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Gaelic Games Europe – Organisational Structures

Democracy at work

Gaelic Games have unique governance structures that epitomise the inclusive, democratic volunteer culture we promote. Every member is equal and every registered Club, big or small, has a say in how we operate from the ground up to the highest levels.

Any member can submit motions to their club’s annual general meeting suggesting a new idea, amending an existing policy or even proposing changes to the playing rules. If approved, the motion is sent for discussion at the European Annual Convention. There, club delegates from across Europe debate it’s merits and your idea could become our policy.

If your motion is to change a playing (or other) rule and is approved at our Annual Convention, then it goes to the Annual Congress of the GAA (the international gaelic games organisation) which takes place every year in Ireland. GAA members from around the world will debate your idea and you could be responsible for shaping the future of Gaelic games in the 70+ countries where they played around the world! So as you can see, any member or any club can have their say in how we operate in Europe and could even initiate a historic change.

Below is a brief overview our structures in Gaelic Games Europe which reflect the democratic, volunteer based, ethos of gaelic games since their establishment in 1884.

Annual Convention

Club delegates meet once a year at Annual Convention which is the main decision making body for gaelic games in Europe. Here policies are determined, regulations approved and motions forwarded to annual congresses of associations we are affiliated to. Every club can send delegates who discuss issues, decide on motions and elect the Management Committee.

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Management Committee (MC)

Meets monthly by video conference and has responsibility for implementing policies and managing all activities in Gaelic Games Europe between Annual Conventions. Most of the other work groups and sub-committees report to the MC. The 20 members are elected/appointed at Annual Convention and each has a specific role and responsibility for certain tasks.

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Executive Committee

This is a sub-committee of the MC and is responsible for dealing with important correspondence and any issues that may arise between MC meetings where urgent action is required. It also prepares some items for the next MC meeting, pays close attention to financial issues and the MC may delegate tasks to it. The Executive Committee must report on any decisions it makes at the following MC meeting. The Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer are ‘ex-officio’ members with two others being elected.

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Competitions Control Committee (CCC)

The Competitions Control Committee is responsible for all aspects of running our competitions and games, including planning dates and venues for fixtures, appointing referees, dealing with disciplinary issues and transfers. The CCC is chaired by the Vice-Chair of the MC, the Secretary of the CCC is the MC Asst.Secretary. Other members are the ‘code’ officers (handball, football, hurling, camogie and ladies football), along with a representative from each Division (region).

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Other Work Groups and Sub-Committees

There are quite a few other sub-committees and groups, some of which are just being established. These include:
Management Committee Work Groups
Finance Work Group (Chair, Treasurer, Asst. Treasurer + 2)
Sponsorship Work Group (Sponsorship Officer + 5 members)
Development Work Group (Vice-Chair and the Games, Club and Youth Development Officers)

These sub-committees are being established to assist the respective MC officers, who lead the relevant committee, along with one other member appointed by the MC and one representative elected/appointed by each of the five Divisions (regions). MC Chair & Secretary are ‘ex-officio’ members of 1-6:
1. Coaching & Games Development Committee *
2. Club Development Committee *
3. Youth Development Committee *
4. Public Relations & Marketing Committee
5. Health & Well-being Committee

6. Culture Committee
7. Referees Administration Committee
(*=coordinated by Development Work Group)
There are also ‘code’ committees for camogie and hurling.

Divisional Committees

Currently, clubs across Europe are assigned to one of five ‘divisions’ (regions). During 2018, clubs in each Division will set up a ‘Divisional Committee’ which will be responsible for organising competitions and developing gaelic games in their own region. The Management Committee may also delegate other tasks and each Division will appoint a representative to the CCC and the seven MC sub-committees listed across.

Currently there are five Divisions, two of which are divided into ‘sub-divisions’ which organise their own competitions and carry out similar tasks:
Benelux: Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany (western lander)
Central-East: Austria, Czech Republic, Germany (other than western lander) , Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland
Nordic: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Norway, Russia, Sweden
Gibraltar, Spain (Andalucía); Galicia: Spain (Galicia);
Central: Portugal, Spain (other than Andalucía & Galicia)
retagne: France (region of Bretagne);
Federal: Channel Islands, France (other regions)

Hearings Committee

This committee deals with discipline issues when a party does not accept a penalty proposed by the CCC. They request a ‘hearing’, where the CCC presents their case, the defending party responds, witnesses are heard and then the Hearings Committee makes a decision.

The Hearings Committee has five members who are appointed and who cannot be members of the MC or CCC.

Appeals Committee (CCC)

If a defending party is not satisfied with a decision of the Hearings Committee, they can submit an appeal to this committee. The Appeals Committee hears from all parties and witnesses as well as considering any other evidence before making a decision which is final.

The Appeals Committee has five members who are appointed and who cannot be members of the MC, CCC or Hearings Committee.