O'Neill to run for GAA presidency

Laois man Liam O'Neill has become the first person to declare himself as a candidate in the race to succeed Cork native Christy Cooney as GAA President.

Cooney's successor will be announced at the GAA's Annual Congress in Mullingar next April.

O'Neill, a primary school principal, was formally nominated for the position at a meeting of the Laois County Board on Monday night.

He lost out to Cooney in the last presidential race, at the 2008 Congress in Sligo. Tipperary's Sean Fogarty was also in the running for the role.

O'Neill is hopeful of winning out this time around, saying: "It is different running the second time to the first, you know the game you're in, and all of us learn from defeat, so we have to put that information to use.

"No other candidate has declared so far, but people will come forward and you can be sure they will be people of excellent calibre."

To date, Bob O'Keefe has been the only person to represent Laois as a GAA President, having served in the role from 1935 to 1938.

It has been speculated that former Ulster GAA Chairman Tom Daly, Con Hogan of Tipperary and current Leinster Council Chairman Seamus Howlin may also be interested in the presidential position.

Former Armagh footballer Jarlath Burns, who was involved in the GAA's 1251th anniversary celebrations, is also another possible candidate.

The winner of the race will become the 37th GAA president, and take up the role from GAA Congress in 2012.

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