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If one vote beats two how can the GAA Congress be trusted?

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Whether delegates are casting their vote by hand or through the new electronic system, Congress is not fit for purpose because of the requirement that motions must receive a two-thirds majority to be successful

Whether delegates are casting their vote by hand or through the new electronic system, Congress is not fit for purpose because of the requirement that motions must receive a two-thirds majority to be successful

SPORTSFILE

A delegate prepares to vote using the new electonic system during the GAA Annual Congress 2015.

A delegate prepares to vote using the new electonic system during the GAA Annual Congress 2015.

SPORTSFILE

Delaney: a true Kilkenny great

Delaney: a true Kilkenny great

SPORTSFILE

Banagher, Co Offaly will be very busy place today as hurling people from all over the country gather for the funeral Mass and burial of Tony Reddin.

Banagher, Co Offaly will be very busy place today as hurling people from all over the country gather for the funeral Mass and burial of Tony Reddin.

SPORTSFILE

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Whether delegates are casting their vote by hand or through the new electronic system, Congress is not fit for purpose because of the requirement that motions must receive a two-thirds majority to be successful

So now we know. Incessant hand-passing in football is good. Even if anything up to half of the passes are throws, as claimed by former All-Ireland referee Paddy Collins, that's okay too.

There's no difficulty with time-keeping either. Apparently, it has corrected itself since the GAA decided in 2010, and reiterated it two years ago, that a clock/hooter system should be used to signal the end of both halves.

As for Sky and the championship deal, all fine there too. No need to waste time talking, even for those who dislike it.

What about giving Central Council the power to decide if county grounds could occasionally be rented out for non-GAA sports? You must joking? It has held that power over Croke Park for a decade but won't be trusted with similar jurisdiction over county grounds.

GRAND

As for the annual report by the GAA's Director-General, Paraic Duffy, that doesn't detain Congress either. Well done, Paraic, sure whatever you have written is grand. Can we move on please?

Hang on, surely the Sky critics have something to say. After all, they had a captive GAA audience at the opening session of Congress last Friday night. Also, they had around 20 media people anticipating a debate and happy to report on it.

Anyone from Clare around? Yes, but they weren't for getting on their feet. Clare had been pretty vocal when it emerged that their proposal to limit Sky's involvement in the GAA's next TV deal (2017) was not on the Congress motions agenda.

We all assumed that they would avail of the opportunity to make their point about Sky when Duffy's report was being considered. Nope. Not a word. Not a peep from any other critics of the deal either.

Clare's silence was inexplicable. Surely, if they felt so strongly as to propose a motion for Congress they might at least have lodged a formal complaint about its absence from the agenda. They could also have raised their objections to the deal and sought support for their stance.

Then again, how much support would they have got ? A few commentators and academics may be able to able to create noise about Sky, but is it any more than that?

There are bigger fish demanding space on the GAA pan.

Odd as Clare's unwillingness to put their mouth where their motion was, the reaction to Central Council's demolition of the clock/hooter proposal was even more bizarre. Having voted for it's introduction in 2010, only to be told by Central Council that it would be too expensive, Congress meekly accepted the flimsy reason.

It did, however, back a Football Review Committee (FRC) proposal in 2013 on the clock/hooter.

Congress even wrote it into rule, which was due to come into effect for this year's championships.

This time, Central Council reacted to trials which showed up some problems. Rather than demanding solutions from those in charge of the trials, it proposed that the clock/hooter idea be abandoned altogether. It was quite a U-turn, but instead of being questioned by delegates as to why it hadn't done whatever it took to carry out a Congress instruction, the Central Council proposal got widespread support.

The poor old clock/hooter was friendless as counties lined up to clobber it to an 83-17 per cent defeat, having enthusiastically endorsed it with a 69-31 vote in 2013. Any wonder it's hard to take Congress seriously?

The contradictions continued when Congress flattened (62-38 per cent) the Clare motion on the use of county grounds. Earlier in the day, Congress had happily followed Central Council's unconvincing line on the clock/hooter but were not prepared to trust it to make the right calls on county grounds. The irony went unmentioned, if not unnoticed.

HARDLINE

As for the proposals to curb hand-passing, the hardline ones which called for players to be required to play the ball away with the boot after one (Tipperary) or two (Clare) hand-passes stood no chance because they had not been trialled.

However, they might have been expected to prompt a vigorous debate. Instead, apathy reigned and when Tipp's motion lost on a 73-27 percentage vote, Clare withdrew their proposal.

The Leinster Council enjoyed much more support for their call to include a round-robin section in their early stages of their senior football championship. It won on a 62-38 margin but didn't get through because it needed a 66.6 (two-thirds) majority.

World leaders can be elected on a simple majority but it takes a two thirds majority to change a GAA rule. A proposal to cut the required majority to 60 per cent was defeated some years ago. Why? Yes - you've guessed: it didn't get a two-thirds majority. Bottom line: Congress and its mechanisms are not fit for purpose.

Delaney always knew when to hold them and fold them

Sound judgment, reached in milliseconds, was always part of JJ Delaney's game. It enabled him to become one of the best defenders hurling has ever seen, first at wing-back and later at full-back.

His calm, unhurried disposition often left you wondering how he managed to be almost always in the right position. Of course, that's one of the qualities the greats of any sport possess.

They have that uncanny ability to read the play so accurately that it moves them instinctively towards the next big point of action. Delaney was the epitome of that priceless asset.

His retirement came as a surprise after another great season, where the highpoint was a ninth All-Ireland medal, won in dramatic circumstances.

His hook on Seamus Callanan as the Tipperary full-forward bore down on goal in the All-Ireland final replay will always be regarded as a crucial intervention in a very close contest and is guaranteed to be re-visited for years to come.

But here's a thing. As everyone rightly lauded JJ for his impeccable timing, was he asking himself: 'Why did I have to chase down Callanan? How did he get a run on me? Would it have happened a few years ago?'

JJ said this week that he had decided in late 2013 that last year would be his final season.

"It was just a few things coming together, " he explained.

Always the shrewdest of judges on the field, his decision to retire may be a perfect example of knowing when to fold the cards at precisely the right time.

Tony Reddin still recalled as the best No. 1

And so the Hurling team of the Century, chosen in 1984 to mark the GAA's 100th anniversary, and the team of the Millennium (2000) has lost another of its famous cast.

Banagher, Co Offaly will be very busy place today as hurling people from all over the country gather for the funeral Mass (12.00) and burial of Tony Reddin.

No doubt when the sad formalities are over, talk will turn to the legacy left by Tony, firstly with his native Galway and later with Tipperary, where he won every honour in the game over several years.

Selecting a team from a 10-year period is incredibly difficult and all but impossible when it extends much beyond that. As for a century or more, it's certainly not an exact science!

However, when Tony Reddin's name was slotted in at No.1 in 1984 and again in 2000, there was very little opposition to his selection. The standard of goal-keeping in the modern era has been extremely high so perhaps he will have opposition when it comes to picking the GAA's 150th anniversary team in 2034.

Mind you, he played in very different times when the goalkeeper could be bundled into the net by marauding opponents.

No doubt, Tony will have his say when he meets them on the heavenly terraces.

May he rest in peace.

Irish Independent