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The GAA Has Gone Too Far In Their New War On The Internet

The GAA Has Gone Too Far In Their New War On The Internet
By Conor Neville
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Last night was Laois GAA Convention night in the Heritage Hotel. In the past, this has meant a night curled up in front of the Leinster Express Sport twitter page, watching the updates as they come through.

It is no exaggeration to say that the Leinster Express Sport's live updates have made household names of men like Martin Byrne, Laois GAA's peerless finance officer.

And who among us can forget that moment last year when Byrne himself, along with Tom Jones, Gerry Kavanagh, Brian Allen and Paschal McEvoy were elected the Laois reps to Congress? As the Leinster Express Sport put it themselves #whatatimetobealive.

However, there was some disquiet in the lead-up to this convention that all would not be as it was in previous years.

The rumblings started in the south-west. It was there that the first shots were fired in the new war against cyberspace. Ennis became 2015's answer to Soloheadbeg.

Three months back, a meeting of the Clare County Board witnessed unrestrained attacks on the internet and all those who surf in it.

Chairman and non-Balls.ie reader Michael McDonagh set the tone.


Some people hide behind social media and say what they like. They are anonymous. I know nothing about it. I was never on a website or a computer in my life.

As the Clare meeting developed, the practice of live-tweeting conventions and county board meetings was explicitly attacked.


It was the first sign that the GAA were clamping down on piss-taking twitter updates.


At the time, we thought immediately of the Leinster Express Sport twitter account and their proud tradition of extracting the urine at the Laois convention.

Last night things started as normal.

The delegates stubborn aversion to punctuality was unchanged.   

As ever, there was the odd delightful bon mot.  


There were changes this time around.

The great man didn't disappoint.


Then came the thunderbolt. Apparently, the chairman as informed by a twitter savvy colleague that the Leinster Express Sport had been having an excessive amount of fun at the meeting.

An inquiry from Cliodhna O'Neill revealed that the correct procedures hadn't even been followed.

This is the GAA's Section 31 moment.

Read more: 6 Of The Worst Title Defences In History

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