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GAA pass motion for temporary...

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GAA pass motion for temporary governance structure at Special Congress

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

6:30 PM - 17 Apr 2020



Delegates at a Special Congress have voted unanimously to hand the decision-making process of the GAA over to its management committee. 

The motion passed unopposed this afternoon.

In effect, it places the authority of the association and its championship structures in the hands of the 16-person management committee for a period of twelve weeks.

They will be able to alter the complexion of the All Ireland Senior Football and Hurling Championships which have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Explaining the motion outside Croke Park afterwards, GAA President John Horan said, "It allows the management committee to declare special emergency circumstances exist if they feel they have to operate the organisation by making decisions that normally would be made by Central Council meetings or Congress."

"From the very beginning we have always taken our guidance from the health authorities within the country here, and we shut down very quickly when they brought that on the table."

Sport in the country is on hold until May 5 at the earliest, and the GAA have already taken the decision to postpone the start of this year's championships.

Horan says today's decision by Special Congress changes nothing about a potential timetable for a resumption of action, "We won't be making any rushed decisions to return to playing our games.

"We're very conscious that the health and well-being of our members who - within their own families, and within their extended families - have to be looked after. And we don't want to put anyone at risk just for the sake of playing games."

Wiggle-room

What today's decision does give the GAA is some wiggle room in how it makes decisions from this point onwards, "This situation is very fluid," Horan added, "and this allows the management committee to actually make the decisions and get them implemented.

"Because ordinarily if you call a Special Congress to make decisions such as to change the structure of our championships, you have a 28-day period before any decision of Congress is actually effective.

"So in that context, this gives us greater flexibility to move and return to playing if that situation arises."

Response

The association's president has also been heartened by the grass roots response to the challenges posed upon the GAA community by coronavirus, "We've always prided ourselves - as an organisation - that we're very community-based and that we're embedded in every community throughout the country.

"But the response and the messages that are coming back to us here, for the great work that's going on by our clubs and our members throughout the country is really re-affirming what we are - a community-based organisation doing the best we can for our community.

"Predominantly it's the playing of games, but when the games have been set aside I'm glad to say that our members have risen to the challenge of helping those out within their community that are vulnerable and challenged in carrying out their lives.

"It will probably be slower to get back than it was to shut down, but when we get back we have to do it in a safe manner and put nobody at risk."



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Coronavirus Covid-19 GAA John Horan Special Congress

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