Connacht to review assault on officials
The Irish Times – Tuesday, November 29, 2011
GAELIC GAMES NEWS ROUND-UP: CONNACHT COUNCIL will review the appropriateness of playing provincial club finals at the grounds of one of the finalists. The review arises from the recent controversial provincial final between St Brigid's of Roscommon and Galway's Corofin.
The provincial council will also decide tomorrow evening on what measures to take in response to the assault on match officials that took place after the match, won narrowly by St Brigid's.
Corofin were angered by the decisions of referee Liam Devenney, who along with his match officials was pursued by supporters of the Galway club and had to be given an escort from the pitch. Last Friday's meeting of the Connacht Council considered the matter and will conduct a hearing tomorrow and decide what action to take.
"There is always a review of provincial finals independent of any disciplinary considerations," said Connacht secretary John Prenty. "That review will include the venue and whether it's advisable to hold finals at a home venue of one of the teams involved.
"I'd have to say though that we have done this in the past without any difficulties. Corofin won a final against Charlestown at their ground. Ballina hosted a final (2004 against Killererin). I'm not sure that the venue was the problem but we may look at that in the future.
"We'll be dealing with what happened on Wednesday and hope to finalise what we're doing then."
Mayo referee Devenney was criticised for giving a disproportionate number of frees to St Brigid's and he was surrounded by supporters. It has been alleged that an umpire was struck in the disorderly scenes that followed.
Meanwhile, the GAA's playing rules committee meets tonight and must finalise any proposals that it hopes to bring to next year's congress. The committee, selected by association president Christy Cooney to bring forward proposals to address any urgently-needed reforms, has met on a number of occasions.
Among the proposals which have been discussed are reform of the square-ball rule along the lines of that trialled in the national league last year, an advantage rule, rolling substitutes or inter-change as used in International Rules and a requirement for the ball to go out of play before a match can conclude.
The committee includes players' representatives Dessie Farrell, chief executive of the Gaelic Players Association, and the organisation's chairman Donal Óg Cusack as well as managerial representatives in Kilkenny's Brian Cody and Kildare's Kieran McGeeney.
The deadline facing the committee is the next Central Council meeting on Saturday week, which will be the last opportunity for any proposed changes to the playing rules to be discussed and accepted for forwarding to April's congress for inclusion in the clár.
The meeting of the GAA's management committee on the same weekend will also consider the Slattery report on county grounds, which recommends reductions in permitted capacity at a number of venues.
Elsewhere, the AIB Skills Challenge will be rolled out next January and February, across each of the provinces. All clubs who have won their county finals in either code across the grades will be eligible to host an event. A shortlist of eligible clubs from each province will be chosen at random and one club from each province will be selected to host the challenge in their club.
The challenge will be hosted by prominent players, Kerry captain Colm Cooper, Tipperary goalkeeper Brendan Cummins, Dublin All Star Paul Flynn and Kilkenny's JJ Delaney.
Finally the publishers of arts magazine The Moth have joined forces with the GAA Social Initiative, inspired by former president Mary McAleese (who is patron of the initiative) to counter rural isolation, to produce a tour of Shane Connaughton's football-themed drama The Pitch. The production, sponsored by Calor, is currently playing at GAA clubs around the country.
It was incorrectly stated in yesterday's match report of the Leinster club hurling final that no Wexford club had won the provincial title for 15 years. This should have read 13 years. Castletown of Laois were successful in 1996 and Rathnure won the championship in 1998 and reached the following year's All-Ireland final.