Lyons vows to fix ‘big disconnect' between Carbery board and clubs

December 8th, 2018 2:00 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

New Carbery chairman Tom Lyons.

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New divisional board chairman keen to improve communication with clubs


THE first item on new Carbery GAA Board Chairman Tom Lyons’ to-do list is to improve the relationship between the board and the clubs in the division.

Lyons feels there is a disconnect between the board and Carbery clubs, a them-and-us attitude, that needs to fixed. 

In his first address as chairman, at the board’s annual convention in Ballinacarriga, Lyons outlined his plans that include officers of the board becoming more visible at club meetings.

‘I strongly believe that the first item I must deal with as chairman is the gap between the board and the clubs in the division,’ Lyons said.

‘I wouldn’t describe it as a rift but there is definitely a disconnect between the clubs and the board, a “them” and “us” attitude, even between the delegates and the executive.

‘There are clubs out there who feel it is almost their duty to oppose any suggestions that come from this board. There are clubs out there who don’t give a damn what the board does, they simply ignore us. And, of course there are clubs who have always been very supportive.’

He added: ‘There is a big disconnect between the board and the players and supporters. They don’t know what we’re doing and we don’t know what they are doing.’

Lyons is calling for better communication between Carbery clubs and the board.

‘We, as an executive, have no data base on the 26 clubs under our jurisdiction,’ he said.

‘How many teams, how many players, how many mentors, what facilities are available to each club, what arrangements are in place to maintain the facilities, how is it financed, what fundraising is each club doing? 

‘We have a few clubs doing different developments in the division and that is fantastic to see. But how many of those clubs thought of informing the board executive of their plans or of even inviting an officer to a meeting to discuss what they were doing? 

‘If we are to be the governing body of the GAA in this division, then it’s time we knew what was happening in our clubs.’

Lyons, who succeeds Joe Crowley as Carbery chairman, also insists it’s ‘time to drag this board into the 21st century’.

‘For almost a hundred years the main function of this board has been fixture-making and that should always be the main job of the board. But surely in a hundred years we should be gone beyond being merely a fixtures committee,’ he said.

‘I think it’s time to drag this board into the 21st century in many ways but that can’t be done without the cooperation of the clubs. We hope that will be forthcoming.

‘I have a few ideas about closing the gap between the clubs and the board and will be running them by my fellow officers in the coming months. Let’s say the executive will have a much more hands-on approach with clubs next season and ye will be seeing a lot more of us at club meetings over the coming three years.’

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