Modernising sport governance amid cultural constraints: a case study from Ireland

David Hassan, Nick Takos (Contributor), Ian O'Boyle (Contributor)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
62 Downloads (Pure)


This paper critically examines the evolving state of sport governance
with an applied examination of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA)
in Ireland. The challenge, which this article considers, is how this transformation becomes realised in an organisation, like the GAA, whilst
remaining broadly aligned to an amateur and volunteer-led ethos, still
representative of its membership at large and continuing to be broadly
equitable in its funding and other fiscal policies. At a governance level
it raises specific questions about the role of elected boards, their backgrounds, competencies, scope, and purpose as this strategic ‘step
change’ becomes embedded and, inevitably, poses many challenging
questions. Put simply, if the direction of an organisation changes, requiring new and different attributes on behalf of those governing it, what
is the most effective way to ensure this happens within specific cultural
constraints and what are the associated challenges if it does not achieve
this outcome
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalSport in Society
Early online date3 May 2021
Publication statusPublished online - 3 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Governance
  • GAA
  • Sport
  • Ireland
  • Culture


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