It was an historic moment for the Four Masters club on Sunday when their chairman, Sean Dunnion, was elected to the top post in Donegal GAA, chairman of the county board.
Mr. Dunnion defeated Mick McGrath of Aodh Ruadh by 88 votes to 79 after outgoing vice-chairman, Charlie Cannon, Letterkenny Gaels, was defeated in the first round of votes.
Dunnion is one of four new faces on the Co Executive with former chairman, Danny McNamee, back as vice-chairman; Jim Quinn as PRO and Brendan Kelly as Ulster Council delegate.
Speaking afterwards, the new chairman was humbled by his elevation. In his acceptance speech he remembered his late father, Sean “who introduced me to the GAA and I’m sure he would be a proud man today,” said Sean.
“It’s a proud moment to be elected the Donegal GAA Co. Board. It’s a great honour and privilege for me, especially in my own home club here in the Abbey Hotel, Donegal Town.
“I have to acknowledge all the encouragement and support I have got over the last two to three weeks, people encouraging me to let my name go forward in the first instance. And then the great support that I’ve got when I have been talking to the clubs of the county and the members of the executive. I know I’ll need that over the next twelve months and hopefully over the next three years. But I’m looking forward to the challenge.
“It’s a huge role and I’m under no illusion to what work is going to be involved. Hopefully we can move forward and have successful years like this year and in the years ahead.
“I’ve given a lot to the local club as chairman over the last seven years and I suppose we have done a lot of development at Tir Chonaill Park.
“We have seen those developments to fruition. I felt this was the time. P J McGowan was stepping down and I felt that with the encouragement I got, that I should leave my name in there and I’m very glad I did now. But I have a tough 12 months ahead.
“It is a very exciting time. You’re coming in as chairman of a county board that are All-Ireland champions. We have the McKenna Cup and National League just weeks away and then the defence of the All-Ireland. Naturally it’s a great time to be involved, but I’m under no illusions; there are huge challenges. Just listening to the delegates today, there are huge challenges around club fixtures, finances and everything else that goes with it.
“But it’s an exciting time to be involved and I’m looking forward to it. I’ll probably need a few days to think about it and I’ll have to meet with the other members of the executive that are elected here today. I know I have a lot to learn and a lot of people to talk to to get up to speed. I will sit down with the Executive and the Co. Committee and we will plot a way forward for 2013.”