Monday 23 April 2018

Cooney calls on counties to police ban

GAA President Christy Cooney. Photo: Ray McManus / Sportsfile
GAA President Christy Cooney. Photo: Ray McManus / Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Croke Park officials cannot be expected to run around the country enforcing rules and regulations if county boards are not willing to abide by them.

That was the message delivered from GAA president Christy Cooney yesterday as he promised that any information about county teams breaking the training ban would be followed up and dealt with.

Cavan will this week have to respond to claims that they broke the training ban by using a player from Tommy Carr's 2010 championship squad in a trial match on Sunday night.


"Cavan will be sending us an explanation and we'll be dealing with it on its merits like we do with every other case," said Cooney. "If there is a breach, then we'll deal with it.

Cavan have argued that Cian Mackey could not have participated in the match because he is currently recovering and the speculation is that they will escape censure.

The penalty is a potential loss of a portion of league gate receipts.

Cooney says that all the speculation about the training ban being broken in several counties is "rumour and innuendo" at this stage. He stressed that the association did not feel the need to 'make an example' of a county as part of an enforcement drive. "There is very little fact and unless you have fact, you can't deal with the situation. The responsibility is on the county boards who made this decision.

"It was made by Central Council and adopted by Congress and the responsibility is on them to make sure rules are adhered to.

"At the end of the day, the county board decides what manager they put in place, they are responsible for what goes on in their county.

"There's not much point in having rules and regulations if they're not going to be adhered to and it's their responsibility to adhere to them.

"Paraic Duffy and I are not going to go running around the country watching every individual player and see what managers are training -- it's the responsibility of the boards to adhere to the policies that are in place. It's easy to look at Croke Park, but Croke Park can only deal with what comes before us.

"If we have facts and they are accurate we will deal with them. But at the end of the day, the responsibility is with county boards."

The findings of a study by the GAA's Medical, Scientific and Welfare Committee revealed yesterday should harden the resolve to preserve the current training ban according to Cooney, despite a growing sense that it is becoming virtually unenforceable.

The three-year study, headed by Dublin physiotherapist John Murphy, has collated the injuries sustained by GAA players in 17 inter-county football and 16 inter-county hurling teams. Of those monitored, some 70pc had picked up injuries in that period while on duty for their counties.

"There is a need for recovery, a need for time to rest and this is a time to create that," Cooney added. "That's why this was put in place -- to overcome the issues of injury, the issues of burnout."

Cooney also touched on Duffy's discussion paper on the alleged payments to managers, which is currently in circulation with management. He said that they will take time before making any recommendations.

"It's not a question of rushing down the road with this. If we do come up with a formula to manage the whole managers' situation, we want to make sure it's right. We have to be realistic and make sure that whatever we put in place will be delivered upon."

Irish Independent

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