Cork chairwoman Tracey Kennedy was last night accused of “hiding behind a court injunction” when refusing to answer questions on the decision to terminate the employment of senior administrator Diarmuid O’Donovan.
O’Donovan, who took up the position of Cork GAA senior administrator in 2013, last week secured a temporary High Court injunction preventing the GAA from terminating his employment.
In a sworn statement to the court, O’Donovan said late last year he was informed by Cork County Board that his role was not ending, but was told in a three-minute meeting earlier this month, he alleged, that the role of senior administrator was to be discontinued and his employment ended on the grounds of redundancy.
Don Hegarty of Carraig Na Bhfear, at last night’s county board meeting, queried whether it was a Croke Park directive that O’Donovan’s role be discontinued or was it a decision taken by the Cork county board executive.
“You’ll appreciate I am absolutely limited in what I can say on that matter,” replied Kennedy. “It is still before the court. There is a further listing [today]. The matter is taking its course. I will be in a position, hopefully, to deliver a further report on that in due course. At this moment in time, I cannot say anything.”
St Nicks’ delegate Jerry Howe was not satisfied with the chairperson’s response and accused her of “hiding behind a court injunction”.
“The question Don asked was the decision passed by the executive. That was the question. That is not covered by anything to do with the injunction before the courts. Was the decision to terminate the senior administrator’s employment taken by the executive of this board? Can you answer me that question?
“You are hiding behind the court injunction here. You can give us a simple yes or no which does not affect anything to do with the courts or the law,” said Howe.
Kennedy said she could not comment as to do so would put the board at risk.
Christy Ring of Glen Rovers asked the chair did she and another member of the executive “go on a solo run”. Youghal’s Liam O Laocha said it was regrettable the matter had ended up in the courts.
On the matter of the final cost of the Páirc Uí Chaoimh redevelopment, Kennedy told delegates a meeting of the stadium board is set for February 25. “After that meeting, I would certainly hope to have something to report back to you on the issue [of costs].”
Meanwhile, former Ireland rugby and football internationals Alan Quinlan and Niall Quinn are part of a commercial board established by Tipperary GAA to raise funds for the senior hurling team.