Clubs call for ‘agreed written plan’ for Cork GAA family

Sister clubs Lyre and Banteer are seeking a “clearly defined and agreed written plan” for the future of Cork GAA, and have called on other clubs to hold special meetings so that members’ views can be aired.

In a wide-ranging statement released at the weekend on behalf of the clubs’ officers and the members, Lyre and Banteer made a number of suggestions.

These include a proper review of the recent discussion document issued by Cork County Board coaching officer Kevin O’Donovan, with a view to inputting suggestions; the collection and compilation of reports already completed and in progress; and the reviewing of best practice and systems based on those in operation in counties like Dublin and Kilkenny, as well as in other sports.

It is their wish to have a draft plan completed by the end of September, when it would be issued to clubs for feedback before the issuing of the finalised plan at the end of October.

Peter Hanan, who was central to a strategic review undertaken in 2011, is the person proposed to prepare the plan.

“At our June monthly club meeting it was agreed that Banteer and Lyre GAA clubs’ officers and members would gather their thoughts and submit their views and suggestions to help improve the current situation we as a county find ourselves in,” reads the statement.

“The main concern expressed, particularly, has been the lack of achievement in hurling, with the last All-Ireland success at minor level in 2001, U21 in 1998 and senior hurling in 2005.

"For a county who has such a proud hurling tradition, it is hard to believe that very soon we will have no Cork player with an All-Ireland U21 hurling medal under the age of 40.

"The lack of success at senior football level also has been a concern, given that Cork have had many strong U21 teams for the past number of years.

“A lot has been written and spoken regarding Cork GAA and what is wrong, and what needs to be done, over the past weeks and months, with much coverage on all local and national press.

"Despite the best efforts of every member, officer, player, coach, manager, etc, involved in Cork GAA to date, we are where we are without success to date and we cannot change the past.

“So, what do we do as a proud Cork GAA family? We can continue as we are and keep hoping our winning ways will return in the future. However, this approach will just lead to more and more frustration in the county and it will lead to more disconnect and loss of support for Cork GAA in the future.”

Ensuring that a cohesive strategy is put in place is paramount, according to the clubs.

“At this stage, we need a clearly defined and agreed written plan that all parties will buy into and get behind, with a common goal.

“The plan has to be compiled and developed in such a way that it will unify and reignite the GAA fire in every player, every member, every officer of every club in the county.

"This plan must give the opportunity and seek the input from every member, every officer, every player, every executive, every board, every sub-committee and every concerned Cork GAA supporter.

“The people who must lead in the preparation of this plan are the Cork County Board and its executive, as these are the people charged with ensuring Cork GAA affairs are run correctly on behalf of each GAA member in the county.

“Our proposal is to progress the preparation of this plan as follows: Formally request each GAA club in the county to hold a special meeting for all members to allow discussion and air all their views.

"Each club is to then collect and formally submit these constructive proposals and suggestions to Cork GAA. The proposals and suggestions should cover all the various key areas, such as coaching, games development, club structures, finance and public relations.

“This plan is the most important plan we as a GAA county will ever do and it is important to listen to, and take on board, the views of each and every GAA stakeholder from the person who cuts the grass every week in the local pitch for the past 40 years to Mr Ger Lane, chairman of Cork GAA.

“By taking this approach we will ensure all our members will buy into the plan and will feel part of its success going forward.”

The next county board meeting takes places on Tuesday, August 16.


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