In the wake of Hillary Clinton's travails concerning unauthorised email addresses, the GAA has flagged a similar problem. In this case there won't be an intervention by the FBI but rather from an even more inscrutable collective: the Rules Advisory Committee (RAC) chaired by Cork's own J Edgar Hoover, Frank Murphy.
The RAC submits a raft of motions every year to correct anomalies in the Official Guide and attend to other bits and pieces of regulatory business. Murphy – the one person who knows every clause and comma of the GAA rule book – annually takes congress delegates through these corrections.
His committee has submitted a motion to this year’s annual congress, scheduled for the last weekend in February, stipulating that units and officers or representatives of the GAA to whom an official email address has been allocated must use that address in all correspondence connected with association business.
The gaa.ie address is issued to officers of clubs and county boards but many of them apparently choose not to use it. This has led to important communications not being read, as a blizzard of different email addresses has prompted some officers simply to ignore official correspondence.
One GAA administrator said that the problem had become so frustrating that a newsletter from Croke Park was found to have been opened by only 25 per cent of the recipients.
In some cases, he added, the non-compliance had reached the heights or depths that communications from gaa.ie addresses was actually being blocked by association officials.
Whereas there has been no evidence that Russian hackers have accessed details of club official training courses or preliminary Scór schedules, the GAA has clearly had enough of this scale of neglect.
All official correspondence must now come through the dedicated email addresses, which are to be mandatory “for the purposes of compliance with rules governing correspondence and communications”.
As a colleague pointed out that could be useful in evading any disciplinary processes communicated through unauthorised email accounts.
It’s nearly 20 years since a motion to congress first permitted the use of email in official correspondence. On the day the motion didn’t pass unanimously and was actually opposed by two elderly delegates.
They will be having the last laugh.