Offaly GAA - in Crisis

A forum to air your views on Offaly GAA matters and beyond.

Re: Offaly GAA - in Crisis

Postby Lone Shark » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:45 am

llkj wrote:
Lone Shark wrote:
uibhfhaili wrote:This place has always been an absolute cesspit of County Board loyalists over the ys.


You realise it's entirely possible to be very disappointed with a huge number of things that have happened in recent years, many of which stem from county board mistakes/inaction, and yet be utterly terrified of the alternative that is suggested, which is pretty much this


May I ask LS, why are you so afraid of people proposing that the current county board leadership be removed? I understand that your main point is 'show me the people that can come in and do a better job', but if the current chairman is not only not progressing things but actively regressing things (by impeding much needed work), then surely any change is likely to have somewhat of a positive or at least a 'stop the bleeding' impact?

My personal thought is that resignations would be very much welcome as it would help us as a county to draw a line in the sand and start the long rebuilding process at the top. This doesn't mean that all work has to come to a complete fault as we search. I'm sure an interim chairperson could oversee operations while the process of appointing a new chair was happening.
I don't know the exact processes of the GAA, but my main point is that I would not fear change in the way that you do, even if all of the answers aren't in place before the resignation happens.


In 90% of counties, what you say would be reasonable. I live in Roscommon now and if Seamus Sweeney vacated the chair, there would be a real contest for it, from people who would actively canvass clubs, talk to the people of the county through the media, make their positions clear and have a clear agenda and ethos. However it has already been proven in Offaly that even when people step away, and there is no contest for positions, they're still not wanted. We haven't had a PRO since Kenny Franks left the role, and the absence of anyone doing the job is very keenly felt. Every other journalist I talk to can't understand why we don't have one - but we don't, and there's no sign of one coming in.

Pat Cleary's term is up as coaching officer, no-one has stepped up to fill in his shoes.

Birr GAA club are at loggerheads with the county board over the SBP issue for years, and if this discussion forum is to be believed, dis-satisfaction is widespread all across, and yet there are no alternatives offering themselves from that club, or anywhere else in the area, either. If Birr wanted to tomorrow, they could fill these two positions, and have two more voices on the Coiste Bainistí. They don't - and I have to say that this worries me.

If you can say to me that there will be an interim chairperson if Tommy Byrne steps down, then that's one thing - personally I'd prefer to see who it is before declaring that it would be a better option - but at least there would be a guarantee of someone. Right now, we don't have that.

From what I can see, one of two things would happen. You'd either get someone like Mary Dunne, Joe Higgins or Eamon Cusack stepping up to fill the gap, and while I'm not saying that any of those three would be good or bad at the job, it's fair to say that they don't represent change from the current administration. They are as much a part of it as Tommy Byrne.

Or alternatively, no-one at all steps forward and we go from a county that's doing some stuff well and some stuff very badly, to a county that ceases to function entirely.
Kevin Egan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Offaly GAA - in Crisis

Postby Bord na Mona man » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:10 am

substandard wrote:
greenairfield wrote:That is a fact I reckon half the lads here are either county board lads or related to them.
It's a shame what happened and really noting can be done unless good people take the plunge to get involed.


This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.

I like it!
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Re: Offaly GAA - in Crisis

Postby Bord na Mona man » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:27 am

Looktothefuture wrote:it's not easy to stand up and get involved it would be easier to get into the dail it's sowed up tight.. In order to get involved and do some good work you need years to wiggle your way true all the red tape. The rules that govern the county board are made to protect them. I recently heard that the committee to assess the football management was ment to be proposed and ratified at the meeting that they sacked Flanagan so he was sacked by 4 people who wasn't giving the job yet.. They are a law into themselves and proved that Monday night with the closed meeting we can shout all we want nothing will change..


I think getting involved should start right down at the bottom. Listening to Liam Hogan, he confirms what all of us have suspected; that the standard of player being produced by the clubs is way off where it should be.
A lot of focus in this furore is aimed at the development squads, but remember we are talking about a once a week event for a select few players. The clubs and the schools, where the bulk of player development take place, need a lot of improvement.
Getting more people evangelised and contributing at grassroots level would make a far bigger difference than the composition of the top table.
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Re: Offaly GAA - in Crisis

Postby Bord na Mona man » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:16 pm

Peace talks set for Offaly hurling impasse with county board inviting Liam Hogan and his committee to discussions

It comes following a meeting between the county board officers and club chairpersons and secretaries on Monday night

BY PAT NOLAN 00:00, 3 AUG 2017

Peace talks are set to break out on the Offaly hurling impasse with the county board inviting Liam Hogan and his committee to discussions.

It comes following a meeting between the county board officers and club chairpersons and secretaries on Monday night, with the board following up with a statement yesterday.

Former Ballyboden St Enda’s manager Hogan chaired the Offaly Hurling Implementation Committee, tasked with reviving the county’s flagging fortunes, but it stepped down en masse last month in frustration at board inaction.

Last weekend Hogan called on county board chairman Tommy Byrne, who he described as an “absolute disaster”, to stand aside though Byrne has since been in touch to try and thrash out a solution.

Hogan explained: “I have told him that I have no problem meeting with him but I’d need to check with the other members of the committee with a view to meeting the county board executive along with the operations manager and the coaching officer and an intermediary plus, I think, five club chairpersons.

“We are not averse to that because having asked the questions loudly and clearly it would be only fair that we engage in the process.

“That’s not to say that we’re going to go back but we will sit down around the table and we will talk and we will listen and we will answer questions and we will ask questions.”

Although Hogan welcomed its “conciliatory tone”, the county board’s statement wasn’t particularly well received in the county yesterday given that it expressed no contrition for how the committee had been treated, didn’t answer key questions and then quoted a lengthy passage of the Offaly Hurling Pathway Report which the committee had been frustrated in its efforts to implement.

A section of the statement referred to strength and conditioning programmes, which was originally overseen by Emmet Egan, formerly of Athlone IT, for development squads only to effectively run aground but Hogan says that the explanation offered was unsatisfactory.

He continued: “Emmet Egan had such an impact on development squads because in fairness to the man, he brought a degree of professionalism to the development squads that we had never seen before and then that disappeared this year.

“I think the implementation committee wants to know, what was the original contract with Athlone IT? How much did it cost and where did the money come from? How is that money being spent now?”

Although the committee was wound up prematurely, Hogan pointed to positive developments during its existence such as former Offaly hurler Brian Carroll’s player pathway document, the completion of 36 Award 2 coaching courses and link ups with St Brendan’s Community School in Birr and Colaiste Choilm in Tullamore.

http://www.irishmirror.ie/sport/gaa/hur ... g-10920841
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Re: Offaly GAA - in Crisis

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:47 pm

A number of holes in the crunchie board’s statement are immediately apparent.

It does nothing about the scheduling of development squads / matches / training / clubs for young hurlers and the risk of burnout of young players. Implementing the Smartabase app is not proposed. Now the alternative is to do this on a spreadsheet anyway. But involving five club representatives on a new overseeing committee is not going to solve the overload of young players. Clubs dislike the development squads, feel they are in the way of their own matches / training scheduling. Naturally the club representatives are going to put their club interests first (nothing wrong with that per se), but it’s not in the best interests of the county or the development of the young intercounty hurler.

There is nothing in the Board’s about addressing the lack of fitness tests for development squads or of providing the necessary guidance for those who have had those tests. Nor is there anything about skills testing. Or of providing plans for training sessions.

On the other hand: Liam Hogan noted in his interview on the Radio that he suspected there would be a problem with paying a video operator to record drills for later use. Thing is, surely there is a budget allocated to the development squads each year and that any expenditure on the squads is within that budget. That would form the very basic of sound financial management. If the video recording is outside the allocated budget then there is a problem and either the recording is foregone of something else is cut back. If it is within the allotted budget then turning that down is merely obstruction.

And how difficult would it be if a lad who was on dual squads be given the same number for each squad? That would be basic.

I note with interest Liam Hogan’s comment in the Will O’Callaghan interview that Ballyboden St Enda’s club is run like a business, that Offaly Board should be run in a like manner and that there is a need for the board to be run by business people.

There is no reason to think the proposed new committee will achieve anything that the now defunct Implementation Committee couldn’t. Having representative of clubs making up that committee is not the way to go about it.

No excuse for not communicating, in this day and age. Come to think of it, in any day and age.
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Offaly GAA - in Crisis

Postby uibhfhaili » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:34 pm

LoanShark whenever there is a hint of C.B criticism


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Re: Offaly GAA - in Crisis

Postby llkj » Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:03 am

Lone Shark wrote:
In 90% of counties, what you say would be reasonable. I live in Roscommon now and if Seamus Sweeney vacated the chair, there would be a real contest for it, from people who would actively canvass clubs, talk to the people of the county through the media, make their positions clear and have a clear agenda and ethos. However it has already been proven in Offaly that even when people step away, and there is no contest for positions, they're still not wanted. We haven't had a PRO since Kenny Franks left the role, and the absence of anyone doing the job is very keenly felt. Every other journalist I talk to can't understand why we don't have one - but we don't, and there's no sign of one coming in.

Pat Cleary's term is up as coaching officer, no-one has stepped up to fill in his shoes.

Birr GAA club are at loggerheads with the county board over the SBP issue for years, and if this discussion forum is to be believed, dis-satisfaction is widespread all across, and yet there are no alternatives offering themselves from that club, or anywhere else in the area, either. If Birr wanted to tomorrow, they could fill these two positions, and have two more voices on the Coiste Bainistí. They don't - and I have to say that this worries me.

If you can say to me that there will be an interim chairperson if Tommy Byrne steps down, then that's one thing - personally I'd prefer to see who it is before declaring that it would be a better option - but at least there would be a guarantee of someone. Right now, we don't have that.

From what I can see, one of two things would happen. You'd either get someone like Mary Dunne, Joe Higgins or Eamon Cusack stepping up to fill the gap, and while I'm not saying that any of those three would be good or bad at the job, it's fair to say that they don't represent change from the current administration. They are as much a part of it as Tommy Byrne.

Or alternatively, no-one at all steps forward and we go from a county that's doing some stuff well and some stuff very badly, to a county that ceases to function entirely.


Thanks for your response LS. It gives me a better sense of your concerns. It is a completely different perspective than I am used to. I have very limited experience of the politics, canvasing, etc that goes getting into a position of power on the county board. However, I do have plenty of experience of leadership in business. The skills needed to steer the ship now in Offaly County board is really the position of a COO in a company - the person to help shape and execute on the vision. Facilitating people to do what they are best at - organizing, planning, coaching, marketing, fundraising, etc and keeping everything flowing through the system, unblocking any issues and moving towards the vision comstantly... It seems that Tommy Byrne is the opposite of that. Blocking stuff from progressing, impeding the work that is in progress. Such leadership has a drastic effect on everybody and everyone. People stop coming up with ideas because they won't go anywhere, good people leave and apathy sets in. Then we end up with the shite we have now.
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Re: Offaly GAA - in Crisis

Postby Lone Shark » Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:42 am

To be fair, I don't think I'm as far removed from the mainstream view as a lot of people would like to paint me. However I can attest firsthand how incredibly easy it would be to get involved and even to make things happen, if you're willing to roll up your sleeves and work with people, and accept that their views might be different to yours, but to work within those parameters. Possibly you have to adjust your own vision a little (there are examples in Liam Hogan's conversations where I'm not altogether sure that he's that good at doing that) but I've found that with very small effort and very limited involvement, you can make correspondingly small changes.

I appreciate completely the point you make about how the chair should ideally be filled with a COO type person - I've long made the point that a county board should be made up of a mix of public and private sector, since public sector types tend to be good at understanding rules and constitutions, and keeping things between the ditches, and at getting you from one week to the next without the train coming off the track. However you often need the private sector influence to drive a long term plan, to look at a year, 2 years or 5 years down the road, and to have the passion and energy to fulfil that vision. Give me a choice and I'd always have a private sector chairman and treasurer, with a public sector vice chair and secretary.

However my point stands - it's not like Tommy Byrne, or anyone else for that matter, is blocking a person of that nature from coming through. I'll be honest, I can think of three or four people off the top of my head who would do a fine job, and I'd love to see them make themselves available. However as part of my journalistic inquiries, I've asked privately in most cases if they'd have any interest, even in the event of a vacant seat that they could walk into, and I was told "not a hope". And I'm also acutely aware that right now, the biggest problem facing the Offaly county board is that too much power and responsibility is shared between a small handful of people. Removing one of those people from the pool and concentrating that power and influence further doesn't strike me as a positive step.
Kevin Egan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Offaly GAA - in Crisis

Postby brownie » Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:51 pm

LS, am I right in saying you were involved on the commitee in recommending this years stupid and ridiculous format for adult leagues and championships in football?
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Re: Offaly GAA - in Crisis

Postby Lone Shark » Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:13 pm

brownie wrote:LS, am I right in saying you were involved on the commitee in recommending this years stupid and ridiculous format for adult leagues and championships in football?


This year's - no.
2016 format - yes.

It's not really the topic at hand here, but the thinking behind it was basically this:

(1) Nobody in Offaly cares about leagues, so it was an attempt to do something radical to try to shake it up.
(2) We have big long championships that mean nothing (for example it doesn't matter in the slightest who wins between Rhode and Edenderry, had that game gone ahead tonight) so reducing the number of games made those games meaningful. I would argue that they were.
(3) By reducing the long distances that had to be travelled for league games in the early part of the year, there should be (and were) a lot less walkovers, particularly down the divisions. It's a hell of a lot easier for a club like Walsh Island to get 15 lads for a junior match away to Edenderry than it is for them to get 15 lads for a junior match away to Rynaghs or Shannonbridge.

Ultimately, it's as simple as this - clubs agreed to try it, and I thank them for that. They did so for a year, and chose to revert - as is their prerogative. Personally I think one of the biggest things holding us back in Offaly is that our leagues are a joke, but that's only my opinion. In the memorable words of one of the delegates at the meeting where I presented, "you're trying to put the life back in the burger" - but it beats not trying, as far as I'm concerned.
Kevin Egan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Offaly GAA - in Crisis

Postby brownie » Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:38 pm

LS, I apologise for my mis-information....in fact 2016 was a brilliant format with a knock out edge to the football championship. this year is a lifeless championship with games fixed for Sunday mornings at 11 and 12 with very few turning up to support teams. Our county is in turmoil without any leadership . look through the results and see nothing only hammerings and walk overs mainly due to a bad fixture practice. a total revamp is needed with a senior figure with management experience to run the show. delegate the important jobs to inventive people and over see from the top. the clubs need to take the responsibility here, they have the votes to change both the top table and the championship formats. too many clubs are looking out for themselves instead of looking at what is good for the county and its players of all levels.
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Re: Offaly GAA - in Crisis

Postby greenairfield » Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:46 am

LS tell me you didn't set up a second account and call yourself brownie who praises LS in the long run after questioning him
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Re: Offaly GAA - in Crisis

Postby Lone Shark » Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:38 pm

greenairfield wrote:LS tell me you didn't set up a second account and call yourself brownie who praises LS in the long run after questioning him


The day a few people disagreeing with me over stuff like this is the day I need to pack it in. There'll always be different opinions, and I'm far too old and dour to get upset by any that go against me.
Kevin Egan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Offaly GAA - in Crisis

Postby kaiserchief » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:06 pm

Can anybody confirm that status of the issue since the interview and what is happening?
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Re: Offaly GAA - in Crisis

Postby kingscounty » Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:08 pm

Gone to quiet for my liking, not a word about anything . We need to be updated, fear is now that a deal was struck and we get the same old same old
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