Having confirmed his decision to step down from his role as the Director General of the GAA in March 2018, Páraic Duffy has elaborated upon his reasons for this sudden announcement.
Speaking to Sean O'Rourke this morning, Duffy outlined how his time in the role had enabled him to do all he could hope to achieve:
I personally feel that ten years is long enough in this role and that whatever you can do for the organisation, if you haven't [done] it by now, it's not very likely that you're going to do it in the future.
Naturally, Duffy was questioned on the issue of Colm Cooper and his contentious testimonial dinner.
With almost everyday offering a new slant on why Cooper should or should not be undertaking such an event, Duffy's status - despite some previous uncertainty due to so much whispering - was clear:
I did say to him are you sure you're doing the right thing here? I did say to him that the GAA would not be supporting it and we're not supporting it.
When probed on what separated Cooper using his standing for a function such as this, as opposed to say an autobiography or media work, Duffy drew a very clear distinction:
If you do an autobiography or punditry, you're not taking funds that could go to the GAA.
If you're holding a major dinner you're going to the same people to support the dinner or testimonial as you would to support a club event.
That's the big concern I would have. Plus the fact that it is against the ethos of the GAA to run a dinner where the individual benefits. We don't do that.
While Duffy's concerns are valid, why there is a distinction between the people who actually buy the autobiographies or support punditry through one means or another, and those that attend club events remains unclear.
Are these not often one in the same?
Furthermore, given that the fairly expensive price per head for Cooper's testimonial dwarfs what any club function could hope to charge, is it not the amount, rather than the principle, that Duffy seems to be taking issue with?
In attempting to avoid such issues going forward, Duffy feels that the GAA need to look into it:
It's tricky because our current rules don't allow us to deal with it but I think we need to look at the rules.
We are going to look at this. It will involve maybe taking legal advice or deciding ourselves how we want to handle it.
With just over 5 months left as Director General of the GAA, there seems to be no doubt what issue Duffy sees himself addressing before departing the stage once and for all.
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