The Tipperary County Board will shortly form a committee to look into possibly amending the parish rule after a motion was passed at their annual convention on Monday evening.
A major topic in a lot of counties, Moyne-Templetuohy’s successful motion read: “In view of the difficulties being experienced by small rural clubs in fielding underage teams, we propose that the Tipperary County Board establish a committee to examine if the parish rule, as currently constituted, is fit for purpose.
“The committee is to report to the County Board by September 2019 to allow clubs time to submit motions to the 2019 convention, if they so wish.”
“It’s about having the numbers to play,” said county chairman John Devane. “There’s an element of rural depopulation behind it but towns have also said they’re struggling to field teams too. It’s something that will have to be considered carefully because there would be a danger of smaller clubs having fewer players available were their players allowed to gravitate towards bigger clubs.”
In his annual report, Tipperary secretary Tim Floyd supported the parish rule “as a safeguard for the amateur ethos and is very much sacred to the GAA despite the many threats to its existence.
“In recent times, as we become a great modern European State we have shed many of our traditions and cultures. The identity of the parish is becoming less relevant in parts of Ireland and when the question of borders and boundaries arises a club is looked on as being small minded and parochial.
“These are just sticks to beat the GAA parish rule with and we should be proud to preserve the ethos.”
A proposal to change the age grades from U12, U14, U16, U18 and U21 to U13, U15, U17 and U20 was soundly defeated.
“Age grades have been a big discussion throughout the county and it was felt by the majority of delegates that they were worth retaining.”
Devane confirmed that John ‘Hotpoint’ Hayes won’t be returning as kitman to the senior hurlers.
Brian Stakelum will continue in the role.
As for Tom Fox lining out for the hurlers against Limerick instead of his club Éire Óg Annacarty-Donohill in the West SFC final, Devane explained the Munster Senior Hurling League game had been fixed first.
“As far as I’m aware, there were at least previous two efforts to stage the football game.”
Devane said the senior inter-county hurling management had no policy against hurlers playing football for their clubs.