Wexford GAA County Board
Meeting 20/06/2017, Riverside Hotel, Enniscorthy
Matters arising from Minutes of previous County Board & Management meetings
The efforts of our volunteer stewards at the Leinster hurling semi-final in Wexford Park and throughout the county on the Féile hurling weekend were complimented. The hosting of the semi-final versus Kilkenny and it was noted that the Coiste Bainistí would undertake a full review at the next management committee meeting of the ticketing arrangements and would report back accordingly to the County Board. The logistical details of ticket sales at Innovate Wexford Park would be looked at and any necessary lessons would be learned. The process of on the spot printing of tickets in Wexford Park was explained and it was noted that staff in the Park have been putting in very long hours in recent weeks dealing with ticketing. A number of delegates said that the direct provision of tickets to Clubs was important while others were of the view that there are enough ticket-purchasing options now available to remove the need to sell via clubs. It was noted that 29 of the 49 clubs have sought an allocation of tickets for the Leinster Hurling Final on Sunday 2 July.
Ger Carty addressed the meeting and took the opportunity to correct the record regarding quotations that had been incorrectly attributed to him in a local newspaper.
Update on June fixtures
The recent hurling Féile na nGael was acknowledged to have been a tremendous success and this is a credit to the clubs, organisers, officials and volunteers throughout the county. Marguerite Doyle, Coiste na nÓg chairperson, said that the County Board had given huge support to the Féile which is not always the case in other counties. Sincere thanks were extended to the Gardaí, Wexford County Council, South East Radio and all who contributed to the weekend; particular mentions went to the Ferns St. Aidan’s club who took on a very heavy fixtures-list due to their proximity to the Halo Tiles Centre of Excellence at Ferns, to Ger Doyle for organising a great catering facility and to Bobby Goff who led out on implementing the detailed plan that had been handed down by Leinster GAA.
The Leinster hurling semi-final at Innovate Wexford Park ran very well and the courtesy and professionalism demonstrated by the platoons of volunteers in the Park was highlighted in the national media (c.f. article by Enda McEvoy in The Examiner). The under 21 hurlers had a good win at home to Offaly and now host Carlow on 21 June with a place in the Leinster Final on the line. Our minor footballers are preparing for a Leinster semi-final which is provisionally set for 5 July while the senior footballers travel to Limerick on Saturday 24 July for a qualifier match.
It was noted by the CCC that if the senior footballers lose in Limerick there will be a full hurling round of fixtures on the weekend of 7-9 July
Update from Central Council
The 2018 All Ireland semifinals will be postponed by a week in 2018 due to World Family Day and there will be no interprovincials this year as the All Stars will be travelling to Singapore. A report on the challenges facing the Scór event was considered and it was recognised that County Boards must focus more on promoting this important cultural aspect of the GAA remit.
New hurling proposals
The key aim of the new proposals is to achieve a better balance between county and club fixtures and if the proposals are carried at a Special Congress scheduled for 30 September it will see an increase in club-only weekends from 15 currently to 28. The proposals are currently in draft form only and, ultimately, the clubs and county boards will decide. There is time now for amendments to be proposed and all clubs are advised to convene specific meetings on the matter. Friday 14 July is the deadline for amending proposals; thereafter, the CCC will consider these before sending them to Central Council and then on to the Special Congress. Each county will be able to submit a single motion or an amendment at the Special Congress. Any club wishing to suggest amendments to the proposals should forward them to the Rúnaí as soon as possible.
If the proposals are approved, April would be almost entirely free for clubs action with the National Football League finals as the only intercounty event. August would also be virtually free for Club fixtures unless you a county finds itself in an All Ireland hurling semi-final.
The proposals would mean a round robin of 4 championship games for Wexford, with 3 of those in the month of May, week after week, and the 4th fixture in early June. This would be organised on the basis of 2 home fixtures and 2 away fixtures with the Leinster final to take place in week 25. At under 21 level, it is proposed to facilitate the entry of Galway into Leinster and a round robin system is also proposed at minor level.
The County Board will be looking for guidance from clubs at its September meeting before delegates are mandated to attend the Special Congress; clubs are therefore asked to consider the proposals carefully.
It was noted that 70% of GPA players have already indicated they’re in favour of these proposals so there seems to be a genuine will to create real club-only windows that will allow players and clubs certainty when it comes to planning their seasons. In response to a question regarding the impact of these proposals on GAA national income it was explained that the assessment is that overall income will increase. The importance of clubs having priority access to their players in the Club-only months was emphasised by a number of delegates and it was recognised that intercounty managers will need to compromise in this regard. It was suggested that, as an additional means of saving dates for club fixtures, National Football League finals could be done away with, except for Division 1, and that semi-finals could be abolished with the top 2 teams simply playing off for the league.
All Clubs are asked to return any League cups in their possession as soon as possible.