Key appointments to be made by Cork GAA at annual convention

Key appointments to be made by Cork GAA at annual convention

Action at rain-swept Páirc Uí Chaoimh recently. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

THE playing fields around the county may be silent right now but the shop is still very much open on the administrative front. 

Over the coming weeks, the annual divisional conventions will be held, all of them leading up to the County Convention next month.

There will not be the annual gatherings of delegates in Pairc Ui Chaoimh or anywhere else and all the business will be conducted online.

This year’s County Convention will mark the end of Tracey Kennedy’s three-year reign as board chairperson.

As is the norm now, she will be succeeded by vice-chair Marc Sheehan who has served three years in that role. It’s expected he will hold that post for the next three years.

His elevation to the chair will leave a vacancy below him for the vice-chair and here an intriguing contest may well be on the cards.

Given that the vice-chairperson now succeeds the chairperson after the latter has completed his or her three-year term, clubs will effectively be voting for the chairperson who will begin their reign in 2024.

Marc Sheehan, the new chairman of the Cork County Board, with Pearse Murphy, Jim Murphy, Mick O'Brien,  Ray Rahilly, Donal O'Keeffe, Denis Kelleher and Pat Horgan at Sarsfield's. Picture: Mike English
Marc Sheehan, the new chairman of the Cork County Board, with Pearse Murphy, Jim Murphy, Mick O'Brien,  Ray Rahilly, Donal O'Keeffe, Denis Kelleher and Pat Horgan at Sarsfield's. Picture: Mike English

Three names are going forward for the right to occupy the vice-chair role: Pat Horgan, Ronan Dwane and Des Cullinane. All are members of the executive: Horgan is the development officer, Dwane is the coaching officer and Cullinane is the children’s officer.

Horgan is a former PRO of the board while Cullinane was the Central Council delegate from the board for a number of years. All three have been very involved with their clubs down the years on the playing side of things with Cullinane a selector alongside Richie Kelleher on the successful Glen Rovers county SHC team of 2015 and 2016.

Dwane has coached his own club Aghada and has been involved in a similar role with other clubs as well in the county. Horgan is also a former chairman of the Midleton club and was a selector with various teams in the club.

A total number of votes that can be cast from the clubs is 784 with dual affiliated clubs entitled to six votes and single affiliated clubs three votes.

The ballot papers for the two vacancies have already been posted out and the outcome will be revealed in advance of the County Convention which will be held on December 17.

There are just two candidates for the role of coaching officer to succeed Ronan Dwane who has completed his three-year stint, Jerry Walsh representing the Ballydesmond club and Bill O’Flynn representing the Glanworth club.

Walsh is a former cultural officer of the board while it will be O’Flynn’s first time as a contestant for a position on the board. The status quo will prevail for the other members of the executive of the County Board with Joe Blake being returned as unopposed as PRO, Richard Murphy as cultural officer and Diarmuid Gowen as the board’s treasurer.

Tracy Kennedy was also returned unopposed as the board’s Central Council delegate while the status quo also prevailed with the two Munster Council delegates, Ger Lane from the Bride Rovers club and Ballyhea’s Michael Byrne.

According to board PRO Joe Blake a meeting online was held recently between county board officers and divisional secretaries in which it was outlined to them the process of holding a convention online.

For the clubs, an online webinar was also held showing clubs how to host their own AGM’s online.

Blake told The Echo that it was important in these unprecedented times for everybody to be able to fully understand the procedure of having such important events online. 

The decision by Croke Park to award Páirc Uí Chaoimh with the hosting of the All-Ireland SHC qualifier next weekend between Clare and Waterford will be considered a big boost for the venue and recognition that the surface is now regarded as one of the best in the country.

That was very evident in the recent games between Limerick and Tipperary in the Munster SHC and Cork and Kerry in the SFC.

Both games were played in treacherous conditions but the sod in Pairc Ui Chaoimh stood up superbly to the elements.

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