Wednesday 21 February 2018

County Secretary scathing over semi-final abuse claim

Sean Wall

IN his first secretary's report to next Monday night's convention Francis Flynn is highly critical of the Westmeath County Board and their minor football manager Tom Carr following events after this year's Leinster MFC semi-final at Pairc Tailteann.

In his report, the secretary said that allegations were made by Westmeath of racial abuse by sections of the Meath supporters as well as a Meath player towards a Westmeath player.

He continued: This matter was dealt with in great detail and with great efficiency by the GAA Child Welfare Committee. Both the Meath supporters and the player were completely exonerated. The player also received an apology from The Mail on Sunday newspaper, stating that he was not a racist. However, Coiste na M CLG has some concerns in relation to the matter.

•The manner in which confidentiality was breached in the Evening Herald on Friday 12th July before Coiste na Mí CLG had been officially notified of the complaint.

•The continued and very public campaign waged by the Iarmhí team manager to undermine and discredit the findings of the committee.

•The reaction of the player's own club to the situation.

Flynn also states racism has never been and will not be tolerated in Meath GAA and reminded all clubs to make sure that the code is active in their club.

The proposed development of Pairc Tailteann and Dunganny following the findings of the Infrastructure Committee of Noel Dempsey (chairperson), Liam Mulvihill, Frank Cooney, Peter Murphy and Joe O'Reilly features prominently in the report.

'The terms of reference for this committee was to produce a report for the short, medium and long term development of Páirc Tailteann and the Dunganny Centre of Excellence to make them 'best in class' to reflect the status of Meath GAA as one of the premier units of the association,' Flynn states.

He continued: 'The members of this committee travelled the length and breadth of the country gathering information and produced a tremendously detailed report to Coiste na Mí CLG in September.

'This report was accepted by Coiste Contae. It is imperative that this report is acted on. It is not going to be easy to implement but it can be done and must be done if we are to move into the 21st Century in terms of infrastructure. All officers and clubs will have to put their full weight behind this project. I know there are many very resourceful people in the GAA community and all help and ideas will be gratefully accepted.'

Referees co-ordinator Donal Smyth warns in his report to convention that there is a major shortage of officials to take charge of games, especially in hurling where there are only 11 that are officiating at games.

He states that he has no doubt that unless the situation improves games schedule will not be completed. Smyth also points out that a huge number will not officiate at official adult games, and asks clubs to ensure that they have referees and that they are contributing to the games in the county by officiating and not just being registered.

Coaching and Games officer Eamonn Barry states the biggest challenge going forward in the years ahead in coaching and games development is to improve the quality of coaching to young players at all levels in every club in the county.

Barry, who will be a contender for the vice-chairman's position, said clubs face a big challenge to ensure they have the proper coaching structures and qualified coaches within the club in order to guarantee that each young player achieves their ultimate potential whether it be football, hurling or camogie.

Drogheda Independent

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