Club claims Cork are missing out on €30,000 annual grant

Freemount GAA Club is to continue attempts to persuade the Cork County Board to avail of a €30,000 annual grant when a new county secretary is appointed.

Under GAA rules, a contribution can be made if a county allows Croke Park to take control of the employment, recruitment, and selection process, and contracts are limited to seven years.

Cork and Dublin are the only two counties with full-time secretaries who do not draw down such a grant.

The current contract of Cork secretary Frank Murphy is due to expire next November, having been extended in 2012 and again in 2014, allowing him to oversee the redevelopment of Páirc Uí Chaoimh. In 2013, Diarmuid O’Donovan was appointed as county board administrator, taking on some of the duties previously carried out by the secretary. His contract also runs until November and it is believed the two roles would be merged at that stage.

Freemount lodged a motion for last Sunday’s annual convention seeking to commit Cork to qualify for the annual grant when the time comes to appoint a new secretary, but it was ruled out of order.

The club’s delegate, John O’Flynn, sought to raise the matter at the convention, but county chairman Ger Lane informed him it would not be discussed as it was a matter for the executive of the board to deal with full-time appointments.

Freemount contend that the GAA’s Official Guide says the process for appointing a secretary must be approved by the county committee, which includes the executive and club delegates. O’Flynn is keen for a discussion to take place.

“We got on to Croke Park to clarify the situation with the funding,” he said. “While Cork do take a contribution of €20,000 towards Diarmuid O’Donovan’s salary, they are losing out on the full amount at a time when money is tight. Furthermore, this €20,000 grant will not be available if the role of the full-time administrator ceases.

“The full grant can be availed of if Croke Park take over the recruitment process and advertise for and interview candidates before recommending one. Our view is that this is a very good process as you have independence; sometimes it’s better to have the view of outside people.”

Informing clubs of the procedure in sufficient time is also a motivating factor for Freemount. “We want clubs and delegates to have notice well in advance of how the next county secretary will be appointed,” said O’Flynn.

“In the past, extensions have merely been announced at meetings and no chance is given for them to be discussed.

“If the executive make a recommendation on the appointment of the next county secretary which does not satisfy the criteria for qualifying for an annual grant from Croke Park, we will have to look at contesting this and putting forward a proposal along the lines of our motion for convention.”

Cork chairman Ger Lane declined to comment further, having felt the matter was closed after the convention.


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