Munster Council Chief warns of rural decline

Updated: March 9, 2012

Munster Council Chairman Seán Walsh has warned that Government cutbacks targeted at rural communities could have serious consequences for the GAA in those communities.

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“It’s a wide area of concern to us because in a province like ours, there are a lot of rural areas for example in West Cork, South Kerry and West Clare.  All those areas are being decimated and the clubs are under severe pressure. We have a situation now whereby people are looking at cuts for the two-teacher schools, the rural Garda stations and the rural post offices. The people that have been working there in rural Ireland helped develop life in organisations like the GAA in rural Ireland.

The point I was making was that we had Gardaí and teachers working in local parishes who have done an amount for GAA people and clubs. To target them to bring back sovereignty to this nation is wrong. I firmly believe that and no one will convince me otherwise.”

Walsh revealed the increase in requests for amalgamations amongst GAA clubs in Munster over the past 12 months due to dwindling playing numbers is a worrying trend.

“We’ve had numerous requests for amalgamations all over the province.

“Amalgamations are not pie in the sky, they are happening in all of the counties and they are happening on a large scale. It’s worrying for everybody.”

Walsh stated the importance of keeping every GAA club in every parish active so as to keep the identity of each club and that parish.

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