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'This motion is an insult to Congress' - Cork county board opposes CPA motion on recording votes

Chairperson Tracey Kennedy and secretary Frank Murphy both spoke against the motion.

CORK WILL OPPOSE the Club Players’ Association motion on the recording of votes at this weekend’s annual Congress.

A general view of the match Páirc Uí Chaoimh (file photo) was the venue for last night's Cork county board meeting. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

A majority of delegates voted against the motion at a county board meeting in Páirc Uí Chaoimh last night.

Adrigole delegate Joseph Blake raised the CPA motion, which seeks to have every delegate’s vote at future Congresses to be recorded and published in the minutes.

“I think it’s very good, it cements democracy,” he said.

“If I’m mandated by my club to vote a certain way and I’ve no problem in going back and standing over that. It’s no reflection on delegates who have gone to Congress from Cork, but it’s good that delegates should be accountable on how they vote.”

Nemo Rangers also supported Blake, but Cork chairperson Tracey Kennedy said she couldn’t agree.

Tracey Kennedy Cork county board chairperson Tracey Kennedy. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“Something similar came up at county level when I was a club delegate,” she said, “and I remember saying at the time, ‘If my club can’t trust me to vote the way they ask me, what I am I doing here?’ Similarly, if you as a board can’t trust us, what are we doing here?”

Secretary Frank Murphy backed up the opposition view.

Brian Cody and Frank Murphy Secretary Frank Murphy at the recent hurling league match between Cork and Kilkenny. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“This county’s delegates have at all times adhered to the will of the county board. This motion is an insult to Congress and not alone that, it’s totally impractical, you have 400 delegates voting on 40 motions, are we saying Congress should be delayed while votes are recorded and furthermore, that the minutes reflect every vote?

“We know where this motion is coming from and we shouldn’t support it.”

2010 Cork All-Ireland winner Derek Kavanagh, a member of the CPA executive, expressed his belief this week that the motion on voting transparency can only have positive effects.

Derek Kavanagh celebrates scoring a late point Derek Kavanagh in action for Cork in the 2010 All-Ireland semi-final. Source: Cathal Noonan

“I would be confident that people will see the benefits of it because I think it makes a lot of sense. I don’t think anybody could argue against it, it seems an innocuous motion but it can be quite powerful as, when the bigger motions come, people want that visibility of how their delegate voted at Congress.

“I would stress that, from strong feedback I’ve gotten, this is not an issue with Cork, I’ve heard from reliable sources that Cork take their mandate pretty strongly and go with what the delegates say. I do hear it’s an issue in other counties, of votes that are swung in the bar-room the night before Congress.

“There’s no accountability there and it doesn’t add up when you’re talking about a democratic organisation.”

A view of the press conference Derek Kavanagh (far right) at the official launch of the Club Players Association last year. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Kavanagh was keen to stress, though, he is not averse to delegates voting based on a debate at Congress, once that decision is recorded.

“We’re not handicapping delegates,” he said.

“It’s all well and good clubs asking their delegate to vote a certain way but, after a well-reasoned debate at Congress, the delegate decides on his own merits to vote the other way.

“That’s fine too, we’re not imposing rigid limits, but at least if they do go a certain way at the 11th hour, it should be shown and they can stand over that and come back and explain it.

“It’s just transparency is what we’re looking for and, in a democratic association, it can only help.

“We have it in the Dáil, the votes are on record if anyone in any constituency wants to see how their TD votes.”

Congress takes place next weekend at Croke Park and the motion, brought by St Mary’s Rosslare of Wexford on behalf of the CPA, will be one of a number that delegates will be asked to vote for.

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Denis Hurley

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