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CPA 'utterly disgusted' at rejection of blank canvas motion and seek 'urgent meeting' with GAA

Roscommon’s motion was rejected at Central Council last weekend.

Chairman of the CPA Michael Briody.
Chairman of the CPA Michael Briody.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

THE CLUB PLAYERS Association (CPA) have voiced their anger at the rejection of Roscommon’s blank canvass motion that went in front of Central Council last weekend. 

The Roscommon county board asked that Central Council establish “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.” 

In the lead-up to last weekend’s meeting at Croke Park, the CPA called on delegates to back the proposal and take a blank canvas approach to the fixtures calendar. 

But while a number of rule changes were green-lit and the introduction of a second-tier football championship received broad support, Roscommon’s motion was defeated.

John Horan GAA President John Horan. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

“We are 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 at a time of great concern over the GAA’s fixtures crises,” said Roscommon CPA County Coordinator Tommie Kenoy in a statement.

The rest of his statement read:

“We can only draw the conclusion that those who lead the organisation have lost touch with the Association’s grassroots members who want a games schedule that will bring regularity and certainty to GAA fixtures at both club and inter-county levels.

“We are seeking an urgent meeting with An Uachtarán CLG and An Ard Stiúrthóir Tom Ryan to express our anger and frustration on behalf of Roscommon CPA. We believe we are due that courtesy as long-standing GAA members with years of service as unpaid volunteers.

“Bringing this motion followed hours of work, discussion and meetings, all done to observe the GAA’s democratic structures.

We are concerned that
• Tom Ryan failed to send the motion to Co Board Secretaries in order to allow them to bring the proposal before their Co Boards for debate and decision.
• That the vast bulk of Saturday’s delegates were not mandated by their clubs.
• Co Board Secretaries did not get a chance to bring it before their clubs.
• Central Council members only received it on Friday, 23 November the day before the meeting
• The first agenda notification they got did not even include the Roscommon motion.
• It was only subsequently issued later that day having been “inadvertently” left out of the first email.

“Officialdom should get on the togs and try running their lives, family, work, social events, weddings, christenings and holidays amidst the chaos that is the GAA’s fixtures schedule.

“All that shows a most disappointing lack of respect both for ordinary G.A.A. members and for the democratic process. 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 organization with the club at its very core.”

The GAA have already agreed to meet GPA chief executive Paul Flynn this week, while President John Horan jets off to Philadelphia on Thursday as part of the All-Stars tour.

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Kevin O'Brien

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