LIMERICK GAA will be guided by John Cregan for the foreseeable future following his anticipated election as chairman at a well-attended County Convention in Cappamore.
Cregan, a former Fianna Fail TD and Senator and who only recently stepped down as Limerick Football Chairman, beat outgoing vice-chairman Liam O’Sullivan for the coveted position. The vote went 140-57 in Cregan’s favour.
Oliver Mann of Patrickswell vacated the chair after he had fulfilled the maximum five-year mandate. In a straight contest for the job, Cregan (Dromcollogher-Broadford) defeated O’Sullivan (Claughaun). John Cregan is a youthful 56 years of age.
The position of County Chairman does not carry a wage but the office holder can obtain modest out-of-pocket expenses, and will also most likely be invited to join important committees with Munster and Central Council in Croke Park. In many cases, the role is seen as a leg-up to the highest office of GAA President.
Former Limerick boss Liam Lenihan of Tournafulla is a short-priced favourite to become Munster Chairman in 2019, a move that would move him into contention as a further leader of the association a year or so later.
He is currently second-in-command to Cork’s Jerry O’Sullivan – dad of hurling great Diarmuid ‘The Rock’ O’Sullivan – in Munster. In the only other contest, outgoing PRO Eamon Phelan (St. Patrick’s) defeated Ballysteen’s Alan Kehoe for assistant-secretary.
Departing Treasurer Donal Morrissey – a chartered accountant by profession – informed delegates that the preparation of county teams in 2017 cost €1.2 million and that Limerick incurred an annual loss of €100,000.
And in an astonishing admission, Morrissey revealed to stunned delegates that he was not included in the financial decision-making of the board over the last 18 months and that his purpose had been reduced to that of a book-keeper.
Limerick GAA Officers 2018: Chairman – John Cregan (Dromcollogher/Broadford); Vice-Chairman – Seamus McNamara (Fr. Casey’s); Secretary – Mike O’Riordan (Kilmallock); Assistant Secretary – Eamon Phelan (St. Patrick’s); Treasurer – Liam Bourke (Fedamore); Assistant Treasurer – Sean Bourke (Crecora); Development Officer – Seamus Twomey (Croom); Irish Officer – Jim Enright (Askeaton); Youth Officer – Denis Carroll (South Liberties), PRO – Hugh Murphy (Blackrock); Coaching Officer – Mike Cunningham (Killeedy), Munster Council Delegates – Paul Foley (Patrickswell) and Frank Reidy (Feohanagh/Castlemahon) and Central Council Representative Denis Holmes (Oola).
The first full Board Meeting of next year will happen on the second Tuesday of February next. An officers meeting will be held in the coming weeks.