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‘Meet and greet’ for Mayo GAA chairman candidates


MAKING THEIR PITCH Mayo GAA Board chairman candidates Seamus Tuohy and Liam Moffatt both addressed the South Mayo Board AGM last week. Pic: Michael Donnelly

Mike Finnerty

THE two men vying to be the next chairman of the Mayo GAA Board spoke briefly to club delegates at last Tuesday evening’s AGM of the South Mayo Board in Ballinrobe.
Seamus Tuohy (Breaffy) and Liam Moffatt (Crossmolina) were both given a few minutes to ‘introduce themselves’ to the South Mayo club representatives in the room as they try to win friends and influence people before the County Convention on Sunday, December 15.
Both of them have been on the campaign trail in recent weeks, canvassing and going out to meet some club officers in an effort to convince them that they are the right man to succeed the outgoing chairman, Mike Connelly.
There are 171 votes up for grabs at the Convention (144 of them coming from the 48 Mayo GAA clubs with voting rights) and another 19 votes up for grabs among the executive committee of the County Board.
Throw in the four Divisional Secretaries and the handball, national school and secondary school delegates and it’s easy to see why getting out and about is so important.
On December 15 in Belmullet, the only number that will matter is who gets 86 votes (or more) to become the next County Board chairman.
This was what the two candidates had to say about why they feel they are the right man for the job at the end of last week’s meeting …

I’VE been CCC chairman for the last five years and prior to that I served as Bord na nÓg chairperson. Bord na nÓg for a start gave me a great introduction to the grassroots in the county, to get to know how clubs work etc.
It was a fantastic learning curve for me before I moved on to the more challenging position as CCC chairperson.
I’ve met a lot of people over the last ten years, a lot of people who have done good work for this organisation. And despite all the negativity that good work still goes on, and I’m very confident that we can go forward and build on what has happened over the years.
My other portfolio has been health and wellbeing position which is a huge passion for me. Part of it I suppose is that I have worked in mental health for the last 40 years. A lot of it has been helping Health and Wellbeing officers throughout the county, and I’m proud of that.
We were in The Neale only a few weeks ago and they ran ‘The Movement’ showing the link between physical health and mental health.
I’d like to acknowledge the Davitts club who were awarded a phase 3 [Healthy Club] in Croke Park this year and we have other clubs, including The Neale, who will go forward for the Healthy Club this year.
Taking on the role of chairman within the county, I understand that it is a huge challenge. I know the work that needs to be done, and will be done, if I get the opportunity.
There’s a new team of people coming on board, that hopefully I will get the opportunity to work with and plan with, going forward.
But I am a club man, and I’m proud of it. I’ll always be a Breaffy man, win or lose this contest. I can always go back to my club and work with my club.
I worked with my club, played and worked with my club for over 20 years. That was my learning to become an administrator in this county board, and I always reflect back on that. It was a huge learning curve for me.
I wish the clubs the very best going forward. If I get the opportunity to represent you, I will connect with you, and the team will.
Our first job will be to reach out to the clubs all over this county.

I’M currently coaching officer for Mayo GAA and have been involved with Mayo teams since 1991 at all levels as a player, coaching, medical officer and at committee level in Croke Park. And obviously recently as an administrator.
I’ve served as a player with my club and been involved in administration since 1997, even when I was away in college in Dublin. So I have that connection.
My vision for Mayo GAA is that we create a ‘best in class’ administration. One that unburdens the club volunteer and makes Mayo people proud of how we run our affairs.
For that vision to become a reality, we need policies and procedures that underpin our great organisation in every single facet. We need a strategy that will outline what it will take, how long it will take, and how much it will cost to achieve the goals and projects that the clubs want to set.
We’re going to make that strategy very transparent so that everybody can easily see how we run our affairs in Mayo GAA. The legacy will be, not only do we have a brilliant ‘fit for purpose’ system but it will be future-proof.
I believe the potential for Mayo GAA is absolutely massive. We are untapped, we have 3.5 million emigrants worldwide, we have phenomenal clubs locally, amazing teams, brilliant managers, and the sky is the limit here.
I hope to God that I get the opportunity to represent everybody, and if I do, great things will happen.

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