Padraig and PJ Daly with Catherine Fitzgerald supporting the Limerick hurlers with official flags Picture: Michael Cowhey
OPERATION Flag has been underway in Limerick for the past few weeks but this week has reached saturation point.
Flags and bunting are floating from homes all over the county; shop windows are being decked out in Limerick colours; town and village streets have become avenues of flags; cars, tractors, even boats are flying flags while GAA clubhouses, swathed in green and white, shout out local pride.
For DJ Daly, whose Pallaskenry company, Team Car Flag Ireland Ltd, is the officially licensed provider of Limerick GAA flags and bunting, it has been a busy few weeks. Even as late as last weekend, the extra orders were coming in.
Demand for flags began well at the start of the championship season he explained.
“It died away after the Clare game but then rose again, after the semi-final and beating Cork.”
DJ, who supplies all 32 counties, says Limerick is an excellent county for supporting its own. “They are brilliant supporters,” he said.
The company supplies different sized flags as well as bunting and other accessories and also supplies car flags. “I was the first to bring car flags into Ireland,” he added.
However, he is scathing about the proliferation of knock-offs.
“It is a big problem,” he said.
“If you look around the boys are there with all the copies. What they are doing is illegal. The crest is patented and the GAA would be entitled to take them to court.”
His company, on the other hand, has a licence to do the official GAA crest. “We have to pay royalties but the money goes back into training for the team,” he explained. “Anybody buying the unofficial flags is robbing the county board of money.”
To DJ’s dismay, as well as on-street traders, a number of shops have put counterfeit products on sale. And although he did not name them, he said people would be surprised if those names came out.
In shops, the official product has a headcard or tag with the barcode but it also carries the GAA logo and message saying: “Thank you for buying this official GAA produce. When purchasing an officially licensed GAA product you are helping in the preparations of your county team.”
Based as he is in Pallaskenry, where the club has two players togging off for Limerick on Sunday, Kyle Hayes and Barry O’Connell, DJ has sponsored flags which now fly high in Pallaskenry and in Kildimo.