President achieves ‘goal’ of GAA posts

In what has been described by Students’ Union President Conan O’ Broin as “a sign of maturity on the part of Trinity College”, Gaelic goal posts have been installed at College Park after years of conspicuous absence.
Prior to the formation of the Gaelic Athletic Association in 1884, there was a significant presence of Gaelic games on campus, with the first meeting of the Irish Hurling Union being held in Botany Bay in 1879. In fact, future Unionist leader Edward Carson represented Trinity in hurling in 1877.
After a long period of absence, GAA managed to establish itself in Trinity in the 1950s producing iconic figures such as Kerry all star, Colm Kennelly. Although GAA has come to occupy an important place in Trinity sports life, with over 400 students actively involved, its development has been hampered over the years by a disinct lack of on-campus facilities.
Due to an absence of goalposts, GAA players have been forced to train in Santry, located over an hour’s journey from the city centre. O’ Broin estimates that Trinity GAA “was losing 50-60 players every year” due to this inconvenience. Darragh Byrne, Goalkeeper for the Gaelic football first team and manager of this year’s Freshers, feels that the presence of the new goal-posts will be a “huge relief for the team”, describing previous training arrangements as a “load of unnecessary stress”.
Over previous decades, repeated requests from the GAA club to have goalposts installed have been rejected by the Department of Sport. According to O’ Broin, “issues of ground safety and maintenance” were cited as grounds for refusal, reasons which were contested by the Club given the extent to which College Park is used by other sports clubs.  The installation of GAA posts this January represents a triumph for Conan O’Broin who campaigned on the issue in the SU presidential race last year.
Given Trinity’s traditional, and somewhat outdated, image of being less than active in the promotion of Gaelic culture, this move can be viewed as a sign of significant progress on the part of College authorities; one that will be greatly welcomed by members of the college community and will hopefully lead to future successes on the field.