Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Antrim refusing to back deal on GPA recognition

Antrim will oppose the motion to officially recognise the GPA at next month's GAA Congress.

At a County Board meeting on Monday night it was almost unanimously decided by delegates to oppose the deal brokered by GAA and GPA officials last November.

There are fears that other Ulster counties will follow suit but that still may not be enough to deny the motion a two thirds majority. Tyrone have already tabled a motion that effectively opposes the GPA by asking Congress not to recognise any body “purporting to represent any individuals” within the GAA.

Antrim's decision was taken after a proposal for delegates to consult with clubs on the issue was rejected. Central Council, who framed the motion, can still expect strong support throughout other areas of the country despite Antrim's objection.

The GPA have already begun rolling out welfare projects for inter-county players to the tune of 1.1m euro per annum with a further 250,000 euro for administration costs.

Kingspan Breffni Park in Cavan has been confirmed as the first 3G pitch in Ireland to be awarded with the new GAA standards, adopted by Congress last year.

The work on the all-weather facility was completed by the Pride Sports and Leisure company.

Meanwhile, Mattie Forde has returned to Wexford training, ending speculation that he would shelve his inter-county career.

Forde has played little competitive football for Wexford since their All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Tyrone in 2008 due to injury.

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