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'We are utterly disgusted and disappointed' - CPA insist defeat of motion is a 'clear sign of contempt'



GAA president John Horan. Photo: Sportsfile

GAA president John Horan. Photo: Sportsfile

GAA president John Horan. Photo: Sportsfile

The division between the Club Players' Association (CPA) and the GAA's power brokers has deepened after the CPA released an explosive statement in which they claimed the organisation is "fast becoming a corporate elitist body".

The statement came after the defeat of a proposal surrounding fixtures which the CPA branded a "clear sign of contempt."

The motion, which was brought by Roscommon and supported by the CPA, called for a "blank canvas" approach to fixture-making but was overwhelmingly voted down at last Saturday's Central Council meeting. Instead the GAA indicated work will begin on the GAA's fixture review next summer with the CPA invited to send a representative.

However, the CPA insist the defeat of the motion shows "that those who lead the organisation have lost touch with the Association's grassroots" and indicated they are seeking an urgent meeting with GAA president John Horan and director-general Tom Ryan.

In a statement that was updated yesterday evening, they also made six separate points that included the claim that Central Council members only received their motion the day before the meeting while they also stated that the first agenda notification they got did not include the Roscommon motion.

In response, the GAA confirmed to the Irish Independent that the motion was left off the first draft of the agenda in error but insist it was updated within 30 minutes.

"The CPA circulated this to all counties on November 7 and we distributed it on Monday, November 19," said a GAA spokesperson.

"There was an initial oversight but within 30 minutes we had redrafted and distributed the agenda again." The GAA were reluctant to make further comment.

The CPA have struggled for traction through official GAA channels since its foundation and this latest spat is unlikely to do much for relations between the groups as fixtures become an increasingly significant issue.

CPA Statement in full:

We are utterly disgusted and disappointed at what we believe is a clear sign of contempt by our main governing body for a Motion deliberated, discussed and passed by the clubs of Roscommon at a time of great concern over the GAA's fixtures crises.

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We can only draw the conclusion that those who lead the organisation have lost touch with the Association's grassroots members who want a games schedule that will bring regularity and certainty to GAA fixtures at both club and inter-county levels.

We are seeking an urgent meeting with An Uachtarán CLG and An Ard-Stiúrthóir Tom Ryan to express our anger and frustration on behalf of Roscommon CPA. We believe we are due that courtesy as long-standing GAA members with years of service as unpaid volunteers.

Bringing this motion followed hours of work, discussion and meetings, all done to observe the GAA's democratic structures.

We are concerned that:

  • Tom Ryan failed to send the motion to Co Board Secretaries in order to allow them to bring the proposal before their Co Boards for debate and decision.
  • The vast bulk of Saturday's delegates were not mandated by their clubs.
  • Co Board Secretaries did not get a chance to bring it before their clubs.
  • Central Council members only received it on Friday, November 23rd, the day before the meeting
  • The first agenda notification they got did not even include the Roscommon motion.
  • It was only subsequently issued later that day having been "inadvertently" left out of the first email.

Officialdom should get on the togs and try running their lives, family, work, social events, weddings, christenings and holidays amidst the chaos that is the GAA's fixtures schedule.

All that shows a most disappointing lack of respect both for ordinary GAA members and for the democratic process. This tells us clearly that the Association is fast becoming a corporate elitist body whose leaders have lost sight of the GAA's central ethos; a community-based Gaelic games and culture organization with the club at its very core.

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