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Mayo GAA league “nightmare” to be tackled

League “nightmare” to be tackled

Daniel Carey

THE Competitions Control Committee will propose changes to the structure of the Mayo GAA league, Mike Connelly told last week’s County Board meeting held at McHale Park, Castlebar.
CCC Chairman Connelly said that drawing up fixtures had become “a total nightmare”, and his committee may look at “tidying up” the league “to have all senior championship teams playing senior league”, which would create “three extra weekends” for matches.
Connelly, who is also Vice-Chairman of the County Board, added that there are “too many teams in the lower divisions” and warned that things “cannot continue” in the present form. “From a club point of view in concluding games, it was a bit of a disaster to say the least,” he added.
“Clubs that are very successful, like Ballintubber, are probably not too happy with some decisions we made,” said the Hollymount/Carramore clubman. “But we have to make decisions in the best interest of every club … We don’t favour anyone.”
Ballintubber manager Peter Ford recently criticized the scheduling of junior and senior semi-finals involving the club on the same day. Connelly said the CCC “plan to bring in team managers and officers to get their views” as new proposals are considered.
Kevin McDonnell (Kilmaine) said the Mayo senior team impacts on clubs and suggested a decision would “have to be made” regarding fixtures. “It’s tough on clubs with county players,” said McDonnell. “Burrishoole still have six league games left … that’s just madness.”

Horan offered extension
JAMES Horan was officially offered a two-year extension as Mayo senior football manager at last week’s County Board meeting.
Board chairman Paddy McNicholas told club delegates that he and Secretary Kevin O’Toole had met with Horan. The Board’s Executive offered the Ballintubber man a two-year addition to his original three-year term, keeping him in the position until 2015.
That recommendation was formally proposed by John Farragher (Garrymore), seconded by Seán Mac Éil (Knockmore) and ratified on a show of hands. No voices were raised in dissent and the decision took only a very short part of a 90-minute meeting.
Meanwhile, outgoing Mayo minor boss Tony Duffy (Ballintubber) and Stephen Rochford (Crossmolina) were both nominated for the Mayo under-21 manager’s job. Enda Gilvarry (Killala), one of Duffy’s selectors this year, was nominated for the position of Mayo minor manager, as was a joint ticket made up of departing Mayo junior bosses John Kelly (Moy Davitts) and Vincent Gavin (Swinford).
Christy Phillips and Kieran Hynes have been nominated jointly for the position of Mayo senior hurling manager.

O’Toole accuses journalist of “hatchet job”
THE Mayo GAA Board Secretary has accused a local journalist of “very selective reporting” and carrying out “the best hatchet job in a while”.
Kevin O’Toole told last week’s County Board meeting that the report in what he called “a certain paper” was “designed to damage” and contained comments that were taken “out of context”.
While the Tourmakeady clubman did not name the newspaper concerned, he was clearly referring to a Western People story in which he was quoted as saying that Mayo fans had been “complacent” in their search for All-Ireland tickets.
The category breakdown for Mayo’s All-Ireland ticket allocation, released at last week’s meeting, is as follows - Clubs (General): 8,846; Clubs (Fundraising): 1,280; Clubs (Club Officers): 312; Clubs (Past Players): 364; Clubs (All-Ireland winners): 16; Clubs (Sub-Committee Members): 182; Clubs (County Board Delegates): 110; Clubs (Referees): 194; Clubs (Juveniles): 160; Clubs (Wheelchair): 35; Players and Management: 1,150; County Board Officers: 200; Executive: 48; Divisional Boards: 80; Past Officers: 40; Sponsors: 225; Fundraising Events: 210; Cáirdre Mhaigh Eo (Bonus): 786; Cáirde Mhaigh Eo (London): 100; Schools: 120; Media: 42; Mayo Associations: 50; Associates: 66; County Council: 40; Urban Councils: 36; Miscellaneous: 60; Total tickets in all categories: 14,746.

Critical e-mail slammed

MAYO GAA Board Secretary Kevin O’Toole has hit out at a Belmullet man who was strongly critical of the County Board in an email sent to GAA Director-General Páraic Duffy.
PJ Monaghan’s email - which accused the County Board of “target[ing] children to raise funds by inviting them to participate in a raffle which is actually illegal” - was sent by Duffy to the County Board Secretary, who forwarded it to clubs.
“For someone to lecture us on how we fund-raise is a little bit rich,” O’Toole told last week’s County Board meeting in a reply to a question from Kevin McDonnell (Kilmaine). “I receive correspondence from the Árd Stiúrthóir [Duffy] … if I didn’t forward it to clubs, there would be questions asked.”
South Mayo GAA Board chairman Ger McHugh said he was “most annoyed” by PJ Monaghan’s email. The proposal to take part in last month’s Green and Red Fun Day “came to schools, and it was up to schools to decide” whether to participate, he added.

Lambe’s levy warning
UNLESS clubs make monthly or six-monthly payments to the County Board, levies will have to be paid by next February. That was the stark warning from Treasurer JP Lambe to last week’s Board meeting.
“We want 25 clubs to pay through the bank in 2012,” said the Garrymore clubman. “It makes payments easier on the clubs and is a big help to our finance … We would ask clubs to take up monthly or six-monthly payments. I know it’s hard, but otherwise we’d need to get levies in by February 20, 2013.”
Lambe added that County Board Draw levies may be reduced for some clubs.

Kiltane’s underage removal ‘illogical’
KILTANE delegate Richard Cosgrove said the removal of his club’s team from an underage league defied logic.
Cosgrove explained that Kiltane were “thrown out” of a competition because they were unavailable to play two games on the dates set down due to a school trip abroad. He asked why deadlines are strictly adhered to early in the season and then “count for nought” later in the year. “I don’t see any logic in throwing teams out of a competition,” he concluded.
Bord na nÓg Chairman Seamus Tuohy said that if cut-off points weren’t set, “our leagues would just drag on”. “Our hands are tied,” Bord na nÓg Secretary Vincent Neary added. “There are set-down dates [to have games played by] … We’re only implementing the rules as laid down at Convention”.

Administrator sought

MAYO GAA “hope to have an administrator in place by the end of the year,” County Board Chairman Paddy McNicholas told last week’s meeting. The position will be advertised in local newspapers.
Season tickets are now for sale, offering free admission to National League, club and underage matches, and the first round of the inter-county championship. Those who sign up also had “the guarantee of a ticket - or two, if things are right! - for the All-Ireland final”, according to Paddy McNicholas, who says new members will get a jacket.

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