Fair play to the club for pointing out some common sense to a Central Council who seem completely out of touch with the reality of being a part, or even a cornerstone, of a
local community. If they want the GAA truly to be a part, or cornerstone, of the wider national community then its going to take a big attitude change rather than a rule change. They must be the only organisation within an organisation in the country that bend rules to be more inflexible rather than accomodating.
Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 1273 - 23/07/2018 12:25:38
Time for our club to confess to Croke Park.
We would like to highlight the following breaches of GAA rules which we have made over the last number of years and make absolutely no apology for any of them:
Our meeting room has been used regularly by local CPR instructors and the Irish Heart Foundation to give lifesaving CPR and First Responder Classes to many different people in our community to help spread the knowledge of vital lifesaving skills to as many people in our community and neighbouring communities as possible. Our Club has provided our facilities free of charge and has always accommodated these activities. As a result many of our club members joined a recently formed community first responder group which has already assisted the National Ambulance service in over 20 call outs for victims heart attack, cardiac arrest, strokes and chest pains.
Until recently our club provided a home to Monageer horseshoe club for a number of years. They used a small area of otherwise unused ground in the corner of our property, and provided enjoyment and entertainment to a number of people both young and old on many summer evenings.
In the last 12 months a local branch of the men's shed was established where retired men have the opportunity to come together to talk, work on projects and walk around our walking track. We offered them the use of our old clubhouse to work on their projects and have a chat over a cup of tea. We don't care whether they are club members or not, its about community.
Our handball alley sometimes used by those who may wish to play squash or racquetball. We had a league organised one time where both members and their friends were more than welcome to come along to keep fit and participate in sport as they got older and had stopped playing Gaelic Games. This brought new members into our club.
Every year we allow the local National school use our grounds for their sports day.
Every time there is a funeral in the local church we make our car park facilities available to those attending the funeral.
We have a walking track which all people in our community are welcome to use at any time.
Last year we gave permission for a charity cycle group to use our shower, kitchen and toilet facilities at the end of their cycle.
All of the above were breaches of GAA Rule "5.1- Uses of Property
(a) All property including grounds, Club Houses, Halls, Dressing Rooms and Handball Alleys owned or controlled by units of the Association shall be used only for the purpose of or in connection with the playing of the Games controlled by the Association, and for such other purposes not in conflict with the Aims and Objects of the Association, that may
be sanctioned from time to time by the Central Council."
Judging by today's dishonest statement from Croke Park, the GAA hierarchy clearly expect our Club to turn all of these different groups away in the same manner as they have turned the family of Liam Miller and the various different charities away from Pairc Ui Chaoimh.
Just in case there is any confusion amongst members of our local community let me clarify the following:
We will not be seeking or waiting on permission from Central Council every time local CPR instructors want to use our premises to provide free CPR classes to people in our community.
We will not be waiting on permission from central council every time a cycling club want to use our toilet facilities on a charity cycle.
We will not be waiting on permission from central council every time mourners want to park their cars in our grounds to attend a funeral.
We will not be waiting on permission from central council every time our local Primary School want to use our grounds for an egg and spoon race.
We will not be waiting on permission from central council every time our men's shed want to meet and have a cup of tea and a chat in our meeting room
We will not be waiting on permission from central council every time Paddy and Mick want to play a game of racquetball in our handball alley.
We will not be waiting on permission from central council every time Mary and Joan want to walk a few laps of our walking track.
We allow all of these things to take place in our grounds because we recognise that the GAA is a community organisation, and we believe that all of these activities are compatible with the aims and objectives of the GAA. I also believe that allowing a charity soccer match to be played in a GAA ground to raise tens or hundreds of thousands of euro for charities is also compatible with the aims and objectives of the GAA.
The GAA issued a statement earlier today, falsely claiming that a rule has to be changed at Congress in order for this charity game to be allowed take place in Pairc Ui Chaoimh. The statement then goes on to say that the hospitality facilities at Pairc Ui Chaoimh are available. However, not one of the geniuses in Croke Park seem to have realised that the rule covering the use of a pitch owned by the GAA is the same rule that covers use of hospitality facilities owned by the GAA. So the big contradiction is why are the GAA allowing one but not the other.
The lack of understanding and blatant lies communicated by the GAA hierarchy on this issue paints all of the GAA in a bad light and I do not want our club to be associated with such an horrendous decision based on a statement of lies and contradictions. I expect many other clubs provide their facilities to others in their local communities in a similar way to us. Most sensible people seem to be able to cooperate in harmony and create a positive community spirit. Somehow, the upper Echelons of the GAA have lost touch with this community spirit, because the focus seems to be on finances rather than on people and communities.
Signed: Peter Mernagh (Chairman)
jpb (Wexford) - Posts: 132 - 23/07/2018 12:32:27