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Paul Flynn Hits Back At Colm O'Rourke Over GPA 'Bullshit' Comments

Paul Flynn Hits Back At Colm O'Rourke Over GPA 'Bullshit' Comments

In his Sunday Independent column last week, Colm O'Rourke resumed his attack on the GPA, characterising much of the organisation's activity as 'bullshit'.

The GPA, he said, had morphed into a 'monster' which was massively over-sensitive to criticism. He referred to his experience a couple of years back when an article critical of the GPA was met with orchestrated personal attacks on social media.

He downplayed the importance of many of the GPA's welfare programmes, saying that the problems of addiction among GAA players were no worse than for the general population and that a host of agencies already existed to deal with such problems.

He suggested that many of the problems faced by today's players should be met with an old fashioned exhortation to 'get over it'. He said that today's young men do not have the mental strength of their gruff predecessors.

The GPA newly elected secretary Paul Flynn has branded those criticism as 'unfair'

It's breaking down the stigma for people to use them and it's making it very accessible for the players to use them. So I think they're  great services, brilliant services and in many ways they change lives. I’ve lost a friend to suicide so I know what that’s like first hand. If those services save one life then they’re worthwhile, end of story. I got involved in the GPA is because I want to see more of that. They’ve changed many players’ lives with regards scholarships and stuff like that.

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In addition, Flynn expressed 'disappointment' with the GAA's proposals to alter the championhip format, which essentially amount to reviving the Tommy Murphy Championship.

It’s disappointing the three new proposals are very conservative. The GPA put forward a proposal voted in by 31 of the 32 counties and I don’t even think it got a hearing with Central Council so it’s not going to go to Congress. I don’t think there is anybody out there who disagrees change is required. I don’t think everybody agrees on what the system should be but the changes they looked for are not changes, just the same thing practically with one or two alterations.

Flynn took a three month break from football over the winter months in an attempt to shed the niggling groin injury that assailed him all last season.

[Irish Examiner]

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