O’Sullivan set to stay as Kerry ponder full-time secretary post

KERRY County Secretary Eamonn O’Sullivan seems likely to continue in office for possibly a further two years.

One of seven people due to be replaced in the Kingdom at the December convention because of the five-year limitation on officerships, an exception has been made in the case of secretaries. In the meantime, a special meeting has been called for October 18 to consider a number of issues, including the appointment of a full-time secretary.

The Central Council has given the go-ahead for county secretaries due to retire this year to continue in office until March, pending consideration of full-time appointments in the near future.

Interestingly, Kerry had made an application to the Council before a general ‘reprieve’ was sanctioned at the weekend.

It was based on a desire to have some form of continuity at senior officer level — because of an anxiety over the number of people stepping down at the end of the year. Chairman Sean Walsh and PRO Willie O’Connor are among a group of six forced to bow out.

And while O’Sullivan indicated at this week’s meeting of the County Board that he would be prepared to consider staying on for up to a year or 18 months — on a voluntary, or part-time basis — he made it known that he would not be interested in being appointed on a full-time basis.

The October 18 meeting will also debate the question of selecting an assistant secretary — a process which could facilitate the appointment of a full-time Secretary within two years. Approval will also be needed to appoint a Hurling Officer and bye-law changes will be required to permit all of these changes.

The appointment of full-time secretaries — ‘County Administrators’ — is strictly controlled by the GAA at national level. Association President Nickey Brennan is on record as saying that it’s not simply a question of upgrading people to a full-time basis, that they have to be able to meet strict criteria laid down by the Management Committee before such appointments can be considered.

Apart from Sean Walsh and Willie O’Connor, Development Officer Patrick O’Sullivan, Coaching Officer Bernie Reen (sister of Kerry manager Pat O’Shea), Youth Officer Mike McCarthy and Cultural Officer Liam Cotter will also be finishing up at the annual convention.

Walsh, elected earlier in the year as Munster Council Vice-Chairman doesn’t agree with the policy.

“Too many changes are not healthy for a County Board. It would have been better to stagger them,’’ he said.

*A motion to this effect was submitted to Congress in April but at the last minute it was withdrawn.

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