Spanish broadcaster TVG will broadcast the upcoming All-Ireland football semi-finals and final in their native tongue with the aim of reaching over 100,000 people in the region.
In the past number of years Gaelic Games have grown massively in Galicia, a northwest region of Spain with a population of around 2.7 million people.
There are 10 Gaelic football teams already established there, with 99% of those teams filled with natives.
Such interest has stirred the drive for the forthcoming semi-finals and finals to be broadcast – with the local broadcaster commentating in their own language.
The Galician regional GAA federation has already reached more than 53,000 people on Facebook alone with their announcement of the project in two days.
TVG is the second largest regional channel in Spain with one channel heavily focusing on sports. Whilst they will use a satellite feed and statistics package supplied by RTÉ, they will provide their own independent commentary.
John Murphy, Chairperson Of Gaelic Games Europe, said, “I believe this will be the first time the All-Ireland semi-finals and final will be broadcast in a language other than Irish or English.”
“It’s a fantastic project, a demonstration of the combination of the connections the World GAA Games has built globally since its creation, the strategic outlook of organizations like GGE, the GAA and RTÉ to promote our games and the future opportunity that could be unlocked.”
Murphy added, “interest is growing rapidly in the region. One club grew from 20 to 60 members in the last 12 months. Galicia will be running two youth GAA camps for the first time in September and November this year. They have been very active in the World Games attendance, with their participation being a huge source of pride in the region.”
“TVG are creating a promotional video and are already talking about more future collaborations. I believe this is another fantastic step towards growing Gaelic games globally. I am delighted to make this happen in such a tough year like 2021, it has been a bring spot for our sports. I would like that all involved parties (from the GAA, GGE, Galicia, RTÉ and TVG) for their openness and collaborative spirit throughout the project to pull it all together so seamlessly”
As the GAA continues to spread across Europe, over 100 clubs are now in existence in 20 countries.
There are 24 youth clubs across five codes including handball.
One of the project drivers on the ground, Alexandre Sanmartin, said, “the broadcast of the All-Ireland finals in Galicia will help us to open many doors and to expand the Gaelic games in our nation.”
“I hope this is only the beginning of a mutual collaboration between Ireland and Galicia. Thanks to this project, a lot of Galicians will have the opportunity to discover what an amazing game Gaelic football is. We are very proud to be the first place outside Ireland to broadcast the All-Ireland finals in a native language.”