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VIDEO: This GAA Ad From Italia 90 Showed They Were Under Pressure From Soccer

VIDEO: This GAA Ad From Italia 90 Showed They Were Under Pressure From Soccer
By Conor Neville Updated

17 June 1990. Two great players make their senior championship debuts in Croke Park.

One of them would enjoy a dream day out in Croker. Wherever he went the ball fell into his hand. The other endured a distressing opening 19 minutes and spent the next 41 minutes on the bench.

Of Brian Whelahan, the Irish Independent reported that 'a star was born'.

The other player was DJ Carey. His performance attracted little comment. Carey later said he would never forgive the selector who panicked and whipped him off so early in the game.

After 20 minutes it was 3-6 to 0-1 to Offaly. It would finish 4-15 to 1-8. It is one of the worst days Kilkenny have ever suffered in Croke Park, topping even the 2012 Leinster Final.

And hardly anyone saw it. Yes, not even the fact that the game formed part of a double-header alongside Dublin-Wexford could draw the crowds.

The GAA's pathologically stubborn scheduling gurus ensured that only 17,000 people trooped into Croke Park that day. They were untroubled by the thought that Ireland's World Cup game with Egypt might impinge upon the attendance.


But no, the rest of the country were at home or in a pub watching the little Egyptians stifle Ireland.

The summer of 1990, recalled as a glorious one for Irish sport in general, was an especially trying one for the GAA. As has been noted before, the GAA had arguably never been less cool in Dublin than it was in 1990 (at least since 1973).

Under pressure from foreign games, the GAA resorted to unashamed expressions of superiority in their advertising, an explicit acknowledgment that they were under attack by the popularity of other 'codes'.


Here was how they advertised their highlights of the clashes between Dublin and Wicklow (in Newbridge, of all places), Armagh v Down in Belfast, and Roscommon v Leitrim in Carrick.

Once more, kudos to the youtube's greatest public servant, Killianm2.



 Read more: The Delightfully Bizarre Sporting Past Of Leader Of 1916

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