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GAA's reluctance to debate Tier Two proposals can only be harmful

Declan Bogue

By Declan Bogue

Back to more frustrating matters, and it appears the determination by some in the top echelons of the GAA to ram through their proposals for a Tier Two competition in Gaelic football excludes them from publicly outlining their motivations.

It's widely suspected that the Tier Two project is current GAA President John Horan's baby, and he is determined to push through his proposals to leave, if you will, a legacy of his time in charge.

Horan has had a rough enough run of his presidency and is unfortunate to be from Dublin at a time when so much scrutiny is concentrated on funding towards his native county, though he hasn't helped himself in his defence.

The introduction of a second tier is fraught with dangers, not least the upending of all the work carried out by a recently-established working group who are examining ways of making the season more equitable for both club and county players.

The Gaelic Players Association are not keen either, given the work of the group. This contradicts their view expressed last November after they claimed 60 per cent of their membership was in favour, but it would appear the ongoing negotiations have alerted them to the fact that it would be a wrong move on their part politically.

All parties - GAA, GPA and CPA - were invited to take part in a public debate on the Tier Two competition on RTÉ Radio last Sunday. The GAA's refusal to participate irked CPA Chairman Miceál Briody.

"We were asked by RTÉ to attend and debate it and we certainly will and I believe the GPA will as well but I don't think there's anyone being put forward from the GAA which is disappointing," Briody told Shane Stapleton's YouTube channel #OurGame.

"We would like to see what the bona fides are behind this but as I understand, and it's RTÉ that are organising it, I don't think they (the GAA) are going to be in attendance.

Briody added: "It certainly is disappointing. We're not saying that everything we say is right or fits everyone's requirements or needs but if there's something that they (the GAA) know that we don't know that's for the betterment of the GAA then let's put it out there."

This sort of arm over the homework approach is not a good look for the GAA, and perceptions towards Central Council. But they have made their decision now.

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