Ep 23 – GAA President Larry McCarthy

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GAA President Larry McCarthy Reflects on His Tenure in “The Game on Sunday” Podcast

  • Best job of my life
  • Cork, covid & Croke Park
  • The split season
  • GAA GO
  • The future of hurling
  • Decompressing & returning to college

In a revealing episode of “The Game on Sunday” podcast hosted by Michael Lyster, GAA President Larry McCarthy shared profound insights into his presidency, addressing key challenges and future prospects of Gaelic games. Joined by Tomas Mulcahy, the trio delved into various topics, including the state of hurling, player welfare, and the integration of non-nationals into Gaelic games.

A Term Defined by COVID-19 and Broadcasting Evolution

Larry McCarthy’s presidency coincided with the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Reflecting on this period, he noted, “It was very difficult the first couple of months,” contrasting his role in reopening games with his predecessor’s role in their closure. McCarthy also highlighted the importance of GAA GO, the organization’s broadcasting service, in ensuring game access when traditional broadcasters opted out.

Addressing the Cost of Running County Teams
Tomas Mulcahy raised concerns about the escalating costs of running county teams, a topic that has stirred considerable debate in GAA circles. Responding, McCarthy emphasized county autonomy in financial decisions: “The decision is made to spend that money is at that local level… if you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it.”

The Future of Hurling and Integration Efforts

Discussing hurling, McCarthy detailed efforts to expand the sport in less dominant regions, citing the South Ulster Junior Developmental Hurling League as a success story. On integrating non-nationals, McCarthy believed that understanding Ireland entails engaging with GAA, though he acknowledged soccer’s dominance among newcomers.

Personal Reflections and Advice to Successor

As McCarthy nears the end of his term, he offered simple advice to his successor, Jarlath Burns: “Enjoy it… Embrace it.” McCarthy plans to return to his academic role in the United States but remains open to future GAA involvement.

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