Cork GAA chiefs had to deny allegations a proposed county junior hurling championship was being “railroaded through” at last night’s county board meeting at Nemo Rangers.
Last week, the executive of the board confirmed a premier U21 hurling championship would be run this year and a premier junior competition would be introduced for 2017. Under heavy questioning from Freemount delegate John O’Flynn, county chairman Ger Lane gave assurances any proposed changes would be put before the board at the annual convention.
O’Flynn had cited the email circulated, which he felt indicated the new championship would be introduced regardless of the views of clubs.
“I can’t see how the CCC (competitions control committee) has the power do this,” he said. “A new grade needs for bye-laws to be changed and, in the interests of democracy, every delegate should have a vote on this. There was no discussion, we were just notified it would be happening, it’s being railroaded through.”
Secretary Frank Murphy responded the CCC was a sub-committee of the board and so had the jurisdiction to make such a decision, but that opinion was being sought from clubs.
Lane added: “I don’t accept it’s being railroaded, you’re selective in what you’re reading. We’ve invited submissions by March 31 and then we’ll deal with it. Of course the county committee will make the ultimate decision.”
When O’Flynn pressed on whether clubs would be furnished on the available options before a vote was taken – contrasting it with the recent expansion of the intermediate grades - “that wouldn’t have gone through if delegates had known what they were voting on”, O’Flynn said – Lane replied there were occasions when information was sent to clubs and not read.
Lyre delegate Pat Murphy thanked the board for reinstating the Duhallow divisional side to the county minor and U21 hurling championships, but when he expressed the view ruling them out of the Rebel Óg U14 championship, Lane intervened. “I don’t think we’ll have that discussion now, we spoke with Rebel Óg and there was a reasonable compromise, we won’t be interfering further. There’s a strong Rebel Óg committee there, at central and regional level you’ll have to trust them. If Duhallow do have issues, they have to be dealt with through proper channels.”
Secretary Frank Murphy also confirmed at the meeting that, at the CCC meeting beforehand, a new regulation to allow nine substitutes in secondary competitions was ratified.
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