Wednesday 17 January 2018

Time to move on and forget about an investigation

WE NOW know enough about the Caulfield's Under-10 New Ross District-organised tournament - let hurling move on.

Established 20-odd years ago, the league has gone from strength to strength, until what one could best describe as a hiccup brought a halt midway through the current tournament.

It was a minor issue if it had been left to those responsible for the running of the league over those long years - that is until outsiders decided to try to taste the pie.

And the first hiccup came after what was an information-seeking phone call from a Horeswood club officer regarding playing rules which made its way to a Senior officer of the Board. The red tape swung into full gear with a whole series of games being called off at short notice.

The previous success of this professionally-run league was cast aside as the submission of Vice-Chairman, Micheál Martin, made for some compelling reading.

Indeed, he went so far as to call for a 'full investigation into the administrative errors' that led to what he described as a 'debacle'.

But such demands were brought to an abrupt halt as both Leinster Council Chairman, Martin Skelly, along with Wexford Adult Board Chairman, Diarmuid Devereux, and Coiste na nOg Chairman, Bobby Goff, sat around a table and within the matter of a few hours resolved the issues which in turn has led to the Caulfield's league receiving full sanction.

It will now be completed in full with the eight Wexford teams, Kilkenny clubs and a solitary Carlow club.

The highlight of that meeting is that all the red tape, and calls for an investigation were pushed to one side and the Under-10 boys were allowed back out doing what they love - playing the game of hurling.

Thankfully a line was drawn and Wexford County Board brought about a satisfactory conclusion to a needless argument which arose from an innocent phone call.

It needed the cool heads of both Devereux and Goff, along with their Leinster Council counterpart, to see that what was claimed to need a full investigation was something that could be classified as mere peckishness in comparison to the appetite of these young boys and parents to have the game of hurling played at this age level.

So, line drawn, no investigations, no debacle. It's time to forget about investigations. We all know where investigations can lead, just look at the political picture, as they can only damage the ancient game of hurling.

Whatever else we must keep promoting the game of hurling at under-age level, particularly in Wexford, where such huge efforts are being made to bring the county back to where it rightly belongs - on the top of the ladder with other counties.

It is always in my interest to promote Gaelic games at both under-age and adult levels, having played all grades of hurling and football for my club.

In my Under-10 to Under-14 era it was the Nickey Rackard League that held pride of place. It was our All-Ireland and how it was supported by parents and supporters at the time.

Not one to stand idly by, I like to think I have played my role over the long number of years now covering Gaelic games in the county, some 48 years in fact, while also being a club officer and County Board officer during that lengthy period.

I was never in the business of promoting falsehoods when writing on G.A.A. affairs.

I've a clean slate when it comes to promoting sport, the G.A.A. in particular. Now perhaps it's time for the Vice-Chairman, Micheál Martin, to withdraw his calls for an investigation.

Let's all give the young hurlers of today the chance to aspire to become our heroes in the years to come.

Enniscorthy Guardian

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