Dublin GAA commercial chief Tomás Quinn insists money has had nothing to do with the county’s march to the brink of a historic five in a row.
Quinn, an All-Ireland medal winner with Dublin in 2011, was appointed the county’s commercial and marketing manager three years later, playing a key role in their off-field success.
Aside from their list of commercial partners, including team sponsors AIG, almost €18m in coaching grants was also invested in Dublin by the GAA centrally between 2007 and 2018.
It’s led to claims thecapital county enjoys an unfair advantage with Kerry great Tomás Ó Sé stating this week that “you cannot say the resources they have, the numbers they have, do not make a difference”.
But Quinn believes said, in his opinion, the single biggest factor in Dublin’s success in recent years is the “culture that is within the squad”, not money.
“Culture can sometimes be a buzzword you hear around successful teams, but what does it mean?
“To me, it means how they apply themselves and their ability to be so focused, particularly when it gets into year after year and what they are doing at the moment,” said Quinn, who rejected the idea finance has played a part.
I wouldn’t see a direct connection between the team right now, what they’re doing, what they’re delivering on the pitch and those (money) conversations.
Quinn said it would be wrong for a debate about funding and finance to immediately begin in the event of a Dublin win on Sunday.
“For me, conversations like that (are fine), I don’t have an issue talking about them, I don’t think there’s a reason it shouldn’t be discussed,” he said.
“But for me, talking about it in the aftermath, just say Dublin do get over the line on Sunday and it turns into a conversation in the hours after, I think that’s probably doing a disservice to the team.”
The coaching money from Croke Park has been used to pay the wages of the GAA development officers dotted around Dublin, though Quinn argued that instead of altering this system, or reducing this income, it should be used as a template for other counties.
“For me, we should be trying to do it all across the country,” said the St Vincent’s man.
“And I think that’s probably the challenge. You look at other counties, if Dublin is seen as a pilot scheme, to make sure that it is rolled out elsewhere. And it is a frustration in other counties that it’s taking too long to be rolled out.
“I know Meath, until recently, had only a handful of full-time coaches. Now they’re up to nearly 22. And a lot of that would have been taking on the learnings of what has happened in Dublin.”
Quinn’s appointment in 2014 was the first of its kind in the GAA though other counties have since followed suit.
The former Dublin free-taker revealed that they have been happy to share their ideas and expertise with other counties.
“At the start of every year in the GAA, they do an officers conference in Croke Park for every county’s PRO, county secretary, county treasurer and county chairman — so the four key officers,” he said. Quinn.
Myself and John Costello would have gone in and delivered a presentation on our commercial side, effectively the presentation that we’d give if we were going in to somebody (to pitch for sponsorship), and we gave that to all 32 county boards.
“Even out of that meeting we would have had a number of contacts.
“When it gets to the nitty-gritty of playing games, leave managers and coaches to themselves, but when you look at counties...like, Cork hired a high performance manager the other day, there are guys like that that can be sharing knowledge, there are commercial managers that can be sharing knowledge, secretaries can be sharing knowledge.”
“Ultimately it’s to make the GAA better and that’s something I’d feel strongly about, that if somebody approached us - as they have - we’d have absolutely no problem talking to them and giving our experience.”
Quinn predicted that Dublin will win on Sunday.
“I think Dublin are going to win but I think they are going to be put to the pin of their collar. I think this is going to be their toughest game of the championship.”
Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Awards panel member, Tomás Quinn highlights the importance of the pre-game ritual to Minor players, encouraging fans to be a part of “The Championship Haircut” which returns to Croke Park for the ElectricIreland GAA All Ireland Minor Football Final, for the second year running.
Fans can avail of a free cut or style between 11.30am to 1pm on the Cusack Stand Side.