Wexford GAA Management Committee
Meeting 10/07/2017, Ferrycarrig Hotel
Items for discussion at Leinster Council
There will be a Leinster Council meeting on 19 July to discuss the future of the Celtic Challenge now that the minor grade has moved to under 17. It was agreed that the priority for Wexford would be to ensure that the dual code demands at minor are properly addressed and this would guide our approach to discussions at provincial level.
There will also be discussions at Leinster Council as to whether the current system of A & B championships at U21 hurling would be retained, whereby some teams losing in the A championship have a second opportunity in the B championship. Also, views will be sought regarding possible Galway participation in the Leinster hurling championship at U21 level. Coiste Bainistí was also of the view that the U21 competition should be reclassified as an U20 competition, in line with the move of minor to U17.
The question as to whether the Féile age should be adjusted was also discussed; the strong consensus was that the upper age should remain at 14 years of age.
New Hurling Proposals
Following on from the presentation and discussion of the new proposals at the County Board meeting on 20 June the Coiste Bainistí discussed the proposals and was supportive of them. It was agreed that any opportunities to free up more time for club fixtures should be closely examined and it was agreed that a motion would be submitted to Central Council proposing that national league finals would be abolished in all divisions except division 1.
Rd 3 football next weekend, where possible. Following weekend’s fixtures will issue tomorrow, 30th will have a full round regardless of Cork match outcome (round 2 hurling),
Wexford Park Infrastructure and Event Management
It was agreed that Cathal Byrne, the Development Officer, will pull together a package of possible infrastructural improvements to Innovate Wexford Park for submission to the Leinster Council & the National Infrastructure Committee in September. It was also agreed that a small sub-group (comprising the Cathaoirleach, Cathal Byrne and Bobby Goff) will convene to review the hosting of the recent Leinster hurling semi-final (Wexford vs Kilkenny). The sub-group will report back to Coiste Bainistí in due course.
All Ireland hurling quarter final ticketing
The County Board had requested of Croke Park that our quarter-final not be played as part of a double-header, given the likely level of interest in the match, and was pleased to get confirmation that it will be a single-header in Cork on Sunday 23 July at 4pm. The initial indication is that the capacity of the ground for this fixture will be 42,000, split equally between stands and terraces, and the initial allocation to Wexford has not yet been confirmed.
It was agreed that ticket allocations should be offered to our Clubs and that they would be asked to respond by Thursday evening, 13 July, with their requested allocations. Ticket sales to the public will commence on the afternoon of Monday 17 July and will remain open until 8pm on that first day at least to facilitate those unable to call to Wexford Park during the day. On this occasion we propose to have a separate queue for those purchasing family tickets from general sales and to advise the public to buy tickets as soon as possible in local shops or online or to order them through their clubs. Cork GAA will also be asked for advice ASAP regarding the traffic management plan that will be in place on the day.
The meeting recalled the discussion that had taken place at the most recent County Board meeting and it was agreed that there had been unwarranted criticisms of the Rúnaí both at that meeting and elsewhere. It was important to note that the key decisions regarding ticketing for the Kilkenny match had been taken in good faith by the Cathaoirleach and Runaí and with the full approval and consideration of the Coiste Bainistí.
It was noted that Peter Hally will be finishing with Wexford GAA on Thursday to take up a new post with Laois GAA and his great work over the past few years was recognised and applauded. Interviews for his replacement will take place on 4 August.
Discussions are ongoing with Croke Park regarding possible funding support towards urban-focused Games Promotion Officers in the 4 main towns. The County’s hurling plan outlines the significant challenge in increasing urban underage participation as currently only 21% of those in the 5-18 year old cohort in urban areas participate in our games. Initial engagement with Croke Park has been positive and it is hoped that some funding might be forthcoming both centrally and from the Leinster Council to support this urban focus over a 3-year focus.
Cúl Camp numbers are very positive this year, up to a high of around 5,500 which would be an increase of 300 on last year’s outturn.
The health and safety issues raised in Féile inspections of Páirc Charman were discussed and it was agreed that Cathal Byrne would convene a meeting of the 4 clubs in Páirc Charman to see how best to definitively address the issues raised.
The possibility of hosting Féile and the GAA Congress in county Wexford at a point in the future was discussed and the Coiste Bainistí agreed that both possibilities were worth exploring given the potential boost to our games and to the local economy. It was noted that the earliest possible date for a GAA Congress would be 2019 and that it would probably be another 5 years before Wexford might be in the frame to host a Féile.
The Fixtures Review Group intends to host a forum in September to provide feedback from the recent consultation process and it would then report back to the November County Board meeting with any proposals for changes to how our fixtures are currently structured. Finalised proposals would then be presented to County Convention for decision.
Our intermediate hurling team will travel to Kilkenny on Wednesday 12 July to play the Leinster Final. It was agreed however that the long-term viability of this competition needs to be considered given that no other Leinster county competes, that there is no longer a Munster final and Galway has also withdrawn.