Thursday 23 November 2017

Latest call for disciplinary overhaul knocked on head by Duffy

Daragh Conchir

The GAA has no plans to make any alterations to its disciplinary system, despite recent calls for a radical overhaul.

Presidential candidate Liam O'Neill said last week that the process in its current form was "very dragged out" and proposed that the Central Competitions Controls Committee (CCCC) be disbanded. However, GAA director general Paraic Duffy has hailed the system as a success.

"I think it's working much better," said Duffy yesterday. "We've had one controversial incident this summer, which had nothing to do with the CCCC, and that was the Louth-Meath game.

"I've said all along this system needs time to bed down and I think it has worked well. The past number of weeks we've had no hearings, players have accepted suspensions and moved on.

"Liam is entitled to his view, but there are no plans at the moment to change it. Absolutely none."

Duffy revealed that the CCCC will also look to make grabbing a faceguard to swing a player to the ground in an aggressive manner a red card offence, but will have to wait until next year to do so.

Congress

"The rule at the moment is that it's a yellow card offence, but we've come to the conclusion that we will have to amend the rule at congress next year. We have a concern at the number of aggressive pulling incidents."

Negative publicity surrounding attendances during the championship was also addressed by Duffy, who revealed that the GAA was "very happy" that they would be breaking through the million barrier for spectators with this weekend's four football quarter-finals at Croke Park.

He does understand criticism of ticket prices, but argues that a reduction would not lead to more people coming through the stiles and would directly affect the grass roots. He also pointed to the value packages being offered to families and club members.

Duffy was speaking at the launch of the M Donnelly Poc Fada, which will take place at Annaverna Mountain, Ravensdale, this weekend.

Defending champion Gerry Fallon, from Roscommon, faces stiff competition this year, which includes Tipperary sharpshooter Eoin Kelly. The Premier County man answered an SOS from organisers after former Wexford goalkeeper Damien Fitzhenry pulled out due to injury.

POC FADA DRAW

Ruairi Convery (Derry) v Donal O'Brien (Laois); Gerry Fallon (Roscommon) v James Skehill (Galway); Graham Clarke (Down) v Eoin Kelly (Tipperary); Eoin Reilly (Laois) v Karol Keating (Down); James McGarry (Kilkenny) v Neil Hackett (Meath); Brendan McNamara (Clare) v Seamus Coffey (Cork).

Irish Independent

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