Quill calls for e-voting

Quill calls for e-voting


By Jackie Cahill

LADIES Gaelic Football Association President Pat Quill has called for the introduction of electronic voting at all levels of the GAA after witnessing the overwhelming success of the experiment at first hand.The Ladies Gaelic Football board broke new ground once again with the use of e-voting to determine the success or failure of various motions at their recent Annual Congress.

All delegates voted with a hand-held device which ensured that the results were collated and available almost immediately, and made visible on a big screen.

Speaking from San Francisco, before the 2010 O’Neills/TG4 Allstar touring party left for home, Quill explained: “It’s something we decided to try. After a motion was put to the floor and debated, the vote took place.

“The e-voting system is operated by Paula Prunty (National Games Development Officer) and she then brought up the results.”

E-voting, if introduced for GAA Annual Congress, county board annual conventions or at club AGMs, would save time and replace the traditional method where delegates raise their hands and the results are counted by tellers on the floor.

Often, recounts are necessary but e-voting would ensure that results are not open to debate and are 100 per cent true.

Quill has insisted that the GAA must follow the lead of the Ladies Gaelic Football Association by introducing e-voting, stating: “Definitely and I have no doubt that they will, in time. It’s so accurate rather than counting hands and you have the scenario of people putting up their hands and taking them down. If you look in their direction, they think you have them counted but e-voting is very clear. It will only let you press one button, yes or no, and will take your first selection. The green light goes on and that means the vote has been accepted.”

E-voting is the latest initiative introduced by the Ladies Gaelic Football Association following the success of other innovations such as the countdown clock and sin-bin in recent years.

And Quill also revealed that a ‘runner’ will be brought in for this year’s championship, in time for the All-Ireland final, which will enable managers to get information across to their players on the field of play.

Quill insisted that runners will only be allowed onto the pitch in a controlled fashion, adding: “They can’t look like two extra players running up and down the field of play all of the time.”

Meanwhile, Quill hailed the success of the latest O’Neills/TG4 Ladies Gaelic Football Allstars tour and revealed that a new club will be established in Los Angeles as a result.

US based relations of Quill will be heavily involved in the formation of the new club, which looks set to be called Thousand Oaks after the particular area in the heart of the Conejo Valley which will be covered.

Addressing all aspects of Ladies Gaelic Football, Quill believes that achieving a 50,000 attendance on All-Ireland finals day by 2010 is possible and he also predicted a World Championship of Gaelic Games within ten years.

The Wexford native said: “We’re more of a participation sport than a spectator sport at the moment. It’s the girls themselves that have to come out and support their own sports and that applies to almost every female sport in the country.”

Initiatives such as Gaelic for Mothers, Ready Steady Go and Gaelic4Girls are helping to raise the numbers participating in Ladies Gaelic Football.

Quill also believes that working closely with the media, local schools and colleges will also help the sport to grow in popularity.

Quill added: “I would also like to see us getting into local TV stations in America, and that goes for all Gaelic Games.

“The Americans are big in sport and I think, working with the likes of TG4 and RTÉ, that we can access local networks in the USA.

“It is also my belief that within ten years, there will be a World championships.

“I was in Bangkok for the Asian finals and there were 50 different teams playing Gaelic Football there – 32 men and 18 women, from 29 different nationalities.

“And in Brittany, France, they’re ahead of us in Ireland because Gaelic Games is on the schools curriculum there for both national and secondary schools, and it’s also an exam subject.

“As a result of that, one of the girls that played it was transferred to Hanoi (Vietnam) and set up a Ladies club there.”

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