BRIAN MCENIFF COLUMN: No buzz at Donegal GAA Convention

BRIAN MCENIFF COLUMN: No buzz at Donegal GAA Convention

Firstly, I'll deal with the Donegal GAA Convention in the Abbey Hotel this week. There wasn't much of a buzz and it was all over. It was very matter of fact. Maybe the midweek date is not suitable. Maybe it was on a Sunday from 2-6 might be better.

As for the Convention itself, it was well managed by Four Masters and chairman, Mick McGrath spoke well.

Finance is the big issue for the GAA in the county and I hope the fund-raising events at the weekend in Dublin and London went well.

It is good to see the work at Convoy going well and credit is due to David McLoone and his committee.

The issue raised by our own delegate, Gerry Breslin, about postponed matches was very relevant. An awful lot of Reserve games are not taking place because clubs just cannot get the numbers. Gerry asked that it be looked into and he put forward the idea of having regional leagues for Reserve games and some games could be played midweek.

It is a similar story at underage level. Clubs are having their AGMs at this time of year and they should all review the situation.

As regards finance, it is a very difficult time for clubs. We had our AGM in Bundoran on Sunday and it takes around €90,000 to run the club. That is a big commitment and we are also being asked to participate in fund-raising at county level with the 'Buy A Brick' campaign for the Convoy development.

Looking back a week, the county is still basking in the glory of Gaoth Dobhair in winning Ulster. It was a great boost for the county and gives hope to other clubs like Kilcar, Naomh Conaill and St. Eunan's. It was a great day and what a performance from young Odhrán McFadden Ferry in keeping Kieran Hughes quiet.

After the great win in Leinster on Sunday by Longford champions, Mullinalaghta, there is hope for all clubs. The Longford side have only half a parish, but they never gave up against the Dublin champions, Kilmacud Crokes, and prevailed in the end.

Congratulations to Red Hugh's on winning the All-Ireland quarter-final and they can look forward, like Gaoth Dobhair, to an All-Ireland semi-final clash with Easkey of Sligo.

Best wishes this week go to Jim McGuinness on the announcement that he is taking up a coaching role in America. It is a big step for Jim but no doubt he is ready for it.

Last weekend, we had a great get-together in Bundoran of the St. Joseph's team of 1968 and I want to thank the Dunmore McHales contingent who made the journey. It was a very pleasant evening and it was great to meet old friends again. Thanks to all involved and to Seamie Granaghan and Philip McGlynn for their work behind the scenes.

DR. MCKENNA CUP

This week we learned our opponents in the Dr. McKenna Cup with Queen's first up on the Sunday after Christmas, followed by Down away and Cavan at home. It is a great opportunity for players and, no doubt, Declan Bonner will be giving many a chance.

Interestingly, the Mullinaghta manager, Mickey Graham, is the new Cavan manager, so we will be meeting him in the Dr. McKenna Cup.

There will be another opportunity at the game in Downings on Thursday, 27th for Paddy Fenny McBride. That game deserves our support, as it is for a very worthy cause. Paddy McBride is well known throughout the county as very good GAA man having been involved in Donegal squads and later became a very popular referee.

Brian McEniff was in conversation with Peter Campbell