MICHAEL Duignan (Durrow and formerly St Rynagh's) is the new man on the block. After months of campaigning and conversing with clubs around the County, the former Offaly hurler has come full circle and is now the new chairman of Offaly GAA after beating outgoing chairman Tommy Byrne (Gracefield) in a vote at the Offaly GAA County Convention last Tuesday.
It had been the topic on everyone's lips in recent weeks but in the end, Durrow member Duignan won out.
A total of 142 votes were up for grabs with the turnout on the night seeing 138 votes counted and Michael Duignan winning out on a score of 76 to Tommy Byrne's 62.
Following the election of Michael Duignan to the chair, a check was done to see if all other candidates for the other positions were still intending on running and it was then that the outgoing vice chairman Niall Gleeson (Kilcormac/Killoughey), outgoing assistant treasurer Brian Flynn (Ferbane) and outgoing PRO Mary Dunne (Ballyfore) and made their intentions of not putting their names forward clear.
Cultural officer John Moloney (Tullamore) also indicated that he wouldn't be running but he had made this known to the Management Committee in the lead up to the convention while assistant secretary Pauric Pierce (Raheen) had also announced previously that he wasn't running.
All that meant that there was a vote for the position of vice chairman with Rhode's James Murphy beating Edenderry's Colm Cummins 70 to 68 while in the vote for treasurer, Dervill Dolan of Clara defeated the holder, Birr's Jimmy Hogan 87 votes to 53.
The final vote on the night was for the Leinster delegates with three people running for two spots. Kilcormac/Killoughey's Dolores Slevin and Tubber's Joe Higgins were the outgoing delegates but Clara's Brian Gavin also stood and he got in ahead of Dolores Slevin with Joe Higgins (52 votes) and Gavin (51 votes) elected on the first count having exceeded the quota.
The roles of development officer and children's officer are not voted on at Convention but rather names are to be put forward at the November meeting of the County Board for ratification at convention. Nora Kavanagh (Tullamore) told the meeting that she would not be going forward for children's officer while there is also a vacancy for development officer after the incumbent James Murphy was elected to vice chair. They will be filled at the January meeting of the board. Nora Kavanagh was recommended for her role from the November meeting of the County Board but she indicated at convention that she would not be letting her name go forward after all.
On the finance front, Convention heard that while Offaly GAA had a surplus of €36,000 for the year when the County Committee, O'Connor Park and Faithful Fields accounts were merged, both the O'Connor Park and Faithful Fields accounts ran at a lose.
Just over €1.8 million is still owed on O'Connor Park while the cost of preparing County teams rose to €758,000.
Gates for both County finals were up also while the introduction of the weekend tickets last year brought in around €15,000.
The full management committee for Offaly GAA for 2020 is as follows;
Chairman: Michael Duignan (Durrow)
Vice Chairman: James Murphy (Rhode)
Secretary: Pat Horan (St Rynagh's)
Assistant Secretary: Position not filled
Treasurer: Dervill Dolan (Clara)
Assistant Treasurer: Position not filled
PRO: Position not filled.
Central Council delegate: Paddy Scales (St Rynagh's)
Leinster Council delegates: Joe Higgins (Tubber) and Brian Gavin (Clara)
Coaching Officer: Martin Cashen (Carrig and Riverstown)
Cultural Officer: Position not filled.
Development Officer: Not for convention, to be decided at January meeting of County Board
Childrens Officer: Not for convention, to be decided at January meeting of County Board.
For an indepth look and analysis from Convention see inside on pages 62, 63, 66 and 67.