Tuesday 17 July 2018

Duffy: 'It's against the ethos of the GAA to run a dinner where the individual benefits. We don't do that'

Association may seek legal advice to stop future scenarios

Paraic Duffy and (inset) Colm Cooper
Paraic Duffy and (inset) Colm Cooper

GAA Director General, Paraic Duffy, has revealed the association may seek legal advice to clamp down on players benefiting from testimonial dinners in the future.

There has been plenty of controversy surrounding Kerry legend Colm Cooper's testimonial dinner which is expected to raise close to €250k later this month. Earlier this week, the Gooch revealed that over half of the money raised will go to charity but it is an event that will not be supported by the GAA.

Speaking with Sean O'Rourke on RTE Radio this morning Duffy, who yesterday confirmed he will retire next March after 10 years in his role, stated that the GAA may seek legal advice to stop such events taking place in the future.

"I did say to him (Cooper) are you sure you're doing the right thing here? I did say to him that the GAA would not be supporting it and we're not supporting it," said Duffy.

When asked what the difference was between a testimonial dinner and players writing an autobiography or doing media work, Duffy added: "If you do an autobiography or punditry, you're not taking funds that could go to the GAA, if you're holding a major dinner you're going to the same people to support the dinner or testimonial as you would to support a club event.

"That's the big concern I would have. Plus the fact that it is against the ethos of the GAA to run a dinner where the individual benefits. We don't do that."

Duffy was then asked what the GAA could do to prevent the scenario happening in the future.

"Under our current rules, no. Do we need to look at it? Yes... It's tricky because our current rules don't allow us to deal with it but I think we need to look at the rules.

"We are going to look at this. It will involve maybe taking legal advice or deciding ourselves how we want to handle it. We are looking at it and will look at it."

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