Golf club split by power struggle

A leading golf club, which has been plagued by division and internal power struggles, last night heard a plea for unity from its newly elected captain.

For the first time in its 119-year history there was a contest for the captaincy of Killarney Golf and Fishing Club, with vice-captain James Ormonde defeating former club director James Loughnane.

Such a contest, seen by some club insiders as a battle between the old guard and the new, marked a break with a time-honoured tradition in golf whereby the vice-captain is normally elected captain, unopposed, for the following year.

Following unprecedented canvassing, almost 500 Killarney golfers packed into the clubhouse for the AGM of the men’s club, where they voted four to one in support of Mr Ormonde, it is understood.

At the start, Mr Loughnane attempted to explain his position, but was ruled out of order by captain Chris Collins, in the chair. He was also shouted down by some members.

However, both men spoke at the end of the meeting, with Mr Loughnane describing it as a “good exercise in democracy’’.

Mr Ormonde, who donned the blazer as 2013 captain, said it had been a traumatic day and voiced concern about the position in which the challenge had placed the club in golfing circles.

The club, currently undergoing a major review of its operations by consultants Deloitte, has been beset by financial difficulties and faces “extremely challenging times’’, he added.

Calling for unity, however, Mr Ormonde was confident the club would overcome such challenges.

Significantly, the meeting was also told that Fáilte Ireland — 75% shareholder in the club — is to start negotiations on handing over governance of the club to the members, who will form a new body, or board, to oversee operations.

A strong lobby, which has been seeking more control by members and which is being championed by Mr Ormonde, is demanding that the members of the new controlling body be elected, rather than appointed.

That could also prove to be a vexed issue.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

More in this Section

Popular Tipperary wedding hotel closes

Cork car crash organiser jailed for defrauding insurance firms

AA called out to 128 new car breakdowns in January

Donegal man ‘Skippy’ avoids prison for stabbing friend nine times


You might also like

Breaking Stories

No Lotto winner, but one lucky ticket has won €125k

Sinn Féin the big winners in new poll

Man held after couple and four-year-old daughter escape arson attack on their home

Fianna Fáil brand Coalition attacks on the party as 'distractions'

Lifestyle

What to watch on TV this week

Wine: Beautiful Beaujolais

Celebrate Chinese New Year with these simple but delicious recipes

The Menu: Shane Ryan and FEED provide food for the soul

More From The Irish Examiner