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Fitzgerald’s contract queried by Clare clubs

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*Pat Fitzgerald in Cusack Park. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography

Clare clubs have queried the duration of the contract for county secretary Pat Fitzgerald.

Tulla GAA club had submitted a motion seeking that “a full list of current positions including names and reasons if any why any particular position may not be nominated” with all future nomination papers issued prior to County Convention. The proposal was seconded by Clarecastle’s Martin McNamara.

Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting, Tulla delegate Brian Torpey stated, “The secretary’s position was not on the list this year” and expressed a desire among the club to know why this arose”.

County Chairman Joe Cooney outlined that other non-elected roles such as that of Child Welfare Officer and Development Officer were not included in the list.

Confusion surrounded Fitzgerald’s contract, Torpey felt. He commented that one year he was informed the secretary was nominated every year and the subsequent year “I was told he had to stay on until Cusack Park was completed. Can we clarify what Pat’s position is. Sorry, it is not so much Pat’s but the secretary’s position”.

In response, Fitzgerald stated he had “no problem whatsoever” in clarifying the matter. He said he addressed the matter at Convention two years ago in the Auburn Lodge. “I became secretary a number of years ago. I worked voluntary until 2009 which went to 2016 when I got a further contract and that is the position. Everyone knows I am a full-time secretary”.

Later in the meeting, Éire Óg delegate Rory Hickey stated that he had tried to join the discussion but was unable. He sought clarification on when the current contract of the secretary expires. “I know of some people that are interested in taking on the role down the line,” the ex referee said in explaining his reason for questioning the matter.

Fitzgerald commented that Hickey must not have taken note of the discussion earlier in the meeting. “My first contract was in 2009 and the second one was in 2016. That will answer your question, you are an intelligent guy”.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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