Sunday 8 December 2019

GAA clubs hit by €3m personal claims bill

Gaelic Games

GAA director-general Páraic Duffy. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
GAA director-general Páraic Duffy. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Insurance costs in the GAA are rising to "unsustainable" levels with almost €3million in personal injury claims being taken on by clubs last year alone.

In his report to annual Congress next month, director-general Páraic Duffy highlighted the soaring cost to the association when the use of property is handed over to third-party groups.

Despite warnings, the five-year cost of such claims has now risen to €13.5m.

"The number of personal injury claims being pursued against GAA units continues to rise: 91 new claims were reported in the past year, with current paid/reserve estimates amounting to €2.87 million," he wrote.

"This is simply unsustainable. Claims emanating from non-GAA use of properties are increasing: it is clear that, despite warnings, many units provide use of GAA property to third-party groups with minimal control of their activity.

"Failure to seek proof of insurance from persons or organisations using GAA property exposes the Association to risk that is not ours and to the financial cost of claims arising from this risk," he warned.

The GAA has been hit substantially by weather-related claims too with wind storms really putting pressure on premiums. Discussing his report, Duffy accepted that there is no easy solution to the spiralling costs.

"If we want to bring premiums down we have to lower the claims," he said. "One of the problems we have, and this is good in one sense, is that we let our facilities to other organisations to use and we find that a lot of the claims derive not from GAA events but from other events coming in, who might not have the same level of concern."

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Duffy used the launch of his report to hit back at the CPA statement calling on him to 'park' the Central Council motion to reform the championship. By splitting the reform motion into three parts, it has raised the prospect of an earlier conclusion to the championships from 2018 on.

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