The GAA this morning took their next step in the battle against gambling addiction by banning betting sponsorship in the organisation, writes John Fogarty.
At Annual Congress in Croke Park, 93% of delegates backed the motion to prohibit gambling companies from sponsoring a competition, team, playing gear or facility.
Proposer, management committee member and former Connacht chairman Mick Rock, revealed that those teams or GAA bodies who had existing sponsorship agreements with bookies would be given time to phase them out.
GPA representative and former Galway dual player Alan Kerins, in supporting the proposal, made the astonishing revelation that over 100 inter-county players had received assistance from the official players after experiencing gambling difficulties.
Another Central Council motion called for the deadline for players to be sanctioned to play in the US, Canada Australasia to be brought forward from July 1 to June 15 given the earlier finish to the All-Ireland senior inter-county championships.
However, it received only 39% backing and failed.
The proposal to prevent match officials from wearing sponsorship on their uniform was successful, receiving 72% support. It had been explained that there was a risk of breaching GAA sponsorship agreements attached to the current rule.
Among the 15 housekeeping/loophole-closing proposals put forward by the rules advisory committee presented by its chairman Frank Murphy, divisional sides were given the same disciplinary recourse rights as clubs.
Meanwhile, Tipperary’s John Costigan and New York’s Larry McCarthy were voted in as the GAA’s new trustees. They replace John Greene (Longford) and Niall Erskin of Donegal.
Six candidates in total had put their names forwards for the two positions, the other four being Robert Frost (Clare), Declan Flanagan and Martin McAviney (both Monaghan) and Paddy McMahon (Louth).
Both Costigan and McCarthy have served as county chairmen and will now take their positions on the GAA’s management committee.