Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

GAA presidential candidate Liam O’Neill out to improve discipline

Liam O'Neill — the only candidate who has officially declared his interest in becoming the GAA's next president — has hinted at a radical overhaul of disciplinary procedures including the scrapping of the CCCC (Central Competitions Controls Committee) in its current form while he also proposed a raft of sweeping changes.

O'Neill claimed the current disciplinary system is ‘very dragged out' and pointed to Louth's controversial defeat in the Leinster SFC final as an example of how the current rule book is inadequately equipped to deal with exceptional circumstances when they arise.

“(Games manager) Pat Daly has been talking for a number of years about a three man body sitting on a Monday morning to review the weekend's events,” he said.

“That should be done instantaneously. It should be done by a three man group where you'd have a lawyer who would know sports law, a GAA person, maybe a former player or somebody of standing within the GAA playing community, and a neutral from a different sporting body who would say, ‘that's out of order, in no code would that be allowed.'“

Incumbent president Christy Cooney has already stated that the current disciplinary process is under review meaning that any changes could be in place before the next president is installed 2012.

O'Neill also claimed the ‘mark' which was trialled in the league earlier this year may be reintroduced in another form and also stated that the system which sees proposed rule changes trialled only every five years may also come under review.

The Laois man also wants to see established referees act as umpires at inter-county matches where they would be given extended powers to ensure fair play.

He also stated that pitch invasions must become a thing of the past and while a rule regarding the use of video technology would have to be carefully drawn up, he maintained that it would be “crazy not to use it” when possible.

O’Neill also argued that many of these changes could be introduced as soon as next April's Congress.

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