem.
For every St Vincent's in Dublin you also have a St Joeys OCB, for every Na Fianna you have a Na Gael Og, for every Ballyboden a Ballyfermot. All small clubs being put to the pin of their collar to survive, and in some cases not succeeding.
I don't want to get into yet another Dublin vs the rest of the country debate here, because I think that the problems of trying to run smaller clubs is a nationwide issue, but I do feel that by trying to turn it into a us vs them debate it fails to address the actual issues that are being raised, and turns into yet another pointless discussion.

AHP (Dublin) - 30/09/2017 12:01:17    2051902

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Replying To AHP:  "I agree with you that smaller clubs are struggling to get numbers to field teams in a lot of counties, but the notion that this is exclusively a rural problem is somewhat wide of the mark. People tend to look at the so called 'superclubs' in Dublin and presume that everything is easy for Dublin clubs. The reality is that there are a lot of clubs in cities that are suffering exactly the same problem.
For every St Vincent's in Dublin you also have a St Joeys OCB, for every Na Fianna you have a Na Gael Og, for every Ballyboden a Ballyfermot. All small clubs being put to the pin of their collar to survive, and in some cases not succeeding.
I don't want to get into yet another Dublin vs the rest of the country debate here, because I think that the problems of trying to run smaller clubs is a nationwide issue, but I do feel that by trying to turn it into a us vs them debate it fails to address the actual issues that are being raised, and turns into yet another pointless discussion."
Would the problems with those Dublin clubs be a lack of population though?

Genuine question as smaller clubs will always struggle no matter where they are because they are smaller.

tearintom (Wexford) - 30/09/2017 13:16:21    2051915

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Replying To tearintom:  "Would the problems with those Dublin clubs be a lack of population though?

Genuine question as smaller clubs will always struggle no matter where they are because they are smaller."
In the rural clubs in North Co Dublin it would be a population issue. Admittedly in some parts of the city it would be more down to the engagement level of the GAA in the areas rather than the overall population

AHP (Dublin) - 30/09/2017 15:33:26    2051937

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Replying To TheUsername:  "Funny i thought the rural clubs were doing well in the Kildare club championship this year, Johntownbridge in particular have been doing well."
Johnstownbridge are playing in the Senior semi-final against Celbridge this afternoon. I think the clubs that 11jm11 is talking about are perhaps some of the non senior rural clubs; junior and intermediate, probably junior as there are a good number of strong intermediate rural clubs in Kildare. One of them Raheens is in the Intermediate final next Sunday against Kilcock, who would probably be regarded as somewhere in betweeen urban and rural

lilywhite1 (Kildare) - 30/09/2017 15:35:56    2051939

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