Roisin Jordan’s (pictured) election to the top post in Tyrone this week opened a door into what had been a male-dominated domain throughout the GAA’s 130-year existence.
And on her first day as leader of the county board, the mother of four urged other women to step forward and maximise their talents.
“This moment is much bigger than me. It is for the females who stand beside me, because this door has been opened,” she said.
“Tyrone is leading the game, when they have elected a female. It’s great, it’s great for the Association. This has opened the way for a lot of women to take that step and move on to higher and better positions. The clubs have elected me, and I thank them for it and thank them for giving me the opportunity to lead Tyrone in 2015.”
The backing of her husband Eamon, son and three daughters was an important factor in Jordan’s decision to seek appointment to the top post in the county.
And having served five years as vice-chairman, she was elected unopposed at Tuesday’s annual convention, following the withdrawal of the other two nominees.
“I’m married to Eamon, who also comes from a strong GAA family, and I have four children, one boy, who plays football, and three girls, and without their support, I would not have been able to have got as deeply involved in Tyrone as I am.
“They’re very much behind me, they’ve always been very much behind me. We had a chat before I decided to put my name forward. They’re all grown up now. The youngest is 21, and the eldest girl is married.”
A solid family background in the GAA also ensured the ethos of community and cooperation was nurtured as she grew up. I come from a family of ten, six boys and four girls. The girls played camogie, and some of the boys played football. I have my parents to thank for my GAA involvement. They would have been proud, in particular my dad, who played for over 30 years for the Moy, and he lived and breathed GAA. It has been a long held view of mine that families needed the GAA a lot more than it needed them, as I believe that it is the greatest vehicle to bring up children through.”
The new chairman takes over during a lean spell for the footballers of Tyrone, but she hopes the good times will roll again, and that a return to success on the field of play is just around the corner.
“I’d hope that the good times will return. The lads now, their transition is nearly complete now, so I’d like to see them producing now on the field,” said Jordan.
“It will not be long coming round to the McKenna Cup, and let’s hope that as we go along, things start falling into place, and that we start winning, at senior, U21 and minor. We want to get silverware on the table.”