Football Review Committee unveils plans and timelines

April 05, 2024

Jim Gavin Chairperson of the Review Committee ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

Football Review Committee chairperson Jim Gavin and GAA President Jarlath Burns today  provided an update on the work of the committee and timelines for the remainder of the  project. 

After being appointed by Ard Chomhairle, the committee has commenced its work in  recent weeks by analysing the current rules of the game and previous reports on the  playing rules and by reviewing current games. 

In addition to recent engagement with both Ard Chomhairle and the Standing Committee  on Playing Rules, the FRC today launches its survey for all interested parties which will  remain open until June 30 (Football Review Committee Survey / Suirbhé Choiste  Athbhreithnithe na Peile ). 

The timeline revealed to the media today confirmed plans for a draft report to be  presented to Ard Chomhairle in November of 2024 with a view to the possible staging of  Special Congress in December to facilitate the introduction of the trial of rule  enhancements for 2025 competitions. 

That trial would include a mid-season 2025 review before the formal end of the trial with  the completion of the 2025 championships.  

It is envisaged that a full review will take place at that juncture with a view to the adoption  of new rules for football from January 1, 2026. 

GAA President Jarlath Burns said: “I would like to thank Jim Gavin and the members of the  FRC for agreeing to take on this task and I wish them well in their work.  

“I have no doubt given the calibre of the individuals involved that this will be a thorough  and forensic process and I would encourage everyone with an interest in the game to  engage with it using the survey they have launched. 

“I look forward to their findings and am confident that the project has the potential to  ensure that football is the best spectacle that it can be, to both play and watch.”

FRC Chairperson Jim Gavin added: “I would like to thank Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas  Gael Jarlath Burns for the opportunity to work with the committee on a topic of such  importance. 

“We have no pre-ordained views and have commenced our work with open minds. We  look forward to engaging with a wide range of groups across the wider GAA family to get  people’s views on a game that is so important to so many. 

“I too hope that as many people as possible will engage with us and we look forward to  receiving feedback that will be no doubt wide and varied, that is going to be crucial to the  process.” 

All details can be found on Football Review Committee 2024/2025 ( 

FRC Terms of Reference 

1. Evaluate the current rules and regulations of Gaelic football, including their  application and enforcement, to identify potential areas for modification or  enhancement that could contribute to a more exciting and dynamic viewing  experience. 

2. Examine the pacing and flow of Gaelic football matches, considering options to  maintain a balance between tradition and introducing innovations that could  increase the overall entertainment value for spectators. 

3. Examine the previous reviews of Gaelic football which have been undertaken by  the Association, as well as the work of the Standing Committee on Playing Rules.  4. Explore possibilities for adjusting scoring systems or introducing new elements that  could encourage more strategic and engaging gameplay, aiming to captivate the  audience and create memorable moments. 

5. Engage with players, coaches, officials and fans to gather diverse perspectives on the  current state of Gaelic football and to identify potential changes that align with both  the spirit of the game and the desire for a more entertaining spectator experience.  

6. Examine the motions which have been submitted for Congress 2025 with a view  towards gauging the landscape of change and incorporating some of them into the  new blueprint for Gaelic football which will emerge from the group’s deliberations  and research.  

7. Consider a coaching and games template which may be required depending on the  proposals emanating from the review process. 

8. Present an interim report for consideration by Ard Chomhairle with a view for full  discussion and ratification in 2025. 

Jim Gavin (Chairperson) – Round Tower GAA, Clondalkin - Dublin 

A member of Round Tower GAA Club, Clondalkin, Dublin, Jim learnt to play Gaelic games in the local street leagues (coached by his father Jimmy) representing The 9th Lock, in Clonburris National Primary School and in Moyle Park College. He represented his club in hurling and football at all grades. He played Minor, U21 and senior inter-county football with Dublin and later coached and managed Dublin U21 and senior football teams. He currently coaches Ballyboden St Enda’s U16 Football and Hurling teams. 

James Horan – Ballintubber GAA - Mayo 

James Horan is a former Mayo senior player and Manager who has had a successful eight year tenure leading the Mayo Senior team to six Connacht titles. He holds a Master's Degree in Management Coaching, a Bachelor of Science, and a Diploma in Professional Management. With experience coaching teams such as Ballintubber, Westport, and Turloughmore, Horan has displayed his versatile coaching abilities across both football and hurling. A double All-Star, he has also contributed to the Mayo U20 team and mentors’ various high-performance teams and athletes. Horan's on-field and off-field achievements underline his expertise and dedication to sports. 

Michael Murphy – Glenswilly GAA - Donegal 

Michael is a member of Glenswilly GAA club and former senior Inter-county Gaelic footballer with Donegal for 16 seasons from 2007 to 2022. He was part of the Donegal teams that achieved 2012 All Ireland success and five Ulster Senior Football Championships. He captained Ireland in the International Rules Series in 2013 and 2014. 

He studied for a BSc. in Physical Education with Biology in DCU and a MSc. in Sport and Exercise Psychology in UUJ and currently works as Head of Sport at Atlantic Technological University Donegal. 

Colm Nally – Newtown Blues GAA - Louth 

Colm, an employee of the Department of Foreign Affairs, is a seasoned coach with over 20 years’ experience coaching both club and county. He has spent many years coaching juvenile and adult teams with his local club Newtown Blues in Drogheda. 

He started his football career playing with O’Dwyers in Balbriggan, then moved to Drogheda where he played for Newtown Blues winning three Senior County Championships, two of which he captained. He has represented both Dublin and Louth at county level.

He coached the Louth senior footballers for two years, Meath senior footballers for four years. Colm is a Master Tutor for the GAA & Sport Ireland. He is currently a coach with the Kildare senior footballers. 

Colm Collins – Cratloe GAA - Clare 

A native of Kilmihil in Co. Clare, Colm attended St. Flannan’s College and did a B.Ed. in Mary Immaculate College. He played and managed at all levels in Kilmihil and has been involved in coaching since age of 19. He played for the Clare club in New York before getting involved with the Clare development squads. He Coached 14s, 15s, 16s, & 17s and managed the minors and U21s. He was appointed as Clare Senior football manager in 2014 and served in that role for 10 years. He is currently manager of his adopted club Cratloe’s senior football team and has been in that job for the last 15 years. He is also involved in underage coaching in the club. 

Shane Flanagan – Johnstownbridge GAA - Kildare 

Shane Flanagan is the GAA's Director of Coaching and Games Development with responsibility for leading the strategic direction of games development at all levels of the Association. He joined the GAA in 2004 as Policy and Planning Officer, having worked at Meteor Mobile Communications as Site Acquisition and Property Officer. After this he was Provincial Games Manager and Operations Manager for Leinster Council GAA between 2006-2020. He has served on numerous central committees. A native of Johnstownbridge in Co. Kildare where he played for over 20 years he also played in theTrench Cup with Mary Immaculate Limerick, Sigerson with Maynooth University and Under 21 with Kildare. He has coached at underage and senior level with his club. 

Patrick Doherty – The Downs GAA - Westmeath 

Patrick Doherty played hurling and football in Westmeath for his clubs, Delvin and The Downs, and represented the county in underage grades in both codes. He was a member of the Coláiste Mhuire, Mullingar team which won the Leinster Colleges' senior football championship in 1983, and won a Freshers' Football title and Trench Cup medal with Sligo R.T.C. He was PRO of the Westmeath County Board for seven years. 

He is a Chartered Accountant and worked in practice and industry up to 2008, before a change in career when he became GAA National Match Officials Manager and is currently Head of Operations for Westmeath GAA, a position he was appointed to in 2019. He completed an MSc in Sport Management in UCD in 2020.  

Éamonn Fitzmaurice – Fingue GAA - Kerry

Éamonn Fitzmaurice is from Kerry, is married to Tina and has two children Faye and Rian. He is a secondary school principal in Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne in Dingle. He played club football with Finuge and hurling with Lixnaw. He represented Kerry at all levels winning All-Irelands at minor, under 21 and senior level. He managed Kerry to All-Ireland success, having also served as a selector. He is currently coaching Fossa and various school teams. He is a football analyst with The Irish Examiner and RTÉ. 

Alec McQuillan – Con Magees Glenravel GAC - Antrim 

Alec McQuillan is a member of Con Magees Glenravel GAC in Co. Antrim. He played Senior County football for Antrim from 1979 to 1990 and continued playing for the club until 2010. He has been involved in coaching and managing teams at youth and adult level. He was a member of the Antrim County Board from 2015 to 2018, as a delegate to Ulster Council, and he is currently a member of the Ulster GAA Hearings Committee. In the context of the Playing Rules, he was a member of the Standing Committee on the Playing Rules from 2018 - 2023. 

Malachy O’Rourke – Derrylin O’Connells - Fermanagh 

Malachy O’Rourke was Head of PE in St Joseph’s College, Enniskillen. He played with his native Derrylin O’Connell’s, winning two Intermediate Championships; he won a Sigerson Cup with St Mary’s University College, Belfast; and two Championships with Errigal Ciarán. He played Inter-county football with Fermanagh for 15 years. 

He managed Fermanagh for three years, leading them to their first Ulster Final in 26 years. He then managed Monaghan for seven years, taking them from Division 3 to Division 1 and winning two Ulster titles in 2013 and 2015. At Club level, he has won six Senior County titles across Tyrone, Cavan and Derry; alongside three Ulster Club titles with Loup (2003) and Watty Graham’s, Glen (2022 & 2023) and an All-Ireland Club title with Glen in January 2024. 

Michael Meaney – Old Leighlin GAA - Carlow 

Michael is a member of Old Leighlin GAA in Carlow, having served in a variety of roles within the club, including Club Secretary to Club Chairperson. Representing Carlow as their delegate on Central Council, and a former member of the GAA Management Committee, Michael has also served as Carlow GAA Chairperson, and Treasurer. 

Outside of his endeavours with the GAA, Michael has over 40 years’ experience in construction-related industries and is Company Director of Stoneworld Limited and Eco Window Concepts Limited.

Additionally, Michael has also served as a Director and Chair of Leighlinbridge Housing Association, which is a Voluntary Approved Housing Body. 

Séamus Kenny (Rúnaí) – Simonstown Gaels GFC - Meath 

Séamus is a member of the Simonstown Gaels club in Navan and a former Inter- County footballer with Meath for 14 years. He has coached at various level in his Club from underage to adult. Séamus is the National Participation and Programmes manager for the GAA and has served on various National Committees for the Association. 

Survey link: Football Review Committee Survey

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