Falling GAA numbers in Boston…

Fascinating account of how the profile of the average GAA player is changing in Boston. How the drop in immigration numbers from Ireland means that the future of some codes like Hurling and Camogie are under threat there.

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  • marty (not ingram)

    How the drop in immigration numbers from Ireland means that the future of some codes like Hurling and Camogie are under threat there.

    Is this another way of saying that it’s mainly the immigrants that are/were playing the sport and your average american isn’t interested?

  • Mick Fealty

    Possibly, but it notes that Gaelic football is not though to be under the same threat. Many people view hurling as the superior sport, but the football code seems to have wider appeal beyond the diaspora. A few years ago I commissioned a photo essay on a women’s football tournament. The British teams had a lot of Irish in them, but the Australian women (who walked the tournament) mostly played it as a third choice sport. The Canadians too seemed to be mostly Canadian born.

  • Maggot

    Something very “Irish” about a code that so disapproves of “foreign” sports in Ireland being played abroad !

  • Frank Sinistra

    That’s amazing, the speed of boats in those days. The GAA was established in Nov 1884 and Boston GAA organised the same year. Aye right.

  • Peter

    The falling numbers come as no surprise to me. How can a politically motivated sports organisation last in the 21st century. Sport wasn’t meant to be political, a sport thrives when it becomes open to the whole world without the added pressure of supporting a political identity.

  • marty (not ingram)

    The falling numbers come as no surprise to me. How can a politically motivated sports organisation last in the 21st century.

    The falling numbers in question are in Boston and are due to the downturn in immigration (along with, arguably, the face that it’s always going be a niche sport in most countries outside of Ireland).

    Somehow I don’t think the good people of Boston are throwing out their hurling stick because they object to the Mairead Farrell Camogie tournament.

  • frank

    When sport is run by those with political & religious agenda’s its not surprising that it will be seen as discrimninatry and sectarian.

    The ban on Sunday football is a shining example of intolerence & the past.

    The IFA is the only association in UEFA that bans playing football on Sundays.

  • marty (not ingram)

    Only 7 posts in to a sports-related thread and we’re already on the IFA.

    I don’t know why you bother Mick.

  • Marty,

    You are talking (yet again) without any factual basis, but I guess we should be used to that. I spent some time in Boston with friends in March and the numbers of incoming Irish to the area has remained mainly static in the past 8 years. It has not fallen, (although it may have in other parts of the States).

    Also, Gaelic Football is currently thriving in the area. There are many teams who are mostly made up of non-Irish citizens and it’s popularity has, if anything, been increasing in recent years.

  • marty (not ingram)

    Mac,
    You are talking (yet again) without any factual basis, but I guess we should be used to that.

    I hope you aren’t confusing me with my name sake, ingram (hence the qualification in parentheses that I am not he).

    I spent some time in Boston with friends in March and the numbers of incoming Irish to the area has remained mainly static in the past 8 years. It has not fallen, (although it may have in other parts of the States).
    I was simply commenting on the report that Mick had posted. The report suggested that numbers were done, I didn’t.

  • marty (not ingram)

    Oops – last sentence should have read “the report suggested that the numbers were down…”

  • páid

    Football is traditionally more popular than hurling amongst emigrants. I suspect that this is because the Norman-settled limestone plains (the Antrim glens are an exception) on which hurling is played were never league leaders in the emigrant stakes. Football’s heartland is the rushy fields of Connacht, west Ulster and west Munster. And you only need six sticks and a ball.

    But from Boston to Bolton the reality is….integration.

    And for those emigrants, and their sons, who don’t want to integrate, and fail the Tebbit ‘cricket test’, the only route is home.