KEVIN O’DONOVAN, a candidate for the position of vice-chairman on the Cork County Board, believes that the status of divisions should be ‘sacrosanct’.
Kilmeen native O’Donovan, currently the board coaching officer, has gained much support for his views on modernising the administration of GAA in the county. A key element in ensuring the smooth running of things, in his view, is the retention of the eight divisions and an effort to strengthen them, in contrast to what has been an erosion over the past number of years.
“From speaking to clubs and divisions, it’s never been clearer that the divisions need our support,’ he says.
“In a county the size of Cork, with the scale involved, it’s imperative to have a layer like the divisions between the clubs and the county. Otherwise, you run the risk of there being a huge disconnect there and we simply can’t afford for that to happen.”
The expansion of the county intermediate championships, with second teams from larger clubs taken out of junior, and divisional boards felt that such a move diluted their influence.
“Perhaps we need to listen more to those on the divisional boards,” O’Donovan says.
“When divisions are weaker, clubs are less likely to attend divisional board meetings, if they have an intermediate hurling team then they’ll be focused on the county board. That means that the divisions become even weaker again.
“The flip side of that is that the county board becomes too unwieldy with too many clubs and fixtures to organise – in a county with 20 clubs that might be possible but not when you have as many as Cork have.” Running against O’Donovan for vice-chairman is Richard Murphy of Lyre, who is currently the development officer on the board.