GAA ramp up bid to tackle issue of illegal payments to managers
THE GAA began a week-long charm offensive around the country last night, aiming to get their grassroots to row in behind proposals to tackle some of their most problematic areas.
Contentious subjects like the inter-county closed season, the use of club grounds for non-Gaelic activities, and the reduction this season in the size of inter-county panels are all on the official agenda, all areas for which the association has come under fire in recent months.
And the agenda also includes the issue of illegal payments to managers, something which has become a personal crusade for GAA director general Paraic Duffy, who has prepared, but not yet revealed, a position paper on how to address a subject which is still undermining the association's central amateur ethos.
All county chairmen and secretaries have been invited to take part in one of the four meetings which have been arranged on a provincial basis, starting in Munster last night and continuing in Leinster tonight, Ulster tomorrow and Connacht next Monday.
Duffy and president Christy Cooney are expected to address each meeting, supported by the local provincial chairman and secretary, and they are expected to restate the GAA's official policies in relation to all of these areas and ask for them to be supported.
But it is understood that county officials will also be asked for their own input and suggestions as the association tries to tackle and solve some of the problems that continue to dog it.
And it is also expected that the growing worries about financing the association -- at club, county and central level -- while the country remains in the grip of recession, will also be discussed, to gauge what other belt-tightening initiatives may be needed at this time.