New GAA President John Horan has warned that elitism is a threat to the association’s amateur status but insists that the solution will not be found in Croke Park but rather in clubs and counties.
Speaking after taking over from Aogan O Fearghaill at the GAA Congress in Croke, he said that amateur status needed to be guarded and treasured.
"The outgoing Ard Stiurthoir (Paraic Duffy) has exposed some stark realities in this regard and I believe that the answer rests - not with Croke Park - but with each and every one of the clubs who operate around the country.
"We won’t preserve amateur status through rules passed in Croke Park. If this was the easy answer, it would have been done, but perhaps we know that such rules would simply be circumvented. Amatuer status is a value and a mindset and the answer is at club and county level," he said.
Horan plans to establish a national club committee to review relationships with the various units at home and abroad and refuted suggestions that there is a disconnect between local and national functions.
He plans to convene a national club forum where club representatives will invited to Croke Park to discuss issues that pertain to them.
He also expressed concerns over the growth of underage inter-county development squads which, he said, 'are being allowed to grow beyond all measure.”'
"I plan to initiate a review of this sector as these development squads are, in my view, starting too early and we need to row back from creating a level of elitism in young players, which is unhealthy for our games."
A member of Na Fianna club, Horan (59) becomes the first native Dubliner to hold the Presidency since Daniel McCarthy in the 1920’s.