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Sky Sports GAA Has Had An Untold Effect On Ireland's Highest Ranking Baby Names

Sky Sports GAA Has Had An Untold Effect On Ireland's Highest Ranking Baby Names
By Gavan Casey
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"Goo-goo GAA-GAA?" After several torturous months of counting babies, the top 100 Irish baby names of 2014 have, at long last, been revealed to the public.

It turns out that Sky Sports GAA coverage has been responsible for one of the largest paradigm shifts in Irish society since last Friday.

How? I hear you ask. Well it's quite simple really, but perhaps more accurately, oh so complicated.

Whereas the likes of 'Jack,' 'James' and 'Seán' retain their grasp atop the table of boys' names alongside female stallworths 'Emma,' 'Emily' and 'Sophie,' the real barn-burning action was found far lower down the table;

And it's certainly no coincidence that in a year where Sky Sports embarked on their maiden GAA voyage and enlisted Ollie Canning and Peter Canavan as pundits, the popularity of both men's first names has surged beyond other reasoning.


It's been a tumultuous couple of decades for the name 'Peter' - its failure to live up to the lofty expectations set by Peters Clohessy, Stringer and Canavan himself well documented in households throughout Ireland since the late '90s.

But the six-time All Star's reemergence in front of Sky cameras has set the ball rolling for a famous comeback, with the name Peter climbing an outrageous 24 places to 77th ranking in the Top 100 for 2014.


But the real story here is a fairytale return for 'Ollie.' In truth, Ireland has never been a true stronghold for Oliver since the plantations, but it seems that a well-placed representative of its shortened version in Ollie Canning has sparked a rebirth of epic proportions.

The Portumna man led Ollie to a record climb of 26 places up to 87th in the table, thankfully knocking the likes of 'Rhys' back to the bowels of society where it belongs. Nobody wants you, Rhys.


Spare a thought, too, for 'Isaac,' long since threatened by the perils of relegation, but beating the drop with an impressive 18-place turnaround late in the year, finishing joint 77th alongside Peter.


The excitement looks set to continue in a couple of weeks time, when Jim McGuinness' presence in Sky studios alongside Rachel Wyse, Brian Carney and Peter Canavan will surely threaten Jack's 8 year dominance as Ireland's number 1 male baby name, and its 17 year spell in the Top 5 overall.

It's set to be an unbelievable summer of action.

See Also: The Top 100 Popular Baby Names In Ireland Have Been Announced
See Also: The Balls.ie GAA Betting Tips For This Weekend
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