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08th May 2023

“We’re killing hurling” – Conal Keaney agrees with Cusack’s GAAGO claim

Lee Costello

“I don’t always agree with Donal Óg.

Conal Keaney has echoed what Donal Óg Cusack said on The Sunday Game in terms of the GAA forgetting about the promotion of hurling.

Keaney represented Dublin at inter county level in both football and hurling, and still plays both for his club Ballyboden.

Last weekend both hurling matches were on GAAGO, including a thriller between Cork and Tipperary, while the Connacht and Munster football finals were shown live on TV for free.

The Dublin stalwart was speaking on the latest episode of the GAA Hour, when the lads were discussing Cusack’s Sunday Game speech, and how the “GAA is shrinking hurling.”


“I bought it there the last day, I spent £70 or whatever it is, to try and get all of the games. I wanted to watch the games, couldn’t figure out how to get it on the telly, so ended up watching it on the laptop,” said Keaney.

“Then I was trying to get it for my parents at their house, and it was just a nightmare so my parents didn’t see the game, and I think that just summed it up.

“But I watched the game, and there’s this little green outside of our house, and I went out with my young lad and was just pucking around.

“This green was full of kids pucking about, and playing football, and I thought they were all out after the match, and I said ‘lads, did you watch the match?’ and they were like ‘no, what match? There was no match on telly.’


“So this is what we’re trying to preach, like we’re trying to promote the games in schools and in GAA clubs and everything, but you have these kids who are hurling fans, and would watch any hurling game, but there’s no hurling on telly for them – they have no idea about GAAGO.

“Because their parents maybe aren’t into the GAA they haven’t a clue about GAAGO, all they do is put on the telly, and if it’s Sky Sports or RTE then they’re going to put it on for the kids to watch.

“I don’t always agree with Donal Og and some of the stuff he says is a little bit off the mark sometimes, but he was spot on last night with what he said.

“We need to promote the game. We’re just killing it, we’re killing hurling, and now with all of these games coming, with all of the football, it’s just going to get worse.


“Hurling is a game we need to promote, and we’re always talking about going to Dubai or going to the states to promote hurling – like we need to promote it here, we need to promote it in hurling.

“We need to get more county players going to the schools, get them out there. I know as a player, that you don’t want to do interviews, or you don’t want to do this or that – but you’ll find if someone wants to promote a product, they will come out, if you entice them right to come out.

“So why aren’t the GAA doing that, why aren’t they promoting these games – there’s big games at the weekend, and you’re going to hear nothing in the papers.


“There’s very little talk about it and this is all leading down, not on the telly, and then we give out and say only a certain amount of counties are going to win the All-Ireland, only a certain amount of counties will play for the Liam McCarthy, so we’re shooting ourselves in the foot as far as I can see.

“Someone needs to get a hold of this before the whole game is destroyed, I know that’s dramatic, but we’re certainly going the right way about trying to kill it anyway.”

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