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Dublin: 16 °C Thursday 31 July, 2014

New GAA championship proposals won’t be voted on until after 2014 Congress

The FRC’s innovative proposals were announced yesterday.

GAA president Liam O'Neill with Eugene McGee, FRC chairman and Director-General Paraic Duffy.
GAA president Liam O'Neill with Eugene McGee, FRC chairman and Director-General Paraic Duffy.
Image: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

THE FRC’S INNOVATIVE proposals to restructure the GAA’s provincial championships will not be voted on until after the 2014 Congress.

GAA President Liam O’Neill confirmed yesterday that the proposals will be discussed at January’s Central Council meeting but they will not be on the agenda for next year’s Congress – which takes place in February.

“We have a Central Council meeting in January and decide what the process is from there. An Coiste Bainistí will be made aware of it immediately, our meeting is next Friday.

“We’ll decide, depending on what the initial reaction to it is where it’ll go. But it won’t be going to Congress 2014. I’m not saying when but it’ll be after Congress 2014.

“If we decide to go with a Special Congress and that is the feeling we’ll do that but they’re only the possibilities. It certainly won’t be discussed at Congress 2014.”

Provinces

FRC chairman Eugene McGee believes the proposals are dependent on the support of the provincial councils. Yet citing the example of his native county Longford, he does not think it would be ‘a seismic change’ for them to move to Connacht.

“A lot will depend on the provinces, if all the provinces don’t buy into it then it is going to be very difficult.

“For Longford or Westmeath to play in Connacht isn’t a seismic change. They never played there but that’s not the point. The Shannon divides Longford and Roscommon. Athlone is part a Connacht town – you only have to look at the influence of Buccaneers Rugby Club, they are more influential in Connacht terms.

“We don’t know how the Connacht counties will look on this. They may say ‘we are grand the way we are, we don’t want more competition’ so there are a lot of hurdles to be passed. But, in my view, it would certainly leave the Connacht championship much more interesting.”

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