East Waterford G.A.A. Convention
Popular referee Michael O’Brien from the Portlaw Club was elected the new Chairman of the East Waterford Bord at its Annual Convention which took place at the Saint Saviours Club House on Wednesday last. The Portlaw lub man took charge of this year’s County Senior Hurling Final between Ballygunner and De La Salle at Walsh Park and replaces Roanmore’s Michael Wadding who completes his five years at the helm.
The new chairman is the second member of his family to hold the position of chairman following in the footsteps of his father Johnny (Bucky) who served as Chairman of the Eastern Divisional Board for a number of year up to his retirement at the end of 2012 where he was replaced by the current vice-chairman of the County Board Sean O’Regan.
Clonea Club Chairman Pat Hunt was elected the new Vice Chairman in succession to Michael O’Brien. John Sheehan of the De La Salle retained the position as Secretary and will be assisted by Kill’s Emma Gallagher.
Long serving David Kirwan from Kilmacthomas stood down as Treasurer and was replaced by Mossie Clifford from Ballyduff Lower who will be assisted by John J. Murphy from Gaultier.
Eoin Sheridan from Roanmore was elected as the new P.R.O.
In his secretaries’ report to delegates John Sheehan thanked the referees that worked with the board over the past year, pointing out that they have the “respect, admiration and gratitude of the board for the invaluable service” which they give. He went on to say that their dedication is unwavering but said that the board would “dearly like to see their numbers increase as the demands on their service by several boards is massive”.
The De La Salle Club man also took time to thank those that sponsored the board’s various championships over the course of the year, pointing out that one of its sponsors Michael White from Whites Bar had died in recent weeks and expressed sympathy to his family.
The secretary concluded by thanking his fellow officers over the past year, his first in the position. He pointed out that outgoing Chairman Michael Wadding had proven to be an outstanding Chairman over the past five years. He thanked David Kirwan for his years of service to the Board and also thanked Emma Gallagher who assisted him as secretary over the past year, and also thanked Claire O’Donoghue for her role on the Public Relations side of things with the board over the past year.
West Waterford Convention
History was created at the West Waterford G.A.A. Convention which took place at the Stradbally G.A.A. Centre on Thursday evening last when a female candidate was elected to lead an adult Divisional or County Board in the Déise County first the first time.
Trish Walsh (Junior) from the Colligan Club was elected unanimously to succeed Neil Moore to the position of Chairperson after the Abbeyside/Ballinacourty Club man stood down after less than a year in the position.
He succeeded Pat Grant earlier this year after the Fourmilewater Club man was elected as one of the Counties Munster Council Delegates at last year’s County Convention in Dungarvan, having served as Vice-Chairman under Pat Grant. The Colligan club person however is not the first female to hold the position of Chairperson at Divisional level. Some year’s back Roanmore’s Paula Power served as Chairperson of East Waterford Bord na nÓg.
The new Chairperson of the Western Board brings many years of experience at administration level to the table.
She served a number of years as secretary of both West Waterford and County Board na nÓg. She also filled the position of Development Officer on the County Adult Board for a number of years and in recent years served as Secretary of the Western Board.
In also what must be a first for the G.A.A. in Waterford, Pa Lyons from the Melleray/Glen Rovers Club was elected as the new Vice-Chairperson in succession to Emer Barry. The Melleray/Glen Rovers Club man is a first cousin of the new Chairperson.
The Lismore club member was a surprise omission in those nominated for positions on the new board, having served a number of positions in recent years at divisional level including P.R.O, Assistant Secretary and Vice-Chairperson as well as holding positions on the County Board. Pat Casey from Cappoquin/Affane, who served as Treasurer of the Board with the last number of years takes over the position of secretary vacated by Trish Walsh and he will be assisted by his club mate Tom Mansfield.
West Waterford and County Bord na nÓg Chairman Billy Devine from the Ballysaggart club takes over as the new Treasurer in the Western Division and will be assisted by Clodagh Kearns from the Sliabh gCua/Saint Mary’s Club from Touraneena. In her Secretaries address to convention, Trish Walsh paid tribute to the referee’s that work with the Board. “We are blessed to have such a pool of dedicated, experienced and committed referees who are available week in week out to officiate at our games” she told delegates, but warned that there is an urgent need for the “recruitment and training of new and younger referees is vital to ensuring that we can continue to complete our very substantial fixture programme each year”.