Thursday 23 March 2017

GAA to study settlement proposal in helmet case

Tim Healy and Patricia McDonagh

THE GAA will meet next month to study a proposed settlement with a hurling helmet supplier that has claimed the association's standard for junior headgear is too stringent.

Cooper Leisure (International) Ltd, Ballinasloe, Galway, had brought proceedings against the GAA and its central council, claiming it has suffered significant financial losses as a result of the standard required by the GAA for the helmets.

The High Court heard yesterday's proposed settlement was subject to ratification by the GAA at a meeting next month.

Cooper said its helmets had passed a European test and it had asked the court to order the GAA to add its junior helmet to the approved list.

Last night the GAA refused to comment on the case, while a spokesman for Cooper Leisure failed to return calls.

It is unclear whether the company's helmets will be allowed for use -- or if any financial settlement has been made.

Under GAA guidelines, all senior and junior hurlers must wear helmets that have passed the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) IS-355 test.

Ms Justice Mary Laffoy was told yesterday the matter had been resolved subject to ratification by the GAA at a meeting on August 7 next.

Counsel for Cooper Leisure asked the court to put the matter in for mention after that date just in case it is not ratified.

Witnesses

Last month, the judge refused to defer the case until October after she was told it was going to take two weeks to hear and Cooper would be calling 16 witnesses.

Yesterday, after hearing the matter was almost resolved, the judge adjourned it for mention to August 25.

The GAA has said only players wearing approved helmets would be insured under the player-injury scheme.

Cooper has agreed to develop a new helmet for seniors but insists the model for younger players should be permitted as the GAA previously accepted it.

Irish Independent

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