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More trouble for Cork county board as schools officials release scathing statement

Schools group Sciath na Scol are not happy with Leeside powerbrokers.

There's more trouble brewing in Cork GAA
There's more trouble brewing in Cork GAA
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

EMBATTLED CORK COUNTY board officials have come under fresh fire from grassroots officials.

The Sciath na Scol group is a schools-based organisation that organises Gaelic Games in the primary schools of Cork city and county.

Currently, there are over 400 schools affiliated in the various codes, catering for an estimated 7,000 children annually.

But Sciath na Scol are unhappy with what they perceive as a lack of communication from the county board on the scheduling of key events.

The group has highlighted an ongoing issue surrounding a venue for their Allianz Football Finals in November, when 31 boys and girls schools deciders are down for decision.

It is understood that Sciath na Scol wanted Páirc Uí Rinn as one of their three venues for hurling and camogie finals in May but were informed by the Cork county board that the ground would not be made available.

Sciath na Scol then reportedly earmarked Musgrave Park as their host venue but were allegedly told by board officials that they were not allowed to use a rugby ground.

Sciath na Scol are also aggrieved that their concerns were not discussed at last week’s Cork county board meeting.

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Tensions are running high between Sciath na Scol and the Cork board, and The42 has received the following statement from the schools’ body: 

Coiste Sciath na Scol has met twice this month with a view to planning our 2015-16 activities, despite the on-going worry of – where will we play our Allianz Football Finals in November? We will have 31 Boys and Girls Football finals to play, following on from thousands of games played by over 160 schools. We met with a representative group from the Cork County Board on Tuesday 23 June as well as engaging via email over the summer holidays with the Senior Administrator with a view to securing at least half of these finals in Páirc Uí Rinn (as would happen in other years). A simple ‘Yes or No’ would do in relation to Páirc Uí Rinn being made available to us, but up to this point, that information has not been forthcoming. Bear in mind, our Football games commence the week of Monday 14 September. We are due to meet with the Chairperson of Cork County Board (Ger Lane) next Tuesday 25 August and we will bring the results of that encounter to our teachers at our AGM which is scheduled for the first or second week in September. Coiste Sciath na Scol is disappointed that no club delegate raised our issues at last Tuesday evening’s monthly board meeting, despite that fact that it’s one of the the only appropriate forums for our story to be discussed. Why didn’t the club delegates raise the matter? Is the continued support of teachers towards our games not a priority here in Cork? Our own delegate was in attendance and has raised the problem before at the June meeting, however he was a lone voice. It is important to note that our upcoming sit-down with the Chairperson of the CCB was included on the progress report which was emailed to clubs on the day of the County Board meeting.Our aim is to organise our upcoming matches with enthusiasm and in a professional manner.  However, we will not compromise on where we arrange to play our finals. They must meet our own strict criteria in relation to accessibility and child protection.  We have also planned new initiatives in relation to promoting Handball and Rounders for 2015-16.

Privately, Sciath na Scol officials are seething with Cork top brass and cannot understand why playing games at Musgrave Park is such an issue, particularly when the revamped Páirc Uí Chaoimh will be included in Ireland’s bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Tomorrow’s meeting between Sciath na Scol representatives and Cork county board chairman Ger Lane should certainly be interesting.

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