The Sunday Game panel were not impressed with the GAA ahead of Limerick v Tipperary in Thurles, with the trio of hurling pundits joining Joanne Cantwell in condemning a recent rule change by the association.
A bizarre rule change was voted in by the GAA in March, which prohibited the use of charity partners as shirt sponsors, unless the organisations in question were designated as the team's sponsors at the beginning of the season.
Speaking to the Irish Times in March, a GAA spokesperson attempted to explain the reasoning behind the decision, saying that it was not an attempt to "stymie" the good work of charity partners, but rather an attempt to discourage teams from changing their gear mid-season.
The decision was under the microscope once again at Semple Stadium on Sunday, with Tipperary, along with visitors Limerick, blocked from wearing special jerseys to promote the Dillon Quirke foundation, set up in honour of the late Tipperary hurler whose death shook the GAA world last summer.
The Sunday Game panel addressed the controversy pre-match, with Joe Canning calling the rule change a "horrendous" decision, and the entire panel urging viewers to donate to the foundation in response.
Limerick v Tipperary: Sunday Game panel bemoan GAA rule blocking Dillon Quirke charity sponsor
Tipperary wing-back Dillon Quirke was tragically lost to Sudden Adult Death Syndrome during a senior championship game for his club Clonoulty-Rossmore at Semple Stadium last August. Quirke was only 24 at the time of his death.
Earlier this month, the Dillon Quirke Foundation was launched by the late Tipperary man's family, with the goal of ensuring that every GAA player over the age of 12 is cardiac screened.
Quirke started for Tipperary in last year's Munster championship game against Limerick and, when the sides met again at Semple Stadium on Sunday, they had hoped to wear jerseys adorned with the logo of the newly established foundation in Quirke's honour.
In their closing remarks ahead of throw in, the Sunday Game panel discussed the gesture being blocked, with Joanne Cantwell summing up the disappointing impact of the GAA's rule change:
What you're seeing here now is the coin toss. What happened beforehand - Declan Hannon has presented Noel McGrath there with the official jersey which has the Dillon Quirke foundation on it.
As we should all know at this stage, the two counties had agreed that they would both wear, instead of having sponsors, they would have the Dillon Quirke foundation across their jerseys for this afternoon's game in memory of this young man who lost his life on this very field while playing the game he loved last August.
New rules passed in March decided that this was not allowed, no charities are allowed on. You're allowed have corporations on, you're allowed have multinational corporations, but the sanctity of the jersey ends there when it comes to putting something like the Dillon Quirke Foundation - whose aim is to make more cardiac screening available for young GAA players so that what happened to Dillon doesn't happen to more GAA players.
The disappointment caused by the GAA's decision has been examined in detail in the days leading up to Sunday's Munster championship action, and understandably so.
The panel hit out at the GAA's rule rule which prevents the Dillon Quirke charity appeal being on the Tipperary and Limerick jerseys today, describing it as "a joke". #sundaygame pic.twitter.com/G5KPN7X4Yl
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) May 21, 2023
Cantwell was joined by Joe Canning, Dónal Óg Cusack, and Anthony Daly in the studio, and all three gave their thoughts on the situation.
Daly said that the GAA's decision making often "baffled" him, and said that he could not understand blocking sponsors who were trying to do good:
This young lad, top lad. His father before him, his uncle Declan Ryan. He played in this fixture last year, we lost him tragically.
All the family and the club want to do is good for other families and other clubs and other potential players all over the country, and the GAA won't let them go ahead with it.
Sometimes, some of the stuff baffles me.
Galway legend Canning did not hold back, saying that it was a "horrendous" decision by the GAA, going on to call it a "joke" and commending the two counties for putting the foundation's logo on their bibs:
It's a horrendous decision that they can't support this. It's a joke, really, how they've come up with this decision by the GAA and not allowed it to happen.
Fair play to Tipp and Limerick, they are trying different ways of trying to promote the Dillon Quirke foundation with their bibs, if you notice all their bibs that they're playing with there.
All three pundits went on to urge viewers to donate to the foundation.
To contribute to The Dillon Quirke Foundation, visit the gofundme webpage – bit.ly/doitfordillon.