Monday 5 December 2016

There's no room for democracy when deciding disciplinary appeals

Published 14/09/2015 | 02:30

Kevin Keane (17) is sent off against Donegal, but later had the red card overturned
Kevin Keane (17) is sent off against Donegal, but later had the red card overturned

There are far too many GAA officials involved in imposing disciplinary procedures - sometimes with diabolical consequences.

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Years ago the old complaint in that GAA area used to be that players never got a fair trial when they went up before the county boards or higher bodies relating to discipline.

Now the reverse is the situation. We have four national bodies that could be involved in matters of discipline as simple as a player trying to get a yellow, black or red card quashed.

In all, there are over 30 people who could be taking part in deciding such matters, more than would be involved in High Court legal cases at times.

In general, the more people are involved in any GAA decision the greater the chance of a cock-up, as was shown in the recent cases involving Diarmuid Connolly and Mayo's Kevin Keane, who were both cleared of red-card offences.

There were three Croke Park committees, all involving a lot of Cs, and then the DRA, which has only three members. You could have fewer people dealing with murder trials in the courts. I will come back to this shortly, but the first thing is to get rid of is the vast majority of these officials.

Democracy is often the curse of the GAA, and recent disciplinary events simply prove that.

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