Two Cork GAA figures have key roles in strategic plan to 2026

Skibb's Conor McCarthy and president Larry McCarthy among the 10 members on the Association's new committee
Two Cork GAA figures have key roles in strategic plan to 2026

Former Cork footballer Conor McCarthy is tackled by Mike Frank Russell of Kerry. Picture: Dan Linehan

TWO Cork natives will play key roles in the development of the GAA's new strategic plan.

Former Cork and Skibbereen footballer Conor McCarthy and GAA president Larry McCarthy, originally from Bishopstown but elected to the role as a New York representative, are involved in the work on the project, which is due to be finalised and published later this year.

The steering group, overseen by Larry McCarthy and GAA director-general Tom Ryan, is made up of eight GAA members including Conor McCarthy, but their research aims to engage with every level of the Association.

This summer the GAA will offer club members the opportunity to take part in the public consultation process and to have an input into shaping the GAA’s focus from 2021 until late 2026.

Early in his tenure as president, Larry McCarthy has already been strong on the importance of clubs in the GAA and the need to redress the shift toward the elite inter-county arena in recent years. The split-season, while forced on the Association by the Covid lockdown last year, reflects that. 

Some significant rule changes have been brought in for 2021, including the hurling sin-bin to curb cynical fouling and increase goal chances, while minor has been reduced from U18 to U17. 

The age-grade change completely separates minor from senior, but the GAA has yet to explain how they'll cater properly for 18- and 19-year-olds who are now cut adrift.

“Upon taking office I spoke of the opportunity for recalibration and rebuilding that is taking place as a result of our gradual emergence from the harrowing Pandemic.

“The GAA has already been in a period of intense reflection on matters as diverse as the shape of our season, the formation of competitions and playing rules and the development of young players.

“We want to ensure that the GAA is perfectly placed in the post-Pandemic world to be the sort of vibrant, supportive and relevant Association that we all want it to be.

Phase One of the plan has commenced and seeks to establish the key issues that face the Association. Phase Two will involve a public survey, tailored for club members, but which will be made available to everyone to contribute.

Ard Stiúrthóir Tom Ryan added: “The purpose of the plan is to allow us to answer some fundamental questions about ourselves. Answering these questions will involve us looking at our core purpose, our goals and objectives, our structures, our collective roles and responsibilities, and how we get things done.” 

As part of the initial phase, feedback is being sought through:

Surveys and focus groups with a sample of individuals representing players, coaches, officers, and other volunteers at club and county levels;  

Workshops with An Coiste Bainistíochta and the GAA’s staff executive;  

Surveys with GAA staff;  

Written submissions from key groups like the central sub-committees, county committees, sister organisations, schools’ bodies, government bodies, the GPA, sponsors and the media; 

Interviews with experts.  

GAA Strategic Plan 2021-2026 Steering Group:  

Larry McCarthy (Uachtarán CLG) 

Tom Ryan (Ard-Stiúrthóir CLG)  

Ruairí Harvey (Planning Coordinator CLG) 

Conor McCarthy (O’Donovan Rossa, Cork) 

Dr Elish Kelly (Padraig Pearses, Roscommon)  

Pat Gilroy (St Vincent's, Dublin)  

Paul Foley (Patrickswell, Limerick)  

Prof David Hassan (St Mary’s GAC, Banagher, Derry)  

Shane Flanagan (Johnstownbridge, Kildare)  

Tim Murphy (Brosna, Kerry) 

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