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GAA Football

CPA questions rationale for motion on Director General's powers

Outgoing GAA director general Paraic Duffy.

THE Club Players' Association has questioned the rationale behind a motion set for this weekend's Annual Congress that it claims would give “sweeping powers” to the incoming Director General.

The Rules Advisory Committee has proposed addendums to the rule which refers to the powers of the Ard Stiurthoir.

The proposal would put into writing the power for the Director General to “enter into any contract or transaction on behalf of the association which is in the ordinary course of business…or which has been approved by management committee.”

It would also legislate for the Director General to delegate the same power to any person they nominate, while also writing into rule the powers given to county secretaries.

Delegates are expected to be told at Congress that the rule's amendment would merely put the Director General's already existing powers into rule.

In a statement, CPA chairman Michéal Briody said that passing the motion could have a “significant impact” on the “accountability and responsibility of the GAA's most senior paid official”.

“We have been contacted by a number of individuals and clubs concern over Motion 8 which significantly extends the power of the Director General to make unilateral decision under what has been termed ‘the normal course of business'.

“The Rules Advisory Committee originated this motion and it is incumbent upon them to explain to Congress and the wider Association the rationale behind this motion and why they feel it is necessary to give the director general sweeping powers.

“If these powers are in place in the rulebook, then there is nothing to stop the director general using them or indeed delegating them.

“This motion if voted through could itself have significant impact on GAA democracy on the way decisions are made and on the accountability and responsibility of the GAA's most senior paid official.

“We look forward to a full explanation on Saturday. Already some counties have indicated they are not happy with this proposal,” said Briody.

The GAA's search for a new Director General is ongoing, with Paraic Duffy due to retire on March 31 after ten years in the job.

The CPA has also made a final call for counties to back Wexford's motion that would give transparency to how votes are recorded at Congress.

Cork county board voted on Monday night to oppose the motion, with county secretary Frank Murphy saying: “We know where this motion is coming from and we shouldn't support it.”

Briody said: “Our understanding is that there is no technical reason to prevent votes being recorded, it is standard practice elsewhere, and the technology is in place.

“Congress delegates will I am sure welcome the opportunity to show their voting record to dispel any doubts as to the democratic nature of Congress.

“During discussions with the GAA management we were told to follow the GAA democratic process is to achieve the changes that we felt were necessary in the GAA. Clubs brought forward a number of motions to test the process to see if we could achieve change via democratic route.

“The Wexford motion goes to the heart of GAA accountability and decision-making. We believe that all decision-making should be transparent; there should be no side deals or backroom discussions on any aspect of GAA business.

“GAA members and clubs throughout Ireland have a right to know how decisions affecting their everyday lives have been made.

“Delegates have an opportunity this weekend to show unequivocally that the GAA decision making process as transparent and that it is indeed a democratic organisation.”

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