20 April 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Giving his personal viewpoint on the county’s ongoing hurling controversy, JOHN GRAHAM says a line should be drawn in the sand – and suggests someone who could broker a deal and bring both sides together.

n the weekend that the new National Hurling Development Plan is launched at Annual Congress by incoming President Liam O’Neill Monaghan were due to take part in the final of the Allianz Hurling League division 3A against Fingal in Tullamore.
But instead of listening to the clash of the ash when these two met in what would have been a stirring encounter, the whole thing has been reduced to a war of words that will do little to bring about a satisfactory resolution.
Speaking about the new Hurling Development Plan, Liam O’Neill is on record as saying that “hurling is hanging by a thread” and his solution in the new plan is a “people based solution” and is about “games first” because “if you don’t play games you can’t develop”.
The Monaghan situation is a total contradiction of that principle and does a terrible injustice to the game of hurling and those working to keep the game alive and develop it in Monaghan. In a detailed statement, released only to the News Desk at the Northern Standard and posted on the Monaghan GAA website last week, Monaghan County Board set about explaining and even justifying and defending their position and the stance taken.
The statement was issued by Monaghan County Committee, (Coiste Chontae Mhuineachain) although it appears unclear whether it was put to a full meeting of Monaghan Co Board or a full meeting of the Management Committee – I understand no such meetings were called to discuss the matter.
It might be reasonable to assume that it was preferable not to put these matters to a full meeting of the County Committee as a full meeting might in fact have backed the hurlers and taken a decision that would not be as damaging to the image of the GAA in the county. In fact if public opinion in the county at present is any guideline to go by, there is a very strong reaction even among the clubs.
The clubs though have to shoulder some blame here as they had it within their rights to put a proposal to the last meeting of the County Committee or even get a special County Committee meeting convened to discuss a proposal regarding the club football matches.
The County Committee statement also seems to try and somehow discredit Mattie Lennon and his claims and even goes so far as to drag Fingal into the equation and concludes with a rather hollow assurance regarding acting in the best interests of all participants and supporters in Gaelic games in Monaghan. The county hurlers should have been playing in Tullamore on Sunday last and all the reasons and excuses and self-righteous claims cannot change that.
In the interests of everyone a line should be drawn in the sand and the relevant parties should come together to try and resolve this issue because all Mattie Lennon was doing, was seeking parity of esteem for his players and to …

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