New Connacht GAA Council President Gerry McGovern pictured with Leitrim GAA County Board officials. Photo by James Molloy
It may have been a day of celebration for Cloone as he took office but new Connacht GAA Council President Gerry McGovern raised concerns over the future of clubs around the province.
“For the next three years I intend to focus on Club and County Development. I believe Clubs are being neglected and more assistance is needed. I don’t want to be seen as another official paying verbal platitudes to the Club,” Gerry told delegates.
“But I’m concerned that we are losing units of the association as clubs struggle to survive or are facing amalgamation with some going out of existence. The club means so much to every member of the GAA in the community.
“Everybody has an affinity with the club, as is evident from the youngest child, to the club veteran wearing and supporting their Club Jersey, the club colours.
Proposing that the Connacht Council liase with County Boards and Clubs in difficulty, Gerry added “It is a sad day in any county if we lose a unit of the association. Tonight I’m asking Co Boards to work closely with clubs that are finding it difficult and I have no doubt provincial Council can help.”
Gerry also looked to the past as he remembered Leitrim's former Connacht Presidents - “Tonight as I accept this wonderful honour, I pay tribute the men from Leitrim who have held this honour, and respect the great work that they have done in the past, namely, the late Michael McIntyre, the late Dick Ellis, the late Aidan McGowan, the late George O’Toole and most recently the outstanding Tommy Moran.”
NEW PRESIDENT’S 47 YEAR APPRENTICESHIP STARTED IN CLOONE GAA CLUB
New Connacht GAA Council President Gerry McGovern pictured with members of Cloone GAA Club. Photo by James Molloy
Terming it a 47 year apprenticeship, Gerry McGovern highlighted the role his club has played in his GAA life - “It is a huge honour for me, my family, my club Cloone, and my native County Leitrim. I started my GAA administration life on December 6, 1970 in the old School in Cloone, when I was elected to the position of Club Secretary. I’m delighted that the two main officers of Cloone GAA that time are present here tonight, Kevin Foley chairman and Michael Heslin secretary.
“Things were much different back then, there were no mobile phones, and I certainly had no car, not even a bike. I held the position for ten years, culminating in the winning of the Leitrim Senior football Championship, a medal I’m very proud of, and of course we opened our splendid new football pitch Pairc Naomh Mhuire the same year.
“I held many other positions in the club following that. I then was appointed to the National refereeing panel, a position I held for 12 years - obviously, there were no assessments back then. I was then elected to the position of Asst Secretary of Leitrim Co Board, then Vice Chairperson, eventually Chairperson.
“Following that I progressed to Connacht Council and as they say I never looked back. I served on the GAA National Financial Management Committee in Croke Park for three years; I have done three years as Cathaoirleach of CCC Chonnacht, and three years of Coiste Scór chonnacht, and also for the last three years as a member of Coiste Scór Naisiúnta.
“I have served a 47 year apprenticeship and I hope it will serve me well as I progress in this new role of Uachtaráin Comhairle Chonnacht.”