“When we do reach a decision, that then has to go to County Board, where there are approximately 167 clubs represented, plus eight divisions and other bodies. In recent years, there has been an awareness that major decisions that may arise out of County Board meetings often have to go back to clubs for discussion before anything can be finalised.
“I felt very strongly that no-one who had something to offer to Cork should be excluded on the basis of past issues and conflicts, and I was particularly pleased to see former players, like Donal Óg Cusack. who might have felt that the door was closed to them, getting involved again. A very co-ordinated approach was taken to hurling management appointments last year, and I would like to see that model continued into the future.
“One area where I had hoped to effect change but did not manage to do so was in terms of our organisational structure as a county. While our divisions have done sterling work over many years, they were established at a very different time and to serve a very different purpose. I feel that we really need to bite the bullet, put our personal feelings to one side and carry out a full review of how we function as a county all the way from juvenile up to adult level. I do not feel that 100-year-old structures serve our county as they once did, and if we want to achieve at the highest level, such a review will be necessary.”
- This is an abridged version of a longer interview that appears in the 2021 Cork GAA Yearbook, out now