Tuesday 17 October 2017

Innovative Quinn has set cat among the G.A.A. pigeons

Brendan Furlong's Hop Ball

Brendan Furlong
Brendan Furlong

Having attended county G.A.A. Conventions as a young greenhorn in the company of my father, then club Secretary, one left with ludicrous notions regarding the future of the Association in the county.

What's more, I have for a long number of years covered the happenings of county Convention as a journalist, while I also served as county P.R.O. on two separate occasions.

For those years whenever a contest for a position on the management committee arose, candidates took to the telephone, not the most dependable of contacts in those early years, or made a personal call to a club delegate, who in turn was requested to pass on the message, that so and so was seeking your support for that coveted official position.

And so for years this was the means of contact, but 2016 has seen a new dimension brought to the importance of seeking a position at the top table. No doubt candidates may have been tempted in the past in an effort to increase their importance to bring something different, something totally new to the election campaign.

But while the candidates have still to make their ambitions known, with the exception of a few, there came a moment of inspiration from Arthur Quinn. The Askamore-Kilrush clubman has allowed his name go forward for the position of County Chairman, a post being vacated by Diarmuid Devereux, who is about to complete five hugely successful years at the helm.

And Arthur has had the endearing sense to produce a four-page A4 glossy brochure outlining his hopes and aspirations for the G.A.A. in the county should he be elected.

Quinn has got teeth gnashing and many whaling at the audacity to bring such an approach to G.A.A. affairs. This reaction has come particularly from those with ambitions, as they attempt to pour scorn at such a professional approach. It's a first for Arthur and a first for Wexford G.A.A., and possibly the G.A.A. as a whole.

Whether for the right or wrong reason(s), the brochure has brought Arthur Quinn to the forefront of every G.A.A. club in the county, all 49 of them, as they are about to begin deliberations as to where their support will eventually lie. Quinn's astonishing move certainly sets an agenda while also posing problems for others with aspirations for the high office of County Chairman.

It has already become a source of not just conversation, but also some ugly mutterings from those in opposite camps, although to date the only other person to come forward and announce his candidature is Noel O'Keeffe of St. Anne's, who is also Treasurer of Coiste na nOg.

He has also completed four years as adult Board Vice-Chairman, with just one year remaining. He is also being nominated for Vice-Chairman and Leinster Council.

While the brochure has certainly fuelled the campaign, no other potential candidate has made himself known to this newspaper, other than the two already mentioned plus current Coiste na nOg P.R.O. P.J. Howlin (Duffry Rovers), who is standing for the same role at adult level.

One will have to wait until Friday next at 5 p.m. which is the deadline for the official list of candidates to be submitted to the County G.A.A. Office.

Meanwhile, a Wexford victory over Carlow in the 2017 provincial Senior football championship is now more important than ever as it should see a home championship game against the All-Ireland champions, Dublin.

With football proposals from Central Council to go before All-Ireland Congress next year, the President has stipulated during Central Council debate that a home game means a home game. That being said, we should avoid the Dublin v. Laois debacle of this year, with Innovate Wexford Park hosting the All-Ireland champions should that arise.

It could be a bumper year for the county grounds as, should the Senior hurlers overcome the round-robin side, they will host the provincial champions, Kilkenny.

Under health and safety regulations, Innovate Wexford Park should encounter little difficulty. While on that topic, just to refer back to last week, the reference to Derek Kent should have read that he is Chairman of the Leinster Council Health and Safety committee from 2014 to February next year.

Wexford People

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