Tuesday 17 September 2019

Devereux doesn't deserve the ire of a minority group

Brendan Furlong
Brendan Furlong

Brendan Furlong's Hop Ball

Wexford G.A.A. has surfaced from its financial swamp, with the man responsible, outgoing county Chairman Diarmuid Devereux, receiving very little credit from a minority section of the Association in the county.

Years of property madness had leftthe Wexford G.A.A. Board with a financial crisis when the new Chairman assumed office five years ago. Wexford G.A.A. Board was left with a debt mountain of €3m approximately, a figure that included the expenditure on the Ferns Centre of Excellence along with the outstanding debt on Wexford Park.

That loan had been due for completion, but it was extended by the previous administration, not forgetting the Glenbrien land legacy and a loss of €357,803, a figure that haunted the County Board for the best part of the last five years.

Wexford G.A.A. was fighting for survival with a mounting debt burden. The county was on a life support machine. The financial crisis was to prove a nightmare but through the work of the county Chairman, the head office and County Board members, the financial crisis is no longer. Wexford G.A.A. is now in a healthy position, to hand over to the incoming County Board.

Wexford G.A.A. may be fed up with the debate on finances but five years back it had the potential to cause terminal difficulties for the Association in the county. More questions than answers were raised, but as it stands, delegates will be pleased when they are presented with the 2016 financial report at Monday's county Convention.

It has been, or should at least be, recognised that finances play a crucial role in the running of any organisation, and the G.A.A. is no exception.

But it is infuriating to hear the heartless canvas being operated by a small group while nominees jockey for various positions on the new officer board, with many current officers, including the Chairman, stepping aside having completed five years in office.

Could this small group be so cynical as to fail to recognise the contribution that the county Chairman has made during his five years in office? He should be allowed to step down with his credibility intact and to walk away with dignity, after five of the most successful years of any Chairman in the county or outside.

Some of these people emerged from the financial fiasco, being part of the last administration, and are now offering themselves to lead Wexford G.A.A. into 2017 and beyond. The very least they can do, while pushing their own individual claims for office, is to allow the county Chairman walk out the door on Monday night with dignity intact.

The undercurrent from the canvas of those seeking office has to be recognised as being unfortunate when the G.A.A. in the county is in a position to portray a really good news story. Why the injustice and unfairness of it all, as the campaign of a group of individuals fails to protect the good name of the county Chairman, whose status within the G.A.A. in the county and at provincial and Croke Park level has increased dramatically given his achievements over a difficult five-year period.

They see no shame in the manner of their canvas and their openness in requesting clubs to cast their votes accordingly, particularly their catchphrase: oppose Devereux for Coaching Officer as he is not wanted on the incoming management committee. Generosity does not ring through their tone, rather a total lack of respect.

Diarmuid Devereux may not be a member of the new county management committee, but that will ring a hollow sound through decent-minded people within the G.A.A. following his five-year tenure.

He is angry at the treatment being meted out, and few could blame him.

Wexford delegates will vote on Monday night for various positions, the most important being that of Chairman, where it will be a two-way contest between Arthur Quinn and Derek Kent.

Quinn in a professional brochure, followed up by a postcard to all clubs, has set out his visions for Wexford G.A.A. should he be elected. We carried details of this vision some weeks back when it was sent to us by the candidate.

Derek Kent was offered the opportunity by this newspaper of an interview to set out his own vision, but he chose to ignore the request, with no response received.

Wexford People

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