Wexford GAA to officially ban media from management and county board meetings
Ah, January 10.
A fresh start. The excitement of a new season in the air. A clean slate. All the dross forgotten about. Everyone happy.
Oh yeah. Player contracts. Players quitting. Players transferring. And media bans.
The GAA used to be enjoyable and there are reported cases, even as late as 2017, that some people do have fun getting involved in the games.
But it's definitely not widespread, you bet your arse it's not.
There's a new regime in place in the south east of the island - there are two in fact.
Seamus 'Banty' McEnaney has taken charge of the county footballers and the appointment of an All-Ireland winning manager in Davy Fitzgerald over the hurlers has brought with it an automatic wave of optimism.
Let's see how long that good news filters through the media though.
The Wexford County Board has taken the decision to ban media from 'typically' attending county board meetings for the 2017 season but they have put a solution in place.
"Wexford GAA will issue a bulletin as soon as possible after every Management and County Board meeting, as follows:
- To every Club, via email (by the Co. Sec)
- To local media sports editors, via email (by the PRO)
- To the wider world, via social media (by the PRO)"
At a time when the entire world is recognising the need for freedom of press and the importance of asking questions and taking people to task for decisions and ideas, the GAA is going in the other direction - the GAA in some corners of the country at least.
As extreme a link that might be, Wexford fans and Gaels will no longer be afforded the right of information that the media can obtain at such meetings - other than the info controlled and selectively sent out by Wexford themselves. Other than the information they want out.
That became clear when the statement continues to say that the media will still be invited for certain occasions... championship draws and all that important stuff.
"To encourage strongest possible engagement by Clubs at County Board Committee meetings, the meetings will not typically be open to media attendance," the statement reads.
"However, local media may be invited by the PRO to attend on occasion (for instance, when championship draws are being made)."
It's a decision that Wexford stand over though and they're not the first to take such an approach.
So why are they doing it?
"Coiste Bainistí Loch Garman encourages a strong and open dialogue with the Clubs and seeks regular attendance by all Clubs. A thorough record of attendance at County Board Committee meetings will be kept and will be published on an annual basis (in our convention booklet).
Coiste Bainistí Loch Garman are confident that this approach has the following benefits:
- It is consistent with the approach taken in other counties and at Provincial Council and Central Council level
- It will allow Club delegates to speak freely at Co. Board meetings and will encourage greater interaction with Clubs
- The Co. Board is taking a proactive approach to getting information out in a timely and consistent fashion
- Personalised reporting has, in the past, caused great distress to GAA volunteers and their families; media will be reminded to focus on the issues rather than the individuals involved as all are volunteers giving of their time to strengthen Wexford GAA"
Don't worry about it. They'll tell you what you need to know.