County board convention sees walk out

There were plenty of Christmas decorations in the Castlecourt Hotel last Monday night, but there was a lack of Christmas cheer from some corners of the convention. The show kicked off with a hour-long debate between the members of Moygownagh and Ardagh and the top table over the issue of voting rights. Both clubs had combined together to play in this year’s junior championship, but both clubs were still under the impression that they would retain voting rights as individual clubs at the convention. They were told by the county board they would not, as to have a vote at convention all clubs have to have played at least one championship game during the past year, but since only Ardmoy (the combined team ) had played Ardmoy would get three votes between the two clubs.

Pádraig Staunton, chairman of Moygownagh, engaged in a long debate with the top table, insisting that when the clubs met with the county board and central council delegate Paddy Muldoon they were assured that the clubs would still be separate. He also raised the issue of why, if the clubs were not separate, they were both expected to sell the same number of county board tickets as two clubs rather than one. He also said that the change of the voting strength of the two clubs was a serious threat to the future integrity of both clubs. Both the Moygownagh and Ardagh clubs staged a walk-out at the convention as the voting began to replace Paddy Muldoon as central council delegate for Mayo when they were told again they would only get three votes as Ardmoy rather than as individual clubs.

When the voting did take place, Castlebar Mitchels’ club man Jerry Henry was elected to replace Paddy Muldoon as Mayo’s new ard comhairle. Other people to be elected to positions were Willie Kelly (Kilmeena ) and John Hopkins (The Neale ), who are the new Connacht Council delegates for Mayo.

County board secretary Sean Feeney apologised to residents of McHale Road if they took offence in his annual report, where he called some opponents of the redevelopment of McHale Park as “Johnny come latelys”. He told the convention that his comments were intended to refer to some local councillors and that over 50 per cent of the residents of McHale Road were not against the project. But he did apologies, saying, “Looking at the way it’s written, it could cause offence and I do apologise”.

In other news in the convention, the delegates gave their backing for the four exclusive junior clubs in west Mayo to combine and enter the senior championship. The motion was proposed by Islandeady GAA club and would see Islandeady, Parke/Keelogues/Crimlin, Louisburgh, and Balla join forces to compete in the senior championship in 2010. The motion was referred to the competitions control committee with the possibility of the other three divisional bodies, north, south, and east, bringing a similar motion to the next county board meeting, which would see the current senior championship which comprises 16 teams being expanded to 20, rather than the odd number of 17 if just west Mayo are added to the pot for next year.


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