Bourke, who stepped down after three years at the helm and was replaced by John Devane, told yesterday’s Tipperary GAA convention at The Dome in Semple Stadium that significant discipline and planning will be required to successfully execute the new fixtures plan for 2018.
Bourke said: “There will be major changes on the fixtures calendar going forward. It will take dedication, careful management, total commitment from all involved to ensure that it will work out successfully for our inter-county game and our club scene.
“I believe for a lot of the changes at national level, it might have been more prudent to take one code at a time. Tipperary County Board has been continually striving to put a club fixtures plan in place that strikes the right balance between the club and the inter-county game. Let’s hope that 2018 the fixtures programme will work out well.”
Devane was elected unopposed as the new Tipperary GAA chairperson and he insisted that a disciplined-fixtures plan in the county and nationally is the way forward.
“I don’t see any point in going along just doing what we’ve always done. If there are issues that need addressing then do it,” said Devane.
“Three years ago when accepting the vice chairman role I stated that I wished to tackle the whole fixtures structure. It is the most discussed and most contentious issue in the GAA. There is not a club player or official here or throughout the country who are happy with the way our games are being played. I know it arouses deep passion. Devising that structure with the right number of teams playing the right number of games with a clear beginning, middle and end is the right thing to do.”
In a tight election for the vice chairperson, Moyne Templetuohy’s Joe Kennedy beat Nenagh Éire Óg’s Jimmy Minogue on a 114-111 margin. Tipperary GAA returned a surplus of €160,322 for 2017 which has been achieved despite more than half a million euro of a drop in income over the 12 months.