Kerry County Convention took place in the Gleneagle Hotel last Monday night. Seven roles were officially filled on the night, six of the positions were uncontested and the only election was for the role of Leas- Cisteoir (Assistant Treasurer). Joe Crowley was elected to the position, defeating Pat McAuliffe 150 to 77 votes. There is one new face at the Executive table for the year ahead as Fionnán Fitzgerald (Ballymacelligott) takes over from Stephen O’Sullivan as Leas-Runaí (Assistant Secretary).
The full list of officers is as follows- Chairman Tim Murphy , Vice Chairman Diarmuid Ó Sé, Secretary Peter Twiss, Treasurer Dermot Lynch, Central Council Delegate John Joe Carroll, Development Officer Eamonn Whelan, Coaching Officer Terence Houlihan, PRO Leona Twiss , Hurling Officer Paudie Dineen , Assistant Secretary Fionnán Fitzgerald, Cultural Officer Christy Killeen, Munster Council (2 Delegates) Ger McCarthy and John O’Leary, Assistant Treasurer Joe Crowley and Children’s Officer Bernie Reen.
Three motions were on the Clár, two of which were enabling motions and both were passed. The third motion was from the Valentia Club regarding the age eligibility for playing senior football and hurling. This motion drew a lot of discussion from the floor. It was decided in the end to refer the motion to Central Council.
In the Chairman’s address, Tim Murphy spoke about the streamlined approach to strength and conditioning for all teams, the new additions to the backroom team (Joe O’Connor, Niall O’Mahony and James Weldon) and the establishment of a Voluntary Commercial Body by the end of 2018 to assist with our commercial strategy and to maximise our brand. The Chairman thanked Kerry Group and in particular Frank Hayes, Director of Corporate Affairs for their continued support.
County Convention on Monday night
The annual Convention of Kerry GAA takes place on Monday night next in the Gleneagle Hotel Killarney commencing at 7:30. The County Convention provides a great avenue for clubs to air their views on all aspects of the running of the Association in the County as invariably, all issues big and small are referred to in the Runaí’s report which is with the Clubs since midweek.
On the field of play it has been a pretty successful year with All Ireland football titles at Minor and Junior level and in Hurling, the successful Minor Teams of the past few years are now beginning to bear fruit at Under 21 level with an All Ireland title in that grade. Hopefully that progression will continue and reflect itself in success at senior hurling level.
Of course the failure of our senior footballers to get past Mayo in the All Ireland semi final has generated a lot of debate in the last three months or so and that is standard practice in this county when Sam Maguire does not come to visit.
Four great stalwarts retired from the Intercounty scene during the year under review; Aidan O’Mahony, Colm Cooper and Bryan Sheehan all had long and successful careers in the green and gold jersey while John Griffin was equally a great servant to Kerry intercounty hurling teams.
On the Club front, Dr Crokes dominated the headlines once again winning the All Ireland Club title and then retaining their County title while Glenbeigh-Glencar and St Brendans College also visited Croke Park and came away as All Ireland Champions.
Meanwhile, Ballyduff are back on top of the pile after winning the senior Hurling championship at the second attempt.
The opening of the new Centre of Excellence in Currans is something to really look forward to after Christmas. This is a long overdue central facility for Kerry teams in both codes and in all grades. However, the challenge to fund the resources for it’s upkeep is only beginning.
An election for officers always provides a bit of excitement at County Convention but despite the fact that seven posts became vacant, there is only one contest and that is for the post of Assistant Treasurer where outgoing Munster Council delegate Joe Crowley from Laune Rangers and Pat McAuliffe from John Mitchels are both contesting the position.
There will be at least one new face on the executive next year as Fionnán Fitzgerald from the Ballymacelligott club will become the new Assistant Secretary; Fionnán would be particularly well known in Scór circles.
Five Officers who have completed the maximum five years in their current positions will take up new posts in the coming year; Paudie Dineen is the new Hurling Officer; Leona Twiss will take over the PRO position; Christy Killeen is the new Cultural Officer and both Ger McCarthy and John O’Leary will fill the two Munster Council Delegate positions. Stephen O’Sullivan has stepped down from the Assistant Secretary post after three years in the position and did not seek re-election.
The full list of nominations for Officer Posts for Convention is as follows:
Chairman Tim Murphy (Brosna) Outgoing
Vice Chairnan Diarmuid Ó Sé (Dromid Pearses) Outgoing
Secretary Peter Twiss (Milltown C-maine) Appointment
Treasurer Dermot Lynch (Annascaul) Outgoing
Central Council John Joe Carroll (Asdee) Outgoing
Development Officer Eamonn Whelan (St Senans) Outgoing
Coaching Officer Terence Houlihan (Laune Rangers) Outgoing
PRO Leona Twiss (Milltown-Castlemaine)
Hurling Officer Paudie Dineen (Abbeydorney)
Assistant Secretary Fionnán Fitzgerald (Ballymacelligott)
Cultural Officer Christy Killeen (Finuge)
Munster Council (2) Ger McCarthy (Causeway)
John O’Leary (Spa)
Assistant Treasurer Joe Crowley (Laune Rangers)
Pat McAuliffe (John Mitchels)
Children’s Officer Bernie Reen (Rathmore) Outgoing
With all of the fixtures and competition motions having already been debated and decided upon at the recent County Committee meeting, there are just three motions on the clár for Convention, two of them of a technical nature. There is an interesting motion from the Valentia Club in relation to the age limit for playing senior football. That age limit is currently 17 years on the first of January but the motion seeks to change that to be eligible once a player reaches 17 years of age; “That a player qualify to play senior football once they reach their 17th birthday due to the decline in rural junior clubs struggling to field 15 players”.
The Draw for the new Opel Insignia in the Kerry GAA Draw will take place during Convention in the Gleneagle Hotel on Monday night.