GAA and GPA set for showdown

GAA and GPA set for showdown  The possibility of inter-county GAA players actually going on strike moved a step closer this week following the last in a set of regional meetings organised by the Gaelic Players Association.    The final meeting was held at the Abbey Hotel in Roscommon town on Monday night to guage the player reaction in the Western region and our Sports Editor Seamus Duke took the opportunity to talk to the Chief Executive of the GPA, Dessie Farrell, about the current sitiuation.   The facts of the matter are that the Government indicated last year that they had €5 million available for inter-county GAA players and that that money was to be paid to the players in the form of grants.    The Government want the GAA to administer the scheme but the GAA are very reluctant to be seen to be paying their players and there is now an impasse. However the players are becoming increasingly angry at what they see as GAA intransigence on the issue and according to Dessie Farrell the players are now ready to take the ultimate sanction  and refuse to play for their county in the New Year if the impasse goes on.    Then on Monday GAA President Nicky Brennan came out very strongly against the GPA stance on the issue, which has further inflamed the situation.   Dessie Farrell spoke to Seamus Duke on Monday night last. R oscommon meeting briefed on possible strike by GAA players S.D.: Where else have you held meetings prior to this week’s in Roscommon? D.F.: This is our final stop tonight, in Roscommon. We have had meetings in Dungannon, Portlaoise and Mallow before tonight. The purpose of the meetings is to explain to the players the situation and the impasse with regard to the grants and to sound them out to see what steps they want us to take. S.D.: I listened to GAA President Nicky Brennan today and he is taking a very strong line. What’s your reaction to that? D.F.: I heard him and he is taking a strong line surely, but then again we are taking a strong line ourselves. We have been piddling about with this issue for far too long so it’s good that at least everyone knows where they stand. It’s going on for the past few years now and something has to give now. Something has to be done. S.D.: Explain what exactly is on the table here? D.F.: There is €5 million there basically -given by the Government for grants to intercounty GAA players