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Bullying Policy

The Club will not tolerate bullying in any form. The Club’s Anti-Bullying Policy may be summarised as follows in line with the Irish Sports Councils Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport and the GAA Code of Best Practice in Youth Sport.

We will endeavour to:

Raise the awareness within our club that bullying is unacceptable.

Encourage children, coaches/mentors and parents/guardians to report bullying to the Club Children’s Officer. The Club will use our Complaints procedures to address the problem.

The Club wishes to obtain the co-operation of parents/guardians to counter bullying.

Bullying behaviour can be defined as repeated aggression be it verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against others. It is behaviour which is intentionally aggravating and intimidating and occurs mainly among children in social environments such as schools, sports clubs and other organisations working with young children. It includes behaviour such as teasing, taunting, threatening, hitting or extortion by one or more children against a victim. It is the responsibility of the coaches/mentors to deal with bullying that may take place in the organisation. Incidents of bullying will be dealt with immediately and not tolerated under any circumstance.

Complaints Procedures and Club Discipline

 Juvenile Disciplinary Procedures

Misconduct by players will result in a warning issued by a coach, mentor or club official. If this misconduct is repeated, minor sanctions, such as a time out from a training session will be invoked. If the misconduct continues the child’s parents will be informed or the coach/mentor may request a parent/guardian to collect their child from training or play. This action is appropriate where a player has continued to offend, does not respond to the instructions of the coach, has wilfully damaged club property or property of visiting clubs or teams or where the player has brought the team or club into disrepute during training sessions, match or other organised events. Examples of such serious behaviour are: striking another player/officer of club, using repeated bad language, bullying or refusal to abide by the Clubs Code of Behaviour. Also inappropriate use of a mobile phone (i.e. taking inappropriate pictures in a dressing room or anywhere else) will be considered a serious offence by the Club.

Where a serious problem has occurred the coach may refer the incident to the Club Children’s Officer who will review all matters and may decide to meet the parents/guardians with the coach to try to resolve the difficulties. Where the problem is not resolved the sanctions outlined below may be imposed.

  • Issue warning as to future behaviour
  • Suspension from training and/or matches.
  • Suspension from club teams
  • Suspension from club
  • Expulsion from club

 Stage 1 (informal complaint)

The Club will endeavour to deal will all informal/verbal complaints as soon as possible.

A complaint may be made to the Clubs Children’s Officer, Designated Person or a member of the Committee. All complaints will be noted and kept on file.

The clubs first course of action will be to encourage the complainant to speak directly to the person they have an issue with in a calm and non-aggressive manner. If the issue cannot be resolved then a member of the committee or the Children’s Officer (if deemed appropriate) may mediate to try to resolve the issue.

If there are numerous complaints about a club member/coach/parent/player etc. the club may bring the matter to the Disciplinary Committee to resolve it.

 Stage 2 (formal complaint)

If the complaint cannot be resolved at the first stage (informally) then the complaint must be put in writing and given to the Club Children’s Officer or a member of the Club Committee.

The complaint will be forwarded to the Disciplinary Committee to resolve the problem.

Disciplinary Committee

The Disciplinary Committee will be made up of the Clubs Committee, Children’s Officer, Designated Person and the Clubs Head Coach.

If the complaint is about any of the above mentioned people then that person cannot be part of the Disciplinary Committee.

The complaint shall be responded to in writing within 2 weeks.

If the complaint involves suspected abuse then the Procedure for Reporting Allegation of Child Abuse shall be implemented.

The Disciplinary Committee shall hold a meeting to discuss the complaint.

The Disciplinary Committee shall inform the person whom the complaint is being made against in writing. They may provide a response either verbally (at a meeting with disciplinary committee) or in writing. They must be accompanied by a parent.

All process will be clearly and accurately recorded at every stage.

All information from the process written or verbal will be kept confidential.

When dealing with a complaint it is important to be clear about:

  • The particular incident of concern
  • Any previous incidents taken into account
  • Any remedial action to be taken, e.g. an apology
  • Any new behaviour expected
  • and finally what will happen if the arrangements agreed are not adhered to.

Following its deliberations the disciplinary committee may issue any of the following sanctions as it deems necessary:

  • Issue warning as to future behaviour
  • Suspension from training and/or matches.
  • Suspension from club
  • Expulsion from club

Appeals Procedure

A finding of the disciplinary committee may be appealed to an Appeal Committee made up of the officers from the senior club.