McGee shocked by Cork’s lack of support

Football Review Committee chairman Eugene McGee has expressed disappointment at the decision of Cork County Board delegates to support only three of the 22 motions that the committee has proposed for the upcoming Annual Congress in Derry.

At Tuesday night’s county board meeting in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, motions regarding the advantage rule, clean pick-up and independent time-keeping in football were passed.

Motion four, which would introduce a black card for certain offences, was rejected, however, with motions five-14 subsequently deemed lost as a result.

“I’m disappointed, inasmuch as these were not landmark motions, they were not going to rock the GAA to the core,” McGee said.

“We spoke to a lot of people as part of our work and one thing everybody agreed on was that we needed to get rid of cynical fouling, so it’s a rebuff for those who spoke up. But that’s democracy.

“I’m surprised that a county with as many football clubs as Cork has rejected a lot of the motions, I haven’t heard of any other counties against so many.”

The decision to turn down motion 16, which would punish dissent after the awarding of a free by bringing it forward 30m rather than the current 13m, was particularly annoying for McGee.

“It’s very disappointing,” he said, “because one thing the public don’t like to see is messing like that after a free has been given, leading to arguments and semi-fights, by making the punishment 30m you’d eliminate it overnight.

“When we brought forward the proposals, some people said that we hadn’t gone far enough and that it should have been 50m.”

The committee has been holding information evenings in counties where asked, and there will be a workshop on the Friday evening of Congress, March 22, so McGee is hopeful that the proposals will be passed.

“The workshop on the Friday will be important, and we’re confident, all things will be voted on singly so let’s see what happens. One thing about the GAA is that it’s ultra-democratic, people are within their rights to accept or reject motions. We’re quite happy that we have presented a strong case.”

Much of the Cork opposition came from the fact that, were the motions to be passed, it would lead to differences between the rules of hurling and football.

Just two delegates voted in favour of the black card motion, while St Mary’s delegate John Corcoran felt that the proposed changes were still “tip-toeing around the handpass problem”.

Motion 25, which would make all adult football games 70 minutes in duration, was heavily defeated, with Mr Corcoran pointing out that a junior D league game on the morning of the county senior hurling final would be 10 minutes longer than the hurling match.

Meanwhile, with former Cork chairman Jerry O’Sullivan having been elected vice-Chairman of the Munster Council, an election will be held between Diarmuid Gowen (Fermoy) and Richard Murphy of Lyre to fill the vacant position of Cork delegate to the provincial council.


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