Tyrone set to elect GAA’s first female chairman

History could be made in Tyrone tonight with the election of the GAA’s first female county chairman.

Roisin Jordan is set to take over the top job in the Red Hand county in a groundbreaking move for the association. She has served five years as vice-chair and, with chairman Ciaran McLaughlin compelled to step down after completing a five-year term, the Eglish club woman looks certain to succeed him. Traditionally in Tyrone, the vice-chair has succeeded the outgoing chair.

Jordan is one of three nominations for the top job, with Donal Magee and Eugene McConnell also in contention. Magee, from Killyclogher, and Clogher clubman McConnell are also nominated for the position of vice-chairman.

The county convention takes place at Garvaghey, where concerns will be raised over a dramatic increase in the level of claims from the Players’ Injury Scheme.

County secretary Dominic McCaughey pictured reveals in his report that claims have risen by 31% from the 2013 level.

“The number of claims continues to rise annually; this year there was a 31% increase on the 2013 figure, giving a total of 280 claims of which 86% related to medical expenses, including MRI and other scans,” he says.

“At the end of the financial year, 181 claims from players for medical expenses and loss of earnings had been reimbursed in the amount of €445,920 — an 11% rise on 2013 — while the contributions made to the scheme by the association in Tyrone totalled €173,850.

“The number of teams registered this year was 559 showing a slight decrease from last year at youth level — which indicates that on average, the contribution for a team is €310.”

McCaughey calls on club officers to act responsibly to ensure the scheme is not abused.

“The welfare of members who suffer injuries while playing and training for our club and county teams must always be of the highest priority and should be dealt with in a professional manner in respect of scanning, therapies and medical intervention. There is also a most important responsibility on club officers to ensure that there is no abuse of the association’s Injury Scheme by players who have incurred injuries while participating in other sports or activities. With an average claim costing €2,500, it is essential that officers remain fully alert to the potential of inaccurate claims being submitted.”

The county secretary suggests the GAA should strike a deal with certain hospitals and clinics to agree fees for treatment of injured players.

“The costs associated with consultations, scans, injections and other medical procedures continue to increase annually, and regrettably these are now significantly higher than the level of reimbursement available under the Injury Scheme. While there is an argument to be made for the scheme to raise its maximum level of benefits, this may not be the best way to reduce the shortfall in expenditure incurred by clubs, as there could be a corresponding increase made in the medical fees charged. It has been considered preferable for the association as a unit to use its undoubted purchasing power to formally agree medical and other fees with specific hospitals or clinics.”

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