It all got a bit existential on Tuesday night at the March Mayo GAA county board meeting when the very existence or not of a club got a thorough airing in McHale Park.
The issue of the amalgamation of Hollymount and Carramore last year and changes to boundaries was the hot topic of debate. Three clubs, Claremorris, Mayo Gaels, and Garrymore, had written to the county board in relation to the boundary issue.
Under the agreement to see the clubs amalgamate last year, some of the clubs had looked for a clause that allowed certain parishes to draw players from all clubs. However at the January county board meeting it was stated that the existing boundaries that came with the two clubs before the amalgamation should be used for 2012, which did not please the three clubs who wrote to the county board about the issue.
The county board executive had arranged to meet delegations from the three clubs which had written in last night to discuss the issue, (Thursday, March 29 ) after Tuesday night’s meeting. But the debate which was spearheaded by Claremorris delegate, Aidan Brennan, raised a number of interesting issues, the most startling of them being the actual existence of the newly formed Hollymount-Carramore club last year. Brennan constantly asked questions of the top table as to when that club was officially amalgamated and registered with Croke Park, which despite repeated queries was not conclusively answered by board chairman Paddy McNicholas, with McNicholas stating that Hollymount-Carramore had taken part in adult competitions last year, which Brennan pointed out on a number of occasions did not answer the question. Brennan also pointed out that if the amalgamation was not carried out properly it could potentially leave all competitions the new club took part in null and void, and would also mean that last year’s county board convention was not properly convened if a club that did not exist voted in it.
A quick look through the list of the clubs in the county on the GAA’s official website, which can be found at www.gaa.ie/about-the-gaa/the-gaa-club, this week also lists both Carramore and Hollymount as separate clubs, not a single club, which gives credence to Brennan’s queries as to the legality of the team which took part in last year’s competition. Closer to home, Mayo GAA’s official website also listed both clubs as separate clubs, not one amalgamated club, this week; this can be found at www.sportsmanager.ie/cake/gaa2/mayo/contentPage/57745/south McNicholas did confirm that the club Hollymount-Carramore has been registered for this year’s competition as all teams had to have been registered by tomorrow, March 31, and he said the committee would endeavour to have answers to all the questions when they met the three clubs last night.
More that twenty clubs had not paid player insurance
With the membership term for the GAA coming to an end tomorrow, March 31, so does the annual player insurance cover. Clubs when registering their teams for the coming year were issued with a invoice for the cost of the insurance from April 1 onwards. However at Tuesday night’s meeting Paddy Muldoon, insurance officer for the county board, informed the meeting that more than 20 clubs still had not paid their player insurance as of that date. Muldoon laid out the very serious nature of this, saying if any of the players get injured playing from Sunday on and insurance is not in place it is the club’s responsibility and no claim will be honoured by the insurer.
Seven days’ grace given to clubs to get insurance in order
With adult competitions to get under way this Sunday from division 1c down to division 1f, along with almost all underage grades up and running, a number of clubs were given until April 8 to get themselves in order in relation to public liability insurance. Mayo GAA treasurer JP Lambe informed this week’s county board meeting that as of Tuesday there were 14 clubs whose public liability insurance under the GAA scheme would lapse on Sunday April 1. At the meeting it was proposed and seconded that no games would be allowed to take place on any club’s grounds if the insurance had not been paid by April 1. But Lambe informed the members that Croke Park paid the premium nationally for all clubs and would give the clubs seven days to get their payments in after the date they were due. So the meeting agreed if clubs did not pay their premiums by April 8 no games could be played on their pitches.\