Co. Committee meetings a farce - secretary’s report

Donegal GAA secretary Aodh Mairtin O Fearraigh has criticised club delegates to Co. Committee meetings who are not doing the job they were elected to do.

Donegal GAA secretary Aodh Mairtin O Fearraigh has criticised club delegates to Co. Committee meetings who are not doing the job they were elected to do.

In a really comprehensive report to Co. Convention, which takes place in Jackson’s Hotel, Ballybofey on Wednesday, 14th December, the Donegal secretary feels strongly about the way Co. Committee meetings are conducted.

He points out that last year’s Convention agreed to alter a bye-law which enabled Co. Committee meetings to be held bi-montly.

“I felt this was certainly a move in the right direction, as this practice of bi monthly meetings were working well in other counties. With meetings of County Committee on a monthly basis, a lot of time was spent by some officers in preparing reports, transfers, etc, and making all the necessary arrangements for monthly meetings, so it was of relief to some that meetings were now to be held on a bi monthly basis. It was felt that meetings of County Committee would become more productive and more meaningful. Instead, these meetings have turned into a farce and a total talking shop. At present, County Committee meetings are serving no purpose whatsoever, and serious questions need to be asked on how this has come to be,” said Aodh Mairtin.

“Clubs have to take responsibility for some of the delegates that are elected by them to represent clubs at these meetings. Very few delegates actually perform the task that is asked of them, that is to report back to their clubs on important matters that affect their clubs. It would appear that some delegates attend meetings to make outlandish statements to see their names in the back page headlines at the weekend,” says the report.

The secretary in reviewing Donegal’s great year on the fields of play, hit back at those who sought to criticise the county for not being entertaining.

“Donegal has generated much publicity for the way in which the team played throughout the season. Some comments made by so called “pundits” were harsh and indeed hateful and gave no credit to the huge effort put in by the team and management since the start of the year. Donegal had not won the Anglo Celt since 1992 and had not won a first round Championship game in the last three years. Any silverware at all this year would be very much welcomed by supporters, who had to contend with a Dr McKenna Cup in the last few years, as well as winning the Allianz Division 1 League in 2007. Players do not play to entertain, they are not trained or coached to entertain, they play to win games. Donegal beat Kildare after a thrilling game that went to extra time, Kildare looked to be going through to the semi-finals until two late points from Donegal sealed a one point win in extra time. Donegal scored the last four points in extra-time to snatch a barely believable victory. Donegal substitute Christy Toye got the only goal of the game and Kevin Cassidy landed the match-winning point, to send Donegal through to an All-Ireland Semi Final.

“Those cribbing about a lack of entertaining football failed to accept one basic fact of GAA life - the Donegal players are all amateurs.

“Donegal senior football team is not in the business of entertainment, and should make no apology to anyone for their efforts which the county as a whole are proud of. Jim McGuinness in his first year in charge, deserves great credit for bringing a team from the abyss to within a kick of an All-Ireland Final,” said Aodh Mairtin.

The report covers all areas of the Association and also has a very complete results section with teams and scorers of games played by Donegal teams.