Ballyshannon’s Mick McGrath is set to be installed as the 43rd Chairman of the Donegal County Board tomorrow night.
The annual county convention takes place at Jackson’s Hotel and, despite six nominees having initially been lodged, it seems as if Aodh Ruadh clubman McGrath will be the last one standing.
Five years ago, at the 2012 convention in Donegal town, McGrath was pipped to the post by Sean Dunnion, who had just nine votes to spare.
With Dunnion now having to vacate the role having served the maximum permitted five years, McGrath – who has long held ambitions of taking the Chair – looks likely to have a free passage this time.
Former Tanaiste Mary Coughlan was among the possible challengers, but withdrew her interest, as did the sitting Vice Chair Frankie Doherty, Treasurer Cieran Kelly, former Treasurer Grace Boyle, former Vice Chair and Secretary Aodh Mairtín Ó Fearraigh and ex-Central Council delegate Niall Erskine.
The candidacies of that handful have yet to be formally withdrawn, but that will happen once the election of officers is called tomorrow night and McGrath, a former inter-county referee, will be given the task of leading Donegal GAA into 2018 and, possibly, beyond.
This year’s convention has the look of a formality about it and is expected to pass off without many talking points – especially in terms of the election of the new officers.
All of Vice Chair Doherty, Secretary Aideen Gillen, Assistant Secretary Declan Martin, Treasurer Cieran Kelly, PRO Ed Byrne, Development Officer David McLoone, Oifigeach Gaeilge agus Cultúir Fergus McGee and Central Council delegate Seamus Ó Domhnaill will retain their seats without the need for a contest.
It is also highly likely that Paddy Tinney will keep his post as assistant treasurer.
While there are four names in the mix for the two Ulster Council representative positions, sitting delegates PJ McGowan and Liam McElhinney are well poised to stay at the top table.
The big challenge and, indeed, possibly the only one of the night could come in the form of Oisin Cannon’s bid to dethrone the Coaching Officer, Conor McDermott.
Letterkenny Gaels’ Cannon has confirmed that he is seeking the position and will mount a challenge to McDermott’s post.