Rule changes a sideshow to the big issues facing GAA in 2019

STUDENTS’ UNION: At the launch of the Electric Ireland Higher Education Championships at Croke Park were footballers, from left, Keelan Sexton (Clare) of University of Limerick, Anthony Casey (Cork) Cork IT, Gavin Crowley (Kerry) of IT Tralee, Padraig Fogarty (Kildare) of Maynooth University, Barry Dan O’Sullivan (Kerry) of UCD with the Sigerson Cup, Terence O’Brien (Derry) of Ulster University, Shehroz Akram (Mayo) of DCU, and Ciaran Russell (Clare) of Garda College. Picture: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

It’s the leading sports organisation in the country, administering the so-called indigenous sporting code.

Despite having little or no international element beyond its diaspora and having to compete fiercely at home with global codes, such as soccer and rugby, the elite level of the game is in remarkable commercial shape.

It has designed new, condensed formats of its game and exhibited them abroad.

The game’s central administration had faced criticism this year not only for meddling unnecessarily with the rules of the game but also for failing to address a decline in its grassroots game, particularly in areas of the country where the code was historically strong and deep rooted.

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