O'Neill slams 'very unfair' criticism and insists NHL will not be changed
GAA president Liam O'Neill is confident the Allianz Hurling League format will not be altered next year, and said he felt criticism of the GAA on the issue was "very unfair."
The president was speaking at the launch of a three-year Strategic Plan for 'GAA Rounders.'
Last Saturday, Central Council voted to stick with their original plan for a six-team Division 1A, which leaves Cork and Limerick in Division 1B.
Two alternative plans – one put forward by Carlow and Westmeath, and the other by National Fixtures Group member Michael Burns of Monaghan – were voted down.
The GAA shipped some heavy criticism for even considering an alteration to their 2014 scheme, which was drawn up last December.
President O'Neill said: "There was no U-turn. Let's get this straight because there has been very unfair comment this week.
"We started off with a proposal last December, we took our decision this year in November, yet we're being criticised for being late – it was later last year and yet nobody commented on it. That's number one.
"We entered Saturday with three propositions. Essentially, we only had two new ones because the one that was there, was there.
"One was the 14-team one, and the other was Michael Burns'.
"So what we did was what we thought was the fairest thing to do: vote for the 14 or the 12, and that (14) was lost by two votes.
"So the only thing then was did we want the new or old proposal for 12, and that's all it was.
"It's a very simple process but a very democratic process. That's what we seek to do.
"A vote was taken and the people agreed. That's what a democracy is, and people abide by it."
On the subject of GAA Rounders, the president said the Association will provide free Rounders bats for the first 1,000 of its clubs which sign up to staging the sport in 2014.
He also wished the IRFU good luck with their bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup and reiterated GAA support for staging the competition if the union wins the right to host it in Ireland.