BY CHRIS MCNULTY
DONEGAL legend Anthony Molloy has emerged as a leading candidate for the position of County Chairman – which will become vacant at the annual Convention in December.
Current Chairman PJ McGowan will complete his five-year tenure at Convention – and 1992 All-Ireland winning captain Molloy has confirmed that putting his name forward is something he has given ‘serious consideration’ to.
A popular and iconic figure in Donegal, Molloy has admitted that he has harboured ambitions to lead Gaelic Games in the county for some time.
“I haven’t my mind made up, but I have been approached by a number of clubs and I have given it serious thought,” Molloy confirmed to the Donegal News.
“It’s still early days, but it has been an ambition of mine and it is something that I am certainly considering.”
Molloy is a former team-mate of Donegal Jim McGuinness and the pair remain close friends. In the minutes after Donegal’s All-Ireland semi-final win over Cork, Molloy addressed the Donegal team with a speech the current captain Michael Murphy said was ‘powerful’.
Twenty years after he led Donegal to their first All-Ireland as captain in ‘92, Molloy beamed with pride when he welcomed Sam Maguire back into Donegal again last month – and his words at the homecoming in Ardara were strong and passionate.
Molloy now admits that he sees the job of County Chairman as a role he could carry out, having learned lessons from ‘92.
He said: “I feel that we didn’t move on in ‘92 as we should have done. It is really important that we make the most of it this time around.
“I am not happy with the current underage structures in Donegal and there is so much more that we can do for the underage game in the county,” he said.
The big man from Leamagowra had a spell as manager of the Donegal minor team and led them to an Ulster title in 1996. More recently, he managed Naomh Columba and he is the Minor Board Chairman of the Naomh Columba club, holding strong views on the direction of underage football.
“The job of county chairman is a serious job. There is a lot of pressure involved, especially given where we are at now as the top team in the country and there is a lot of things to do in Donegal.”
Molloy has become the first man to publicly comment on the possibility of running to succeed PJ McGowan, whose term will come to an end at Convention, but it is expected that there will come opposition, with the current Vice Chairman Charlie Cannon and Children’s Officer Mick McGrath also likely candidates.
The 2012 Donegal GAA Convention will take place on Sunday, December 16th in the Abbey Hotel, Donegal town.
At the October meeting of the Donegal county committee, it was proposed that recent tradition be broken and the meeting to revert to the old-style Sunday format.
Recent Conventions have been held in Ballybofey on a week night, but the proposal to switch to a Sunday meeting received delegates’ backing.
Just two of the Co Executive must vacate their positions having completed their terms – Chairman McGowan and Ulster Council delegate Edward Molloy.