Laois GAA club wants action
The use of cocaine and other illegal drugs has driven a Laois GAA club to call bans on players who do not complete courses on substance abuse and gambling.
The motion is set to be tabled at the annual GAA Congress in Mayo on February 26.
Rathdowney Errill GAA club is looking for other counties to back the idea. Marty Morrissey of RTÉ travelled to the heartland of Laois club hurling to find out what the motivation was behind the proposal.
"I've seen young people that I know using cocaine," Club Chairman Tim Barry told the RTÉ man.
"It frightened me. I saw the wildness that got into them after using this drug. Then I became aware that this was freely available," he said.
He was backed by the former Limerick hurler turned addiction counsellor Ciaran Carey. He agreed that what the Laois chairman is seen is accurate.
"He is working on ground zero. He is the chairman of a club. He is taking responsibility and you have to respect that. But trying to get what he is looking for across the line is difficult but at least he is challenging it and taking responsibility," he said.
The motion proposes that a player who wishes to participate in an adult championship game must have completed courses approved by Central Council on Alcohol, Gambling and Substance abuse and Anti-doping Education in that championship year or the preceding one.
Participation in a championship game without having the courses completed would warrant a one-match ban, according to the motion.
The motion will be one of 48 going before Congress in Bekan next week.
The GAA already stipulates that inter-county players must have an anti-doping education course completed in the previous 12 months to play championship and league games with a one-game ban in place for violations.
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