Longford Leader columnist Mattie Fox: GAA must bite bullet and disband provincial councils

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Mattie Fox

Longford Leader columnist, Mattie Fox

The GAA has floated the notion that the provincial councils cease to exist. What a good idea.

Currently the provincial councils are well funded. There is no doubt about this. But if anyone can honestly say that the councils are useful for something, we’d love to hear it.

They have a secretary who is very well paid. There are staff also - and indeed they are working, but could easily and far more efficiently be employed in another setting.

It’s not a popular thing to suggest, but sooner or later Croke Park must bite this particular bullet and not be afraid to stay holding on.

Otherwise it will remain the status quo, with jobs for the boys.

In the Independent, on Friday, Martin Breheny asked “How many Central Council delegates seek a mandate on an issue before reaching a decision or even report back to their county boards? It’s a cosy club, no longer fit for purpose.”

Congress, may resist removing the councils from the existing structures. But congress, like Central Council, is also very dated, resistant to change, and by default political. Another cosy club.

In truth, nobody would even notice the passing of Provincial Councils when the day comes, as it inevitably must.

Okay, we will be confronted by all the eager GAA political climbers, who have their eyes fixed firmly on being chairman, or secretary, or some member of committee on the local Provincial council.

However, if we really want to progress the GAA as we now know it, there shouldn’t be any much discussion over the issue.