Could former Tánaiste Mary Coughlan take over the chair of Donegal GAA?

Peter Campbell


Peter Campbell

Could former Tánaiste Mary Coughlan take over the chair of Donegal GAA?

Mary Coughlan . . . nominated for the chair in Donegal

The Donegal GAA Convention is set for Friday, 8th December in Jackson’s Hotel, Ballybofey and the big question will be who will become chairman for 2018.

Could former Tánaiste Mary Coughlan become the first female chairperson of the Donegal GAA board? The St. Naul’s secretary is one of a number of people nominated for the post.

The outgoing chairman, Sean Dunnion of Four Masters, has completed his five years in the post which means that there will be a contest for the post.

When Dunnion was elected five years ago, he defeated Mick McGrath of Aodh Ruadh in a close contest. Will McGrath allow his name to stay in the race this time around?

The nominations for positions on the Donegal GAA Executive closed on Friday last, but they have not been released as of yet.

The list will become clearer after an Executive meeting which was due to take place last night (Wednesday).

However, it is learned that a number of high profile contenders have been nominated for the top position. Among them are the aforementioned McGrath as well as Niall Erskine of Killybegs; Frankie Doherty of St. Eunan’s; Grace Boyle of Termon as well as St. Naul’s pair of Cieran Kelly and Mary Coughlan.

Niall Erskine is currently a Trustee of the Association at Croke Park, but his term will end when the current President, Aogán Ó Fearghaíl steps down at the GAA’s Annual Congress in the spring of 2018. Frankie Doherty is the current vice-chairman and is more likely to stay in that position; Grace Boyle will, more than likely, be also nominated for the post of treasurer, which she has held in the past. Imagine if herself and Mary Coughlan were elected - it would lead to an all-female top table (the secretary post is currently held by Aiden Gillen).

Mary Coughlan is a surprise nomination, while Cieran Kelly has one year left in his term as treasurer, but may want to move up to succeed his friend, Sean Dunnion. With two nominations from the St. Naul’s club, one of those is likely to withdraw.

Cards will be kept close over the next few weeks. GAA Conventions of the recent past have been low key, but this year’s gathering will have added interest with the ‘top job’ on offer.

But calling it the ‘top job’ may a bit of a misnomer. In many ways it is a nightmare, trying to keep everybody in the GAA world happy, while trying to maintain a normal existence in your own life.

May the best person win!