Timahoe GAA club have hit out strongly at "the trend of top players being poached from rural clubs" after losing Laois senior player Brendan Quigley to Dublin club Fingallians last week.
Quigley has taken up a job near the Swords-based club and will become the latest Laois player to throw his lot in with a Dublin club.
While Timahoe signed Quigley's transfer form, they have urged the GAA to address the issue of players leaving their home clubs for bigger outfits in the capital.
"Timahoe GAA is a small rural club," read a statement issued by the club. "And like other clubs of our size, the GAA traditions are an essential element to the fabric of community life. We have a catchment of approximately 170 households and will never be able to compete with the attraction of large urban centre clubs like Fingallians.
"In times where employment opportunities are so difficult to come across throughout the country, these large urban centre clubs also face the reality of having players out of employment.
"While we in Timahoe GAA club have signed Brendan's transfer request, not wanting to stand in the way of preventing a player from earning a livelihood, this trend of top players being poached from rural clubs to the Dublin area needs to be seriously addressed by the GAA hierarchy."
The hard-hitting statement went on to say that the cream of Laois footballers have exited the club scene in the county and this latest transfer comes at a time when Dublin players are blocked from transferring between clubs within their own county.
"The powers that be in the GAA ... need to consider the long term implication that this has on sustaining a viable future for rural clubs," it added.
"To maintain the tradition of rural communities and their GAA clubs, the GAA would be better advised to raise this as a priority on their agenda rather than focusing on fantasies such as winter training bans."
Quigley's move to Fingallians will see the number of Laois players in the 2011 Dublin SFC rise to nine although the presence of John O'Loughlin and Donie Kingston with UCD doesn't prevent them playing with their home clubs.
Parnells had four Laois players on their books last year as Colm Parkinson, Darren Rooney, Colm Begley and Michael Tierney played with them while David Sweeney was with Oliver Plunkett's and Stephen Lawlor was with St Vincent's.
Parkinson has been linked with a move back to Portlaoise but a number of other Laois players have been linked with switches to Dublin.
Fingallians is the home club of current Dublin player Paul Flynn and former player Kieran Duff but they aren't currently one of the stronger senior teams in Dublin having only finished ninth in Division 2 of the league last year. They were also knocked out of the championship at an early stage.
His loss will hit Timahoe hard however as they bid to make an impact on their return to the senior grade following last year's Laois IFC triumph.
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