Thursday 23 November 2017

Quinn in the ring!

Askamore man seeks Co. Board chair

Arthur Quinn, who has declared his candidacy for the chairmanship of Wexford County Board in a novel manner
Arthur Quinn, who has declared his candidacy for the chairmanship of Wexford County Board in a novel manner

Former inter-county players and major sponsors have come out in support of Arthur Quinn's bid to become the new Chairman of the Wexford G.A.A. Board.

The successful businessman, who has deep-rooted ties in the Association, has announced his decision to contest the vacancy caused by Diarmuid Devereux completing his five years at the helm at next month's county Convention.

And in a significant move away from the canvassing that has marked contests down through the years, the Askamore-Kilrush clubman has launched his campaign with a glossy four-page brochure outlining his ambitions for the G.A.A. in the county.

Among the former inter-county players to endorse the candidature of Quinn are the county's lone All Star footballer, Matty Forde, along with 1996 All-Ireland winners, Damien Fitzhenry and Larry Murphy.

Redmond Barry, who enjoyed a distinguished career at inter-county football level, has also pledged his support, along with Larry Byrne who was player of the match in Wexford's All-Ireland Minor hurling victory over Cork in 1968.

Quinn is also receiving the backing of Wexford Supporters' Club and Club Wexford, while Alan Keyes and Glen Fuel Services, who have sponsored the Supporters' Club player of the year awards for the past four years, have also offered their support to his bid to become county Chairman.

Quinn has given a broad outline of his hopes and intentions should he receive the backing of clubs at Convention.

'If we continue to do what we are doing we will continue to get the same results,' he said.

He has called for the establishment of a task force to look at other county successes, asking what they do differently?

He wants to invite key people involved in successful counties to look at us with a critical eye, and has also pledged to improve communication and relationships between club and county.

Quinn is eager to market Wexford G.A.A. as a product, to work with schools to form a County Board schools committee with representatives from the Supporters' Club, to draw bigger crowds to Wexford Park, and to introduce Football 365.

Quinn believes that, as the largest county in Leinster there is a population large enough to allow us to achieve all of our goals.

He feels that under-age teams have given us reason to be optimistic about the future, and the hunger for success in the county needs to be tapped into in order to build on this.

Quinn's brochure points out that county and club grounds and facilities are excellent and improving all the time, while good coaching systems are in place, and clubs are well structured and organised.

He acknowledges the large number of children attending our Cúl Camps, the large numbers involved with local clubs, and the goodwill for Wexford G.A.A. across the county.

And if elected he has promised to adopt an open door policy, welcoming everyone into the Wexford G.A.A. family, giving equal opportunities for everyone to participate fully in the games, culture and administration, and encouraging all to pursue a lifelong association with Wexford G.A.A.

'Wexford County Board should be viewed as being vibrant, informed, active and decisive,' he said.

'We should be accessible and user-friendly within the county administration office.'

Quinn also stressed the need to work closely with other bodies including the referees' committee.

He has vowed to involve new and innovative people, and to create novel ways to raise finance to support growth.

He wants to look at ways to make more of the present facilities, and to develop new sponsorship agreements across Wexford G.A.A., as well as finding ways to increase interest in Wexford G.A.A., attracting bigger crowds to matches.

Looking at ways to attract more children from across the county would also be high on his agenda if elected.

'My drive is to see Wexford compete at the highest level in all grades and codes across hurling, football, camogie, ladies' football and handball,' he said.

Quinn wants to make the coaching office available to clubs to upskill strength and conditioning, providing a better playing experience for all players, and also to make the Ferns Centre of Excellence user-friendly.

He has vowed to project a positive image of Wexford G.A.A. using all forms of tradition and new media, and to communicate effectively with members through appropriate channels including social media, text, e-mail, etc.

Quinn wants to develop and promote pride in the Wexford brand, and to foster a clear sense of identity.

Developing a database for all members to improve communications is also on his to-do list.

In the brochure Quinn describes himself as a passionate G.A.A. person.

He acknowledges he never was good at playing but got encouragement from many, including the great Nickey Rackard who lived across the road from him.

'He was my idol and when he took me to the league final in 1956, I was hooked,' Quinn wrote.

'I have run a successful business since 1973 and still keep my hand in helping my sons, David and Gary.

'I have a strong sense of integrity and love to succeed, hence my candidacy for this chairmanship,' he added.

Quinn has been Chairman of Wexford G.A.A. Supporters' Club for three years, and has also chaired Macra na Feirme, Carnew Enterprise Centre, Askamore Community Centre, Gorey Vintners' Association, Gorey Lions Club, Coollattin Golf Club and Carnew Agricultural Show Society.

He has been a mentor for the Askamore, Naomh Eanna and Carnew Emmets G.A.A. clubs at various stages and is an active member of the Irish Cancer Society as a Care to Drive volunteer.

Quinn believes that a Chairman should be there to respect the views of club representatives, bring them together, implement their requests and guide the organisation to achieving the best.

He was the first person to contact this newspaper to confirm that he is standing for the chair, while Noel O'Keeffe of St. Anne's has also indicated that his name will be in the hat.

And, with the closing date for nominations this coming Friday, it remains to be seen if they will be opposed by anyone else for the biggest position in Wexford G.A.A.

Wexford People

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