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Messages - Jim_Murphy_74

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General discussion / Re: Irish Hockey
« on: August 02, 2018, 07:50:42 PM »
Ger Canning knowledge on a part with his GAA knowledge.


GAA Discussion / Re: Dublin v Ros Croke Park 5/8/18
« on: August 02, 2018, 03:07:00 PM »
Dublin selection will be interesting.

If Gavin rests players then would be the a second string anxious to prove a point give Roscommon a harder time of it?

It's hard to guess the Roscommon mindset. They have nothing to lose but I don't know could you say they were inhibited in the last games so does that change much?

It will certainly be an anti-climactic end to their season.


  Those capital funding grants you mention, do they require matched funding by the clubs like some grants here in the North?

For a department grant you must match with 5% of the amount you are requesting.  (That can be in the form of a cash or a loan approval)

Also at the moment the sharing of facilities has a low weighting in the scoring system.  If that was adjusted it could skew matters greatly.  Note that the scoring is only awarded if evidence is provided. (ie written agreement or license between particular sports).

I am not giving the figure to portray a bias towards GAA.  My point is if you total up the money the GAA get it is a lot and would be hard to replace if jeopardized. 

If the GAA want to open up their facilities then it should be on their own terms. I personally think they should but only under license from Croke Park using transparent policies and procedures.

That would be my view too.  I think it’s time to develop and publish such policies for the distribution to all clubs for discussion.  That way if a vote comes to congress on this (I feel that is inevitable) people have a context for the vote.  So when a GAA club or county apply for a grant they will have a standard template and licensing agreement to submit outlining what the terms and conditions of sharing any facilities.

I'm saying that because Cork GAA availed of Government funding for PuC they can't be forced to open it up to soccer just like Drogheda and Louth CC don't have to make their facilities suit GAA before they too also can avail of Government funding. If one is to be forced to then so must the other. I can see where the high percentage of capital funding may cause problems though and the community aspect was the Irish Government covering themselves for future challenges.

I know you are fond of this example but there are many differences. 

1.The GAA voluntarily opened PuC, nobody forced them.  The government may have rattled their sabre but remember the GAA claim that they had legal advice that they had fulfilled State Aid requirements.

2. This is about relative priority and share of the money.  If the Dundalk come in with signed agreements with local rugby, hockey club, athletics or other community groups it will count for a whole lot more than the dimensions of the playing area.  The scoring system, appeals process etc.. for the department is all published and subject to legal review.

3. As you acknowledge, the amount of the government funding for a specific project, relative to overall grants to various organisation determines whether a grant can be considered state aid.  Whether or not there is joint ownership is also relevant.  That is what brought PuC investment into spotlight.  So whether the FAI own the new development in it’s entirety and how much money they get will be significant.

So while you may feel that some kind of quid pro-quo between the GAA and soccer (and I can see your point), it just will not really come into play that often.



I'd image it's the same number as soccer grounds designed with GAA in mind.
Correct. So what exactly are you arguing here?

A few salient points:

1. GAA rules preclude more sports than just soccer.
2. GAA rules preclude  other sports from more than just their pitches.
3. No other sporting organization has a written rule precluding other sports from using their facilities.
4. Nothing in the government policy paper states that any particular sport must design with another sport in mind.
5. Policy paper does not propose to preclude any sporting organisation from funding on grounds of single use
6. What the policy paper does state is infrastructure with multi-use and potential for high utilization will receive priority in funding. 
7. The specific clauses related to PuC come from an EU paper.  This is because the volume of funding relative to overall sports capital funding program was very high.  The government thought based on precedent set they could be accused of granting state aid to one organisation to extent that is provide unfair advantage.  The government themselves asked for EU recommendation to avoid a third party raising the case.   So this “community” clause is specific to PuC.
8. Looking at last years capital funding the GAA are doing very well relative to other sports.   

Based on these points, I don’t believe it’s disloyal or inappropriate for GAA members to take a discussion on the relative benefit gained from points 1-3 in light of points 4-8.  

The documents referred to above can be found online:

Sports Policy:
EU Ruling on Pairc Ui Chaoimh:
GAA Official Guide Part 1:
Local sports capital allocations 2017:
Non local sports capital allocations 2017:
Other sports capital allocations 2017:


I see this new stadium in Drogheda is on a green field site owned by Louth County Council. Surely it will need to meet this community requirement and be fit to hold GAA games to get Government funding, no?

I don't know if full plans have been lodged so I won't comment on main pitch dimensions.  However even a half-arsed outfit like the FAI play the game by announcing that they will have several full sized pitches that are available to all the community.  They can point that they have no rules precluding use of the facilities. 

Now if the plans when lodged with Louth County Council don't have a sufficiently large pitch and the GAA want to raise this an issue they need to be careful how the handle it. 

Louth County Council previously wanted to develop a multi-use facility at Dundalk IT with the GAA on board.  The Louth County Board pulled out over concerns of "not wholly owning" a facility they were investing in.  They then decided to redevelop of the County Grounds but after 5 years of to'ing and fro'ing they decided not to in April of this year.  So that's two developments the council will point to that crashed and burned due to GAA messing about.   In the meantime they feel they have lost business to Dublin when Dundalk had big European soccer nights.  Twice bitten, they might want to drive on this time without the GAA.

So taken in isolation, I see your point.  However, if Louth County Council feels burned by GAA and wants to proceed without them or their requirements I suspect it won't raise much of a whimper.


Hurling Discussion / Re: Hurling championship 2018
« on: July 30, 2018, 02:43:11 PM »
Limerick will fear neither with the extra weeks rest .

Limerick had no fear travelling to Ennis for round robin game.  Granted they didn't have an extra  week's rest but with a Munster final a stake they didn't shine.  Once they realize that Clare wouldn't wilt to physical stuff their plan B was pure containment of John Conlon.

If Clare get through the All-Ireland is a derby game.  Derby games seldom follow form.


In that game in particular I think the Limerick management over thought the situation in taking off a forward and bringing on a defender to sweep in front of Conlon and you playing with the wind. They handed the impetus to Clare with that move.
You'd have hoped they've learned from it.

It may have been a factor but also Cian Lynch, Seamus Flanagan and Kyle Hayes in particular did not cope well with Clare's close attention that day.  Remember too that the sweeper was a result of the hay Conlon was making prior to that.  Something had to change either way.  Richie Mc Carthy alone wasn't the answer either.


Hurling Discussion / Re: Hurling championship 2018
« on: July 30, 2018, 02:08:48 PM »
Limerick will fear neither with the extra weeks rest .

Limerick had no fear travelling to Ennis for round robin game.  Granted they didn't have an extra  week's rest but with a Munster final a stake they didn't shine.  Once they realize that Clare wouldn't wilt to physical stuff their plan B was pure containment of John Conlon.

If Clare get through the All-Ireland is a derby game.  Derby games seldom follow form.


I think soccer has suffered in this whole fiasco. Their poster boy, Duff is shown up for the nasty piece of work that he is. A professional game with no worthwhile stadia. People start wondering who's the professionals and who's the amatuers.

If they have then it's an irrelevant side effect when it comes to GAA members deciding what should/shouldn't be in GAA rule book.  FAI amateurism is well known for a long time.

Another thing is I'd never have turned the fundraiser and what it was for, but now a lot of people are asking why a multi millionaire's family needs a gather up organised by a load of other multi millionaires.  :o

Again from a GAA point of view that's irrelevant.  The GAA made it amply clear in their first statement on this matter.  They stated they were fully supportive of this charity venture but the issue lay within their rulebook.   So they defined the issue as being wholly about the GAA, not about FAI, not about Liam Miller's wealth and not about the worthiness of this charity venture versus others.  Agenda firmly set by GAA that this is a GAA-only matter.



I'd have no problems with that.

Would the owners of Tolka park or a Wesley College like to be told, no grants unless such facilities can accomodate gaelic  games?

I can only see win win for the GAA.

I think where it can be done, yes.  Of course the problem lies in expecting a government department to continue their joined up thinking beyond a white-paper.

I don't think for example that IRFU/FAI should have been let off the hook so easy when Aviva plans were amended.  However given the GAA rules at the time (not withstanding the one-off opening of Croker) they were not in a position of strength.

I think the GAA rules held them back when pushing for Tallaght to be a municipal stadium.  Hard to argue for access when you could not offer a quid pro-quo. Boy did the SRFC crew latch on to it.  If the rules were amended that crowd of hooligans could have been shown up for what they were.

As I said earlier in this thread I strongly believe that Limerick should have both a 50K and 15K stadium shared between GAA and IRFU.  I think it would have been better for both IRFU and GAA.  It would also have been better use of tax-payers money.

So I believe you amend the rules and play a straight card in dealing with the consequences.


I'd say the GAA has nothing to lose if the Irish Government decide to prioritise multi-use facilities as that would mean the likes of Tolka park as mentioned earlier would need developed to facilitate the largest sport played competitively on this island being Gaelic Games and I don't mean sticking a set of GAA goal posts at either end of a soccer or rugby sized pitch.

So we should amend the rules so?


I will have a bash at it so.

We are in direct competition with soccer and rugby. We don't want to give them a leg up by providing them with first class facilities that our volunteers, through dint of hard work, have managed to provide for our players ans supporters to avail of, whilst the professional sports, who are quick to sneer at us for being backward,  have not a pot to piss in.

We are not in direct competition with Prince or Neil Diamond so much.

So it is about best promoting our sports, rather than a point of principle? 

If then the Irish government follows through on it's policy paper of prioritizing multi-use facilities and the rule becomes disadvantageous then we change it?


My personal belief is that the event does not further the aims of the GAA. Smarter people than me seem to agree. When soccer and rugby were let into Croke Park - yes, it was for the greater good - but the rules had to be changed as it didn't further the aims of the GAA.

Just for the record, the first part of the text in Rule 5.1 reads " not in conflict with the Aims and Objects of the Association".  So it doesn't say any event must "further the aims of the GAA".   To me it's difficult to judge if other sports associations are "in conflict with the Aims and Objects of the Association".   

The second part of text reads:

"Grounds controlled by Association units shall not be used or permitted to be used, for Horse Racing, Greyhound Racing, or for Field Games others than those sanctioned by Central Council."

So to me that reads that Central Council can sanction any games "not in conflict with the Aims and Objects of the Association".  Hence they could allow American football into Croke Park without recourse to Congress. 

In contrast for rugby and football they have always chosen to recourse to congress.  I believe that is because such games were seen as British and to be frank, that was fine in it's time but is not now.

The reality is that Central Council have always had control from a rules point of view but chose not to exert it from a policy point of view.   

As I posted earlier it's not government policy to aim for multi-use, maximum-utilization projects.   The GAA needs to strongly consider the advantage of their current policy versus access to government funding.


Edit:  I see in article that Central Council have been told to be ready to vote on this tomorrow.   This aligns with my belief that within the rules, it's up to them, not congress.

Why though?
They're different sports.
I played football all my life and wouldn't know one end of a hurley from the other.
Plenty of people for whom the opposite is true.
I've been to one game of hurling in my entire life.

If you look at the example I gave you, the point is that they are not chasing "multi-use" as a point of principle but really to get "maxi-use".  While many GAA clubs are well used, their higher-profile capital investments are not.

Take PuC and forget about charity events and other sports.  Waterford hurling fans had no home games in the round robin and for Limerick game Cusack Park Ennis had no toilet facilities for 3/4 of the ground.   From a Munster hurling point of view why did the Munster Council sanction investment in a ground to compete with Thurles ahead of getting all county grounds up to a basic level first?  The All-Ireland quarter-final got 10k at it because it didn't suit Clare and Wexford fans.  That is two years running that hurling quarter-finals were fcuked around with to "pay back" for PuC.

Myopic stuff when you sit on the boundary and look at it.

Equally the Department of Sport are saying that they don't want to split the limit pot to develop under-utilized stadia.  One could argue this is quiet-wise.   Go back to the Limerick example.  Who loses out if Munster rugby used Gaelic grounds for big games outside of summer?  Especially if they had reciprocated by giving the old smaller Thomond over to Limerick GAA for Limerick football games or as a smaller more atmospheric spot for club championships?



Just on the 'multi-use' stadia thing, it would be interesting to look at the number of different sports, across different age grades and genders that are played in GAA stadiums & facilities when compared with those owned/run by other bodies.

What is equally interesting is to step out of the single association box and look at the macro picture.   Kieran Shannon gives a good example in today's examiner of Limerick.  Look at Thomond Park and Gaelic grounds, two stadia within sight of each other.   Neither filled to capacity that often and both got government funding.  From a government point of view it would have been better to develop one stadium for use for big Munster championship games and big European rugby games.  A smaller 15K stadium would do for most GAA and rugby pro-12 games. 

Instead you end up splitting your funding for under-used 25k and 50k stadia that are not quite the fit for either group.

When spending in sport is limited then that is the picture that the department are looking at and this is what they are talking about in their policy paper.  Also you might find that the likes of rugby and soccer do have all age groups and genders using their facilities.


It's amazing how you seem to think Damien duff is the bad guy in all this despite everything the GAA have done in relation to this to date.

Quite true.  As a GAA member I don't particularly care about Duff's opinion but I can see why he said it.

As a GAA member I have issues with how the association top brass have handled things since the story broke:

1) They release a statement saying they support the charity but are hamstrung by their rules. Why hadn't they have the judgement to use ambiguity in rules to avoid this?
2) Why if the GAA are determined not to let it go ahead (to the extent of releasing a statement that they had sought legal advice on the matter) did they then go and have a meeting with organizers. A meeting that drags the controversy on another while.  Then no result from the meeting except the GAA will consider the matter.  What did the meeting add to this, given that the GAA state that this is about their rules, not the event itself.

3) They do this at a time when the Department of Sport have just released a document stating that best value for sporting investment is multi-use stadia and such projects should get priority.  What a time to suggest you are heading in the opposite direction!  The 3 big ticket items in for capital funding this year are RDS, Tolka Park and Pairc Tailteann.  Precedent suggests that the GAA would get the largest share here.  I wonder how this will impact on department officials decisions now.

Regardless on one's view on sharing of facilities, no GAA member can be happy with the handling of this incident.


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