Lost entirely in the furore over Jerry Kiernan's comments on the lack of fitness of GAA players is the whole reason why Kiernan was being interviewed on the radio at all: the allocation of €900,000 in Sports Council funding to the GAA. Irish runner Thomas Chamney had some provocative things to say about the GAA in an interview with James Sullivan of the website Running Review back in May that cast the debate in a some different light:
James: In the past you have spent some time training in Spain. How did you find their setup compared to how things are approached back home?
Thomas: They make the Irish set up look like a joke. But that’s easy when athletics receives the attention and respect it deserves from both the media, sponsors and the general public. There’s no GAA in Spain to fill people’s head with foolish ideas.
James: Do you feel athletics in Ireland gets its fair share of funding or can more be done to help the sport develop?
Thomas: Athletics needs to stand on it’s own two feet and move away from receiving the bulk of its money from the Sports Council. That way they can operate without undue influence from the bureaucrats. To do this they need corporate money and lots of it…which will never happen because the GAA sucks all that up…oh the pipedreams.
Chamney himself had tweeted his agreement with There's an interesting debate waiting to happen about funding for sport in Ireland on the back of this new allocation of Sport Council funding to the GAA. I just don't think Jerry Kiernan should be involved.
[link via David Lydon]