Category: Archive

New York leader vows to clean up GAA image

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Pierce O’Reilly

New York GAA President Monty Moloney vowed last week to "clean up the image" of the exiles game. He stated clearly at the GAA meeting that there is no place at Gaelic Park for the flying elbow, the dirty late tackle, the haymaker or the general lambasting of the association referees.

Moloney said he and his association are eager to "get rid of the inherent disease that has dogged the game for the past century."

"It’s about time people realized that we’re serious about what we do and I’m not accepting any more inconsistency," he told his delegates at last week’s GAA meeting. "It has to start at Gaelic Park and with our referees. If a player is spotted striking, putting the boot in, fighting or involved in any off-the-ball incidents, then they must go. And the same goes for those along the line."

The New York GAA was for years looked upon as the backwater of the Irish association — playing with its own set of rules and refusing to follow in the footstep of Croke Park. Since Moloney took over the reins in 1998, he has streamlined the association and extended the hand of friendship to his counterparts in Ireland.

"It’s simple, good players need to be protected and that’s not happening right now at Gaelic Park," Moloney said.

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Demanding stricter regulations on the field of play, the GAA chief said he would be speaking with all his officials regarding the behavior of players and mentors at Gaelic Park. He went on to describe the present moaning and complaining about referees’ decisions as a "disease that will have to be cured."

Later in the meeting, Moloney took the first step to "cleaning up the association’s image" when he backed every referee’s decision that came before him. "The refs have nothing to fear," he said. "I’m here to help them and that’s the way it should be, but they must be stern and strict in what they do."

Other issues discussed at the weekly meeting included the development and progression of the different divisions within the board. Senior board chairman John O’Riordan stated that things were going well, but that he would return with a full report after the next meeting, which is scheduled for this Thursday evening at 8, just before the regular meeting at Gaelic Park.

Dermot Mulholland, the junior football chairman, said he didn’t have time for meetings. "I’m too busy putting up goalposts," he said. "To be honest, we could do with a few more umpires, if there is anyone willing to help out." Mulholland was critical of the small number of clubs that turned up for the last meeting, saying it "was a waste of time when only six delegates arrived." Following some discussion, he decided he would try to hold another meeting this Thursday. The meeting is scheduled to go ahead at 10 p.m., following the regular meeting at Gaelic Park.

The scheduling committee confirmed that the Junior "B" final is now scheduled for Sept. 9.

Regulations and legalities regarding the use of the player ID cards did raise a heated debate, with one delegate saying they were not being used properly. Moloney said he would monitor the situation, but felt that they were more of a benefit than a nuisance. Mayo delegate Pat Gavin said it would be fitting if the association ended the meeting with a minute’s silence for the three firefighters who lost their lives in Queens the previous Sunday. Everyone in attendance agreed and the delegates stood and prayed for the families and friends of the deceased.

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