Youghal age-grade motion fails to find favour

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By Eoghan Cormican

Former GAA president Christy Cooney is in favour of the minor age-grade at inter-county level returning to U18.

Cooney spoke on behalf of a Youghal motion at yesterday’s Cork convention which proposed discontinuing the U17 and U20 inter-county age-grades, with U18 and U21 coming back into play in their stead.

The motion was beaten 56 votes to 37, but not before former GAA president Cooney argued that the chief reason for changing minor from U18 to U17 three years ago — to significantly reduce the number of Leaving Cert students playing minor for their county— had “borne out to be totally untrue”.

“I would question anybody that would argue against the success of the minor (U18) and U21 grades of many, many decades. They served our association extremely well. From the experience of our own club, any [18-year old] player that is playing with our club is not doing his Leaving Cert. They are all doing it at 19.

“My and our club’s concern is that U17 will become a developmental competition, as per the recent recommendation of the fixture task force, and could be played at any time or place during the year, and would certainly be a low-profile competition.

Cork GAA CEO Kevin O’Donovan spoke against the motion: “Cast your minds back to when Cork were in this year’s All-Ireland minor football final. If that was U18, all 24 boys on that day would be eligible to play adult games. Imagine what it would have done to our club championships. We would not have made our Munster deadlines. If we change back to minor adult at inter-county, the Cork minors are then eligible to once again play adult club. If Cork get a run in the minor competition, say goodbye to the club championships.

In the sole contest, chairperson Tracey Kennedy defeated former Cork GAA PRO Donal Leahy by 379 votes to 187 to succeed Bob Ryan as the county’s Central Council delegate.

Elsewhere, a record year of fundraising has handed Roscommon GAA a surplus of €1,114,718, according to their 2019 accounts, which will be unveiled at this week’s annual convention.

Fundraising income was largely thanks to the efforts of Club Rossie, the official fundraising subgroup of the Roscommon county board, which signed off on a profit of €1,135,072 for the year. The county’s ‘Win A House in Dublin’ initiative was responsible for €943,400 of that total, with more than 14,000 €100 tickets sold for that draw.

Anthony Cunninghan’s first year in charge of the Roscommon footballers included a memorable Connacht final win. And with their season continuing into August, it was no surprise to see expenditure for all county teams increase by €77,847 to €935k.

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