Tuesday 6 December 2016

Officialdom's hypocritical treatment of Dromard is a disgrace

Published 08/02/2016 | 02:30

Jamie Carragher. Photo: Getty
Jamie Carragher. Photo: Getty

The decision by the GAA at the highest level to fine the Longford club Dromard €3,000, later reduced to €2,000, for allowing the club to use its facilities for the staging of the Jamie Carragher (right) soccer summer school last year is an extraordinary development.

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Here I must confess partisanship as I have lived most of my life in the parish of Dromard, even though my own GAA club is the neighbouring Colmcille.

People can argue on both sides about the merits or otherwise of this decision. However, the words 'hypocrisy' and 'fairness' have to come into the equation.

All over Ireland in recent years GAA clubs rent out their facilities to other sports organisations such as basketball, volleyball, boxing, tennis, weight lifting, athletics, race nights, volleyball, table tennis, badminton, darts, pitch-and-putt and others.

What is so different about soccer? Or have we still got a rump of anti-soccer people in GAA administration?

I would hate to believe that.

Dromard is a unique GAA club location in that it borders three counties and three provinces: Longford, Cavan and Leitrim; Leinster, Connacht and Ulster. The Gowna soccer unit that organised the summer school is a neighbour of Dromard.

The Dromard club has built, largely on their own initiative, one of the finest facilities of any small rural GAA club in Ireland. They deserve far better than to be humiliated in this manner by the GAA when other - much larger and more famous - GAA clubs have been openly flouting the relevant rules for years unpunished.

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