Musical chairs


STEPPING ASIDE The news that current Mayo GAA Chairperson Liam Moffatt is stepping down caught many people in the organisation by surprise.  Pic: Sportsfile

Mayo GAA is never far from the headlines, both on the front and back pages. Last week, less than a month after another heartbreaking All-Ireland final defeat, the surprise news emerged that the chairperson of the Mayo County Board, Liam Moffatt, was stepping down just two years into his tenure.
Currently, a Mayo GAA chairperson can serve five years in total but Moffatt explained that he was stepping aside for business and personal reasons.
“It may have been a surprise to some people, but I’ve had to take stock of a number of matters during the course of the year, and I think it’s the best decision for my family and for Mayo GAA as well.
“It’s with regret that I step away. I’m very grateful for the opportunity that I’ve had. It’s a great privilege and an honour to be chairperson of Mayo GAA, and I’m thankful to everyone who’s supported me, and who’s worked with us as part of the journey along the way,’ said the 45-year-old Crossmolina native.
Moffatt worked extremely hard to get into the position back in 2019. He spent hours on the highways and byways of our large county, meeting with clubs in the four corners of Mayo to outline his vision.
So it is without doubt a big shock that he has chosen to walk away but his decision has to be taken at face value and the reasons he outlined seem genuine. His circumstances have clearly changed since he took the position, and the onset of a global pandemic no doubt hindered him in terms of delivering on the ambitious plans he outlined when he took the job.
However, Moffatt has stated he thinks it is better for Mayo GAA that another person takes the organisation forward. He will be on hand to make the transition as smooth as possible.
So in the coming weeks, many of those already deeply involved with the GAA here in Mayo must decide if they have both the time and energy to invest in the position.
As things stand, the chairperson of Mayo GAA is a voluntary position, and it takes up a huge amount of man hours every week. Many of the current officer board and executive will be acutely aware of this. Before throwing their hat into the ring they will have to assess if it is indeed viable for them to take the top job.
One would expect that there will be a competition for the position, as after all, it is still a very high-profile one. The goal of everyone involved with Mayo GAA is to finally see our senior team lift the Sam Maguire Cup. After reaching the final for the last two years, getting back to another big day in Croke Park is a momentous task.
But Mayo are still in a better place than most counties, both on and off the field, and the challenge for the new chairperson will be to put the structures in place so that continues to be case. The names of those likely to be in the race will emerge over the next couple of weeks and there will be plenty of chat at all the upcoming club championship matches about the contenders.
There really never is a dull moment when it comes to Mayo GAA.