New rule on the cards in effort to stamp out racism

A NEW rule to tackle racist abuse is among the items to be debated at the weekend GAA Congress in Cork.

The proposal in relation to dealing with racism stems from the belief that the ‘non-party political’ and ‘non-sectarian’ elements of the existing rule should be separated through the creation of a new rule entitled ‘anti-sectarian/anti-racist.’

The reason, according to the Rules Book Task Force, is ‘to formulate a strong statement of the Association’s abhorrence of conduct of a sectarian or racist nature and its commitment to social harmon and inclusion.’

It’s also proposed to introduce an amendment to highlight the Association’s commitment to support Irish industry ‘in terms which fairly reflect’ the economic state of the country.

The amendment reads: “The Association shall use all practical endeavours to support Irish industry, especially in relation to the provision of trophies and playing gear and equipment.’’

Among other amendments the Task Force is putting forward is one relating to the use of Irish in official correspondence.

The reason is to indicate that the relevant rule is an expression of the Association’s active support of the language rather than ‘solely as an administrative rule.’

Meanwhile, the Task Force is proposing a defined membership year, which will be the same for all clubs — from April 1 to March 31 of the following year. The idea is that individuals will have the opportunity to pay their membership fee between the club AGM and the end of March in order to have voting rights. This marks a change to the current rules, whereby clubs can accept membership up until the beginning of August.

The argument made in favour of the change is that it will provide the Association with an accurate database of their membership, which will facilitate the compiling of statistics and the promotion of better communications.

nThe report of the Central Competitions Control Committee points out that 235 penalties were proposed arising from 410 games under their control last year. Of these, only 33 sought hearings and four were cleared. The report points out that the provision of extra time in certain championship games will assist in alleviating fixtures congestion.


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