Calls for Fair Play for GAA Fans over GAA GO Debacle

Jennifer Whitmore

Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore raised the issue last week of the GAA and RTÉ’s new streaming service GAAGO in the Dáil Chamber and called for a debate on the question of what events should be free to air.

GAAGO is described as a streaming service which allows Gaelic Games enthusiasts around the world to purchase and watch GAA games via the internet. Packages and subscriptions range in price from €24 for three games and up to €300 for a GAAGO Commercial Pass. Deputy Whitmore highlighted the effective privatisation of match viewing through this service and the impact it is having on older people and those living in rural communities, where access to the Internet is a barrier.

“The GAA describes itself as part of the Irish consciousness and says it plays an influential role in Irish society. RTÉ describes itself as the champion of Irish culture. It says it will act in the best interests of society and that universality is one of its guiding principles; that it is for everyone and available to everyone. Yet these two entities have come together essentially to privatise the viewing of our national sport,” commented Deputy Whitmore.

“The GAA is a hugely important part of our communities and should not be behind a paywall. This is why I would like a debate and a review on what events should be free to air. People pay their television licence. The public service broadcaster should be providing this service to people for the television licence they pay.”

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