Duffy may extend term as eligibility issue delays hiring process
The appointment of a successor to Páraic Duffy as GAA director-general will be delayed arising from the confusion which arose over the qualifications required for the position.
Duffy announced last October that he intended to retire at the end of March but may now have to extend his stay to complete a smooth handover.
The original target was to announce the identity of the new director-general in time for the GAA's annual Congress in Croke Park on February 23/24.
However, that now looks unrealistic following the extension of the closing date for applicants by nine days to tomorrow week, January 19.
That's just five weeks before Congress, a time-scale that appears too short to complete the rigorous process involved in filling such an important position.
"A bad mistake has already been made with the advertisement for the job so it shouldn't be compounded by trying to rush through the appointment process in time for Congress," said a senior GAA insider.
Scrapping the need for applicants to have a Level 8 (Honours) business degree, as outlined in the advertisement which appeared on December 15, made it necessary to extend the closing date from yesterday until tomorrow week.
The inclusion of a specialist business degree sparked controversy, especially when it was pointed out that the requirement would have ruled out the four previous director-generals.
However, the GAA held firm until last Monday. In a statement they explained that while "business experience is an important consideration and aspect of the role, applicants without a third-level, business-related qualification will be fully considered."
They did not elaborate on the reasons for the U-turn but it's believed that feedback from the GAA membership showed high dissatisfaction over the business qualification requirement.
It's understood that the new eligibility criteria has already led to a surge in applications.
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