“It’s about doing it, not talking about doing it.”
- Pat Fitzgerald, Forum Facillitator
The above quote from Pat Fitzgerald probably best sums up what the next step must be following Monday Night’s meeting.
The Forum has thrown up a myriad of different issues for both the County Board and the greater GAA public in the county to contend with. Management, referees, the County Board, clubs and players all came in for both praise and criticism. There is undoubtedly a mood for change, and when the finding of the night, which will be processed by Fitzgerald and his assistants Eipher O’Dea and Margaret O’Mahony, they will undoubtedly make for interesting reading.
The key thing, however, is that they do not remain as interesting reading, and that action is taken within the next few weeks, if not days.
A committee is now set to be formed to analyse the findings of the Forum, with up to ten people likely to be involved. It was proposed on the night that the committee contain no more than five people, with Pat Critchley, Niall Handy and a representative from the senior hurling panel to sit on it, along with two other people of their choice, but it is expected the final figure is likely to contain double that number.
The breadth of material they will cover is vast, ranging from U-8s up to senior and from club coaching to county administration. It will be an unenviable task to sift through it, but the rewards which could be reaped, if it is carried out properly, could last for generations.
Laois hurling took a positive step forward on Monday night, the first step in a long, difficult and hopefully rewarding journey. So far, there has only been talk though, and it won’t be until so action is taken that full scale of what is about to happen will be really known.