The first episode of a four-part series aired tonight on RTE One and the Dara Ó Cinnéide presented programme proved immensely interesting.
In a time of unprecedented upheaval for the GAA, episode one analysed the commercial elements and urban-rural divide. Featuring contributions from figures like Paul Rouse, Ciaran Kilkenny, Alan Milton and Turlough O'Brien, it delved into the inner workings of the association and how it plans to overcome the obstacles currently in the way.
Excellent opening night for #GAAEile with our own Coman goggins to the fore there in Marlay. There should be more Dara O’Cinneide on TV and radio.
— Anthony O'Connor (@Antcon7062) April 29, 2019
#GAAEile highlighting the importance of the games promotion officer and the boost it gives a GAA club. Great to see @OfficialWexGAA adopting this model, with some top class coaches currently in place around the county. @raymondoharris @JJDoyle1 @AoifeMurph1 @MonahanAl @JFly_20
— Frank Devereux (@FrankDevereux) April 29, 2019
I could listen to Dara Ó'Cinnéide speaking Irish all day every day. #GAAEile
— Lucy O'Shea (@lucyoshea) April 29, 2019
— Gary Hanrahan (@irelandhomeg) April 29, 2019
@ediennico could be buttering bread for half an hour on RTÉ1 and I'd still watch it.
Enjoyable programme examining the value and meaning of the GAA. Importantly, it's focus goes far beyond the top teams to gain a true understanding of the worth of our games #GAAEile
— Siobhán Doyle (@thekickart) April 29, 2019
Ó Cinnéide also examined the All-Ireland champions and what makes this current Dublin contingent great. At one point, he caught up with Ciaran Kilkenny on the field in the aftermath of their final success over Tyrone. Kilkenny reflected on the emotion he harnessed from the start of the year.
I started playing in 2012, and it's 2018 right now. I'm one of the old-timers now, like. As you know yourself, time goes like that. You have to enjoy this atmosphere and occasion. That was the attitude I went in with this year, I wanted to enjoy playing football. As I did when I was 8 and 9 playing...
When it came to the societal issues, GAA Director of Communications Alan Milton stressed the huge challenge the GAA faces with the urban-rural divide: "If people are going to move to urban areas around the country, it's hard to see how the rural clubs with smaller populations will compete with huge urban clubs..."
Episode two, three and four will look at hurling, ladies football and camogie, and the club scene respectively. Episode One will be available to watch on the RTE Player.