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    Urban Demographic Change in Ireland: Implications for the GAA Club Structure

    Cullen, Aoife (2003) Urban Demographic Change in Ireland: Implications for the GAA Club Structure. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Ireland has undergone a great deal of transformation in recent times; these have affected every fabric of our society, including that of the GAA. ‘ With the dawn o f the new millennium, we have recognised that there have been huge social, economic and demographic changes that require self examination and critical analysis ’ (Cumann Luthchleas Gael, Strategic Review, 2002; 3). With this in mind, the headquarters of the GAA requested the Leinster Council (the governing body of the GAA in Leinster), to carry out an investigation into the changing demographic nature of Leinster’s urban areas and how this will affect club structures. These changing demographics are affecting the GAA clubs in these areas, and thus, there needs to be an inquiry into the impacts, consequences and possible solutions of such changes. This is the primary focus of this thesis. As Ireland is becoming increasingly urbanised, the GAA understand that it is essential to monitor the changing situation, and to thus take the necessary action to ensure the organisation maintains its popularity nationwide. According to MacNamee, the GAA has traditionally been ‘weakest where the population is increasing’ (MacNamee Report, 1971), and thus in a rapidly urbanising society there needs to be steps need to be taken to ensure the preservation of a high standard on the playing field. The association is held very closely to many Irish hearts, and it is considered too valuable an asset in Irish life, culture and sport to be neglected. It would be a high price to pay as a consequence of our negligence to adapt, understand and examine the demographic shift that has been occurring recently and continues to transpire. The thesis will follow a series of steps, which will examine the different issues at hand, and will lastly be drawn together with some general conclusions. It will follow these steps; firstly in chapter one there will be an introduction to GAA, which will provide the background to the association and its current status. A literature review will follow on from this in chapter two. It will explore the relevant writing on this issue, spanning from an extremely broad sporting and population examination, to one more focused specifically on Ireland and the GAA. Next will be the methodology chapter where I will be discussing the ways in which the research has been carried out. It will be a run through of the methods used, people encountered and problems experienced along the journey. Chapter four will focus on the research used and will be broken into three sections. Firstly, urban demographic change in Leinster will be investigated, and the reasons for the choice of the target towns will be revealed. Secondly, each town or city will be examined individually and in greater detail. Specific population figures and current club situations will be analysed, including indebt interviews with people involved in those areas. Recommendations for the future of the GAA will be provided for each town. The third research section is a case study. It is based around an interview with an individual who occupied a major role in the setting up of a new GAA club in a rapidly urbanising area. The final chapter will outline the conclusions that have been formulated and detail recommendations for the future of the GAA in the urban environment.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: Urban Demographic Change; GAA;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Item ID: 5148
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2014 14:29

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