Donegal GAA does not pay its football and hurling managers and never have - that was the emphatic message to emerge this week as the debate on payment to GAA managers rages nationally.
The message came from none other than Donegal GAA auditor Enda Bonner, of Bonner O’Donnell & Company Accounts, at Monday night’s county committee in Ballybofey.
Speaking in his capacity as the Dungloe representative, Bonner stated in no uncertain terms during a discussion on the controversial topic, that Donegal does not pay its managers and never has done. He even went on to stress that there was one football manager that did not even claim expenses.
“We have a long history in the county of not paying managers. Brian McEniff did the job for years and never even claimed expenses. Managers in recent years have claimed expenses but never have been paid for doing the job,” said Bonner, Dungloe club chairman, who also stated that he was not impressed with either the President of the Association and the Director General Paraic Duffy in the way they were dealing with the matter.
Bonner was responding to a claim from Bundoran representative Mickey McMahon, who claimed it is a problem within the Association and one the Association are going to have to face up to sooner or later.
“I have been reading a lot about the issue in the papers in recent days and while we must not allow the press set the agenda on the issue we all know managers are getting paid. Some day some one is going to have to stand up and say it. It is an issue that needs to be addressed and the sooner the better,” said the Bundoran delegate.
The matter was initially raised by Central Council delegate, Niall Erskine, who was anxious to find the Donegal committee’s views on the matter on the impending release of a consultation paper on the matter.
“I have not seen the document and the proposal and I’m only going on what I have been reading the papers and there has been a fair bit in recent days. There does seem to be some kind of a agenda with the Independent on the topic,” said the central council representative.
“The matter is due to come up for discussion at a meeting shortly and I’m bringing it up to try and find out what the feelings of the committee are on the issue.”
However, despite his appeal, the general consensus of the committee was to wait and see the Duffy proposals before taking a stance one way or another.
Croke Park released the long awaited proposals drawn up by Director General Paraic Duffy on Tuesday in what they call a discussion white paper titled ‘GAA Amateur Status and payments to team managers’.
The 29 page report basically puts forward three recommendations for discussion. (1) to stick with the current policy; (2) to fully implement the existing GAA policy and (3) to introduce a system of regulated payments to senior inter-county managers.
The white paper is due to be discussed at a private meeting of county board officials in Croke Park this Saturday.
The payment of managers has been a hot issue in the Association for years and a number of presidents dating back to Peter Quinn have vowed to deal with it. But so far they have all failed. Peter Quinn famously said, after making extensive inquires on the subject and coming up with nothing, that not only ‘could he not find any evidence of under the table payments, he could not even find the table’.
In recent years current President Christy Cooney has been quite vocal on the issue while Paraic Duffy, on his appointment as Director General, took up the baton and the release of his proposals this week are the culmination of over a year and half of research and discussion on the matter.
McGuinness against proposed six-day rule change
Meanwhile, Donegal manager Jim McGuinness has come out against the proposed change to reduce the current 13-day rule for championship preparations to six days. The Donegal boss has spoken out against the motion which is to go before this year’s annual Congress motions.
He feels that while it may differ from county to county, six days to have his squad together before a championship game is not adequate for Donegal and he is totally against the motion.