Schools selection is a GAA issue – Jarlath
NOW THAT the major schools GAA competitions are over, it is time to pay tribute to a group of people who run these matches with outstanding efficiency, economy and effort.
This is the Ulster GAA Colleges committee, a small band of volunteers who produce a set of fixtures to rival any county board, with no headquarters, no full time staff and very little finance.
Schools are not clubs, they don’t need to worry about who is going to do the bar on Friday night, or how much the lotto took in, or if enough money came in this month to pay the loan. All they need to focus on is making their teams play good football.
Added to this is the discipline and respect for the referee that the teachers instil in their pupils and much that we want to see from our games ends up on show at these matches. I’d say the game between the Abbey and Maghera was probably the best game of football played this year.
Ulster Colleges GAA is not elitist. They welcome teams from other sectors. Our school, St Paul’s Bessbrook, has been residing in this territory now for four years and will be in the MacRory next year and if Holy Trinity Cookstown decide they want to step up too, they will be met with open arms.
However, while the committee themselves are inclusive, the system out of which they operate is anything but, and this is where the GAA needs to step in.
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published Thursday April 12. Buy your copy now in your local newsagent, or online by clicking the subscribe button on this page