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JobBridge For Unemployed GAA Players? Why Not Just Pay Players?

Donny Mahoney
By Donny Mahoney
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In my own failed journalism career, I've found internships to be a mixed bag. As a 22-year-old, I interned at a newspaper in Boston and was rewarded with a job for my diligence. Years later, I interned for about six weeks at a now-essentially defunct Irish magazine only to realise that jobs weren't coming up on offer any time soon. It's difficult to quantify what I got out of the position beyond a few good stories about the magazine's well-known publisher (here's one - we watched the '06 World Cup quarterfinal between Argentina and Germany together and he slept through the whole second-half and the penalties).


All told, I'm pretty skeptical about internships and the whole JobBridge initiative. There's a pretty fine line between free labour and slave labour. So I'm somewhat bummed to see the Jobbridge scheme introduced to help unemployed GAA players get back in the work force and packaged as some sort of stimulus package. Here's how SligoGAA.ie reported the story below. Firstly, the headline is totally false. Jobs are not being created. Internships are. 50 euro for up 19.5 hours of work is not job as you or I would define it. Hopefully it will get unemployed players working, but we can't help but think that for most, this will just be a brief diversion from emigration daydreams.

Here's an idea though: if the GAA is so determined to keep its players in the country and not have the 2024 All-Ireland contested in Sydney, why doesn't it share some of its profits with its players? Makes sense to us.




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