BY CHRIS MCNULTY
GAA members have been warned by the Donegal County Board that they face disciplinary action over comments made recently on social media websites.
On Tuesday, the secretary of the Donegal Co Board, Aodh Mairtín Ó Fearraigh, issued an email to club secretaries urging them to make their members aware of the GAA’s social media policies.
The warning issues by the Co Board came amidst confusion and controversy over the scheduling and subsequent rescheduling of the Donegal Senior Football Championship quarter-finals. Having decided last week to bring the games forward to this weekend, the Competitions Controls Committee reversed the decision on Monday night with the games now set to take place on the weekend of September 14/15.
Several club players took to social media sights, particularly Facebook and Twitter, to voice their displeasure, but this has raised the ire of County Board officials. Players had become frustrated at the lack of clarity with some seeking the confirmed dates in order to plan holidays.
“It has been brought to our attention in recent weeks that some members of our Association in the county have been using social media to publish defamatory and libelous statements on social media accounts,” said the email circulated to the county’s clubs.
“All GAA members are encouraged to take part in social media but the Association expects each individual to follow the guidelines on using social media.
“I would ask all clubs to remind their members and players of the implications of referring to the GAA in social media when they do.
“Each member is to adhere to the GAA’s Official Guide and Club Constitution, as well as other applicable documents. All GAA members are subject to the GAA Code of Behaviour when online, even when they are not acting on behalf of the Association.”
Mr Ó Fearraigh asked clubs to make clubs aware of the contents of the GAA’s social media guidelines document, contained in an attached 24-page document on the circular. – and warned that they face being hauled over the coals if they fail to adhere.
He wrote: “Disciplinary Action WILL be taken against members of the Association who are deemed to have Discredited the Association or bringing the Association into Disrepute.”