Tracey Kennedy’s historic Cork appointment confirmed

Tracey Kennedy was confirmed last night as the first female chair in Cork GAA history as nominations closed for annual convention without a challenge to her nomination.

The Killeagh woman is a former PRO and board vice-chair and reacted to her unopposed elevation to the highest office in the county by thanking those who had offered their good wishes and support — “not just today but throughout my journey so far. Looking forward to the challenge ahead.”

Cork GAA confirmed at a board meeting last night that there will be a contest for her successor as vice-chair between outgoing Development Officer Richard Murphy from Lyre-Banteer and Coaching Officer Kevin O’Donovan (Kilmeen-Kilbree).

Cork’s annual convention next month will also see a three-way fight to replace the veteran treasurer Pearse Murphy, who is stepping down after 21 years. 

Mr Murphy has received glowing tributes for his shrewd and diligent husbandry of Cork GAA’s coffers for more than two decades. His successor as honorary treasurer will be either John Feeney (Dripsey), Diarmuid Gowan (Fermoy), or John O’Flynn (Freemount). There will be a contest too for development officer between Jim Hanley of Bere Island and ex-chair Pat Horgan of Midleton. Donal O’Leary will continue unopposed as PRO, while Jerry Walsh (Ballydesmond) will be cultural officer.

The new coaching officer is Aghada’s Ronan Dwane, while Marc Sheehan and outgoing chair Ger Lane will be Cork’s Munster Council delegates. Bob Ryan continues as Central Council delegate. Des Cullinane has been appointed Children’s Officer.

Six of Kerry’s outgoing officers have been returned for 2018, with six more positions to be filled on the executive by nominees unopposed. There will be a three-way contest at Convention next month for assistant treasurer.

Outgoing PRO John O’Leary (Spa) will be one of the county’s two delegates to Munster Council, to be replaced by Milltown-Castlemaine’s Leona Twiss. Paudie Dineen is the new hurling officer, Christy Kileen the new cultural officer and there will be at least one new face in the executive for next year as Fionán Fitzgerald from Ballymacelligott will become the new assistant secretary.

Joe O’Connor has joined the Kerry senior football backroom team along with Niall O’Mahony (Spa) to assist in the strength and conditioning area. O’Connor lectures in the physiology and performance training in IT Tralee and runs NISUS Fitness in Killerisk Business Park.

The native of Rathkeale worked under Davy Fitzgerald’s stewardship with the Waterford and Clare hurlers and was a key part of the management team of Clare’s 2013 All-Ireland victory. He has also been involved with the Limerick hurlers and has featured on RTÉ’s Ireland’s Fittest Family as a fitness and performance expert.

Niall O’Mahony played a number of times with the Kerry senior team as well as the Kerry juniors until injury cut short his playing career. Colm Fuller, who was involved in the physiotherapy team. has taken up a position with the IRFU.

Meanwhile, All-Ireland club SFC champions Dr Crokes will travel to Pairc Ui Rinn in Cork for the provincial decider on Sunday, November 26. They lost a toss for venue yesterday with Nemo Rangers, whose nominated venue is Páirc Ui Rinn.

Kerry Convention, Monday, December 11:

Chairman: Tim Murphy (Brosna, outgoing), Vice chair: Diarmuid Ó Sé (Dromid, outgoing), Secretary: Peter Twiss (Milltown C-maine, appointed), Treasurer: Dermot Lynch (Annascaul, outgoing), Central Council: John Joe Carroll (Asdee, outgoing); Development Officer: Eamonn Whelan (St Senans, outgoing); Coaching Officer: Terence Houlihan (Laune Rangers, outgoing); PRO: Leona Twiss (Milltown-Castlemaine).

Hurling Officer: Paudie Dineen (Abbeydorney); Assistant Sec: Fionán Fitzgerald (Ballymac); Cultural Officer: Christy Killeen (Finuge); Munster Council : Ger McCarthy (Causeway), John O’Leary (Spa); Asst Treasurer : Derry Murphy (Dingle), Joe Crowley (Laune Rgs), Pat McAuliffe (John Mitchels).


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