Letter to Editor: Donegal going well, but lack of investment in facilities embarrassing

AS Donegal GAA supporters prepare for next Sunday’s Ulster Final meeting with Armagh in Clones, the Donegal News received a letter from fan Christy Galligan who still can’t understand why supporters are being forced to watch games in venues that offer facilities from a by-gone era.

Here’s Christy’s letter in full:

I had the honour and privilege to watch my Dún na nGall team put Derry and Tyrone to the sword over these past few weekends, thanks to the magician on the sideline, Jim McGuinness, the puppet master who has inspired our young troupe of footballers to dream big.


Sitting in Celtic Park I realised how far removed we are as an association, from those we see abroad in football or other sports, with the lack of proper facilities which includes parking, toilet and food facilities for the patrons and supporters who assiduously follow this wonderful game.

Large queues to the toilet facilities, that were built decades ago, or open terraces for the poor unfortunates caught in a deluge, or burnt to a cinder on a hot day, has not stopped the masses from turning up to such wonderful sporting events.
While certain GAA stadia have been upgraded in the past number of years, limited to Croke Park, Semple Stadium, Fitzgerald Stadium and Pairc Uí Chaoimh, the lack of progress in upgrading our other stadiums has shown a lack of urgency by GAA HQ.

How can we progress, even as an “amateur sport”, when all we have to offer is the very basic and antiquated facilities that even our guests from abroad are shocked and surprised at?

While the GAA saw its profits contract by €16 million to €112 million in 2023 it seems that their investment in other stadia is more focused in the southern half of the country while avoiding their more northerly neighbours.
Another bugbear is the GAA streaming service, GAAGo, this weekend once again denied the most avid supporters, who for whatever reason couldn’t travel to support their counties being denied the right to watch their games on mainstream services like RTÉ or TG4.

Thanks to the British Broadcasting Corporation I was able to watch a recording of this Gaelic match again, that they showed for free.
Next stop Clones, where another intenses battle awaits us even if the same problems regarding parking and facilities also await.

Christy Galligan,

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Donegal News is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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