Friday 20 September 2019

It's crucial that the County Board gets this mess sorted

Brendan Furlong's Hop Ball

The roadblocks have been removed but what lurks ahead?

That's the big question that remains after possibly the most embarrassing moment in the history of Wexford G.A.A.

The season was coming to an uneasy conclusion, but unfortunately a fall-out from Coiste na nÓg's self-induced mess will have serious ramifications for every club over the coming weeks.

It was at the final meeting of Coiste na nÓg that the wheels came off the wagon, and this after just weeks since the officers had been returned for another period in office.

While it's always crucial to get things right in the lead-up to county conventions, it's even more important when it comes to elections that are outside the remit of the underage board. But the underage board must now realise that they stepped outside their remit, lost control, and hence the board is left without three officers.

That's why it's crucial for the County Board to get it right, something which Coiste na nÓg patently did not do.

Their decision making on the night was deplorable with Coiste Chairman Bobby Goff announcing that he may not be their Chairman for 2017, as he was contesting the vacant coaching position at adult level.

But of even more significance was the decision of Coiste Secretary, Angela McCormack, to request underage delegates to go back to their clubs and seek out support for Bobby (Goff), despite the fact that County Chairman Diarmuid Devereux, who has completed five years at the helm of the adult board, was also nominated.

In hindsight she also sought out support for Noel O'Keeffe who was nominated for several posts, but there was no mention for Joe Kelly who is the Children's Officer.

This led to a major dispute with O'Keeffe resigning his position as treasurer of Coiste na nÓg in protest at the actions of the two officers. Following much breath-taking debate both McCormack and Goff subsequently resigned their posts.

The seriousness of their actions was there for all to see with three main officers absent from the top table for last night's Coiste na nÓg county convention, which was chaired by Vice-Chairperson, Marguerite Furlong.

The two Coiste na nÓg officers, who made such a mess of it from the very start, set a dangerous precedent, which must have failed to strike a chord, for both subsequently arrived at the underage convention taking an observation role at the back of the room. How embarrassing.

The first dilemma facing the new chairman is the appointment of three officers to replace those who have resigned.

These happenings have impacted on the underage set-up so it's crucial to get the appointments right and Coiste back on stream for 2017.

The trio, Goff, McCormack and O'Keeffe, pressed the nuclear resignation button making it difficult for an immediate return to the helm of underage affairs. It's not as if this suddenly flared out of control, club's have been left raging, which makes it obvious that new faces are now called for to steer Coiste na nÓg into 2017 and beyond. Coiste na nÓg officers have been responsible for creating this mess. The G.A.A. was not given an opportunity within their own mechanism to solve the problem. It's a problem with an unusual situation. It has created several precedents that will reverberate right through the G.A.A. at all levels for a very long time.

The appalling incompetence of Coiste na nÓg led the Board into this terrible mess. But it's even more surprising that the Chairman, Bobby Goff, one of the instigators of this whole sorry affair, was still standing his ground for coaching officer.

Coiste na nÓg have done a great disservice to the G.A.A. and deserve to be punished. The least that could be expected that those responsible step aside from GAA affairs for a whole 12 month period, until convention time 2017.

Now a bad situation could be made worse depending on the outcome as to who fills the coaching position at adult level.

While on the subject of Coiste na nÓg, one must compliment Vice-Chairperson Marguerite Furlong on her excellent handling of the underage convention on Monday night last.

Marguerite must have set a record, convention started and completed, all in the space of 45 minutes.

Wexford People