Faythe Harriers face GAA probe into 'outsider' use of facilities
WEXFORD'S Faythe Harriers are the latest club to be investigated by Croke Park for the use of their all-weather facilities.
Under the GAA's rule 5.1, clubs cannot rent their facilities out to other sports. Cork city outfit Nemo Rangers found itself at the centre of a similar investigation a year ago, when they facilitated the Irish rugby team by letting them use their indoor complex when their own training facility in Wilton was frozen over. Nemo eventually escaped with a warning.
In the current economic climate, where clubs are losing players to emigration and sponsors to the recession, there is a lot of pressure on them to use every resource at their disposal to survive.
But, technically, renting facilities to other sports breaks rule 5.1. which states: "All property including grounds, clubhouses, halls, dressing-rooms and handball alleys owned or controlled by units of the Association shall be used only for the purpose of, or in connection with, the playing of games controlled by the Association."
Faythe Harriers developed their own state-of-the-art floodlit all-weather pitch and alleys a year ago but, reportedly on foot of a complaint to Croke Park, they now find themselves being scrutinised over who they are renting their facilities to.
Faythe Harriers chairman Paud Browne declined to comment yesterday, but Wexford chairman Ger Doyle has confirmed that this is the situation.
"We received a letter in connection with this from Croke Park and are facilitating the investigation," Doyle said. "We've asked the Faythe Harriers club for a detailed report regarding usage of their facilities and who is using their all-weather pitch. As soon as we get the full report we will go back to Croke Park. That's as far as we can take it at the moment."
The practice of GAA clubs renting their facilities out to other sports to support themselves is believed to be widespread and was largely given a blind eye until the high-profile Nemo incident threw the spotlight on it and Croke Park warned all clubs off following suit.