Winds of change blow at County Convention

The winds of change blew through St. John’s Community Centre in Lecarrow last Saturday as no less than nine new faces were elected or appointed on to the new Roscommon executive for 2016.

  There were a number of new faces elected unopposed, but there were four elections too and there was a lot of tension in the air as the votes were being counted. It was a proud day for Shannon Gaels as clubman Seamus Sweeney takes over as chairman from Mick Fahey who stepped down after his five years in charge.

  The departing chairman, in a wide ranging address detailed the progress that had been made on a number of fronts during his term in office which included the ownership of Hyde Park, the progress at the county training grounds at Runnabracken, and the progress of the county hurling and football teams. Mick Fahey also thanked John Evans for his work with the Roscommon senior football team and wished Kevin McStay and Fergal O’Donnell the best of luck as they take over.

  Mick Fahey detailed the importance of coaching and he welcomed the appointment of a new coaching officer for the county (Sean Kilbride) and he thanked Willie Hegarty and Pat Compton for their work in the county in the coaching of young players. He also spoke about the need for Roscommon to improve ways of attracting income to run it’s affairs and he thanked Club Rossie which he said was “a huge success”.

  He stressed the need for club players to get a proper fixtures structure and he welcomed the discussion document recently published by Padraig Duffy in Croke Park on this matter and the issue of player burnout. Mick Fahey noted the increased pressure that social media was now having on inter-county players in particular and said they must be protected from intrusion into their private lives as far as is possible.

  The new Chairman Seamus Sweeney said it was a proud day for him and his family and his club. He said that among his priorities as chairman would be the development the county training facility at Runnabracken, and the development of Dr Hyde Park. He also promised to tackle the growing problem of falling playing numbers particularly at underage level and he pledged to meet the clubs on that issue early in the new year.

  Padraig Naughton of Clann na nGael is the new vice chairman after he defeated Sean Flanagan in a vote. In the tightest contest of the day, sitting treasurer Joe Gilligan was ousted by Seamus Maher of Roscommon Gaels by 74 votes to 71. Sean Mullanney (Kilbride) and Anthony Flaherty (Athleague) were elected to represent the county at Connacht council level while John Corcoran will be the new Roscommon delegate on the central council.

  Hugh Lynn of Éire Óg is the new PRO after replacing Colm Bierne, who served his five year term. Thomas Murray takes over as Development officer (from Hugh Lynn) and Sean Kilbride (St. Brigid’s) is the new coaching officer.