GAA to consider legal advice to prevent testimonial events

Páraic Duffy says GAA do not support Colm Cooper’s upcoming testimonial dinner

Colm Cooper at last month’s press conference for his testimonial dinner. Photograph: Inpho

Colm Cooper at last month’s press conference for his testimonial dinner. Photograph: Inpho

 

GAA director general Páraic Duffy says that Colm Cooper’s upcoming testimonial dinner goes against the ethos of the GAA.

He also added that the GAA are looking into taking legal advice to prevent such events from being held again in the future.

The 34-year-old former Kerry attacker will become the first GAA player to host a testimonial event on October 27th at the Intercontinental Hotel in Ballsbridge.

“I did say to him are you sure you’re doing the right thing here?” Duffy explained on Today with Sean O’Rourke on Thursday. “I did say to him that the GAA would not be supporting it and we’re not supporting it.

“If you do an autobiography or punditry, you’re not taking funds that could go to the GAA, if you’re holding a major dinner you’re going to the same people to support the dinner or testimonial as you would to support a club event. That’s the big concern I would have. Plus the fact that it is against the ethos of the GAA to run a dinner where the individual benefits. We don’t do that.

“Under our current rules, no. Do we need to look at it? Yes... It’s tricky because our current rules don’t allow us to deal with it but I think we need to look at the rules.”

Duffy, who was discussing the announcement of his own retirement for March of next year, said the GAA are actively looking to prevent these events becoming the norm.

“We are going to look at this. It will involve maybe taking legal advice or deciding ourselves how we want to handle it. We are looking at it and will look at it”.

Cooper told Off the Ball’s Joe Molloy earlier in the week that “over 50 per cent” of the funds raised will go to charity. Although he emphasised that “it’s a testimonial event, not a charity event”.

“I think this blew up because people were talking about, ‘Jeez, he’s going to make €200,000 and all this’,” explained the eight time All Star and five time All-Ireland winner. “I think that got lost a little bit somewhere in between the charity, Dr Crokes and Kerry here.

“So maybe the figures that people are throwing out and what might happen - and we don’t know - I know the majority will be going to the two charities and to Kerry and Dr Crokes. Until the night, we won’t know what that’s going to be.”

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