Disciplinary, Complaints & Appeals Procedures
CLANN NA NGAEL GAA CLUB
The Club encourages and asks all members to adhere to the standards of behaviour and practice as outlined by the GAA in it’s policies, procedures and codes which are outlined under the Code-of-Conduct-2019. the 2022 Official Guide Part 1 and the 2022 Official Guide Part 2 (Playing Rules).
DISCIPLINARY, COMPLAINTS AND APPEALS PROCEDURES
The Clubs Disciplinary Procedure is in accordance with the GAA’s Code of Best Practice. In respect of underage members, the Club adopts the National GAA Code of Behaviour (Underage) which can be viewed here: https://www.gaa.ie/the-gaa/child-safeguarding-and-protection/code-of-behaviour.
Dealing with a Complaint
The Club Executive Committee deals with all disciplinary issues. Clearly defined procedures are in palce to resolve issues to the code of conduct of its members, this includes bullying.
All complains (other than those dealt with under the National GAA Code of Behaviour (Underage) referred to above) should be submitted in writing either to the Chairperson or the Child Welfare Officer (in the instance of a child protection issue). If the complaint is submitted at club level, it is the responsibility of the Club to deal with the complaint.
Whilst members are encouraged to put their concerns in writing, the absence of writing will not negate the club’s obligation to investigate or take appropriate actions in response to the concerns the member has raised. Nevertheless, all discussions with the member making the complaint will form the basis of the allegation(s) and any resulting investigation, therefore the club will need to clearly document the information obtained.
It is important to note that the investigation of suspected child abuse is the responsibility of the statutory authorities and will not be undertaken by the Child Welfare Officer or other Club volunteers/officials. The standard reporting procedure outlined in the statutory authorities’ guidelines will be followed by the Club and adhered to by its members.
The Clubs Disciplinary Procedure is in accordance with the following rules in the GAA Club Constitution: 5.11.1, 5.11.2, 7.14, 7.15.
5.11.1 The Executive Committee shall have the power to investigate and process matters relating to alleged breaches of this Constitution or the Official Guide by Oub members in the same manner as a Competitions Control Committee or a Management Committee in Chapter 7 of the Official Guide. It shall follow the procedures set out in Rule 7.3 of the Official Guide. Where a Defending Party seeks a Hearing, it shall be provided by the County Hearings Committee. There shall be no appeal against a decision of Hearings Committee in relation to Disciplinary Action initiated by the Executive Committee.
5.11.12 A penalty imposed by the Executive Committee applies within the Club only. Where the Executive Committee decides to initiate Disciplinary Action and to propose a penalty which would apply outside of the Club, the matter shall be transferred to the County Management Committee or the County Competitions Control Committee, as appropriate, for processing.
7.14 The Executive Committee shall have the sole right to appoint Sub-Committees and Managers/Coaches/Selectors of teams as required.
7.15 The Executive Committee shall define the duties of such Sub-Committees and retain control in all matters and activities which it considers of importance to the general welfare of the Club, including the disposal of any funds in the hands of such Sub-Committee.
Role of the Disciplinary Committee
The Executive Committee shall appoint a Disciplinary Sub Committee comprising not more than five club members which shall have the power to investigate any matter (that does not relate to child abuse), that has been passed on to it by the Executive Committee using the procedure outlined in this document. It will be their responsibility to afford all individuals a fair and unbiased investigation.
It will be the sole responsibility of the Disciplinary committee to impose any sanction to expel, suspend, warn, fine or disqualify members from Club activities for breach of this Constitution and Rules or the Official Guide or for conduct considered to have discredited or harmed the Club or the G.A.A. The committee will report back to the Executive Committee on the progress of the disciplinary procedures.
It is their responsibility to ensure that written records of all complaints are kept safely and confidentially, and Club procedures are defined for the possession of such records in the event of the election of new officers, ensuring compliance with GDPR guidelines and the principles of Data Protection.
If the complaint is submitted at County Board level the County Board must take responsibility for dealing with the complaint. If, in the opinion of the Chairperson/ Child Welfare Officer, there are grounds for concern, the statutory authorities should be contacted.
It is the responsibility of the Disciplinary Committee to resolve problems relating to the conduct of the members of Clann na nGael GAA Club. A complaint of any incident of suspected misconduct, including bullying, will be dealt with by the Disciplinary Committee.
The committee will comprise the following:
- The Vice-Chairperson (who will be Chair)
- The Assistant Secretary (who will be Secretary)
- One other Club Officer, which will be either the Treasurer, Registrar or PRO.
- A member of the Executive Committee.
- The Child Welfare Officer (if the matter involves a person u18 years of age)
The committee will be made aware of the issue of confidentiality when carrying out its investigations.
- The Disciplinary Committee will inform the individual with details of the complaint made against him/her and afford him/her the opportunity of providing a response either verbally or in writing.
- The Disciplinary Committee will meet with all parties involved, affording each party the same rights and opportunities.
- The Disciplinary Committee will provide a written report outlining the following:
- the procedure followed
- the findings
- the conclusions and
- any disciplinary actions to be taken.
- All parties will receive a copy of this report and a copy of the report will be kept on record.
- The Disciplinary Committee will, as soon as possible, inform the Executive Committee of the outcome of the disciplinary process.
Where it has been established that an incident of misconduct has taken place, the Disciplinary Committee, through the Assistant Secretary, will notify the member of any sanction being imposed on them. The notification will be made in writing setting out the reasons for the sanction. If the member is under 18 years of age, correspondence will be addressed to the parents /guardians.
The person will also be informed of their right to appeal any sanction within a given timeframe.
If the member against whom the complaint was made against does not agree with the recommendations of the Disciplinary Committee, he/she will have the right to appeal the decision to an Appeals Committee (independent of the Disciplinary Committee).
The Appeals Committee of Clann na nGael GAA will consist of:
- The Chairman (Who Shall be Chair)
- The Secretary (Who Shall be Secretary)
- The Assistant Treasurer
Any appeal should be made in writing within 7 days after issue of the decision of the Disciplinary Committee. The Chairperson of the Appeals Committee should be a member of the Executive Committee. The Appeals Committee has the power to confirm, set aside or change any sanction imposed by the Disciplinary Committee.
If the member against whom the complaint has been made is unhappy with the decision of the Appeals Committee, he/she should have the right to appeal the decision to the Executive Committee. Any appeal must be in writing and must be received by the Club Secretary at the latest three days after issue of the decision of the Appeals Committee. The Executive Committee will have the power to confirm, set aside or change any sanction imposed by the Appeals Committee.
As per 5.11.1 of the Club Constitution, where a Defending Party seeks a Hearing, it shall be provided by the County Hearings Committee. There shall be no appeal against a decision of Hearings Committee in relation to Disciplinary Action initiated by the Executive Committee.
However, efforts to resolve the issue will be exhausted before the Governing body is engaged in attempts to resolve the matter.
This document represents the working disciplinary procedures of Clann na nGael GAA Club.