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Club players' body accuses GAA of 'contempt' over motion rejection

The CPA executive has criticised the GAA over its rejection of a motion proposing that a committee of “appropriately qualified people from both within and outside the GAA” be set up “to conduct an overall review of the national games programme”
Pádraig Ó Meiscill

THE Club Players’ Association yesterday hit back at Croke Park over the alleged “contempt” shown for a motion put forward to its ruling body by Roscommon clubs last weekend.

The CPA had backed a motion from the Roscommon County Board which went before the association’s Ard Comhairle last Saturday morning, proposing that a committee of “appropriately qualified people from both within and outside the GAA” be set up “to conduct an overall review of the national games programme” .

The motion, which called for a “blank canvas” approach to fixture-making, was necessary to prevent the complete extinction of club football in the summertime, according to CPA chair Michéal Briody, who added that the GAA was facing a “crisis” in its fixtures schedule.

However, Headquarters threw out the motion, saying it would conduct its own review of fixtures, starting next summer.

Tommy Kenoy, the CPA’s co-ordinator for Roscommon, said yesterday: “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.

“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.”

Kenoy said the club players’ body wished to pursue the matter in talks with the GAA leadership and reiterated the increasing strain he says club players are coming under in trying to find a balance between family, sporting and work life.

“We are seeking an urgent meeting with An Uachtarán CLG [John Horan] 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.

“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.”

For its part, the GAA says that, while the Roscommon motion was voted down last weekend, it has invited the county board to submit its own proposals with regard to fixture-making “for consideration”, and that a representative of the CPA would be invited to take part in any resulting process.

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