Wednesday 22 November 2017

Farrell calls for image rights issue to be tackled

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

GPA Chief Executive Dessie Farrell has called on the GAA to present a united front with his organisation on the issue of image rights.

The topic is in vogue at the moment after Clare hurler Diarmuid McMahon -- who recently returned to the county panel after a stint in Australia -- brought a case against 'The Clare People' newspaper, who he says, used his image on promotional material without his consent back in 2005.

As part of the membership, the players group ask members to sign over image rights and Farrell confirmed that the GPA was advising the Clare man throughout the process.

However, the matter was struck out last week at Ennis District Court in what is believed to be the first case of its type.

"It was struck out because it became apparent that the publishing house involved were going to challenge the issue and that there would have been a protracted court case that would have possibly gone to the High Court," Farrell said.

"With the championship just around the corner, Diarmuid didn't want the distraction. But it is something he was upset about."

A costly court case was avoided on this occasion, but Farrell acknowledges that it is an issue that will have to be tackled head-on in the near future.

"It's a grey area and we're monitoring it closely. The law is still developing there. We will continue to advise players on these issues and possibly take a case (on their behalf) if it arises."

The former Dublin footballer denied that the decision not to pursue this case will damage any future claims the GPA may make on behalf of players.

"It doesn't damage it at all. It's something that will have to be discussed with the GAA as part of our ongoing official recognition talks," Farrell stated.

"But I'd like to see a united front on this. That we send out a clear and strong message that images can't be used without compensation."

Meanwhile, Tony Griffin has also returned to the Banner's hurling squad for the coming campaign.

Griffin has only been available to the squad sporadically due to exam commitments and he missed the championship last season due to his charity cycle exploits in Canada, but he is now a part of Mike McNamara's panel.

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