Exciting times ahead as new faces lead the County Board – Seamus Duke Column

The annual GAA convention had become a very low-key event in recent years with little excitement. Gone are the days when it took maybe six or seven hours to complete the business and in fact there were a few years when we had to come back a second night to get it finished. Thankfully those days are gone because things are far more streamlined now, and much better ran.

  This year’s convention was definitely more interesting than most in the past few years. The reason is that there were so many new faces coming on to the executive this year. The five-year rule meant that some officers had to step down and on top of that there were four elections for various posts. For the past few years there have been very few elections for any posts on the executive so it was good to see people interested in running for jobs. It’s not as if there is anything out of these jobs in terms of pay but it is healthy that there is interest in running the association in the county.  

  No less than nine new names will serve on the executive for 2016 and while those who stepped aside or failed to be elected deserve great credit in the first place, it is good to see change every so often.

            I wish all the new officers the best of luck in the coming year. It is easy to criticise the people who run the county board but the vast majority of these people do not get a penny for what they do and they give the GAA an enormous amount of time.

  The priorities for the coming years in Roscommon GAA will be to get a proper county training facility up and running after years of delay. That must be priority number one. The development of Dr. Hyde Park is also a priority and must be started soon. We all know how well located it is and what is needed there.

  The falling number of players at underage level in many clubs is also a problem and was mentioned by a number of speakers on Saturday too. Other items like coaching, finance, a proper club fixtures structure for players and of course our county teams are all very important and have to be looked after. It’s a huge responsibility for any group and I wish the new executive the best of luck.

  Despite all the changes that we have seen in Irish society over the years the GAA is still by far the biggest sporting organisation locally and we are lucky that there are still people who are prepared to give up their time to run it’s affairs.