Convention set to address poor discipline in Wicklow
WICKLOW'S County Convention has been postponed again until after Christmas after falling victim once more to the county's Arctic weather.
But when it finally convenes on December 30, delegates will hear several county officials acknowledge that the county continues to have a serious discipline problem at club level that is not going away.
The Garden County's Central Competitions Committee chairman Mick O'Hagan will reveal that his committee dealt with 136 red cards in 2010 -- 42 of them at juvenile level -- and that some of the latter involved team mentors who "had showed no respect towards our rules, regulations and match officials."
Wicklow secretary Michael Murphy also formally acknowledges in his report that the county has a disciplinary problem.
"Once again there was an increase in the number of disciplinary cases before the CCC and, once again, it was very disappointing to see the increase in juvenile disciplinary cases," Murphy says.
"Players at U-12 and U-14 receiving red cards should not be happening.
"Again, a lot of the discipline issues related to abuse of referees, especially from mentors and parents on the sideline. Clubs will have to take responsibility for their mentors and supporters."
Murphy is calling on all Wicklow clubs to improve their attitude.
"Once again, every year I ask clubs to ensure that respect is shown to referees. This is not happening in a lot of clubs," he says. "Referees are not always right but without them we will not have any games."
An umpire was pushed during a serious incident in a junior football league final between Avoca and Tinahely last month.
But at that time Wicklow chairman Andy O'Brien insisted that the county's disciplinary record is no worse than that of many others, and blamed the media for focusing too much on their flashpoints.