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GAA ignore GPA's appeal to defer vote on second tier

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GAA president John Horan. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

GAA president John Horan. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

GAA president John Horan. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

The GAA will press ahead with plans for a vote on a second tier championship at a special Congress in Cork next month.

Despite 11th hour appeals on Friday evening from the Gaelic Players Association to postpone the vote, Saturday's Central Council meeting cleared the way for the vote to happen in Cork on Saturday, October 19.

The proposal will seek backing for Division Three and Four teams to enter a second tier championship when their interest in the provincial championships is at an end, unless they have reached a provincial final.

GAA president John Horan has been a driver of this concept since taking office just over 18 months ago.

The GPA had initially indicated that it might be prepared to back a second tier competition when it emerged that 60 per cent of its membership was in favour of it.

But on Friday evening they issued a statement calling for the proposal to be shelved for now to allow the Fixtures Task Force to complete their ongoing work.

"The GPA has formally outlined these concerns on several occasions in recent days, weeks and months through discussions at management level and are now calling on Central Council to consider the views of GPA members to allow the Fixtures Task Force the necessary time it needs to develop proposals in advance of Congress 2020," their statement, released unusually late in the week, read.

But the vote will take place next month with a view to introducing it for 2020. Playing rules changes will also be decided upon.

Meanwhile, Stephen Rochford has committed his immediate future as a coach to Donegal despite speculation linking him to the vacant Galway football position.

Irish Independent