Raymond O’Mahony and Seán Lenihan.
IT WAS an AGM that started in November but almost finished in December yet the Clare Ladies Gaelic Football Association were unable to elect officers to the roles of secretary and public relations officer.
An approximate attendance of fifty representatives gathered at Thursday’s annual general meeting of the Clare LGFA at Hotel Woodstock.
For the second year, Clare LGFA were unable to elect a secretary meaning a special meeting will have to be held in the next fortnight. As a result, the County Board are to consider introducing bye-laws which will sanction clubs that are not providing volunteers to serve in various roles at a county level.
Éire Óg’s Raymond O’Mahony who succeeded Monica Callinan when agreeing to take on the role following last year’s AGM had indicated he did not wish to continue in the role. Assistant secretary Aishling Torpey also stood down following a year in the role.
Caoimhe McMahon of St Joseph’s Miltown and Therese Roseingrave from St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield also departed from their roles as PRO and Asst PRO respectively.
Chairman of Clare LGFA, Seán Lenihan informed the meeting he was willing to remain in the hotseat for a fourth and final year. Similarly, Geraldine Kelly said her fifth year as Treasurer would be her last.
Michael Fitzpatrick, a former long-time county secretary was elected as the new President of the Clare LGFA. The outgoing Christy O’Connor died during the year with Cuil Gaels proposing Fitzpatrick as the new President. James Lafferty, Ann Hayes and James Costelloe all remain as Vice Presidents.
JJ O’Dea (Vice Chairman), Edel Conway (Asst Treasurer), Therese Doohan (Registrar), Sheila Murphy (Culture and Language Officer) and David Nagle (Development Officer) were all returned unopposed.
Doohan’s upcoming bid in the local elections as a Fine Gael candidate in the Kilrush electoral area was referenced by the Chairman during the AGM,
Ex Clare player, Carmel Bohannon is part of a trio alongside Christina Hayes and Monica Callinan who will serve as Munster Delegates. Bohannon was nominated as secretary but opted not to stand.
Former Clare captain, Louise Henchy was coerced into becoming the player delegate while Lenihan and O’Dea will act as the Central Council delegates.
Addressing the meeting, Lenihan acknowledged departing officers of 2023 and those who served on the County Board prior to that. “Some are taking a well-deserved break, I appreciate why they need to recharge the batteries but there are people and clubs that need to step up. I don’t want to shame anyone but if we did a check, there are some clubs with no representation”.
“Three years ago I was sitting at home with the legs up when I got the call, I said I’d do three years, I’m willing to do four years but that is it because we will need fresh ideas and energy,” the Miltown Malbay native added.
“I was hoping Raymond would stay on, it is a hard job and there is no point saying it isn’t, I thank Raymond for his service, Carmel Bohannon was nominated but is not standing for secretary. The organisation can’t function without a secretary, it is a critical role and we need somebody good at it, we were spoiled with Raymond and Monica. We can’t function without it and we will have to defer to a special meeting,” he told delegates.
O’Mahony will remain as secretary in an acting basis until a successor is elected.
Persons need to be willing to come forward to stand for the County Board, the Chairman stressed. “People are quick to blame the Co Board but the Board is the accumulative body for the clubs, we need the clubs to step up, maybe we do need to name and shame, some clubs have been brilliant and some are hiding in plain sight”.
Young members of clubs are suitable candidates for the role of PRO due to their proficiency on social media, Lenihan believed. “We have nearly 4,000 members in our association in Clare, there must be 10,000 people that we could be tapping into,” the St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield clubman maintained. “We have to fill these roles, ye will all be quick to give out after the fact”.
He continued, “We have four critical positions to fill. It is like déjà vu, we had this last year. I’m asking everybody and appealing to everybody, please think of who you have in network, who would be good and who would have the time for these roles”.
Doohan pointed out that only nine of the twenty two clubs in the county were represented on the Executive.
President of Munster LGFA, Robbie Smith advised the meeting that Clare LGFA can introduce a bye-law to have someone from every club involved on the County Board, “that has to be brought in at an AGM or do it at an EGM”.
President: Michael Fitzpatrick
Vice President: James Lafferty, Ann Hayes and James Costelloe.
Chairman: Seán Lenihan (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield)
Vice Chairman: JJ O’Dea (Banner Ladies)
Asst Secretary: Vacant
Treasurer: Geraldine Kelly (Cúl Gaels)
Asst Treasurer: Edel Conway (Doonbeg)
Registrar: Therese Doohan (Kilmurry Ibrickane)
Asst PRO: Vacant
Culture & Language: Sheila Murphy (St Joseph’s Miltown)
Development Officer: David Nagle (West Clare Gaels)
Munster Delegates: Carmel Bohannon (Cúl Gaels), Christina Hayes (Fergus Rovers), Monica Callinan (Kilmihil)
Player Delegate: Louise Henchy (Banner Ladies)
Central Council Delegates: Seán Lenihan & JJ O’Dea