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Thursday 13 December 2018

Croke Park refute CPA accusations

REBUTTAL: Alan Milton, the GAA’s Director of Communications. Photo: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE
REBUTTAL: Alan Milton, the GAA’s Director of Communications. Photo: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

Croke Park have refuted allegations made by the Roscommon branch of the Club Players Association that they failed to treat adequately a motion over club fixtures from the county.

An explosive email sent out to media outlets yesterday from an official CPA account issued by Roscommon CPA county co-ordinator Tommie Kenoy and signed by fellow committee members stated they were "utterly disgusted and disappointed at what we believe is a clear sign of contempt by our main governing body for a Motion deliberated, discussed and passed by the clubs of Roscommon," which was defeated at Central Council last Saturday.

It accuses Croke Park of demonstrating "a most disappointing lack of respect both for ordinary GAA members and for the democratic process," adding: "This tells us clearly that the Association is fast becoming a corporate elitist body whose leaders have lost sight of the GAA's central ethos; a community-based Gaelic games and culture organisation with the club at its very core."

Roscommon's motion asked that Central Council "establishes a select committee to conduct an overall review of the National Games Programme in accordance with its powers under rule 3.42 (a) as the Supreme Governing body between Congresses."

It stipulated that "this committee should consist of appropriately-qualified people from both within and outside the GAA and should have a strong independent chair."

In the email sent yesterday, the CPA claim that GAA Ard Stiúrthóir Tom Ryan failed to notify counties of the motion in sufficient time for them to debate it and mandate their central council delegates accordingly.

They maintain that Central Council members only received detail of the motion on Friday November 23, the day before the meeting and that the initial notification of the agenda even omitted the Roscommon motion.

A Croke Park spokesperson confirmed to the Herald that the motion had been left off the original agenda due to an "administration error," but explained that the situation had been rectified "within half an hour".

The GAA's Director of Communications Alan Milton strenuously denied that delegates had been given insufficient time to consider the motion and specified that all members of Central Council and each county board secretary had been given notice of the full agenda on Monday, November 19 - five days before the meeting.

He explained that the CPA themselves had delivered text of the motion to each county board on November 7.

"The idea that we in some way were trying to bury this or hide this from counties is something we would strongly challenge," Milton insisted.

Speaking earlier in the day, the GAA's the GAA's director of games administration Feargal McGill said the idea of a centralised fixtures body had been "looked at over the years ... and we don't see it working."

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