Thursday 22 August 2019

Anger as media asked to leave

County Board

Dan Bannon

Sparks flew at the tail end of last Monday's Louth County Board meeting in Darver when members of the local media were asked to vacate the Charlie McAllister room while the top table discussed the travails of the county teams recent performances with club delegates in camera.

After the public humiliations suffered on the pitch in recent weeks the county board deemed that the boardroom discussions should be held in private. 

'Eventful time to say the least since out last meeting,' chairman Des Halpenny opened, before he asking reporters to leave the meeting without offering a reason.

Several club delegates decided to walk out, seemingly in protest at the treatment of the media. It was the first time the chairman, in the final months of his term, took such strong actions at a county board meeting.

Unfortunately, what was debated and deliberated or the resulting actions to be taken from the in camera session will forever be confined to the walls and memory banks of the top table and club delegates who decided not to leave.

Before the media black out, new appointments were made on the night and changes to Championship formats were up for discussion.

New appointments

Francie McMullen is the new Louth GAA Operations Manager. The former Games Manager is stepping up to a newly created role, while former county star Shane Lennon is now taking up the vacated Games Manager position having been coaching officer for several years.

Naomh Mairtin Delegate Michael Boylan, felt their was a lack of transparency around the appointments.  

Chairman Des Halpenny refuted the claim and Vice Chairperson Paddy McMahon asked for the remarks to be removed and an apology made to the top table. 

Boylan did not issue an apology, instead he said he felt the job could have been advertised better.

Championship changes

Two potential Championship format changes proposed by the CCC were either passed or deemed worthy of further investigation. Firstly, the U21 championship has been changed to Under 20 for the forthcoming season. 

There was a possibility of dropping the age grade down further to under 19 to help preparations for the inter county U20 the following season, however it was not followed by lengthy debate and the U20 regrade was unanimously voted in.  

Secondly, the CCC have been granted permission to investigate changes to the 2A, 2B and 2C Championship format. 

The Championship would be potentially run in similar fashion to the current Senior, Intermediate and Junior competitions with four groups of three depending on entrants. The new format would provide one extra game instead of one game knockout competition. The first year of the competition would have semi finals only made up from the four table-toppers.

Adult Fixture Forum

It would be announced that the next County Board meeting, which will be held on the 15th of July, will be followed by an adult football fixture forum. 

Various stakeholders are invited to attend on the night. County managers from both codes as well as county player representatives will be present.

Diverse topics for discussion include: League structures, Star games, Group teams and the preparation of county squads.

The Argus