Category: Archive

Jr. junkets get the boot, but Sr. sanctions remain

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Pierce O’Reilly

Fearing that attendance at Gaelic Park will plummet if weekend sanctions for senior footballers are abolished, delegates at the annual New York GAA convention last Thursday voted to retain the status quo for that division for another season.

However, the delegates did give the boot to weekend sanctions for junior clubs.

With the junior board already united, they abolished the rule regarding the weekend stars for Junior "A" by a vote of 37 to 3. The board’s chairman, Dermot Mulholland, who proposed the motion on behalf of the Armagh club, said he was delighted the delegates voted for the change.

"We should have no problem now getting at least eight teams to play in the Junior ‘A’ division and that should make a great championship season," he said, noting that an influx of outside players had discouraged a number of the less affluent clubs.

Monaghan delegate Seamus Dooley, on behalf of the Ulster club, proposed that no weekend players be allowed play in any New York Football championship. He told the packed room that some previous New York Finals could easily have been played at Shannon airport with all the imported players present on the Gaelic Park pitch.

Follow us on social media

Keep up to date with the latest news with The Irish Echo

"It’s about time we played a real New York final for once," Dooley said. "The clubs are getting robbed every year paying between $10,000-20,000 a year to bring out county players. Just think what that money could do for the association here."

GAA president Monty Maloney said he felt New York was heading in the right direction, but he had concerns in getting rid of the rule too quickly.

"If this is passed, it must then go back to Croke Park for approval," Maloney said. "We can’t very easily turn around next year and want the rule back, so we’d better think carefully before we make any hasty decision."

Mayo delegate Pat Gavin said he was against changing the rule because intercounty stars like Jack O’Shea, Larry Tompkins, Peter Canavan, Tomas Tierney and Sean Og O’hAilpin were responsible over the years for bringing larger crowds to Gaelic Park. The motion went to the floor after several other delegates voiced their opinion and, when voted upon, was defeated 27-19.

Other motions that carried included allowing the senior hurling division to elect the manager of the New York senior hurling team, that the senior hurling division automatically have one delegate traveling to the annual GAA Congress in Ireland, and that new teams entering the junior competition be allowed five transfers of players native to that county.

The affiliation fee for any new club entering the junior championship was raised from $50 to $1,000. This motion was debated at some length with several delegates concerned that the increase would discourage new teams from forming. Cork delegate Liam Birmingham said that the association wasn’t against any new club coming on board but that they wanted every entrant to be serious.

Another motion that carried will allow seven transfers for all clubs, an increase of two.

Celtic’s delegate, John Cox, was delighted that his motion regarding a senior team regraded to junior having its players available for the draft was also carried.

"We were gone if it didn’t get through," he said.

The board of officers also got approval to a motion to upgrade the rule book and use the new edition as the only source for objections and appeals.

The final motion of the night — regarding an end-of-year junket for one New York referee — failed to be abolished. Maloney argued that referees were looked after adequately and that the junket — a free trip to Ireland and two tickets to an All-Final — should be done away with.

"This rule was introduced when referees didn’t get paid," he said. "I think it’s time now to get rid of it."

Maloney’s efforts to save money didn’t gain much momentum. With at least 15 referees staring him in the face, the motion was defeated and the junket stays in place for at least another year.

Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese