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Media ban is referred back to Mayo clubs


Mike Finnerty

JUST three days after a proposal to exclude members of the press from Mayo GAA Board meetings in future was passed by club delegates, it was decided to refer the issue back to club officials for further discussion.
The Mayo News has learned that delegates at last Thursday night’s County Board meeting in Castlebar agreed to bring the issue — which sparked a backlash among many Mayo supporters, club officials and on social media last week — back to their clubs’ executives for consideration.
It is believed that one delegate proposed that course of action be taken after objections to banning the media from future County Board meetings were raised by two clubs — Louisburgh and Charlestown — last Thursday night.
It is understood that the initial decision to exclude the media was taken after Mayo GAA board chairman, Mike Connelly, asked for ‘a show of hands’ on the subject of ‘unfortunately, eliminating the media’ from County Board meetings at last Monday night’s ‘in camera’ meeting.
Sources have told The Mayo News that the majority of delegates supported Connelly’s suggestion. However, they also confirmed that there was no actual ‘proposal’ or ‘seconder’ initially, before the show of hands.
The matter is expected to be discussed again at the next meeting of the Mayo GAA Board.
Some senior County Board officials and club delegates are understood to have been annoyed after a photograph of delegates arriving before a recent County Board meeting was taken by Mayo News reporter, Ger Flanagan, and subsequently posted on ‘Twitter’.
There is also a feeling among some delegates and officials that the presence of media at meetings prevents them from speaking openly and contributing to debates.
Social media posts from the general public that arise around County Board meetings is also believed to have formed a significant part of last week’s discussions about excluding members of the media.
Members of the media are not permitted to attend County Board meetings in the likes of Donegal, Sligo and Galway but they do attend monthly meetings in the likes of Cork, Kerry, Clare, Meath and Dublin.

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