GAA: O’Keeffe challenges Grant in surprise move for Waterford chair

THE longest serving GAA county secretary in the country, Waterford’s Seamas Grant, is facing a surprise contest at Monday night’s annual convention in Dungarvan.

Clashmore’s Timmy O’Keeffe is challenging the highly-regarded, Grant, who has served for 32 years, but it will be a sensation if he manages to win.

Tomorrow night Grant is being honoured by the Munster Council as winner of the “excellence in administration’’ award - one of a number being presented at a function in Limerick.

O’Keeffe’s decision was a surprise, but he is highly-regarded, with a sound track-record at club level.

The outgoing chairman, Paddy Joe Ryan - nine years in the job- has the sitting vice chairman, Pat Flynn of Passage East, nominated for the post. However, it’s likely Ryan will be unopposed to complete a decade in the job.

Flynn will not be opposed as vice chairman even though the West divisional board chairman, Paddy Walsh, has also been nominated. Walsh confirmed yesterday he will not be in the race.

The only outgoing official not seeking re election is the PRO Paddy Dunphy, and former holder of the post, Jack Jackson of Ballyduff Upper, will succeed him. Lismore’s Emer Barry, the lone lady nominee, is unlikely to stand.

In a difficult financial year for the board, treasurer Tony Morrissey will still present a report confirming income outstripped expenditure.

The surplus balance however is down from €81,458 in 2002 to €32,417 in the current year. But given the cost of preparing county teams soared to a record €285,000 (an increase of more than €32,000 on the previous year) it has been an outstanding achievement to end in the black.

The board’s income of almost €81,000 from the hurling and football leagues was €27,000 less than the previous year.

Eighteen motions have been tabled, several of them relating to the running of the domestic senior championships. However, one from the Clashmore club asks that Central Council be given the power to open Croke Park to other sports on a commercial basis.

The Tallow club is also calling for the appointment of a full time county secretary.

Complete list of nominations : Chairman, Paddy Joe Ryan (Fourmilewater), outgoing, Pat Flynn (Passage East); Vice do - Pat Flynn, outgoing, Paddy Walsh (Colligan); Secretary - Seamas Grant (Mount Sion), outgoing, Timmy O’Keeffe (Clashmore)

Treasurer: Tony Morrissey (Geraldines), outgoing; Development Officer, John O’Leary (Ballyduff Lower), outgoing, Pat Grant (Fourmilewater); Coaching And Games Development Officer: Pat Moore (Abbeyside/Ballinacourty); Youth Officer: Pat Grant, John O’Leary

PRO: Paddy Dunphy(Tramore), outgoing, Emer Barry(Liusmore), John Jackson (Ballyduff Upper).

Oifigeach Gaeilge: Seamas O hAonghusa (Mount Sion).

Munster Coiuncil (2): Jimmy Ó Goirman (Lismore), Tommy Hennessy(Kill), both outgoing.

Central Council: Seamas O’Brien (Abbeyside/Ballinacourty), outgoing.

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