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TV proposal is unlikely to be debated at Congress

By Declan Bogue

It remains to be seen if Motion 42 - which will propose that all televised Gaelic Games be made 'free-to-air' - will finally make it onto the Clár for debate at next month's Congress.

A similar motion was put forward from the Clare county board last year, but was subsequently ruled out of order, and therefore no debate occurred at the annual 'house-keeping' function of the GAA.

Congress takes place next month in Carlow, over the weekend of February 26 and 27, and given how sensitive key figures at the head of the GAA have been over ongoing criticism of the deal that allowed Sky TV to come into the market, it would be a surprise to see it debated on the floor, let alone have the decision reversed.

However, if it is to take place, it would only require a simple majority vote, rather than the two-thirds share that is needed for actual rule changes.

More likely to attract significant debate is the possible introduction of an Aussie Rules-style 'mark', proposed by the Jarlath Burns-led standing committee on playing rules.

Although players may have the option of claiming a 'mark' if they catch a kick-out, they can also play on immediately, as exists as present, but they may not be challenged until he takes four steps and/or makes a play.

This weekend in Owenbeg the Ulster Council hold their annual convention, which will see President Martin McAviney stepping down after his four-year term.

Only one person is standing for the post - current vice-chairman Michael Hasson of Antrim.

Belfast Telegraph


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