County Board opens up debate on Cork future

Cork GAA club representatives will be given a chance to air their opinions on the future direction of the county at an open discussion meeting to be held at the end of September.

At last night’s county board meeting at the Nemo Rangers complex, chairman Ger Lane revealed the strategic review committee charged with putting together a report by the end of October held a lot of meetings and will now seek to canvass wider views.

Saturday, September 24 will see that open meeting held at the home of Éire Óg in Ovens. Each club will be entitled to send three delegates – one representing its adult club, one representing its juvenile club and a player. While strategic review committee chairman Richard Murphy indicated it was the preference of the board the delegates be either a club chairman or secretary, under questioning from delegates it was agreed other club members may be permitted once approval is given.

“With respect to the sub-committees [of the strategic review committee],” Murphy said, “they have worked hard, bringing forward great reports, and every aspect within the county has been looked at.

“The next step is to hold a meeting with clubs and we want it to be inclusive. An outside facilitator will be opened ahead of that meeting and that person will compile a report.”

Argideen Rangers delegate Declan Cullinane said the “Cork brand is damaged” and asked if the discussion document compiled by county board coaching officer Kevin O’Donovan would be considered, to which Murphy reiterated everybody’s view would be taken into account.

While expressing hope this meeting would prove fruitful as “it’s in all of our interests Cork do well”, chairman Lane expressed disappointment a letter from Lyre and Banteer had appeared in the media. “It’s not the way to do our business,” he said, “I think the strategic review committee should be allowed to do its work, we can’t be dealing with these things in a piecemeal fashion.”

Lane also sought approval from the board for the executive to headhunt a coach for next year’s U21 hurling side. “We’re conscious the U21 county championship is now in progress and it’s important to have a coach in place for the concluding stages,” he said.

“It’s vital we get the coach right. Managing is one thing but coaching is another.” It was hoped to have a name to put before the board in time for the September meeting, but an outside appointment is considered very unlikely.

In putting forward his Central Council report, Cork delegate Bob Ryan revealed a final decision on the proposed introduction of the ‘mark’ in Gaelic football has been deferred until the November meeting. He also made clear final approval of the proposed GAA/GPA framework agreement for 2017-19 has yet to be given by Central Council.

“I’d prefer to have an informed discussion on this then rather than an ill-informed discussion now based on what is being read in the media,” he said.


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