Saturday 21 April 2018

Congress overwhelmingly rejects voting proposals from players groups

Liam Griffin at Congress
Liam Griffin at Congress
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

The GAA have slapped down the Club Players' Association (CPA) and the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) by overwhelmingly rejecting a call to make public how each delegate votes at Congress.

Wexford sponsored the CPA proposal, with former All-Ireland winning manager, Liam Griffin making an impassioned speech on why voting results should be made public.

It was supported by Seamus Hickey, GPA interim CEO and Limerick hurler, but it made little impact on Congress, who voted against it on a 83-17 per cent majority.

Since motions that don't receive one third-support cannot be re-entered for the following  three years, it will be 2022 before the CPA proposal is allowed on the Congress agenda again.

Delegates currently use hand-held sets to record their votes, which are shown on a large screen in 'for' and 'against' percentages.

There is no way of knowing how individuals or counties voted.

Griffin said that the call for transparency went "to the heart of the way clubs are represented in GAA democracy".

He argued that it was important to know how delegates voted, something that modern technology could easily accommodate.

"There is nothing to be afraid of by passing this motion. It would sent out a signal that the GAA is being mature and responsible when it comes to decision-making," he said.

Hickey said that the proposal had the backing of the GPA, which represents inter-county players.

Tracey Kennedy, chairperson of the Cork County Board, opposed the motion, arguing that if delegates could not be trusted to vote according to the way they were mandated, it raised very serious questions for clubs and counties.

Europe delegate, Tony Bass also opposed the motion, claiming that it was a "trojan horse for a lobby group".

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