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GAA Football

CPA motion withdrawn to sound of applause

The Club Players' Association's bid for formal recognition fell flat at GAA Congress at the weekend.
From Cahair O'Kane at Croke Park

THE Club Players' Association failed in its bid to win official recognition from the GPA after the motion pertaining to it was withdrawn by the two counties backing it.

While Wexford delegate Mary Foley spoke in favour of accepting the CPA, and revealed that they already have a representative on their fixtures analysis committee, the rest of the room was considerably colder to the idea.

Galway and Sligo both spoke against accepting the newly-formed body into the GAA's constitution before Down secretary Sean Óg McAteer addressed the floor and questioned what the future held if the motion was accepted.

“The CPA is very much in its infancy and, at the minute, we have a very democratic process where all the members of our association can input right here to the floor at Congress.

“Through motions to club AGM, to county convention or provincial convention, here to the floor at Congress, we have a democratic process, and a mechanism for the club player to be heard.

“Where would it stop? Would we be, in the future, be looking at a parents' association to speak for those under-18?

“The late, great Uachtarán Paddy MacFlynn used to talk about a past president's association, and everyone would get walking sticks.

“Would we have a referees' association? Would we have a county secretaries' association? Where would it stop?

“It's up to us, as each county, to look after our fixtures, which is the big issue of any players. We have that responsibility.

“I'd refer to the proclamation of 1916, where we cherish all the children of the nation equally,” said McAteer.

Former president Nickey Brennan requested that the motion be withdrawn so as not to “send a message that we are anti-club players.”

The Kilkenny man said that, while there was a case for setting up a Club Players' Association, it was too early in its infancy to be formally recognised.

The feeling in the room was overwhelmingly against the motion and rather than see it fail, both Wexford and Tipperary, who had brought it forward on behalf of the CPA, agreed to withdraw it.

This was met by applause from the delegates.

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