Annual Congress 2024: The Motions Explained:

By Cian O’Connell

The GAA’s Annual Congress takes place on Friday and Saturday in Newry.

A total of 26 motions will be debated and voted on by delegates on Saturday.

The motions are comprised of 10 from GAA units, seven from the Rules Advisory Committee, three from the Standing Committee on Playing Rules, and five from Ard Chomhairle.

At the bottom of this article you can view and download the motions as they will appear before the delegates.

You can also download some useful documents to read alongside examining the motions – GAA Official Guide Parts 1 & 2, Ard Stiúrthóir Tom Ryan’s Annual Report, and the GAA’s Financial Report.

Below is a simplified guide to the motions to be dealt with this weekend.

MOTION 1: Currently the Planning & Training Officer is appointed, so this motion is proposing that the role will be elected at Convention.

MOTION 2: This motion is about repeat terms of office for County Executive positions. At present once you’ve served five years consecutively or cumulatively in the same role, you have to stay out of office for five years before you’re eligible to fill that role again. The motion proposes to extend that required period of absence to 10 years before an officer can serve a term in the same role.

MOTION 3: One of the powers of County Committees is to permit divisional or grouped teams to play in a County Championship in certain circumstances. It can be done for clubs with insufficient numbers to field on their own. Presently players from Junior and Intermediate clubs can play for divisional or grouped Senior or Intermediate teams. This motion is proposing to get rid of that restriction in terms of what Championships they can play in, so players from Junior clubs could combine to play in a County Junior Championship.

MOTION 4: This motion deals with terms of office in Provincial Councils. Currently the rule states that a council member can only represent their unit for a single five year term. The proposal is that once a delegate has been out of office for five years after completion of their term, s/he can return to complete a second five year term.

MOTION 5: This proposal seeks to remove the seven day restriction regarding players featuring in both inter-county Senior and U20 Championship fixtures, replacing it with a 60 hour restriction. It currently applies for Tier One hurling and Tier One and Two Football Championships, but if passed the 60 hour restriction will apply to all Tiers.

MOTION 6: This proposal is to dispense entirely with any restriction on when a player can player Senior and U20 inter-county fixtures.

MOTION 7: This motion is about inter-county age restrictions. For inter-county minor hurling and football you currently have to be 15 before January 1 to play. The proposal is to change the minimum age to 16.

MOTION 8: The proposal is that All-Ireland minor finals in both codes be played as curtain raisers to the All-Ireland senior finals at Croke Park.

MOTION 9: This motion seeks to increase the penalty for abusive language towards an official by recategorising it as a category four infraction.

MOTION 10: The motion seeks to make clear that there is no appeal against the decision of a CCC to appoint a referee. The current rule refers only to the Central Competitions Control Committee and Provincial Competitions Control Committee.

MOTION 11: The proposal is to allow Central Council to introduce a Code to regulation of playing equipment.

MOTION 12: This motion relates to the requirement for a club to participate in a Senior/Intermediate/Junior Championship competition. The current rule gives a facility to the management committee to consider Deviation from that rule. What is being proposed is that the Deviation be granted by Central Council rather than management committee to bring it in line with other forms of Deviation which can be granted. What is proposed is that management committees simply make a recommendation to Central Council and that Central Council makes a final decision in the interest of consistency.

MOTION 13: This motion seeks to define plenary powers which are referenced on a number of occasions throughout the Official Guide.

MOTION 14: This motion seeks to make it obligatory for a member of a committee with plenary powers to be a fully-paid up member of their club before March 31.

MOTION 15: This proposal seeks to clarify that it is a matter for a County Committee to decide which club a player joins. An inter-county transfer is for club purposes and a player can only join a club that the player is eligible to play with in accordance with County Bye Laws.

MOTION 16: The current rules allow girls to play up to U12. This motion seeks to clarify that girls can play on boys teams up to U12 grade i.e., mixed teams.

MOTION 17: Seeks to change the words ‘together with’ to the word ‘and’ in the rule for clarity.

MOTION 18: The current rule refers to U17 as juvenile. This proposal is to remove the word juvenile and simply use the age grade U17 in terms of consistency.

MOTION 19: This motion is seeking to make temporary rules that have been in place for a number of years permanent.

MOTION 20: This proposal is to introduce a requirement that an injured player would leave the field at the nearest point and that a player returning to the field of play would only do so with the permission of the referee at the centre point of either sideline. There will be different rules in relation to blood and head injuries.

MOTION 21: This motion deals with head injuries, it seeks to introduce a provision whereby a player in a hurling match removes or has his helmet removed. A player would leave the field of play to be assessed and/or have the helmet refitted. A player wouldn’t return to the field of play until the next break in play with the permission of the referee.

MOTION 22: This motion proposes that cards, in all circumstances, issued in normal time would carry forward into extra time.

MOTION 23: This motion proposes that extra-time would be considered to the continuation of normal time i.e., not a new game.

MOTION 24: This motion relates to Ard Chomairle members being represented by a proxy. All representative bodies would be allowed to have representation by a proxy; currently only county representatives can avail of a proxy.

MOTION 25: This motion seeks to give flexibility or authority to Ard Chomhairle to decide on the format of the All-Ireland Junior Football Championship. It would be done on the advice of the CCCC, but the decision would be made by Ard Chomhairle; currently, the format is set down in Rule.

MOTION 26: This motion seeks to address a situation which arose in the six counties and An Bhreatain in relation to bank loans and the Corporate Trustee.