Kilkenny GAA Board chairman, Ned Quinn
Kilkenny are gearing up for a big battle on behalf of the hurling fraternity at annual GAA Congress.
While there has been long and constant debate about changing the format of the All-Ireland football championship at upcoming Congress, the ramifications for clubs and hurling haven't been mentioned at all.
This wasn’t right, Kilkenny County Board chairman, Ned Quinn insisted.
“We are a small voice at Congress - five votes - but we can make noise,” warned Mr Quinn, when he championed the cause of clubs and hurling at the first monthly meeting of the new year.
The Mooncoin official warned in his annual report to Kilkenny Convention that the talked about changes to the concluding stages of the All-Ireland football championship would have a serious knock-on effect.
If introduced, the changes would lead to the bringing forward of the date of the All-Ireland football final.
He said at that time that the thinking appeared to be that if the changes came about, then the GAA fixtures programme at club level should be trouble free.
Not so, he said in his annual report, and he emphatically repeated that message on Monday night.
He told delegates his reading of the situation was that if changes were made to the closing stages of the football championship, then it followed the hurling semi-finals and final would have to be switched too.
Delegates were told the Leinster hurling final could end up being played in early June, for example.
“There are serious ramifications for clubs and the game of hurling,” Mr Quinn argued.
Kilkenny will discuss motions and matters relating to Congress at the February monthly meeting of the ’Board when clubs will be given the chance to make their views known.
Meanwhile, clubs have been told that insurance premia will now be determined by past history in the Players Injury Benefit Scheme.
Quotes for players insurance will be based and influenced by the amount of claims, if any, over the previous three years.
Kilkenny officials were told at a meeting in Croke Park on Saturday that 60% of claims were made by 30% of clubs.
Hence the move to basing the new premia on past history.
In good place?
“In Kilkenny, we as a group of 41 clubs, have qualified for a rebate over the past four years,” ’Board secretary, Jimmy Walsh reminded delegates.
“Maybe we are in a good place,” he added.
Players insurance costs €1,000 per adult team; €1,200 per juvenile team and this year the under-21 team premium will be reduced to €250 from €400.
In other news, the County Board was told that eight clubs were failing in their duty to provide at least one referee for games locally.
The eight clubs may yet be brought before the Management Committee to explain themselves.
“This is totally unfair of those clubs,” insisted Ned Quinn. “The other clubs are expected to carry them.”
He said every club was expected to provide at least one referee for games.
The meeting was also told that the football competitions would begin at the end of January.
For more from Monday’s meeting see page 98.