THE 41ST PRESIDENT of the GAA will be elected during the Association’s Annual Congress at Croke Park this Friday evening.
Three candidates are in the running for the position: Jarlath Burns (Armagh), Niall Erskine (Donegal), and Pat Teehan (Offaly).
Congress will open at 7.30 pm that evening, shortly followed by the distribution of ballot papers for the election. The result is expected to be announced at 9.45 pm.
The vote will be held by secret ballot, with one vote for each delegate at Congress in a proportional representation system. If no candidate exceeds the quota on the first count, the candidate with the fewest votes will be eliminated and their votes distributed by second preference.
In 2020, there were 276 total votes, with a quota of 139. Larry McCarthy was elected on the fourth count from a field of five candidates.
McCarthy still has one year left in his term as president, with the winner of this election becoming president-elect for the coming year until officially taking office at Congress 2024 next February. They will serve a three-year term.
The Silverbridge native was confirmed for a second run at the GAA presidency when nominated by Armagh GAA in November. He led the early counts in 2020 before losing by 10 votes (142-132) to Larry McCarthy on the final count.
A former captain of the Armagh senior footballers, he was the first players’ representative to sit on central council in 2000. He later returned as central council delegate for Armagh GAA and has been a member of the Armagh and Ulster management committees.
At national level, he has served as chairman of both the standing committee on the playing rules and the 125th-anniversary committee.
He has called for government investment in new pitches for clubs to facilitate integration of the GAA with the Camogie Association and LGFA and wishes to undertake an updated amateur status review, encompassing the demands on inter-county players and the financial pressures on county boards.
Niall Erskine (Donegal)
The Killybegs clubman was nominated by Donegal GAA last September.
He has served as chairman of the GAA’s World Council since 2017, which runs the World Games. He was previously elected as a GAA trustee at Congress in 2015. He has acted as a central council delegate for Donegal GAA, secretary of London GAA, and was a founding member of the Newcastle Gaels club in the UK. He was also the development officer of his home club.
He spoke at Congress last year in favour of prioritising integration with the Camogie Association and LGFA and proposed the ‘Super 8s’ format on behalf of GAA central council in 2018.
He is against mandatory decoupling of the minor and senior grades and cites addressing player dropout and volunteer numbers as priorities of his presidential campaign.
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Pat Teehan (Offaly)
The Coolderry clubman was nominated by Offaly GAA in November.
His three-year term as Leinster Council chairperson finished last month, having previously been elected to a range of positions at club, county, and provincial level. He was a long-time Offaly PRO before becoming chairman and then central council delegate.
In his Leinster role, he defended the funding given towards games development in Dublin, wishing for the success of that model to be used as a roadmap for other counties with provincial support.
He has proposed a central strategic management panel to assist clubs and counties with development and planning, suggested a federal structure as a pathway towards integration of the Camogie Association and LGFA, and wishes to enforce silent sidelines at younger age grades to address the culture of abuse towards referees.
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