Crisis in Ladies football in Donegal

Michael Naughton

Michael Naughton

Donegal Ladies GAA is in crisis and facing going out of existence unless a new Executive Board can be elected at a third attempt next month.

That was the stark message this week from outgoing Central Council delegate and former All-Ireland winning manager, Micheal Naughton.

In an impassioned plea Naughton (pictured), who also doubles as the Ladies board Ulster Council representative, has called on all involved in the game at club level to step up and take positions on the new board.

The plea comes after two failed attempts to fill the officer board, the most recent on Tuesday night when none of the principal positions on the board were filled.

“We are in a very serious and precarious position and if we do not get people to come forward and take up executive position we will have no choice but to wind up the Donegal Ladies board,” Naughton told the Democrat.

“It may sound alarmist but if we do not get a committee to run the affairs of the ladies board at our next meeting early in January, we will have no choice but to disband the Ladies board.

“This would mean, despite having teams and managements in place at all level, they will not be allowed take part in competitions. The simple fact is if we don’t have and executive our affiliation will not be accepted by Croke Park, and we will have no choice but to go out of existence.

“We held our second annual general meeting on Tuesday night and failed to fill any of the top positions after only filling the chairman’s position at our first meeting at the beginning of last month.

“We have 31 clubs in the county. Only 17 turned up for our first meeting on November 12th and there was an even poorer attendance on Tuesday night when only 11 clubs turned up.

“It is not good enough and I’m appealing to all clubs and all those involved in the ladies game in the county to come forward and take on positions on the executive.

“The alternative is unthinkable and will mean the end of the ladies game in the county. We can no longer rely on the likes of Hugh Devenney, Anne McKenna, Kate Crowley, Paddy Coll and Deirdre Dillon who have served their time and have kept the game going down the years. We need new people and new blood to take on leadership roles.”

Naughton also insisted that it is not a financial problem that has precipitated the crisis and that the board were in the black in the bank. It was purely down to a number of people stepping down, having served the county for many years and who felt the time had come to step away.

The outgoing board have called a third annual general meeting for January 14th in Heeney’s in Ballybofey.

Meanwhile, Naomh Conaill’s Hugh Molloy has been appointed the new Donegal Ladies senior manager. He takes over from Micheal Naughton, who stepped down during the summer.


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