CLUB delegates voted to accept a Mayo GAA executive proposal at last week’s County Board meeting that will see members of the press excluded from three ‘special’ meetings this year.
County Board PRO Paul Cunnane outlined the executive’s proposal to delegates, explaining that media would be allowed access to eight standard meetings over the course of the year but not to three further meetings involving club chairpersons, secretaries and delegates.
Club delegates backed this proposal unanimously by a show of hands.
After last Monday night’s County Board meeting had concluded, Mayo GAA chairman Liam Moffatt explained the rationale behind the Executive’s proposal and said it was an attempt to ‘be fair to all the stakeholders involved’.
“The eight media meetings are per our by-laws, and we have fulfilled that,” he told The Mayo News. “We feel that having open meetings in line with our by-laws is the way to go — and that includes media access.
“In addition to that we’re trying to facilitate a lot more involvement and integration with the officers of the clubs. Because in certain situations, the club chairperson or secretary are often not the club delegate at County Board level.
“So it’s important from a County Board officer position that the integration and connection happens with those officers. So we felt the best way to do that was to create three special meetings, one per quarter where those officers come in, get a chance to discuss any concerns they have about the club or county end of it, or indeed our own performance as officers of the County Board. That was the reason for calling the three extra meetings.
“The Executive discussed a number of options following on from the feedback from clubs prior to Christmas,” he continued. “What we’re trying to do as an executive is find a middle ground that’s fair to everyone. Our goal here is to have the meetings as open and honest as we can, with an element of respect that when sensitive topics come up, that there would be a moment to reflect and say, ‘Okay, we might need to take a step back here’.
“It might be in relation to a player injury or a commercially sensitive issue.
“I think the answer here might be somewhere in the middle, I’m not saying I have the perfect answer. We’re just trying to be fair to all stakeholders involved.”
It is expected that Mayo GAA officials will engage with the local media after each of these three ‘special’ meetings with an update on the main issues discussed.