Gavan Reilly

thinking out loud

GAA Congress #2

without comments

A pre-Congress phoot shoot this morning; in publicity for Lá na gClub, any delegates with a county jersey were asked to get a photo together this morning. I have some photos but am not likely to get them up before Ray McManus from Sportsfile. I did, however, get a TwitPic that the family will probably treasure for a while. 🙂

Before the discussion on the Experimental Playing Rules that have been trialled in the pre-season tournaments and National Leagues over the winter, there’s the not inconsiderable routine of getting through discussions and proposals presented by a Rules Taskforce who are tasked with the revision and modernisation of the GAA’s fundamental rules.

Rule 21 – the fabled rule that once banned members of the Ulster policing forces from membership – has just been deleted in its entirety; its contents have been somewhat replicated in other rules introduced and so it is no more. Interesting to think that once upon a time that rule caused such incredible consternation at a Congress that Seán McCague’s Presidency will forever be remembered for the amendment of the fabled Rule.

Elsewhere, Congress has formally agreed to launch a system of electronic membership, probably the biggest non-Governmental registration ever to take place in Ireland, with the GAA’s 800,000-odd membership now being electronically catalogued. Analagous to this, the final date for payment of membership fees has been brought forward from August 1st annually to March 31st. As a by-product, members joining a new club after March 31st won’t be allowed to run for a committee position until the following year.

Ned Quinn, Secretary in Kilkenny, wasn’t best pleased. He and the Úachtarán have a brief squabble about whether this is a healthy thing or not. “In fairness, Ned,” says the Úachtarán, “People will always have their fees paid early anyway.”

“No offence, Úachtarán,” comes the reply, “but people pay before August because they need to if they want their All-Ireland tickets.”

Congress bursts into a jovial spontaneous applause. Amid all the theoretical talk of rules and taskforces and directions and strategic analyses, there’s still a sense of real humour. Bravo.

Written by Gav

April 18th, 2009 at 9:51 am

Posted in Congress

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