Mike Connelly is new Mayo GAA Board chairman
MIKE Connelly was elected as chairman of Mayo GAA Board at Sunday’s County Convention.
The Hollymount/Carramore clubman beat former County Board secretary Seán Feeney in the race to succeed Paddy McNicholas, who stood down from the position a year early after controversy erupted over the process which led to the appointment of Pat Holmes and Connelly’s brother Noel as Mayo senior football managers.
The new chairman acknowledged that the Board have been ‘poor’ at communications and emphasised the need to ‘do our business in a more professional way’.
He hailed Mayo clubs as the best in the country and the county’s supporters as the best in the world.
“We’ve loads of people on social media criticising us ... when they don’t really know the full facts,” Connelly told delegates at the Park Hotel in Kiltimagh.
Expressing disappointment with some comments made about his candidacy now that his brother is joint Mayo manager, he added: “All I can say to those people is they don’t know me and they don’t know my family … the green and red of Mayo is in our veins. It’s that simple.”
Outgoing chairman McNicholas was elected as a delegate to Connacht Council, where he will be joined by Gerry Bourke, who dismissed the handling of the management appointment process as a ‘sham’ after resigning as the county’s cultural officer in September.
Elsewhere, outgoing treasurer JP Lambe won a contest against Michael Diskin (Castlebar Mitchels), who also resigned from the executive in protest over the way James Horan’s successors as Mayo manager were chosen.
Both income and expenditure for 2014 topped €2 million, with Lambe reporting a surplus of just over €79,000, a €10,000 increase on last year.
On a day of many contests, Seamus Tuohy (Breaffy) defeated John Hopkins (The Neale) to become vice-chairman, an elevation that saw Dermot Butler (Crossmolina) elected unopposed as assistant secretary.
Elsewhere, Ger McHugh (Hollymount/Carramore) was declared elected assistant treasurer as his prospective opponent, PJ Monaghan (Belmullet and St Sylvester’s, Dublin) didn’t confirm with secretary Vincent Neary his intention to stand for the position.
Knockmore’s Seán Mac Éil, the current Mayo Bord na nÓg secretary, defeated ex-County Board chairman James Waldron (The Neale) to become the new Central Council delegate.
Willie Kelly (Kilmeena) becomes development officer, having beaten Tommy Goonan (Kiltane) after the withdrawal of Jerry Henry (Castlebar Mitchels).
Meanwhile, James Gibbons (Lahardane) was elected unopposed as cultural officer.
Among the motions passed was one jointly sponsored by Castlebar Mitchels and Kiltimagh calling for every All-Ireland senior semi-final and replay in both hurling and football to be played at Croke Park.
Earlier this year, the scheduling of an American football game at GAA Headquarters controversially resulted in the Mayo-Kerry semi-final replay being played in Limerick.
For a full account of the Mayo GAA Convention, check out The Mayo News on Tuesday.