Declarations for the Donegal GAA Convention ‘steeplechase’ are almost complete for Sunday week (15th) in the Mount Errigal, Letterkenny.
This week former treasurer and chairman, Danny McNamee, has contacted clubs to inform them that he will be contesting the treasurer post, which becomes vacant with Grace Boyle indicating she is stepping down.
That means it will be a ‘two horse’ race with Cieran Kelly of St. Naul’s, who had already declared his intention to run.
There will also be guaranteed contests for vice-chairman, PRO and Ulster Council. With the PR system being used this year, the Ulster Council race is the most interesting with four or five runners. The Donegal Executive have ratified Liam Ward as count co-ordinator - a shrewd move given the Glenfin man’s experience with election counts.
The entry of Danny McNamee into the treasurer race is the main talking point this week. The Naomh Brid man served for five years in the position in the early 1990s and then had two years as chairman before work commitments took him out of the county.
Speaking to the Democrat this week, McNamee said: “The role of treasurer I’m familiar with and can say it’s a demanding and serious portfolio to administer.
“I believe it’s very important a balance is struck between capital and current expenditure and within current expenditure, coaching and games developement are expanded urgently. We must be conscious of difficulties our clubs are facing and ensure their survival; some are suffocating under the weight of levies especially the additional levy applied this year.
“Capital expenditure is primarily the Centre of Excellence project which is very important for school fixtures and the preparation of county teams and hopefully is fully operational soon.
“On the coaching side we are understrengh and virtually invisable in 2nd level. A formulated plan from our coaching and games development team to address this issue will merit support and funding should be directed towards it. This presents a challenge for our Association and one that must be taken which I will support if elected,” said McNamee.
Apart from Ulster Council, which could have five or six candidates looking for the two positions, most of the contests look like two horse races.
For vice-chairman, it looks a straight fight between Denis Ellis, Naomh Columba and Dan Harnett, Letterkenny Gaels, while Ed Byrne, Killybegs and Oisin Cannon, Letterkenny Gaels, will be involved in a head to head for the PRO position. Most of the other positions are likely to have no contest.w
Convention will begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday week in the Mount Errigal Hotel.