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Mayo, The Social Media Hotbed of the GAA

Mayo, The Social Media Hotbed of the GAA
By Donny Mahoney
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Yesterday, I wondered aloud if there were any senior intercounty GAA hurlers or footballers who were on Twitter. (Unbeknownst to us, Mick O'Keeffe had profiled the Irish sports Twitterverse in the Indo during the week and I could have saved myself the trouble) Seeing as Twitter is gradually ridding the world for the need of sportswriters, I figured there'd be a baker's dozen GAA stars on Twitter, at least. The results are pretty shocking. With the help of HoganStand.com, Park Ratheniska GAA and Stephen Kelly of the Star, I could only find five senior intercounty footballers on Twitter, and bizarrely, they're all from Mayo.

O'Keeffe's story posits that GAA players are simply media-shy, and thus reluctant to tweet. I don't totally buy it. The desire to reveal our most banal activities on Twitter is something that intrigues the world beyond sport. Twitter seems like an ideal medium for the likes of Paul Galvin or even more-toned personalities, like Marty Clarke or Sean Og. I heard Eoghan O'Gara and Stevie McDonnell on with Ger Gilroy's on his Saturday show before the All-Ireland and they were surprisingly articulate. Around every All-Ireland, we hear of the media's frustration with HQ's press reticence. Twitter is one way that player's can seize power on their own and make themselves more accessible, even if it's to discuss Corn Flakes or the Dragon's Den.

Here what the Mayo twitterers have to say for themselves:

Conor Mortimer (@conmort)

Location: funny!!!!!!!

The iconoclast of Mayo football tweets about every ten days. The highlight of his Twitter feed is the photo of him revealing his RIP Micheal Jackson Tshirt, which is widely regarded as the best GAA moment in the last 50 years.

Tweets about: weather, going to Belfast, :) (happiness)


Billy Joe Padden (@bjpadden11)

Tweets about: Sport, Eastbound and Down

Aidan O'Shea (@aidoxi)

Tweets about: Liverpool. Was unfortunate enough to travel over to Liverpool for last night's match with Utrecht.


Alan Dillon (@alan_dillon)

Bio: Footballer, Student, Gambler follow Man U and Barca

Tweets about: Gambling, Man United. Follows Off The Ball researcher and noted Mayo hater Ciaran Murphy.


Peadar Gardiner: (@peadar_gardiner)

Bio: GAA nut and player, MUFC and Rory McElroy fan

Tweets about: Man united, GAA Big Brother, X Factor, Serial retweeter.

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