ANGER is growing among Cork GAA clubs over the Cork County Board’s motions sub-committee’s refusal to allow certain motions on the clár for the upcoming county convention – and the procedure for re-submitting such motions.
Motions that clubs submitted have been rejected by the board’s motions committee at the time of going to press, but one club which tabled a motion was advised that while an appeal against that decision would be heard by the board’s management committee, it was also informed by the board that all the members of the management committee had been on the motions committee as well.
This has raised questions about the appropriateness of having an appeal on a board decision heard by the same board members who rejected the motion in the first place.
To complicate matters, a different club appealed a decision by the motions committee with the support of independent legal advice but was informed that the management committee itself had ruled it had no function or jurisdiction as an appeals body. Accordingly, the motions committee had re-convened to deal with an appeal against its own original decision.
Furthermore, in the first case mentioned above the club involved was told that its motion was rejected because it would necessitate the rewording of one of the board’s by-laws. The club disagreed with the board’s opinion, again backed by independent legal advice, and was later informed – on the day of the deadline for submission – that the board had cited the incorrect by-law in its original notification.
The motion involved in this particular case seeks greater transparency and accountability at county board meetings by maintaining a record of the voting of delegates.
Other motions were ruled out of order by the board with no right to re-submit even though by-law 14 of the board states: “A motion deemed out of order shall be returned to the club which submitted it, giving a reason. A further week shall be allowed to enable the club to resubmit an amended motion.”
With less than a week to the county convention, the clubs involved are running out of options if they wish to proceed. Their first port of call outside the county would be an appeal to the Munster Council; if their appeal did not succeed there, they would be forced to go to Croke Park itself. In those circumstances it would be quite likely that the convention itself would have to be postponed until those appeals were fully heard.
Not all of the motions proposed by the clubs were rejected.
Three motions were accepted and these require a two-thirds majority to pass: those relate to junior club representation, abolition of secret ballots and voting at the county convention.
Clubs have submitted motions to the County Convention which relate to representation of all clubs, including junior clubs, at county board meetings; to clubs being consulted by delegates in advance of voting on matters other than match fixtures and venues; to the abolition of secret ballots being used for county board votes in most circumstances; to prior notice being issued by the board of matters to be discussed at meetings; to time limits for certain positions on the county board executive; and to maintaining a record of who votes and the exact numbers of votes cast at meetings.
With time running out before Saturday’s convention, many clubs remain in the dark regarding the status of their motions and some feel they have no avenue of appeal.
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