Opinion: 'Make up of County Board of real interest to fans' - Martin Kiely

Martin Kiely

Reporter:

Martin Kiely

Email:

sport@limerickleader.ie

Opinion: 'Make up of County Board of real interest to fans' - Martin Kiely

With activities on the field quickly coming to a close the action is very much swinging towards the makeup of the Limerick County Board next year.

Sadly, like previous years very few people are putting their names forward to sit at the top table. It has to be very worrying that many of the same faces think it’s acceptable that they should move from one chair to the next.

Not too much if indeed anything has changed at Limerick Board level for years. Yes, we had a few new names but what can they and indeed some of those resting at the top table now for years point to as achievements since they have been in office.

The great pity is that the vast majority are happy to sit happily in office while so many parts of Limerick GAA, in my opinion, lack real leadership.

So many are happy to sit in silence when matters of real importance cast a grave shadow over Limerick GAA.

It is a great deal easier to bow the head, pretend as if nothing is wrong and hold no one to account for lack of leadership and vision.

The Limerick County Board will suggest all is well but anyone with the slightest engagement in Limerick GAA will tell you that is very much not the case.

I believe the vast majority of officers at the top table have little idea what is going on. They find out on a need to know basis. I have outlined this on many occasions in the past but nothing has changed. It is also a reflection on those offices as they are happy to take the crumbs from the table.

Leadership

The lack of leadership in Limerick GAA is shameful. Anyone that came onto the Limerick County Board and showed ambition and ability were quickly put in their place. They were sidelined.

Such ability was not welcomed as it could shine a light on other people and that was never going to be allowed happen.

Most County Boards are not equipped to cope with the sort of decisions and leadership that is now needed. It’s very much a major business and in most cases such officers are working outside their brief.

That is why top people are needed to sit on such boards but for the best part the people with such skills could never work in an environment as it stands.

The Cork County Board has made some major changes over the past year or so and it was significant that they picked such quality to sit on their Audit and Risk committee recently. High profile people that have achieved in so many areas.

Most importantly they have no connection with the board. That is not the case in Limerick.

Cork have some high profile people listed. Ger Lyons from Deloitte, Ciaran Murphy former Dean UCC business school. Roisin O’Sullivan KPMG and Michael Harte chief financial officer with Dairygold. Indeed Limerick man Jim Wolfe the CEO of Dairygold sits on the audit sub committee. That’s a pretty impressive line up. No officer of the County Board sits on the main audit committee.

Same faces

When convention comes around on Monday December 16 many of the same faces of the past and those currently will look for positions again. Indeed why convention could not be held a week or two earlier is quite unbelievable.

It was a dismissive gesture towards the history and gravitas this important meeting once had.

Limerick GAA should be positioning itself for the many challenges going forward, new people with new ideas are needed to face those challenges. New people are also needed to challenge some of the people holding top positions.

The balance of power sits very much with the top officers in the board while others are just there for the drive and the sense of importance they must feel by being members of the board. The top officers have a duty to encourage new people to come forward but that is not happening in Limerick.

Clubs are also guilty and are very much part of the process. They can give out all they like but until they show courage then Limerick GAA will continue along the same lines.

Top Job

The biggest job on offer at this years convention is Limerick’s representative in Croke Park.

There are only two names in the race. Paul Foley and Frank Reidy (Feohanagh-Castlemahon).

Limerick need a strong voice in headquarters and the fact that Limerick have very little representation in major committees tells its own story.

There a number of people looking to represent Limerick at Munster Council level. There are two positions up for grabs.

The five year rule means officers must vacate their positions but this must be taken further by way of not allowing them take up another position on the County Board. Clubs can expect to be busy as hopefuls call on them in the hope of securing their vote.

The race for the Munster council will be hot. The candidates are from across the county and trying to secure their own divisions will be difficult not to mention going into other divisions.

Ballybrown

A club that has worked very hard at underage level is Ballybrown and they were rewarded when they won the recent minor hurling title against Doon.

There is a lot of quality in that Ballybrown team and I would expect them to be serious contenders at senior level very soon.

This win was built on hard work and many people have played a part in developing this crop of young players. It says a lot about the parishes of Patrickswell and Ballybrown when they both are able to compete and win.

Ballybrown has always produced good players but right now they might just have got a bunch that will challenge for major honours in the years ahead.