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McConville And Fermanagh Manager Slam GAA Congress Voting System

McConville And Fermanagh Manager Slam GAA Congress Voting System
By PJ Browne
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Both Oisín McConville and Fermanagh football manager Kieran Donnelly want changes made to how voting is conducted at GAA Congress.

A motion to make major adjustments to the All-Ireland Football Championship format was defeated at a GAA Special Congress on Saturday. What was known as Proposal B received 50.6 per cent of the vote. That was well short of the 60 per cent required for the motion to pass.

Former Armagh footballer McConville believes that if there was total transparency to how delegates vote, rather than it being by secret ballot, the motion would have been much closer to passing.

Three years ago, a Club Players Association motion asking for transparency in voting received just 17 per cent support from delegates.


McConville calls for voting transparency at GAA Congress

"Absolutely, they should be transparent," McConville told BBC Sounds' GAA Social Podcast.

"I can tell you this: Things would change dramatically. You leave a county board meeting, and you're told to vote one way, and you go down there and vote in a different way - where's the trust?

"You won't believe the pressure that's put on in certain areas to vote in certain ways when it comes to Congress - whether that be for the presidency or something like today.


"Delegates change their mind over that weekend. If they leave a county board meeting on a Thursday night, and they're heading to Congress on a Saturday, they should vote the way that they said they would vote, the way it was expressed that they should vote. That is not happening. If that had happened today, I think we would have been very close to 60 per cent.

"It brings me back to the interview that Jarlath Burns did after he didn't get the [GAA] presidency. He said, 'I want to thank all those that voted for me, and I hold no ill will for those who said they'd vote for me, and didn't'. That tells you all you need to know."

15 October 2017; Scotstown manager Kieran Donnelly celebrates after the Monaghan GAA County Senior Football Championship final between Magheracloone and Scotstown at St Tiernach's Park in Monaghan. Photo by Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile



Donnelly, a recent appointment as Fermanagh manager who was in favour of proposal B, said what he found "most shocking" is the lack of a standardised system to how county boards decide which way they will vote.

"Every county carried their vote out differently," said Donnelly.

"Leitrim consulted the county management and the players, Longford the same, some didn't. Some counties went on the day, and it was how they felt on the day, which is incredible.


"We all love our game, and to take it so disparagingly, and take that approach does it a massive disservice.

"From the top down, they really have to look at it. You think about how other games have moved on, and how they're marketed now, are we going to do things as unprofessionally the next time - let every county go on their own whim on how they approach it? That's not good enough.

"You should nearly know how each club votes in each county. Nobody really knows that. A standardised approach is needed, and it needs to happen going into the next [Congress].


"Some county boards went on their own. The delegates decided without even discussing with the clubs. If you went to each club, and it was properly delivered, and each player went to a player spokesman to give their view, and they speak to the club committee before it's brought to the county committee meeting, well then I think you would get a fairer view of it.

"Some clubs were notified about a county meeting two days before it. Online meetings, some didn't get on, some didn't show up, some were maybe in the county replay of a semi-final on the Friday, so they couldn't meet. That's incredible. Then it was decided that delegates would make the decision in certain counties because some clubs didn't vote or couldn't make the meeting.

"That's where we're at. In no other organisation in the would that happen with something this size."


Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

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