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Joe Brolly Claims Colm Cooper's Testimonial Highlights Growing "Selfishness" Of The GAA

Joe Brolly Claims Colm Cooper's Testimonial Highlights Growing "Selfishness" Of The GAA
By Arthur James O'Dea

Having previously shared his disappointment regarding the increasing level of professionalism permeating the GAA, Joe Brolly has criticised the proposed testimonial of former Kerry star Colm Cooper.

The first of its kind within the GAA, a corporate-sponsored dinner will take place later next month for the personal benefit of Cooper.

Although a certain - as yet undetermined - percentage of the earnings will be directed toward charities of Cooper's choice, Brolly believes the event is contrary to the GAA's amateur ethos.

Speaking to Joanne Cantwell on RTÉ's Saturday Sport programme, Brolly outlined his reasoning:

[The GAA is] no longer about selflessness and volunteerism and the community.

But the idea of taking from the GAA and 'what's in it for me?'

The ideal is gaining traction through all the developments of the last 10 years that the GAA is no longer, 'well, what can I do for you.'

Entry to Cooper's testimonial night is priced at €5,000 per table. With 50 tables available in total, €250,000 is the expected minimum to be raised.

While Brolly would have no issue with the event if it was being organised on purely charitable grounds, he does believe it is something that Cooper will 'live to regret' in time:

I've said as much to him and I think it's an extremely disappointing development.

A GAA footballer of that status will already have been making a considerable amount of money from endorsements.

He [has] a privileged position, he will always earn well as a result of that ... 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'.

Although GAA officials will not be supporting the event by purchasing a table, they chose not to deny Cooper the opportunity of pursuing this testimonial himself.

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Contrary to Brolly's impression of events, Cooper has previously signaled that it is not purely a money-making scheme for him personally:

This is a way of giving back because I am conscious I am probably old news already but I will certainly be old news by 2018.

However, in taking his share in the profits, Brolly believes Cooper is ultimately moving the GAA one step further away from the 'principle[s] of amateurism and volunteerism' that remain so prescient for Brolly himself.

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See Also: Eamon Dunphy Calls Dublin Footballer A "Big-Headed Prick" In Barnstorming Radio Appearance

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