Ed Byrne has finally landed the job he wanted following his election as PRO at the Donegal GAA Convention on Sunday in Letterkenny.
It was a case of second time lucky on Sunday for the Killybegs official and Kildare native when he defeated Oisin Cannon from Letterkenny Gaels, by two votes.
“It was the position I always had my eye on. I was nominated a couple of times for the job before I went for it the first time in 2011,” said Ed.
“I was interested in PRO in 2010 but did not run and ended up assistant secretary instead when nobody else was in interested in that position. But PRO was always the job I wanted.”
He resigned from the assistant secretary position after ten months in a blaze of controversy after what is believed to have been a difference of opinion with a number of other officers.
“Due to my experience from the last time I was on the executive I am going back this time a much wiser man. I’m really looking forward to the job of promoting Donegal in a positive way.
“I have already spoken to Jim Quinn - the outgoing PRO - and we have discussed a number of issues and experiences he had in the position. We have agreed that I will not take over officially until after the awards night on Friday night.”
The updating of the official Donegal GAA website, which is due to be done early in the New Year, is one of the new PRO’s first objectives for 2014.
But Ed also insists that one of his first priorities is restoring good relations with the local media.
“The updating and redesigning of the website is important. But let’s be honest, the elephant in the room is the current impasse between the county board and the local media.
“That, as I see it, is my number one priority as PRO. I have already in the last 24 hours spoken to a number of people in the media and I will be pushing to have a meeting of all parties at the earliest possible opportunity.
“It has been a great partnership down the years and hopefully the difference can be resolved and relations restored.
“It is my aim to work with the media and forge a good relationship with all concerned and all sections of the media.”
The new PRO also insists that he has no problem with the press attending county board meetings as long they observe the in-camera rule.
Ed Byrne is a native of Castledermott, Kildare. He played football with the local GAA club in his early years as a dashing corner-forward. But as he approached adult football he made the transition to a fearless corner-back.
He moved to live in Killybegs ten years ago with his wife Emer and they have three children Karen, Shane and Dara. Ed is a tour guide with Failte Ireland and is in his second term as Killybegs club secretary.
He has been noted critic of the officer board during his time as Killybegs’ representaive at county committee meetings.
However, he now finds himself on the other side of the fence and back at the top table once again.