Ex GAA President Joe McDonagh, on right

The GAA were this week given a special award by the European Parliament for their services to sport and humanity etc. There was a particularly fulsome tribute made in Strasbourg by the President of the Parliament Martin Schulz. But it left a sour taste with many that the award was accepted by former GAA President Joe McDonagh who recently took a court case to get back a State allowance that was no longer applicable: it involved travel arrangements for the Galway VEC. He won the case, as the allowance was a statutory arrangement regardless of changing economic necessity: the case has implications for those who think the pensions of former politicians can be easily cut or changed. But the case caused a bit of controversy, as McDonagh was already on a large State salary, of over 100,000 euros – much larger than the equivalent in other countries. And what does it say about an organisation, which prides itself on its volunteerism and amateur status, that McDonagh would take a high profile case like this?. It didn’t exactly seem to be leading by example when so many other State officials are.;jsessionid=C3780540A8A6275BC3F31B6A087C0FBC