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Little common sense in bizarre EA accusations

IT can only be a matter of time before common sense lodges a claim with the Equality Authority (EA) on the grounds that it's being discriminated against.

The discrimination is not taking place out in the big bad world but in the very environment where it thought it would be safe and secure -- the Equality Authority itself.

The EA has reached a new landmark in common-sense bashing by querying the GAA over its player-welfare arrangements with the GPA.

Under the deal, the GAA will pay €8.75m to the GPA for player welfare and various other schemes over the next five years. It does not include camogie or ladies football, which are separately run.

The GAA's rule book clearly states that it caters for hurling, Gaelic football, handball and rounders. There is no mention of camogie or ladies football, other than under the heading of 'additional aims' where the GAA promises to support both sports.

Enter the EA and their assessment that since the GPA is confined to male players, there may be a risk that the welfare scheme entered into with the GAA is contravening equality legislation. But how can the GAA contravene anything involving sports which they don't control?

On that basis, rugby and soccer players have an entitlement under the GAA/GPA deal.

The EA further extended themselves by lecturing the GAA on their obligations.

"As the leading sports body in the country, we believe that the GAA should not merely try to comply with the requirements of the legislation but should strive to become an example of best practice," they wrote.

Best practice as decided by whom? The EA?


The GAA has expressed surprise at finding themselves under scrutiny in what are most unusual circumstances.

Given the bizarre nature of the accusations being levelled against them, they might consider responding to the EA as follows:

"As the leading (and only) equality agency in the country, we believe that the EA should not merely stick to issues of importance which come under their remit but also strive to become an example of best practice in the area of minding their own business when it comes to matters that have nothing to do with them."

Meanwhile, common sense can take its case elsewhere because it can't expect much from the EA.

Irish Independent