The Mick O'Dwyer Interview: Kerry, Sponsorship and A Love of Hurling

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The Mick O'Dwyer Interview: Kerry, Sponsorship and A Love of Hurling


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Few share a passion for the GAA like Mick O'Dwyer.

The Kerry legend has done it all on the pitch and across the whitewash. But despite his distance from the inter-county game in recent years, O'Dwyer still very much retains a hands-on role when it comes to activities at club level.

"Fundraising is a positive thing [for the GAA], and if I can help in any way I do so," he told OffTheBall.com's Maire Treasa Ní Cheallaigh this weekend.

"I got so much out of playing football for Kerry and all of that came from my club. That's the reason I put so much back into the club again."

Funding of course has come into the spotlight once again this summer with the focus drawn to the slice of the pie Dublin GAA receives over the bulk of other counties.

More recently, JP McManus' donation of €100,000 for each of the 32 county boards in Ireland has given rise to the discussion of funding in within the association.

O'Dwyer pointed to the growing commercialization of Ireland's national games rightly explained how Kerry were on the forefront of that development many years ago.

"We were the team that started it. We were the first to have Adidas and then we did the washing machines [Bendix sponsorship] after that.

"From there on the association took over. They have secured big sponsorship as we all know, but it all started from those small beginnings.

"It's great to see the association getting so much money out of these big firms. But I think all the big counties who have been receiving a lot sponsorship money over the last few years should be curtailed and shut down.

"There should be more money put into coaches in the weaker counties. If you want to improve all of those coaches, there's only one way you do that - but putting plenty of coaches into the primary schools. That's how you improve your games."

Kerry manager Mick O'Dwyer [centre right] at the 1985 All-Ireland final against Dublin. Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland


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