TWO CLUB TEAMS in Galway made bets on key GAA games they were playing in during the year, it has been revealed by the outgoing county chairman Noel Treacy.
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Treacy, a former Fianna Fáil government minister, said that gambling in the GAA continues to grow and is now a major problem for the organisation.
He said that more players were coming forward to report gambling addiction problems and he urged that more work needs to be done to get rid of the problem.
He said that there were an estimated 40,000 people addicted to gambling in the country and that a growing number were emerging in the GAA at all levels.
“In my address at last year’s convention, I alluded to the serious gambling problem, bedeviling our association at player level.
“Regretfully, I must report that more players are still reporting to us, with serious gambling addiction problems.
“During the past year at least two of our club teams arranged individual and group bets, on crucial games.
“In one instance, they lost both the game and their money. In another instance, the betting team won the game and I presume their bets also.”
Treacy called on both the GAA and the government to increase their work to reduce the level of gambling addiction, but he also called on GAA clubs to be more vigilant.
“I appeal to all club officers, team managers and all members, to be vigilant in observing and dealing with this current crisis. Our county health and wellbeing committee is available to assist both clubs and any affected individuals,” he added.
He was speaking at the annual Galway convention in Salthill which went on late into the night as delegates discussed whether the county’s hurlers should remain in the Leinster SHC.
Meanwhile, Treacy said that Galway was guilty of getting rid of county managers far too early and said the decision was taken this year to give Micheal Donoghue and Kevin Walsh new three-year deals to allow time for them to develop the hurling and football teams without upheaval.
He hit out at the way Anthony Cunningham was ousted in a player upheaval last year.
“We have torpedoed county team managers, both too often and too early. A lack of cohesion, uniformity, playing patterns and unity of purpose destroys opportunity.
“One of the most frustrating periods of the past five years was the unnecessary upheaval at senior hurling panel level in October 2015, just after the All-Ireland hurling replay defeat a month earlier.
“When sudden and unexpected management changes are sprung on an unsuspecting GAA public, it erodes confidence, creates both confusion and doubt in the wider base required to achieve ultimate success.
“The time has come for a much more mature and positive attitude to the tasks and measures, required for success at flagship levels,” added Treacy.
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