Chairperson / Cathaoirleach
The Qualities of an Cathaoirleach
An Cathaoirleach is a leader and a Manager. He/She must have:
– Dedication – the G.A.A. and the Club must come high in his/her priorities
– Knowledge – He/She must prepare by knowing what the G.A.A. is all about. He/she must become familiar with ‘An Treoraí Oifigiúil
– Power of Persuasion – He/she is not a dictator. He/she must be able to motivate and handle people.
– Integrity – He/she is the symbol of the Club and has a good standing in the community.
We will not always get the ideal Cathaoirleach. We may even find it difficult sometimes to get one at all!
But we should do our best to get someone.
– who has time to do the job
– who is a genuine interest in the Association and the necessary background knowledge
– who has a good standing in the community
– who has leadership qualities.
The duties of an Cathaoirleach may be summed up as follows:
– To uphold the constitution of the Association. This of course means that he/she must know it thoroughly. He/she
– To act as Cathaoirleach at certain committee and other meetings.
– To strive continuously to improve the club; this involves full co-operation with the other office holders.
– To represent the club at various functions
– To act on behalf of the club in the interval between meetings.
We will now move on to the role of the Cathaoirleach at meetings. This begins in advance of the meeting when an Cathaoirleach should prepare or obtain an agenda; certainly he/she should know what will be on the agenda for the meeting (very often he/she will draft the agenda with the Club Secretary). He/she will decide what the priorities of the meeting are with the intention of getting those matters finalised, leaving unimportant matters to be decided at a later date if necessary. He/she ensures to be at the venue of the meeting before the appointed time so that he/she and the Secretary can discuss the agenda.
The Cathaoirleach role at the meeting is by far the most important of his/her functions. Most of the essentials are referred to in the Club Manual.
The efficient transaction of committee business calls for set procedures. The extent to which these are put into force varies a good deal. Generally, the contributions of individual members are limited by rules which are interpreted and applied by the Cathaoirleach. These rules of procedure are designed to help keep order and to enable sound and acceptable decisions to be reached quickly and with least effort.
Broadly speaking. the rules of procedure will ensure:
– That, for practical purposes, the majority decision is the right one
– That at a committee meeting the majority vote will represent the committees opinion
– That the minority will agree with the majority ruling
A Few Important Points:
– The Cathaoirleach has more authority than any other member of the committee; An Cathaoirleach should ensure that the meeting is effective. He/she must guide but not lead.
– The responsibility for seeing that the meeting achieves its purpose rests with the Cathaoirleach. He/she must decide priorities to see that the important things are dealt with.
– He/she must keep to the point and see that others do likewise. He/she must not allow talkative members to dominate the meeting.
– He/she must close discussion on a subject when it has gone on long enough: summarise the points made and make sure that members understand the decision/s they are taking.
– He/she should see that all speakers address the Chair and do not engage in cross-talk with each other. This formality should be followed even at small committee meetings.
– He/she should be tolerant to reasonable interjections but prevent excess heckling.
– He/she should adopt a neutral attitude and remain impartial especially where a matter is contentious.
30-Dec-07 by PJ Meehan – Development Officer