Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Carty and Daly take firm stand on grants

Fermanagh county board chairman Peter Carty has questioned whether the decision taken at a recent Central Council meeting in Dublin to approve the payment of grants to inter-county players was in fact unanimous.

Carty is one of many high-profile Ulster GAA personalities who will go into the festive season harbouring grave reservations in relation to how the whole matter has been handled by Central Council.

"Rumour has it that Central Council gave unanimous backing to this issue and I would question that," maintains Carty who has just been re-elected as Fermanagh chairman for another year.

He is now keen to see motions opposing the payment of grants brought to the floor of Congress in April.

"That's where the matter should really be debated," he insists.

And while Carty has added his voice to the growing clamour against the grants, Ulster Council chairman Tom Daly has claimed that had the whole issue been handled better from the outset, then the GAA would not find itself involved " in a divisive arena as it does now."

"I would like to point out that I think a fundamental principle was breached some time ago when the government initially decided to talk with just part of our membership. If from day one the negotiations had been with the management of our Association, I don't think we would be in this terribly difficult, divisive situation we currently find ourselves," states Daly.

And he suggests that the GAA should absorb lessons from recent events.

" There can be no negotiations in future on the GAA's behalf other than by those who lead the Association with governance and have responsibilty for it.

"I hope that as we move forward on this we will work through our club, county and provincial units as well as our central units, of course, on anything that we want to say or do in relation to this scheme. We we are a democratic organisation, after all."

Meanwhile, the legal application to the Disputes Resolution Authority contesting the validity of Central Council's decision has already been sent.

GAA president Nickey Brennan has intimated that the hearing willt take place early in the New Year but is still hopeful that the issue will be resolved without a lengthy journey down the legal route. Tyrone's Mark Conway is one of nine people who have signed the application and he is joined by another Ulster grants opponent in Brian Donohue (Cavan).

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