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Mayo left divided by new strategic plan

Mayo County Board's acceptance of a strategic action plan on Wednesday night has caused division in the county, with the steering committee of the original action plan left feeling that over 1,000 man-hours have been wasted.

More than three months after the first action plan committee, headed by former Irish Independent GAA correspondent Liam Horan, was launched, the Mayo Board accepted a revised plan that's nowhere near as radical as the initial document.

The original committee was brought together as a reaction to Mayo's exit from the Connacht and All-Ireland championships last June.

Their brief was a root-and-branch inspection of Mayo GAA at all levels and they came up with some radical proposals. A full financial review was proposed, as was the establishment of two positions with executive powers, a director of football and a commercial director.

But these proposals are among many that have not made the final cut agreed by delegates on Wednesday. There were concerns that some of what was proposed contravened association rules.

The Mayo Board noted that some 70pc of what was in the original plan was adopted. However, of the seven key proposals that the original action plan steering committee put forward, they believe that "six and a half" were knocked back.

Some 66 meetings covering various headings and lasting an average of two hours involving up to eight committee members each time, established the core of the report given to the board last February. That didn't include the time it took to write the drafts or the time involved in visiting other counties and units for advice.

In advance of Wednesday's meeting the original action plan steering committee moved to distance themselves from the final plan. They believe the new plan is dull and lacks innovation.

"This is a plan that could be produced by any county, anywhere -- any county simply aspiring to tick a box," they said in a statement.

"The plan has over 9,000 words, but completely lacks any inspirational dimension. It ticks boxes in many areas -- coaching, finance, harnessing the support of Mayo people worldwide and others -- but it doesn't go in deep enough to create the conditions whereby genuine innovations and unstoppable momentum might be generated by Mayo GAA.

"Our committee has written to Mayo County Board to disassociate our names from the plan."

Irish Independent