Crisis in Cork GAA

You’d have to wonder if Kevin O’Donovan’s brave attempt at changing the way Cork GAA approaches the organising of games, coaching and structures in the county has come to an end before it got any real legs.

The Cork County Board (CCB) Executive have met with him and no doubt impressed upon him that there is already a plan there and there is no need to be causing confusion with throwing another one, unofficial and all as it is, into the mix. They’ll have mentioned the red herring of costings and that Kevin’s plan has not been costed. It would be a surprise if the CCBs less detailed plan is costed at this early stage.

So what now for the Kevin O’Donovan Plan . Will it, as he hopes, get discussed at club level over the next few weeks. Will the ordinary club member get a chance to discuss in some detail what Kevin’s Plan has to offer.

I fear not.

Oh some clubs will bring it to the next meeting. Some delegates will even bring it up in their report from the CCB meeting. But many will not. And if asked about the report the committee members will be informed that Kevin’s Plan was an unofficial report and should not be discussed at any club meeting. Why? Because that ‘s how the CCB operates.Members will be told that The CCBs plan is almost ready and clubs will have ample time to discuss this in October or November or the week before the Annual Convention when voting on these new vital structures will take place.

So will clubs go ahead and hold public meetings or even club meetings to discuss this hugely important plans and its 25 subsections in spite of what the CCB executive or delegates instruct them to do?

ah, probably not.



Fear of not getting a fixture re-fixed if needed, fear of not getting County matches at their local pitch,  fear of decisions at board level going against them, fear of reduced tickets to All Ireland Finals (if we ever get there again). You see there is a perception out there, rightly or wrongly that this is how the CCB operates. Clubs don’t want to stand up and been seen as trouble makers. Their delegates just want to be able to go in to the meetings and agree to fixtures, agree to whatever the top table suggests and ensure that they get on with everyone in order that they get what their club deserves.  Oh Some clubs will face this fear, most of the junior clubs in the city will, some clubs in North Cork will and a handful in West Cork will face the CCB down but that’s about it.

Kevin O’Donovan is not looking for heads to roll or a coup against the CCB top table. He wants Cork to have a long term plan, a structure that will help Cork catch up with and compete with the stronger counties in both hurling and football.

Will this plan be considered by Cork GAA? I really don’t think so.

I sincerely hope I’m wrong. Kevin’s Plan deserves to be discussed, it deserves to have a critical eye  thrown over it by people who live their lives through the GAA and who have the best interests of Cork GAA in their hearts.

We live in hope.