Kilkenny GAA clubs have been warned that some popular fund-raisers could be putting them in the firing line if anything goes wrong.
For years activities like felling trees and gathering scrap metal for sale to raise badly needed funds have been used by cash strapped clubs.
Now clubs have been warned that these could be “no, no” activities in case there was an accident that would lead to an insurance claim.
Even a popular activity like having a bouncy castle at a family club day could be a risk, delegates were warned at Monday’s monthly meeting of the County Board.
Secretary Jimmy Walsh told delegates there were difficulties about getting insurance on non core and fund-raising activities for GAA clubs. It was found that despite extensive enquiries, such insurance was hard to come by.
The whole insurance/claim issue was a minefield and it was getting worse chairman, Ned Quinn, warned.
“From next year a hurler injured without a helmet - you haven’t a hope,” he told delegates. “A footballer injured without a gum shield - you haven’t a hope.”
He told clubs they had better “batten down the hatches” in terms of insurance because they had to cover themselves any way they could.
The debate was sparked when officers asked for an update on how many clubs had lodged a Health and Safety statement with the ’Board. It turned out that despite repeated requests, three clubs had failed to file a statement.
Mr Quinn said that such statements were the first line of defence if a club ended up in court over an insurance claim. A statement wasn’t a guarantee against anything, but it was a procedure that must be completed.
“Get the paperwork in place,” was his advice.
Mr Walsh, who has been working closely with Croke Park officials on the issue, said that activities like collecting scrap, cycles, white collar boxing and using chainsaws for felling trees were not covered by the regular club insurance.
“It frightened me to hear the number making claims, and the sort of claims involved,” he added.
He pointed out that some claims involved hurlers picking up injuries when not wearing a helmet during drills in a warm-up, which was most unusual.
He told clubs with any concerns or inquiries to contact Sinead Quinn in Cork Park (firstname.lastname@example.org).
“Sinead has offered to assist clubs in putting best practice controls in place in order to run a safe event and protect participants and clubs,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kilkenny have put the last of the county team Management Committees in place for next season. They are:
Under-21 hurling - Brian Ryan (Fenians), Tommy Shefflin (Ballyhale Shamrocks), Liam Dowling (St Martin’s), Tom O’Hanlon (Mooncoin).
Minor hurling - Pat Hoban (Mullinavat), Pat Nolan (Blacks and Whites), Jimmy Meagher (St Lachtain’s), Sean Kelly (St Martin’s). Intermediate hurling - Pat O’Grady (Blacks and Whites), Tom Murphy (Mooncoin), Pat O’Neill (Young Irelands), Paschal Connolly (Clara).
Junior football - Christy Walsh (Bennettsbridge), Peter Dukelow (Dicksboro), Pat O’Hanlon (Dicksboro), Pat Mulrooney (Clara).