How Brexit will impact on the GAA

Declan Bogue joined Off the Ball on Thursday

BY Simon Maguire 21:44 Thursday 30 March 2017, 21:44 30 Mar 2017

General view of a GAA sign. Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

Now that Brexit has become a reality, the GAA need to plan ahead for the difficulties that will be associated with it.

Speaking on Thursday's Off the Ball, the Belfast Telegraph's Declan Bogue outlined some of the problems facing the GAA saying: "If you take it from a purely financial point of view, the Garvaghey complex in Tyrone, obviously there's borrowings on that. And the moment the Brexit vote came through, the loan became £200,000 more than what it had been simply because the collapse of sterling at that point because the loan is obviously taken out in euros through the GAA.  

"The devaluation of the sterling is going to mean GAA clubs are going to become an awful lot more expensive to run. You won't get anything near the same as the bang for your buck.

"I just don't know how clubs are going to cope with it because at the moment every club you look around to, they're extremely stretched and they're all embarking on capital projects, and affiliation fees and the cost to insure a team in any competition is all kind of astronomical for what it should be and it's definitely going to cause problems across rural clubs that are looking for amalgamations and different initiatives to keep the club going," he added.

"It has also to do with wider population shifts. The population is shifting to the east of the country whether that be the north of the border or south of the border. It's been recognised in some quarters certainly but people are just moving towards the likes of Dublin and Belfast for the type of jobs that you have.

"What effect Brexit is going to have with certain companies in the north now, for example in Newry, that are definitely talking about making a move into the Republic of Ireland just to survive." 

Talking about the difficulties which may come into place considering he lives right beside the border, he said: "You're coming and going all the time. It's your natural hinterland and if a hard border comes in or a customs check point where it would require you to stop for whatever purpose it will play havoc with people's lives - never mind the devaluation of sterling."

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