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Wexford GAA County Board Meeting Report from Tuesday last 31st January

Wexford GAA County Board

Meeting 31/01/2017, Talbot Hotel

Detailed Information Bulletin

Media Protocol

The media protocol recently communicated to Clubs by the Coiste Bainistí was explained to Clubs and there was a general discussion with some Clubs querying the decision that representatives of the media would no longer be in attendance at Board meetings and others supporting the decision, saying that it would make it easier to speak openly at meetings. It was confirmed that this decision was appropriate to the Coiste Bainistí and the Chairman affirmed his intention to share information in a timely and open manner with Clubs and with the media.

Infrastructure update

The additional works upstairs at the Ferns Centre of Excellence commenced 2 weeks ago and it is expected to be finished well in advance of the hurling Féile. It is also planned to floodlight the back pitch at the Ferns COE and it is also hoped, subject to finances, to upgrade the press box in Wexford Park. Clubs were advised that the Sports Capital Programme is now open for applications and any club interested in the scheme must register its interest online by 10 February and the deadline for submission of applications is 24 February. Leinster Council grants for 2018 can now also be bid for and the deadline in that regard is 1 May 2017. Cathal Byrne, Development Officer, is available to meet with clubs seeking guidance in this area.

Coaching and Games update

The main focus at the moment is on developing game opportunities for children and youths and some of the initiatives proposed include an extension of the Under 13 and Under 15 leagues that have been trialled as “Rising Stars” events in Wexford and Enniscorthy Districts and also “shed blitzes” in football for under 9 – 10 year olds. It is hoped to increase the pace of development in urban areas and two initiatives here are:

  • Easter Camps in the 5 main urban areas
  • A summer youth league based in Wexford Park for players drawn from the town playing in small-sided games

It is also planned to introduce an under 12 regional coaching academy; this is not meant as an elite development squad but instead as an opportunity for young players to experience different coaches and there will be no limit on the number of players that Clubs can send to attend these events.

It is intended to circulate the Coaching and Games plan to all clubs via email in the near future.

Committee Updates

The membership of a range of committees was notified and Ratified at County Board Meeting

Development Committee

Cathal Byrne (Chair)

Bobby Goff

David Tobin

Ger Doyle

Joe O’Shaughnessy

John Morris

Des Croke

Joe Sheehan

Aidan O’Connor

Sean O’Leary

Dave Ormonde

Seamus Whelan

 

Coaching Committee

Bobby Goff (Chair)

Dermot Howlin

Donal Howlin

Jim Dempsey

Paul Moriarty

Eoin Morrissey

Fran Ronan

Marian Doyle

Representatives from Coiste na nÓg, Camogie, Ladies’ football and the Children’s Officer

 

PR Committee

PJ Howlin (Chair)

Cian Ó Lionáin

Mick Nolan

Joe O’Carroll

Lar Sutton

Michael Dwyer

Eoin Morrissey

Ed Rowsome

Tony Furlong

Maria Nolan

Coiste na nÓg PRO

 

Irish & Culture Committee

Names of Irish / Culture officers are being sought from every club and it is hoped to have a committee in place by the next County Board meeting. Clubs that have not already nominated an Oifigeach Gaeilge / Cultúrtha are asked to do so as soon as possible.

 

Coiste na nÓg

Marguerite Furlong (Chair)

Angela McCormack (Vice Chair)

Cian Ó Lionáin (Sec.)

Mary O Reilly (Treasurer)

Coaching Officer

Children’s Officer

PRO (to be appointed)

 

Model County Draw Committee

Joe Sheehan

Aoife O’Connor

Joe Tully

Liam Roche

Joe Sheehan reiterated the importance of the Model County Draw in servicing the county’s annual debt repayment of c. €200,000. However, at least the same amount again goes back to the clubs between their retained portion of ticket sales and prizes. The distribution of ticket sales between clubs and the county board is as follows for 2017:

  • First 80 tickets sold by club – all proceeds go to County Board
  • Next 200 tickets – €35 to Club, €15 to County Board
  • Next 200 tickets – €37.50 to Club, €12.50 to County Board
  • Sales above that up to 1,000 tickets – €40 to Club, €10 to County Board
  • Sales above 1,000 tickets – all proceeds to Club

There then followed a short discussion as to how the Draw might be promoted more and this will be discussed further at the next meeting.

Hearings Committee

Liam Curtis (Chair)

Eddie Nangle (Sec)

Maureen Doyle

Helen Furlong

Tom Dunbar

John Hanton

Bill Nolan

Marty Breen

Ger Kelly
CCC Committee (Discipline)

Aidan O Leary (Chair)

Joe Sheehan (Sec)

Mary Doyle

Philip Howlin

Willie Wickham

Kevin Doyle

Thos Ryan

 

CCC Committee (Fixtures)

Denis Cadogan (Chair)

Mary Foley (Sec)

Justin Browne

Eamonn Mernagh

John O Neill

PJ O’Farrell

Jack O’Brien

Seamus Whelan (Refs Coordinator)

 

Finance Committee

John Kenny (Chair)

Liam Wall

John Fenlon

Barry Cleary

Co. Chairman

Co. Secretary

Co. Treasurer

 

Referees’ Administration Committee

Dickie Murphy (Chair)

John Rossiter (Sec.)

Marty Breen

Syl Doyle

Seamus Whelan

John Rossiter asked clubs to prioritise the identification of possible future referees as there is a serious lack of numbers of new referees coming forward. Wexford representation on the Leinster referees’ panel is very low and, as Leinster Council is organising referees’ training soon, anyone interested in supporting our games by becoming a referee is asked to makes themselves known by mid-February in order to avail of this training.

Also, Micheal Mahon is the Chairman’s nominee onto the Coiste Bainistí.

Fixtures and Competitions Review Workgroup

Micheál Martin (Chair)

Denis Cadogan (CCC Chair)

John O Neill (Underage fixtures)

Gary Laffan

James Doyle

David Gannon

Ian Waters (CPA Rep)

Fintan Farrell

Aoife O’Connor (Secretary)

The aim of this committee is to analyse current practice in relation to the provision of games in both hurling and football from under 14 to adult grades. As part of this, the group will assess and record both the number of games played at each level and the spacing of these games throughout the season. The group will consult with all clubs to assess satisfaction levels with club Championship competitions among players and will help clubs to bring forward motions to the county committee and to county convention.

 

Central Council report

Tony Dempsey outlined that the GPA made a detailed presentation to the most recent Central Council meeting; at a future date, the GPA could be asked to present to the County Board also. There was also discussion about the development of the GAA in Europe and on aspects of trusteeship. The Ard-Stiúrthóir continues to meet with the Club Players’ Association. A number of workshop topics have been agreed for the forthcoming Congress, as follows:

  • Demographic changes
  • Gambling
  • Pitch maintenance

Kilanerin-Ballyfad / Tara Rocks

Jim O’Connor from Tara Rocks explained that his club had come to a view several years ago that their small membership and playing numbers, which had previously prompted the creation of an underage combined entity with Kilanerin (Ballinastragh Gaels), made it unsustainable to continue as a dual code club at adult level. The club proposes, following detailed talks with Kilanerin-Ballyfad and on foot of EGMs in both Clubs, that Tara Rocks will focus on hurling only and that their footballers would play with Kilanerin, and only with them.

Seamus Hughes, speaking for Kilanerin, outlined that the playing numbers situation in his club was pressing but not as critical as in Tara Rocks. The total numbers in Ballyfad N.S., for instance, are now only 16 and last year the club was unable to field U21 teams and struggled to field a second football team, ultimately having to withdraw. Both clubs have proud traditions and it has been difficult to come to this conclusion but the priority now is for both clubs to survive

The County Secretary read out a letter received very recently from the chairman of the GAA Rules Advisory Committee which effectively said that a decision on this proposal was appropriate to the county board. This relevant rule in the Official Guide is 6.8 (B)(1)

There then followed a wide-ranging debate on the proposal. Speakers expressed sympathy for the situation the clubs found themselves in while others were concerned at the precedent this might set and the implications for smaller clubs. It was recognised that the pressures facing the two clubs are not unique to them and that other clubs in the county, and elsewhere, face similar challenges.

On foot of the debate, it was clarified that this proposal if passed would apply for 2017 only and that the two clubs would be required to apply again for an exception to standard rules if they wish to continue the arrangement into 2018. It was also clarified that the arrangement was predicated on the clear understanding that Tara Rocks footballers could only transfer to Kilanerin while hurlers from Kilanerin-Ballyfad could only transfer to Tara Rocks. It was also clarified that under the proposed new arrangements there would be two football and two hurling teams.

The proposal was then put to the meeting for a vote and it was passed by 37 to 10.

After the vote, clubs were advised that the fastest method of processing any queries regarding rules is to put the query in writing to the county secretary who will seek advice on behalf of the club through the correct channels. The Chairman also announced that, taking

account of the issues raised in this case, a Demographics Task Force would be created to look at the situation facing clubs at all levels of the association within the county. The Chairman committed to appointing an external chair with experience and knowledge in this area[1].

 

Other business

Championship draws will take place on Saturday 11 February in the Talbot Hotel and will be broadcast live on South East radio Sports Hour from 6 to 7pm. It is proposed to commence league matches on the weekend of 4-5 March.

Congratulations were extended to St. Peter’s College on winning the Leinster post-primary “A” football title on Friday 27. Thanks and recognition were extended to Naomh Éanna, Shelmaliers and Geraldine O’Hanrahans on the excellent way in which they facilitated and hosted recent Walsh Cup matches. Naomh Éanna said that they would welcome being used more often as a neutral venue for matches within the county.
St. Martin’s asked whether the “Friday is Club Night” rule could be re-emphasised to county squads as it appeared that a range of county players were being asked to train on a Friday nights when clubs were also trying to bring their teams together and this put players in a difficult position. The Chairman said that he would communicate with the squads’ managers in this regard.

[1] We are pleased to confirm that Brendan Waters has agreed to chair this Task Force. Brendan has completed similar exercises in Kildare, Meath and Wicklow.

 

 

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