Championships must be reviewed as fans are ‘voting with their feet’, says outgoing chairman

Outgoing County Board Chairman Barry O’Brien, in a wide ranging and very thought provoking address to Convention, listed the victories of the Tipperary minor football team and the Drom-Inch senior hurling team as being particular highlights of the season.

Outgoing County Board Chairman Barry O’Brien, in a wide ranging and very thought provoking address to Convention, listed the victories of the Tipperary minor football team and the Drom-Inch senior hurling team as being particular highlights of the season.

However, he asked a few very searching questions about the GAA at local, county and national level and suggested that a very indepth look must be given to structures to ensure that the games remain attractive to patrons.

The county championships must be looked at, he suggested, as there are “too many side doors, backdoors and every other kind of door” for teams to remain in the championships.

At inter county level he suggested that the provincial and All-Ireland series should be examined to see if separate championships would be of benefit. People are voting with their feet, he said, and he suggested that a very serious look needs to be given to the structures at national level.

“It has been a great honour for me to have been Chairman of the Board for the last three years. I have enjoyed every minute of it and I got to visit every club and GAA grounds in the county. I visited every primary and post primary school in the county and a hell of a lot of hospitals and nursing homes with the Liam McCarthy. It has been a great voyage and I can suggest to the Board that we are very fortunate to be handing over the reins to a man of the calibre of Sean Nugent who is coming in at a very difficult time,” Mr O’Brien said.

With a veiled attack on Central Council and the Games Development Committee in relation to their “communist, one size fits all attitude”, the outgoing Chairman also suggested that common sense is not prevailing when it comes to applying the rules of the Association.

In paying tribute to his fellow officers, Mr O’Brien also mentioned the role of John Ryan in developing the third pitch at Dr Morris Park – a facility which will see the county progress further still in the years to come.

However, he held his final comments for the players of the county and said that the GAA should never forget that there are the most important people in the Association. “I want to thank most sincerely each and every player in the county for their commitment and for the huge entertainment they give us Sunday after Sunday,” he said.

The role of Vice Chairman of the Board went to an election with Michael Bourke (Upperchurch Drombane) winning out by 140 votes to 56 over Micheal McCormack (Fethard).

There was also a vote for the County Development Officer with Jimmy Minogue (Nenagh Eire Og) winning out over Micheal McCormack (Fethard) by votes to 146 votes to 50.

Officers Elected

President: Tomas O’Baroid (Sarsfields)

Vice President: Michael Maher (Holycross/B), Matt Hassett (Toomevara).

Chairperson: Sean Nugent (Kilsheelan Kilcash)

Vice Chairman: Michael Bourke (Upperchurch/ Drombane)

Ass Secretary: Tom Maher (Moyne Templetuohy)

Treasurer: Eamon Buckley (Lattin Cullen)

Ass Treasurer: John O’Donovan (Thurles Gaels)

Development Officer: Jimmy Minnogue (Nenagh Eire Og)

Coaching Officer: Nicholas Moroney (St Patricks)

Irish Language and Culture: Josephine Cahill (Sarsfields)

Youth Officer: John Smith (Durlas Og)

PRO: Ger Ryan (Templederry)

Central Council Rep: John Costigan (JK Brackens)

Munster Council Reps: PJ Maher (Boherlahan Dualla), Donie Shanahan (Toomevara).