The Amplification and De-Amplification of Amateurism and Professionalism in the Gaelic Athletic Association

Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Interdisciplinary, History

Publication Details

Connolly, J. & Dolan, P. (2013) The amplification and de-amplification of amateurism and professionalism in the Gaelic Athletic Association’, International Journal of the History of Sport , vol.30, no.8. pp. 853–870.


In this paper we explain how and why a specific ethos of amateurism was portrayed and embodied by various groups comprising the Gaelic Athletic Association in Ireland throughout its history. Interestingly, the discourse pertaining to amateurism has at times been de-amplified, instead being superseded by the vilification of professionalism. Since the 1970s, both amateurism and professionalism have been imbued with new meanings and interpretations by different social groups comprising the organisation. In tandem with this, both the discourses of professionalism and amateurism have been increasingly amplified. We explain how the structure of competitive and cooperative interdependencies, the we-identifications, tensions and insecurities generated by these, between groups at different levels of integration – social class, national, interorganisational and intra-organisational – underpin these social developments.