PADDY TINNEY has been elected to the Donegal GAA County Executive for the first time, while PJ McGowan and Fergus McGee have returned to the top table on a day of minimal change to the officer board.
At the annual Convention in the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny, Tinney was elected as the assistant treasurer, while former Chairman McGowan will be one of Donegal’s Ulster Council delegates in 2016 and McGee is back in the role of Oifigeach Gaeilge agus Cultúir, a role he has filled previously.
Glenswilly clubman Tinney is the only ‘new’ face on the Executive after he defeated Brendan Kelly of St Mary’s, Convoy 92-63 in a vote for the assistant treasurer’s role.
Sean Dunnion (pictured above) comfortably staved off the challenge of Denis Ellis to take a fourth year as Chairman with Dunnion claiming 128 votes and Ellis collecting 27 votes. Dunnion took over from McGowan as Chairman in December 2012 and is now entering year four of a possible five-year term.
Ellis, the outgoing vice-chairman, subsequently opted not to contest for the seat again and Frankie Doherty of St Eunan’s – who was ending his five-year term as the assistant treasurer – was elected vice-chairman unopposed.
“I want to thank the clubs for the last five years and everyone who worked with me,” Doherty, who has also served as the Referees’ Administrator, said.
“It was a tremendous five years. I must be mad to take on this job – but I’ll give it a go. I will need the support of the clubs, but I see no reason that we can’t work together.”
Secretary Aideen Gillen, assistant secretary Declan Martin, treasurer Cieran Kelly, PRO Ed Byrne, Coaching Officer Anthony Harkin and Central Council delegate Seamus Ó Domhnaill all retained their positions unopposed.
Terence McShea continues in the role of Development Officer. It had been expected that the Aodh Ruadh clubman would step down, but with Paddy Mullen, Mick McGrath, Oliver Prunty and Grace Boyle not letting their names go forward, McShea opted to stay in the post.
McGee was returned as Oifigeach Gaeilge agus Cultúir without the need for a vote and tributes were paid to Con O’Donnell from Moville, who vacated that role after serving four years.
“It was an honour and a privilege to serve at this level and I will always be grateful for the opportunity,” O’Donnell said.
“I would like to wish my successor well and will be happy to assist in any way I can.”
O’Donnell noted that 33 of the county’s 40 clubs are now active in Scór and added: “Activities such as Céilí dancing, Oichanta Ghaelach, Ranganna Gaeilge and such, are presently taking place in many clubs and it is imperative that we continue to promote our Gaelic traditions for the benefit of future generations.”
- Chairperson – Sean Dunnion
Vice Chairperson – Frankie Doherty
Secretary – Aideen Gillen
Assistant Secretary – Declan Martin
Treasurer – Cieran Kelly
Assistant Treasurer – Paddy Tinney
PRO – Ed Byrne
Development Officer – Terence McShea
Oifigeach Gaelige agus Cultúir – Fergus McGee
Coaching Officer – Anthony Harkin
Central Council Delegate – Seamus Ó Domhnaill
Ulster Council Delegates – Pat Connaghan and PJ McGowan
Children’s Officer – Mick McGrath
Delegates to Ulster Convention – Seamus Ó Domhnaill, Mick McGrath and Edward Molloy
This afternoon also saw Pat Walsh address Convention for the final time as the Referees’ Administrator, with a successor for that post to be found in the new year.
“It wasn’t an easy job to do, but he did it very diligently,” Dunnion said. “There have been minimal games in the county that didn’t have a referee there to officiate.”
It was noted that only once out of almost 5,000 games in Walsh’s tenure in the position did a situation arise where a referee didn’t turn up to officiate.
Walsh narrowly missed out on a place at the top table after he was beaten by McGowan in a vote for one of the Ulster Council delegates’ seats.
Pat Connaghan will serve a fifth and final year as Ulster Council Delegate, having collected 90 votes on the first count, exceeding the quota (52) by 38. The transfer of Connaghan’s votes and his own first preferences saw McGowan take the second position, 59-44.
McGowan served for nine years at the Ulster Council before relinquishing the role to take on the job of Donegal senior football team manager in 1994.
“It is nice to be heading back,” the Sean MacCumhaills clubman said following his election. “I will be going there to represent Donegal.”
Convention also brought to an end an eight-year spell on the Executive by Aodh Máirtín Ó Fearraigh, who decided
not to seek re-election to the role of Ulster Council delegate nor to allow his name go forward for the Central Council delegate’s role. Gaoth Dobhair clubman Ó Fearraigh also served as assistant secretary and was county secretary from 2010 to 2014.
“I will still be involved in GAA activities and will be concentrating very much on my club,” Ó Fearraigh said.
At the outset of the meeting, Dan Hartnett welcomed delegates on behalf of Letterkenny Gaels, who were Convention hosts for the first time in their 20-year history.