Cup alcohol ban not yet in practice

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The Liam McCarthy and Sam Maguire Cups, plus all their lesser-known friends, can rest easy in the knowledge that they will not have their bottoms pierced, at least not in the short term.

The call for GAA cups to be decommissioned as alcohol carriers at celebrations came from the Shannon Gaels club in Cavan and was approved by Congress last April.

It stipulated that “cups or trophies shall not be filled with any alcoholic beverage” and further decreed that they “shall be altered to prevent the placings of any liquid therein.”

Effectively, that would have required either boring holes in the silverware or fitting a mechanism to ensure that the lid could not be removed. The motion sailed through after arguments were put forward that the GAA should make a symbolic gesture against linking success in sport with alcohol.

Cavan argued that filling cups with alcohol as part of celebrations sent out a wrong signal and while it was clear that passing the motion would cause practical problems, it still won enough support to be written into rule.

Motions passed by Congress usually come into rule four weeks later but, unsurprisingly, ‘Operation Alteration’ wasn’t quite as straight-forward as it first appeared. Nearly five months later, no cups have been altered and the matter is now before a GAA bye-laws committee for consideration.

It remains to be seen what they come up with in order to satisfy the spirit of the proposal which was agreed at Congress. In the meantime, it’s business as usual for cups as inter-county and club championship programmes are completed over the next few months.

There’s a growing feeling that the rule will eventually be binned as impractical, in which case it will interesting to see how Cavan reacts after their motion drew widespread support last April.


Source: The Irish Independent, 02/09/10
Journalist: Martin Breheny