I, the undersigned, demand the Irish government and the GAA to ensure that broadcast rights for GAA Games be kept out of the hands of Amazon Prime when they come up for negotiation and review later this year. We cannot make the games of our heritage another income stream for the biggest company in the world.
The GAA is an integral part of our heritage. The GAA is more than just a sport. The revival of the Irish language and the flourishing of the GAA games are key to our identity as Irish people. The GAA is even central to our formation as a state. In November 2020, Irish people tuned in for free to watch the heart-breaking centenary commemoration of Bloody Sunday by the GAA. If we sell our broadcasting rights, Irish people will be denied access to their history and heritage by virtue of their economic status.
If Amazon suddenly have broadcasting rights, tens of thousands of people will be denied the ability to watch our heritage being played out on our screens. Working men and women, and communities will have to further line the pockets of Jeff Bezos to watch their County in action. To watch your county in action off the course of the summer, you will soon need a Sky Sports Package, Amazon Prime and RTE to watch every match. That is simply out of reach for too many people.
Taxpayer monies go into funding the GAA. Volunteers and fundraising keep clubs and county structures afloat. The ethos of the GAA is for the love of the game. We understand that the GAA are under pressure financially and we are calling in the government to step up and fill the breach. To suddenly sell those rights to Amazon would be a betrayal of those volunteers, of that ethos that has always been at the heart of the GAA.
Our small businesses and retailers have been devastated, whilst Amazon has profited. Consistently, this government fails to protect Irish interests when the question of what is right and wrong, and what is profitable come up. If we sell the GAA games to Amazon, we might as well start auctioning off Croke Park to developers and the GPO to the banks. Let’s make sure the GAA games are not denied to the Irish people, for Amazon’s profit.