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London GAA crest Photo by: Inpho

London calling as over 500 GAA stars emigrate

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London GAA crest Photo by: Inpho

A promise of work and top class sporting facilities are luring hundreds of talented GAA players to the UK. GAA games of Irish hurling and football are incredibly popular in Ireland and overseas.

GAA clubs throughout Ireland are struggling with decreasing numbers as players are forced to emigrate in search of work. Now various UK GAA clubs are offering Irish players help to find work and accommodation, according to the Irish Independent.

"Since January 3 we have transferred 28 players, and I know there are more than 500 players who have transferred to various clubs around England in recent months," Tir Chonnail Gaels chairman Tom Mohan told the Irish newspaper.

"It's unfortunate that has to be the case but it's a fact of life that lots of young men are looking for work. We will try and find them work here and if they can play football then even better," he said.

The club, which was founded by Donegal immigrants in 1962, states on thier website: “Tir Chonaill Gaels are always keen to recruit new players for London's top football club. We know that moving to London can be quite daunting, but we will make the move much easier for you by helping and advising you on securing accommodation and employment.”

Liam O’Neill, the new president of the GAA has vowed to tackle rising immigration levels among players.

Meanwhile In Kilkenny, a well known GAA club has launched a new initiative to try and keep young players in Ireland.

Dicksboro GAA has appealed to local businesses to employ their players for seasonal work.

"Our adult player base profile is relatively young and we have 30 third-level students playing for our adult teams,” Dicksboro's development chairman Simon Walton told the Irish Independent.

“We are acutely aware of the challenges presenting for local businesses and of the limited availability that may exist for summer employment. Nonetheless, we are committed to doing what we can for our members who are currently proceeding through third-level education”.

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