Kieran Leddy tops list to fill Simon Moroney vacancy

The surprise departure of Munster GAA CEO Simon Moroney, which was announced on Monday, means another significant vacancy will need to be filled by the association next summer.

In recent months there has been intense speculation about those who may be in line to succeed Paraic Duffy when he steps down as GAA Director-General, and the list of potential replacements for Moroney is likely to contain some of the same names.

The front-runner is Kieran Leddy, who is currently operations manager for the Munster Council, though some of the current county secretaries in the province may also be interested, such as Mike O’Riordan (Limerick), Tim Floyd (Tipperary), Pat Flynn (Waterford), Peter Twiss (Kerry) and Cork’s senior administrator Diarmuid O’Donovan.

The long-term future of the provincial councils is an issue that may come up at the interview stage. At the Munster Council meeting last Monday where Moroney announced his resignation, the main issue discussed was ticket prices for the Munster hurling championship this summer, when the new format will increase the number of games dramatically.

However, there has been a erosion in the significance of provincial championships across the board which has been ongoing, arguably, since the introduction of the back door system in 2001.

On the other hand, the provincial councils remain the primary conduit for funds for counties and clubs.

Last November, for instance, the Munster Council outlined the allocations from its 2017 Development Grant Scheme: of €1,004,700 in funds, Clare received €118,600 from ten applications, Cork €344,229 from 38 applications, Limerick €185,258 from 18 applications, Kerry €93,308 from 15 applications, Tipperary €202,413 from 23 applications and Waterford €60,886 from seven applications.

Squaring that circle, where the body which funds counties is seeing the provincial championships lose their appeal is one challenge facing the new chief executive.

Other issues in his or her in-tray include the upgrading of grounds such as Walsh Park in Waterford, as well as the provision of more high-quality synthetic pitches such as those at the new facility in Páirc Uí Chaoimh and at the new Kerry Centre of Excellence in Currans.

Meanwhile, the death has occurred of Gerry Long, The Pike, Ballingarry, Tipperary, former Tipperary board PRO and inter-county referee.

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