The race to succeed Sean Dunnion as the Chairman of the Donegal County Board looks set to be a two-horse race next Friday night.
Dunnion (pictured) has to vacate the Chair at the annual GAA Convention in Ballybofey having served the maximum permitted five years in the office.
While there were six nominations submitted for the role, it seems as if it will come down to a joust between Mick McGrath and Cieran Kelly when the night arrives.
The current Vice-Chairman, Frankie Doherty, today confirmed his wish to remain as the head of the Competitions Controls Committee (CCC).
The popular St Eunan’s man previously hinted that he may have contested for the Chair having been urged to do so by a number of clubs across the county.
Doherty said that due to family commitments he would not be allowing his name to go forward for the Chair.
“I think we have made good progress with the fixtures in the last couple of years and I would like to try to continue that work,” Doherty said.
“All clubs might not agree with everything we have done, but I think, overall, we have improved the fixtures. I have given it a lot of thought and spoken to a lot of people and think it best that I stay in the role I am in.”
Doherty is nominated for the Vice-Chair role alongside Ed Byrne, though the Killybegs man will remain in the PRO seat for another year..
Former Tánaiste Mary Coughlan, the secretary of the St Naul’s club, was nominated and initially said to be interested in the Chair, but has since confirmed that her name won’t be going forward.
Former County Secretary Aodh Mairtín Ó Fearraigh and former Treasurer Grace Boyle are both listed but have not expressed a desire to run for the top job.
Killybegs man Niall Erskine, who has held some high-ranking posts in Croke Park, was thought to be a candidate, but sources close to Erskine – a former Central Council delegate for Donegal – indicate that he won’t be seeking a vote on Friday night.
That leaves in the mix McGrath and Kelly.
Five years ago, in 2012, McGrath, from Ballyshannon, was beaten by Dunnion to the position. There were only nine votes (88-79) between them that Sunday afternoon in the Abbey Hotel.
McGrath, a leading referee in the 1990s, has served as Donegal PRO, Development Officer, Ulster Council delegate and Children’s Officer. He was also elected to the National Referees’ Development Committee.
The Aodh Ruadh clubman expressed an early wish to fight for the Chair and his only likely challenger now is Kelly. While the St Naul’s clubman still has another year to serve as Treasurer, there are strong indications that he will allow his name go forward for the Chair and force an election for the vacancy.
Kelly may yet face opposition for the Treasurer’s post, too, with Boyle yet to signal her intent.
Doherty, Aideen Gillen (Secretary) Declan Martin (Assitant Secretary), Byrne, David McLoone (Development Officer), Fergus McGee (Oifigeach Gaeilge agus Cultúir) and Seamus Ó Domhnaill (Central Council Delegate) can all expect to be returned to their portfolios without opposition.
There will be a contest for the role of Coach Officer with the incumbent, Conor McDermott, to face a challenge from Letterkenny Gaels’ Oisin Cannon, who was part of Declan Bonner’s backroom team during his stints as Donegal minor and U21 manager and also served this year under Micheál Naughton with the Donegal senior ladies.Tags: