Free to air will damage city

Cllr Mike Crowe has this week called on all Connacht Rugby fans to oppose Minister Eamon Ryan’s plan to make the Heineken Cup Rugby on a free to air basis.
Crowe believes that this will be to the determinant of rugby in Connacht.

“Minister Ryan plans to make the Heineken Cup free to air but the reality is the IRFU receive funding of circa twelve million annually, as a result of pay for TV. The IRFU cannot afford to lose that and more importantly it will have an adverse effect on all four provinces and in my view, none more than Connacht. The executive of Connacht rugby based here in Galway work tirelessly to keep the team in operation and any loss of funding will jeopardise this. It will end up the same old story with Dublin cutting funding to the West. Sport keeps young and old interested. It has a very positive effect on the effect on society, it gives a lift in times of doom and gloom”

“People should also consider the economic effect that a weakened Connacht set up will have or even if Connacht ceased altogether. The Friday night games would be gone, the big teams that come to the city would cease, and do we really think that this whole proposal is in the best interest of either rugby or economic activity in our city. I think we have enough challenges”

“Eamon Ryan stated that “these events are part of what we are as a nation and their enjoyment should be available to all” but the Heineken Cup is only a decade old and is culturally different to the All Ireland and other such sporting events which are part of our heritage”

“I am calling on all rugby fans in Connacht to make a submission to the Minister opposing this move. Submissions must be in by June 4th and can be emailed to”