Ulster Council eligibility issue cleared up by GAA chairman

Ulster Council eligibility issue cleared up by GAA chairman
Peter Campbell sport@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

An issue over the eligibility of two nominees at Sunday’s GAA Convention has been cleared up by Donegal chairman, Sean Dunnion.

There was a persistent rumour at the weekend that the eligibility of outgoing delegate PJ McGowan and one of the nominees, Mick McGrath, to seek the post of Ulster Council delegate was in doubt.

McGowan and McGrath are two of nine nominees for the two Ulster Council posts, which is the only post that is being contested at Sunday’s GAA Convention in the Abbey Hotel, Donegal Town.

The issue which was causing debate arises around a change made at National Congress in 2011 whereby delegates at provincial and national level may only serve a term of five years.

But when asked about the issue this week, Donegal chairman, Sean Dunnion, said he was aware of the matter and had made enquiries.

“I would have checked it out. I'm satisfied having checked with Rules Advisory Committee that all nominees for the post of Ulster Council delegate on Sunday next are eligible for election.

“That rule didn't come in until Congress 2011 and it cannot be used retrospectively," said the Donegal chairman.

The issue arose because both PJ McGowan and Mick McGrath had served as delegates to the Ulster Council in the past. Indeed, if it were an issue then McGowan would not have been eligible for election last year.

When contacted on the issue, neither PJ McGowan or Mick McGrath wanted to comment.

Two of the nominees - Brendan Kelly and Denis Ellis did say that they had heard the rumour with Ellis commenting: “I heard that but let them all run. That’s up to the committee in charge (in Donegal).”

The Donegal GAA Convention is likely to be one of the quietest ever. The Ulster Council delegate vote is the only serious vote on the agenda. Proceedings are due to get underway at 2 p.m. and could be done and dusted before 6 p.m.

There are a number of motions which could generate some debate. There is one from Coiste Chondae Dhun na nGall for National Congress that the Central Council initiate a National Club Player Award (All-Star) scheme in football and hurling at club senior, intermediate and junior level with 15 players chosen in each on an annual basis.

Bundoran have a motion for National Congress that all GAA games should be available on national TV stations. Most of the 24 motions down for decision are amendments to current bye-laws.

See Page 94 for Convention preview.