Clare GAA chiefs have demanded that online abuse of players and management be tackled as a matter of urgency.
Numerous delegates attending the monthly meeting of the board in Ennis slammed the “cowards” who using social media platforms to heap vile criticism on club and county hurlers and footballers.
“Things are being said about Davy Fitz on social media and they are a disgrace,” said Broadford delegate Danny Chaplin. “I go back when I was involved with Ger O’Loughlin.
“We had a serious problem with An Fear Rua. That website, had supposedly Claremen castigating some of the Clare players for two years. It was so bad we had we to try and find out who they were to ask them to desist.
“These people are now on a website Clare Hurlers Forum. I don’t think they represent anyone in this room. The things being said on them. It’s of a personal nature and it’s wrong,” he added.
Chairman Michael McDonagh said he had little knowledge of the online world. He explained: “Some people hide behind social media and say what they like. They are anonymous. I know nothing about it. I was never on a website or a computer in my life.”
“Groups have labelled themselves as Clare GAA and Clare Forum,” blasted Lissycasey’s Anne Hayes. “They are not representative of Clare GAA. I think we can get these people taken down.
“We did it in Comhaltas. We got them taken down. We as the GAA should get them taken down. I would go further and propose that we take them down. We know who they are.”
Former Clare minor manager Eamonn Fennessy believes the GAA at a national level should make the issue more of a priority.
“As an association we should go after these cowards that are standing behind a printer or a keyboard. It is never positive when you have cowards. We have to deal with that website and then we can move forward.”
Meanwhile the board’s vice- chairman Joe Cooney also hit out at local Clare media for live tweeting from county board meetings.
He described their actions as “very disappointing”. “I am disappointed with the media side of it,” The Clare People reported. “The tweeting that’s going on. When we have a meeting, we should have the meeting with the press if they want to and if they want to have it in the local paper afterwards, that’s fine. But leave it inside these four walls. They should not be reporting while the meeting is going on. That is very, very disappointing. If we have people outside these four walls knowing what’s going on and the whole word going around the county and the country, what’s going on in the Clare County Board meeting, that’s a disgrace and that should not happen,” he added.
“There are a couple of journalists in this county and what they have written about Clare GAA is absolute shite,” said Kildysart delegate John Meade.
“If they say they’re a part of Clare GAA, we don’t want them. You say chairman you’ll sit down to talk to them. I thought you a bigger man not (to) sit down (and) talk to them with the shite they wrote,” he added.
At one stage, journalists who were tweeting updates were asked to leave the meeting, but refused to do so. Thereafter the meeting continued.
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