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631
Laois / Re: Schools Hurling
« on: December 12, 2016, 05:39:44 PM »
Mon Dec 12th 2016

Top Oil Leinster PP Sch SH “B”
Mountrath C.S. (12.00 pm)        Mountrath C.S. v St. Fergal’s, Rathdowney   

632
Laois / Re: Portlaoise GAA vs Laois County Board
« on: December 10, 2016, 05:47:25 PM »
The Full Text of the submissions to the DRA and their Ruling


In the matter of the an arbitration under the Disputes Resolution Code and the
Arbitration Act 2010
Rafter & Portlaoise GAA v Laois CCC & Laois HC

Hearing: City West Hotel, Dublin, at 8pm on 1 June
Tribunal: Colm O’Rourke, Arran Dowling Hussey BL & David Nohilly
Secretary to the DRA, Jack Anderson, was also in attendance

Verdict: Claim succeeds; application upheld.

Keywords: Keywords: Rule 6.5(c) and (d) of the Official Guide (2015); fair,
procedural administration of player transfers by the County CCC; Bye-Law 6 of the
Laois County Bye-Laws (2016) whether refusal of transfer request was compliant
and in line with the Bye-Laws’ regulation of transfers from Rural to Urban club;
Rule 1.13(a) of the Official Guide (2015); the Association shall safeguard and
promote the interest and well-being of all those under 18 years of age who are
involved in its games and related activities; Rule 6.1 of the Official Guide (2015); the
Gaelic Athletic Association is community centred, based on the allegiance of its
members to their local Clubs and Counties, the Transfer and Declaration Rules in
this Official Guide and in County Bye-Laws reflect that ethos.
List of Attendees:
Claimant:
Jonathan Rafter
Jimmy Rafter (Parent)
John Hanniffy (Advocate for Jonathan Rafter & Cathaoirleach CLG Port Laoise)
Pat Leogue, Runaí, CLG Port Laoise
Respondent 1, Laois CCC
Cathaoirleach, Gerry Kavanagh
Rúnaí, Niall Handy
Respondent 2, Laois HC
Cathaoirleach (acting), Mick Bolton
Rúnaí, Willie Stackpool


Background
1. The claimant (aged 15) sought to transfer from Park-Ratheniska GAA Club
(his First Club pursuant to Rule 6.4 of the Official Guide (2015)) to Portlaoise
GAA Club. His application was considered by the first respondent and
refused in a decision dated 22 March 2016. The claimant appealed to the
second respondent but the appeal was dismissed in a decision of 12 April
2016. The claimant then applied to the DRA.

2. Please note that the Tribunal considered all the written submissions, evidence,
oral submissions and legal arguments made by the parties in the present
proceedings. The below reasoned award refers only to the submissions and
evidence the Tribunal consider necessary to explain its reasoning. The account
is also sensitive to young age of the claimant and thus some background
material, heard and considered fully by the Tribunal in its deliberations, is not
alluded to in this written form.

3. In synopsis, the claimant made three arguments: first, a breach by the
respondents of various aspects of Rule 6.5 of the Official Guide (2015); second,
an argument relating to player welfare pursuant to Rule 1.13(a) of the Official
Guide (2015); third, a claim that Bye-Law 6 of the Laois County Bye-Laws of
2016 had been misinterpreted to the claimant’s disadvantage by the
respondents.

4. The key point of deliberation for this DRA Tribunal was the third argument
noted above. The first and second points are thus noted only briefly.
Argument 1: Rule 6.5 of the Official Guide (2015)
Claimant

5. On the first argument, the claimant contended that the first respondent had
acted in a procedurally unfair manner contrary to Rule 6.5 (c) and (d) of the
Official Guide (2015), as below:
“Rule 6.5 Transfers within County
(c) The County Committee shall delegate consideration of Applications to
its Competitions Control Committee. If requested by any party
involved, the Committee shall give the applicant and the two Clubs
concerned the opportunity of attending a convened hearing to outline
their respective positions on the application.
(d) The Club of the member seeking a transfer shall be notified of the
application and its observations shall be considered if received within
such time as may be directed by the Competitions Control
Committee.”

6. Individual counties, through their CCC, put the above regulations into effect
and the general thrust of Rule 6.5 (c) and (d) is that the club from which the
player is seeking a transfer should, on due notification and within any
relevant time period stated in the County Bye-Laws, be given an opportunity
to make observations (such as an objection) on the transfer request. The CCC
must then consider such an observation in its deliberations. The general
approach across the country, and it seems in Laois, is that where a club
remains silent and/or does not otherwise object to a transfer request that is
highly persuasive in motivating a CCC to accede to the transfer request.

7. The claimant’s argument here is that Park-Ratheniska were given such an
opportunity, as permitted by Rule 6.5 and the Laois County Bye-Laws, to
make an observation on the transfer request but did not avail of the
opportunity in written form within the stated time period of no later than 10
February 2016. Accordingly, the claimant argued, as was custom and practice,
the transfer should have been permitted, as others were by the Laois CCC, at
its meeting of 16 February 2016 where all 2016 transfer request within the
county were first considered. Instead, the claimant noted, the CCC hearing
on this particular transfer was delayed until 21 March. The claimant argued
that a phone call received by the Laois CCC secretary from Park-Rathensiska,
prior to or even on the 16th Feb, may have been the reason behind the delay to
the prejudice and detriment of the claimant’s transfer request.
Respondents

8. The respondent countered that the phone call noted above was not
specifically about the claimant’s transfer request and had been received much
earlier than the 16 February date and that, in any event, it had no bearing on
the CCC’s deliberations. The reason for the delay from 16 February to 21
March, in the specific matter of the Rafter transfer request, was, the CCC
informed the Tribunal, because they were seeking clarification of certain
issues in the transfer request (e.g., clarification of the claimant’s address,
clarification of when the claimant’s elder brother had transferred to Portlaoise
GAA club) and furthermore that they wished to convene a hearing in which
all parties to the matter could be present. In sum, the first respondents argued
there was no prejudice to the claimant in the delay; in contrast, the delay, they
argued, was in an effort to inform themselves fully of all aspects of the
transfer request prior to reaching a decision.
Argument 2: Rule 1.13(a) of the Official Guide (2015)

9. The claimant argued that the denial of the transfer was contrary to the aims
and ethos of the Association outlined in Rule 1.13(a) of the Official Guide
(2015). The claimant’s submission was, in this regard, similar to that made in
DRA06/2015 and DRA06/2016: the over-arching purpose of the Association
is one of continuing participation and in doing so to particularly safeguard
the best interests of the child. Accordingly, and with these fundamental aims
in mind, the claimant argued that the interpretation of the applicable Laois
County Bye-Laws given by the respondents was unreasonable and, moreover,
inconsistent, when compared to other transfer requests made and granted at
the same time as the claimant’s.

Respondents
10. The respondents argued that with specific regard to player transfers, the ethos
of the GAA was better reflected in Rule 6.1 of the Official Guide:
“As the Gaelic Athletic Association is community centred, based on the
allegiance of its members to their local Clubs and Counties, the
Transfer and Declaration Rules in this Official Guide and in County
Bye-Laws reflect that ethos. A player is considered to always owe
allegiance and loyalty to his First Club and County, as defined in these
Rules.”

11. It was this “ethos” that the first respondent felt mandated to uphold for the
greater, common good of all those who participate under the Association’s
Rules.
Argument 3: Bye-Law 6 of the Laois County Bye-Laws of 2016
Claimant

12. Bye-Law 6 of the Laois County Bye-Laws of 2016 is as below:
“6. Transfers
a) There shall be two distinct Club “designations” —Urban and Rural.
This will allow the CCC to distinguish between Transfers and
Attachment to First Clubs to and from - (i) Urban to Rural Clubs, (ii)
Rural to Rural Clubs and (iii) Rural to Urban Clubs.
b) Portlaoise GAA Club will be designated an “Urban” Club and all
other Clubs in Laois will be designated “Rural”.
c) Normally, Transfers within the county shall be granted only in the
event of a player moving to a new place of Permanent Residence which
is within the Catchment Area of the club to which he wishes to
transfer. In such cases the onus of proof of new permanent residence
shall be on the applicant for transfer.
d) Requests for transfer shall not be considered unless submitted to the
County Secretary before January 31st in any year. Exception: In the
case of an Urban to Rural Transfer! Attachment to First Club, an
application may be granted provided the player has not participated in
Club Competition (including Go Games) in the year in which the
Transfer / Attachment to First Clubs is sought.
e) The C.C.C. shall process and make initial decisions on all
applications for Transfer and Permission to Play within the county
(Riail 6.5, TO. 2015). The Guidelines and Criteria which will assist the
CCC in its deliberations are as follows:
f) The following criteria shall constitute “other relevant connection” for
the purposes of Bye-Laws and this Bye-Law.

(i) Urban to Rural Transfer! Applications for Permission to Play
A player from a designated Urban Club may, at any time, seek
Permission to Play for, or transfer to, any Rural Club without the
necessity of meeting any of the criteria and! or exceptions usually
associated with suchTransfers/Permission to Play.

(ii) Rural to Rural Transfer! Applications for Permission to Play
a) Parentage Rule — A player may apply for Permission to play for an
Independent Team or Transfer to a Club in the catchment area in
which his Parent was a Player in Adult Competition or, in exceptional
circumstances, a Member, who over a reasonable period of time, made
a proven contribution to that Club.
b) Primary School —A player may apply for Permission to Play or
Transfer to a Club / Independent Team where he is presently
attending or has attended Primary School. The Primary School rule
will only be taken into consideration where the player has been
attending this school or has attended for at least one full school year.
c) Proximity to Club Base - A player may apply for Permission to Play
or transfer to the Club / Independent Team based on proximity to
Club Ground.

(iii) Rural to Urban Transfer/ Applications for Permission to Play
a) Parentage Rule — A player may apply for Permission to Play or
Transfer to a Club in the catchment area in which his Parent was a
player in adult competition, or in exceptional circumstances, a
Member who, over a reasonable period of time, has made a proven
contribution to that Club.

b) A family moving residence into Portlaoise Parish from a different
Parish in the County with players from that family who are in their
16th year or younger, but have already played with a rural club
may apply for a Transfer to an urban club.”

13. From what the Tribunal was told by both parties, the Bye-Law has a long
history but, put simply, it seeks to regulate and, to a certain extent, protect
player development in rural clubs in the county of Laois as balanced against
the fact that Portlaoise GAA club is the sole club in the county’s principal
town. According to the 2011 Census, the population of Laois is 80,559 and that
of Portlaoise is 20,145 = 25% of the total population of Laois.

14. The claimant’s argument was that there had been misinterpretation and/or
unreasonably inflexible interpretation of Bye-Law 6 by the respondents. The
focus here was on the Bye-Law’s provision for designated Rural and Urban
Clubs such that Portlaoise GAA Club is the sole designated “Urban” Club
within County Laois. The complicating factor in this instance is, as the
claimant noted, while Portlaoise GAA Club is the dominant club in the town,
Portlaoise Parish – the catchment area for GAA purposes – is a wider area and
includes GAA clubs such as the Heath, Clonad and Park-Rathineska.

15. Accordingly, the claimant argued that (the illogical, unintended or unfair
consequence of the respondents’ decision is that a player from outside the
Portlaoise Parish/Catchment Area can move into that Parish/Catchment
Area to live permanently and is free to declare for any of the clubs within the
Parish/Catchment Area, including Portlaoise GAA Club; in contrast, a player
already within the Portlaoise Parish/Catchment Area and who has an
existing attachment to a First Club in that Parish/Catchment Area (pursuant
to Rule 6.4 of the Official Guide and Laois County Bye law 5), now appears to
be wholly restricted from ever transferring to Portlaoise GAA club. This was
not, the claimant argued, either the proper interpretation of the Bye-Law nor
did it reflect its original intention.


Respondents
16. The Respondents countered succinctly by stating that their general
interpretation of the Bye-Law 6 and specifically their interpretation of ByeLaw6(f)(iii)
– on Rural to Urban transfers; was driven principally by the
unambiguous designation in Bye-Law 6(b) of Portlaoise GAA club as the sole
“Urban“ club in the county and that all other clubs in the county were thus
“Rural” and including Heath, Clonad and Park-Rathineska.
Reasoned Decision
17. First, the Tribunal fully appreciates the claimant’s love of Gaelic football and
acknowledges his sincerity in seeking to develop as a player.

18. Second, the Tribunal’s view on arguments 1 and 2 noted above is that the
respondents acted in a procedurally fair manner (argument 1) and did not see
to act in any way contrary to the player’s welfare (argument 2); rather they
acted in good faith with respect to what they considered best reflected and
protected the ethos of the Association’s and the county’s rules on transfer
applications.

19. Third, the Tribunal is of the unanimous opinion that the substantive issue in
this case is that of argument 3.

20. Fourth, the majority view is that, as currently constituted, Bye-Law 6 and
particularly Bye Law 6(f)(iii)(b) contains an ambiguity or anomaly that does
not specifically take into account the situation, such as this, whereby a player
with an existing attachment to a First Club within the Portlaoise
Parish/Catchment Area subsequently seeks to transfer to another club within
that same Parish/Catchment Area. The Tribunal finds that this anomaly is
such that, by application of the contra proferentem rule of interpretation (where
there is doubt about the meaning of a clause in a contract, the words should
be construed against the person who drafted that contract), the claimant’s
application should succeed. The Tribunal further advises that the Laois
County Board, through their county committee and convention and usual
procedures, work to provide clarity or amend this aspect of their transfer
byelaws. Pending that clarification/amendment, this DRA decision is not to
be treated as a precedent and is distinguished to its facts.

21. Fifth, the above is reached by majority. The minority view held by Mr
Dowling Hussey BL, is as follows: “I disagree, with my fellow panel
members, as to there being any issue at law with the Laois bye laws as
presently constituted. In that, my view is, the respondents properly applied
the rules, they were obliged to consider, and it cannot follow that their
decision should be quashed. On the basis of the view just set out, and for
those reasons alone, I cannot concur with the decision made. Notwithstanding
the remarks just made, the claimant, and his father, personally impressed me,
there is no divergence from any remarks made, on the night or in writing, by
the rest of the panel in wishing them both well.”

Award and Directions
22. The Tribunal awards in final and binding determination of this dispute that
the claim succeeds and the application is upheld.

23. The decision is reached by majority pursuant to section 11.2 of the Dispute
Resolutions Code.

24. Pursuant to its powers under section 11.3 of the Disputes Resolution Code,
the Tribunal by majority orders that the transfer sought by the claimant be
deemed approved with immediate effect.

25. The Tribunal directs that Laois County Board should, prior to the beginning
of the next playing season in 2017, deal with the anomaly identified in it ByeLaws
on transfers in a manner that addresses with due clarity the future and
fair processing of player transfer applications between the existing clubs in
the Portlaoise Parish/Catchment Area.

Costs
26. No application for costs was made and nor is any order on costs.

27. The Tribunal orders that the claimant’s deposit be returned in full and that
the expenses of the DRA in relation to the hearing of this application, as
certified by the DRA Secretary, be met in full by the respondents.

Date of Oral Hearing: 1 June 2016
Date of Agreed Award: 23 June 2016
Signed: or by email agreement on
Colm O’Rourke
Arran Dowling Hussey
David Nohilly

633
Laois / Re: Portlaoise GAA vs Laois County Board
« on: December 09, 2016, 09:30:48 AM »
It might affect the smaller clubs in each parish as the loophole exists and the precedent has been set.

There's nothing to stop Stradbally and I'm only using them as an example to strip Annanough or Timahoe and to use this loophole to do it.

634
Laois / Re: Gaels amalgamations
« on: December 08, 2016, 09:24:31 PM »
Just a stab at it lads,done on the back of an envelope

Apologies to Mountrath for omitting them ,Ballyfin would  be an option for them

As regards the make up of the 2 Roinns,I've no doubt cases could be made for a few teams to be moved up or down.

My aim wasn't to disrespect or insult anyone,just a bit of daydreaming on my part.

635
Laois / Re: Schools Hurling
« on: December 08, 2016, 05:18:23 PM »
just spotted the CBS Result there now.

Top Oil North Leinster PP Sch SH “C” Final
Portlaoise CBS    1-14     Boyne CS  Trim  1-16   

636
Laois / Re: Gaels amalgamations
« on: December 08, 2016, 04:55:49 PM »
Playing god here lads and i fully expect to be torn apart and told why this couldnt work,but my overiding aim is to expose as many lads as possible that want to play hurling at the highest level in the county while also broadening the hurling base available to the Inter County set up.

14 Teams

Roinn 1

Borris Kilcotton Kyle
Camross
Rathdowney Erril
Abbeyleix
Clough Ballacolla
Portlaoise
The Harps

Roinn 2
Shanahoe/Colt/Clonad/Trumera (Raheen Parish Gaels)
Castletown/Slieve Bloom
Ballyfin
Clonaslee
Mountrath
Rosenallis
Ballinakill/Ballypickas/Park/Timahoe

All non fully amalgamated outfits would have the option of fielding their own club teams in the intermediate.




637
Laois / Re: Gaels amalgamations
« on: December 07, 2016, 05:50:05 PM »
This is a thread that keeps on giving....

Lads with axes to grind and agendas to push posing baseless rumours as fact or "hearsay".

I know of one timahoe hurler who on reading this said he didnt realise they were in such demand.

let the bidding commence........




638
Laois / Re: Portlaoise GAA vs Laois County Board
« on: December 07, 2016, 05:46:44 PM »
That was the risk Bueller. Have Portlaoise transferred people in? My initial point that clubs in the Portlaoise area (Heath Park Clonad and Portlaoise) have rule in place now where transfer within area is automatically rejected.


Helix your doing some amount of ducking and diving on this.

Portlaoise have damn well facilitated the transfer of players into their club,taking a case all the way to the DRA last year over an u16 which cost them over €2k.

Oh and its Portlaoise Parish not area,your mentioning of an Area would imply theres a grey area with regard to residency when there so patently isnt...

640
Laois / Re: Portlaoise GAA vs Laois County Board
« on: December 06, 2016, 09:56:39 PM »
The only reason they won  its case was the objection to transfer was put in through telephone than written form to county board. Didn't stand up when the case came. Had it been objected in written form they would have lost.

Factually incorrect there Helix

641
Laois / Re: Schools Hurling
« on: December 06, 2016, 05:28:12 PM »
According to the website,5 Teams in  Senior C in the North Leinster section

1. Portlaoise C.B.S.
2. Boyne C.S.Trim Co.Meath
3. Sc. Mhuire, Clane Co.Kildare
4. Mercy Sec. Sch., Kilbeggan
5. Col Naomh Cormac Kilcormac

Trim now go on and play the winners of the South Leinster and then play the winners of the Dublin schools for the Leinster title.

Would I be right in saying that competitive hurling would finished for this group as of today?.

642
Laois / Re: Portlaoise GAA vs Laois County Board
« on: December 06, 2016, 04:37:24 PM »
Portlaoise pull a double cross at last nights Convention and get their way for another year of cherry picking of neighboring talent. Transfer by laws, what transfer by laws?

So is it open season in Portlaoise Parish at this stage,any more details of what exactly happened?

643
Laois / Re: Schools Hurling
« on: December 06, 2016, 12:10:32 PM »
Only seeing this now,RS

Pity I didn't see it sooner and I would have tipped into it.

Any chance you might let us know the final score and who played well

644
Laois / Re: Laois Senior Hurling Championship 2016
« on: November 25, 2016, 07:15:31 PM »
One of the Ratheniska teams at underage has amalgamated with Ballinakill,that's what I was told by the official last night,There has been no official contact from Ballinakill to Ratheniska at Senior level regarding a gaels team.

645
Laois / Re: Laois u21 Hurling Championship 2016
« on: November 25, 2016, 11:30:03 AM »
Game called off

Thoughts with the family of the gentleman involved, R.I.P

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