London GAA chairman Tommy Harrell has welcomed the decision of TG4 to broadcast live coverage of the AIB All-Ireland senior club football quarter-final between Tir Chonaill Gaels and Kilmurray-Ilbrickane next month.
TG4 will break new ground with the airing of the January 24 clash, which is the first club game to be broadcast live on TV from outside of Ireland.
The game between the London champions and the Clare outfit will take place in Ruislip with a 2pm throw-in.
Harrell says the live broadcast is a huge boost for Gaelic Games in the English capital.
“It is great news for us, from the GAA’s point of view it’s a wonderful decision as it puts London GAA in the shop window,” he said.
And Harrell says that London GAA officials will be pulling out all the stops for the January 24 encounter.
“We have a lot of work to do to get our house in order to broadcast the game, but we are looking forward to that challenge and hopefully we can deliver on the day.”
Earlier this year TG4 created history after they broadcast the Wicklow senior football final.
This meant that full match coverage had been given to club finals from all 32 counties during the 10-year period of live GAA on TG4.
TG4 have previously broadcast live games from overseas and earlier this year showed the M. Donnelly Interprovincial Hurling decider live from Abu Dhaibi.
Harrell says that London GAA will be giving their full backing to Tir Chonaill Gaels as their quest for All-Ireland glory gains momentum.
“The one thing about Tir Chonaill Gaels over the last couple of years is that they have taken a very professional and a serious approach.
“They have had some tremendous battles in All-Ireland quarter-finals. Obviously the Clare champions would not hold the same status as some of the previous visiting teams like Nemo Rangers.”
The Gaels can count on players from Donegal, Derry, Tyrone, Antrim, Cork, Meath, Westmeath and Roscommon in their ranks, as well as a strong contingent of native Londoners.
While the recent recession in Ireland has seen an increase in participation in Gaelic Games in London, Harrell says it has been a struggle to find jobs for those emigrating.
“As a result of the recession there has been a tremendous increase in the number of players coming from Ireland to London.
“The down side is that we are unable to give everyone employment. If the economy was good over here in London we would see a lot more players over. At the moment we are saturated with requests for employment and we can’t meet that demand.”