Fermanagh decides voting strategy for Congress

Liam O'Neill's term as GAA President concludes this weekend.

Liam O’Neill’s term as GAA President concludes this weekend.

A special count board meeting was held on Monday to decide the county’s voting strategy for the 60 plus motions on this weekend’s Congress clár in the Slieve Russell Hotel.

Quite a number of the motions are of a technical nature and emanate from the Rules Advisory Committee/ Ard Comhairle. Essentially house keeping measures to tidy up existing rules, they will be supported by Fermanagh’s delegation.

This year, under the five year rule, this will be a playing rule Congress and a number of motions dealing with those are on the clár.

After discussion on Monday evening the delegates from the small number of clubs who attended the meeting in the Enniskillen Gaels club house voted to oppose a number of these.

Proposals getting Fermanagh support include:

A. That the goalkeeper upon receiving a pass from a team-mate must play the ball away with the foot.

B. When a player catches the ball from a fisted or open hand pass by a team mate, he shall not in turn play the ball away by a fisted or open hand pass to one of his team.

C. When a team has completed two consecutive movements of the ball by hand or fist, the next move must be to kick the ball by foot.

The county will be supporting a proposal to do away with the format in the All-Ireland minor championship which currently allows for beaten provincial finalists a back door re-entry into national quarter finals.

Also there will be support for a proposal that Central Council gets the power to authorise the use of Croke Park and all county grounds for games other than those controlled by the Association.

This proposal generated contrasting opinions with some expressing concern that it would lead eventually to this idea filtering down to club level. However since the proposal was solely concerned with county grounds and with Central Council the governing body on this, the proposal will be supported.

A motion from the Irvinestown club, dealing with substitutions for players who may or may not have suffered concussion, passed at the Fermanagh County Convention, has been gelled into a composite motion.

It was pointed out that this composite motion now had a certain amount of ambiguity about it and it was agreed to deal with this on the day after the issue had been on the Congress floor.

Motions dealing with hurling disciplinary matters in the main hinged on the opening motion, seeking for the maximum number of substitutions permitted during normal time to be six.

There was the view that the black card didn’t have a significant role to play in hurling so this will be opposed. However a proposal in hurling that a player who receives a second yellow card be replaced with a substitute will not be supported.

Also in hurling a suggestion that only one defender be on the goal line for a penalty strike was rejected.

The county will support a proposal that inter-county under 21 hurling and football competitions the playing time will be two periods of thirty five minutes each.
On the question of enforcing the  closed season / collective training regulations, Central Council is proposing the introduction of penalties, one of which is that a county forfeits its next home game in the national league. Delegates felt that this should be supported.