Kerr pays tribute to outgoing chairperson.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Kerr pays tribute to outgoing chairperson. thumbnail New Tyrone County Board chairperson, Michael Kerr.

New Tyrone chairman Michael Kerr has paid tribute to outgoing chair Roisin Jordan, who made history by becoming the first female to hold such a post in the GAA.

The Carrickmore man was elevated to the position following a drama-packed election at annual convention.

In a three-way contest, Kerr defeated Mrs Jordan and former PRO Damian Harvey to take over the leadership role in Tyrone GAA for the year ahead.

"Rosin has been a tremendous asset to Tyrone down through the years, and when she was elevated to the chair she definitely served this county well, and I have nothing but the highest regard for her, both as an officer of the county board and as a friend," said Kerr.

"And I wish her all the best going forward in whatever way she will be involved with the GAA." Mrs Jordan, who was elected in December 2014, had been expected to continue in the role for another two years, but a challenge by Harvey led to a contest, with Kerr entering the race as well.

"The way it is in the minute with the GAA in Tyrone, every office is open every year, and it's up to people to put themselves forward," said the new chairman.

"Any candidate that was up was more than capable of taking up office.

"I'm honoured to have been elected by the people, and I hope that I do them proud in the way I handle myself over the next year as chair of the county board."

He added: "It's a big honour for myself and the family, and the two clubs that I'm associated with. I'm a Carrickmore Eire Og man at heart and a Carrickmore Naomh Colmcille man too.

So it's a big honour for me and all the Carrickmore community." Harvey, from the Cookstown Fr Rock's club, with 54 votes to Kerr's 50, was ahead after the first round of voting, with the outgoing chair on 46, but it was Kerr who took the lion's share of Jordan's redistributed votes to win the election 78-66.

Kerr intends to get to work immediately in plotting the way forward with a unified approach.

"I'll be sitting down with the other officers over the next couple of days, and we'll draft the way forward.

"And hopefully as a county we'll all go forward together, the whole of GAA Tyrone," said the new chairman.

Eunan Lindsay from Glenelly, who had just completed five years as PRO, was elected as vice-chairman, with Eugene McConnell of Clogher elected to the post of PRO.

Earlier, in her report to convention at Garvaghey, outgoing chairperson Mrs Jordan revealed she is considering legal action over attempts to undermine her position.

"It has been proven that sinister attempts were made to undermine my position this year.

Leaks to some media sources were unfounded and have resulted in personal apologies being made to me," she said.

"Earlier in the year an email - allegedly from an un-named Tyrone player - relating to a number of issues did not come from within the panel, but was a fictitious hoax presented to the media, which attracted significant negative publicity.

It remains a matter of legal consideration." She added: "Tyrone GAA must be united in going forward as one entity to advance the Tyrone cause. That remains my primary objective.

"Whatever about my tenure as chairperson, I am satisfied that I act honestly to the best of my ability and in the interests of Tyrone GAA.

"I am prepared to stand or fall upon decisions which are taken within the committee room."

Mrs Jordan renewed her call for the development of second floodlit venue in the county, and pointed to the staring of two Tyrone SFC games in Armagh this year as evidence of the need for an alternative to Healy Park.

"Our aspiration in the future should be to build our own stadium," she said.

"This year my view came to the fore when we had to use the facilities in Armagh twice, because we only have one facility, our own county grounds, which can cater for large crowds and had floodlights.

"There is a need for a second floodlit ground if our championship games are to be played in the second half of the year. Our sincere thanks to Armagh for the use of their facilities."

And the establishment of a TV channel to stream love coverage of games is another development she is keen to see.

"Tyrone GAA should follow Armagh's lead and set up TV so we can stream some of our games. This is operated and run by Armagh GAA. In Tyrone this can also be done.

"Tyrone GAA will own it. The pay for viewing and all advertising must go through the county office. Armagh TV is not long in operation and is already bringing in revenue.

"There will be set-up costs, but going forward, the way the GAA is changing in promoting the game, we need to move with the times.

"It is my belief that we have a great product and we should maximise all streams of revenue for Tyrone GAA. Our company IT has registered a few domain names on behalf of Tyrone GAA for Tyrone TV."

Also, in a wide-ranging address to convention, Mrs Jordan praised the work of the Competitions Control Committee (CCC) in ensuring that a comprehenseive programme of fixtures was completed on schedule during 2017.

"I want to congratulate the CCC on an early completion of their programme of fixtures for 2017.

The decision of playing off the league and getting it down to play-offs before championship worked really well, and even with the county getting to the All-Ireland semi-finals, all three championship winners were afforded the time to prepare for the first round of the Ulster Club.

"It does, however, put extra pressure on gate people. We owe a great deal of gratitude to these people, who leave their homes maybe two or three hours before the starting time to ensure all spectators can move through easy at all venues."

And on the issue of a fixtures clash with the appearance of the Tyrone ladies team in the All-Ireland IFC final at Croke Park, she said: "Unfortunately one round of championship fixtures collided with the ladies, who were playing in the All-Ireland final in Croke Park.

"I can't emphasise enough that a combined fixture plan for all codes must be prepared and presented to the county committee for ratification in March or before.

"This is the only way to ensure that we can all play our games with no overlapping." She added: "2018 will be an interesting year for fixtures, with the changes in month for playing U20s, back-door for Minors and the Super Eights.

One can only wait to see the outcome of the full season, both at county level and club level, before we can really make judgement.

"I hope our fixture planners and the CCC work closely to provide a programme of fixtures that will work well for the clubs." Mrs Jordan extended thanks to all who had worked to further the cause of Tyrone GAA during the past year.

"While all our sub-committees are very important in what they do for Tyrone GAA and I thank them for all their hard work and commitment in carrying out their duties for Tyrone GAA.

"I would however like to acknowledge the tremendous work that our cultural committee is doing within the clubs of Tyrone.

"The increase in participation at Scor with the clubs can only be warmly welcomed. Well done to Donal Magee and his committee for all their efforts in promoting Scor and the Irish language in Tyrone.

"I also pay tribute to Mark Conway and the PR & Marketing Committee and congratulate them on their two new initiatives this year, helping to set up a Club Tyrone base in New York and London.

"I thank everyone involved in the organising of golf classics in both places. A huge thank you to the committee members who travelled to both venues, taking time from their work and paying their own way to help and support the two new ventures."

And she had a warm tribute for treasurer Raymond McKeown, who once again presented a detailed breakdown of the county's financial position.

"Once again Raymond has presented us with a complete breakdown of all our finances in Tyrone. I don't know who better in Tyrone we could get to take care of our finances.

"Thank you Eileen Connolly, the vice-treasurer, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes assisting Raymond with Tyrone GAA business."

Officers elected

Chairman: Michael Kerr (Eire Óg)
Secretary: Dominic McCaughey (Trillick)
Treasurer: Raymond McKeown (Moy)
Vice-chairman: Eunan Lindsay (Glenelly)
Assistant secretary: Michelle Cox (Drumragh)
Assistant treasurer: Eileen Connolly (Newtownstewart)
Central Council: Cuthbert Donnelly (Aghaloo)
Ulster Council: Dermot McCaughey (Trillick) & Adrian O'Kane (Drumragh)
Coaching officer: Brendan Hurl (Ardboe)
Culture officer: Donal Magee (Killyclogher)
Hurling officer: Peter Kerr (Eire Óg)
Development officer: Aidan Maguire (Newtownstewart)
PRO: Eugene McConnell (Clogher)
Children's officer: Adrian Nugent (Rock)


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