BY CHRIS MCNULTY
SEAN Dunnion could, in the coming days, become the third confirmed entrant in the mix to succeed PJ McGowan as Chairman of the Donegal Co Board.
McGowan’s term in office is up on Sunday-fortnight, December 16, at the annual Convention in Donegal town. Already, the sitting Vice-Chairman Charlie Cannon and the Children’s Officer Mick McGrath have confirmed that their names will be on the ballot at the Abbey Hotel.
Four Masters Chairman Dunnion has been nominated, as have Liam Ward from Glenfin and former Donegal captain Anthony Molloy.
The final decisions of Molloy and Ward have not yet been made, but sources close to both men have said that it is unlikely that their names will go forward.
However, there remains the possibility that Dunnion will enter the race and make it a three-way contest.
Also nominated for the positition of Vice-Chairman, Dunnion will be in the mix for one of the seats, but has yet to decide which way he’ll sway, though there are several key figures close to him urging him to go for the top.
“I still have nothing concrete decided yet,” said the Four Masters clubman yesterday afternoon.
“I’m still mulling over the nominations. I will probably be in the field for one of them.
“I have spoken to the club, but I’ll need another couple of days to decide for sure what I’m going to do.”
A highly-regarded administrator, Dunnion is a regular contributor at the monthly county committee meetings and the injection of ‘new blood’ to the Chair would be seen as a positive by many in Donegal. Dunnion, for now, though, is keeping his options open.
The Vice Chair sees eleven names on the nominations, though Declan Cunningham has withdrawn, Danny McNamee is also believed not to be in the mix, while Cannon, Ward and Dunnion are on the list. Brian McEniff has expressed a desire to contest.
Niall Erskine is expected to seek a retention of his Central Council delegate position and therefore withdraw from the Vice Chair’s race. For the position of Central Council delegate, the outgoing Chairman, PJ McGowan, is set to make a hot contest here with the MacCumhaills man a certain opponent to Erskine.
Sean McGinley is another non-runner for the Vice Chairman’s post. McGinley had been tipped to run, but confirmed to the Donegal News that he was seeking to ‘stay where I am’ as the assistant secretary, a post that comes with the brief as secretary of the Competition’s Controls Committee (CCC).
The sitting PRO, Máire Graham, is believed to be keeping her hat in the ring for the assistant secretary’s post, with Glenswilly’s Barry McDaid and Ardara’s Edward Molloy expected to ‘tarraingt siar’ on the afternoon of Convention. Molloy officially confirmed to the Donegal News last Sunday that he was contesting the position of PRO.
With McGinley expected to retain his place as assistant secretary, Graham could also go again for the PRO post, for what is likely to become a three-way battle, as Glenfin man Jim Quinn has also signalled his intention to run. Heavily involved in the Northern Regional Board, he must vacate his position there as his tenure has completed but he is now set to run for senior PRO.
The secretary, Aodh Mairtín Ó Fearraigh and the treasurer, Grace Boyle, will both return unopposed to their positions, while Development Officer Michael McMenamin and Coaching Officer Anthony Harkin will also retain their portfolios without the need for a vote.
Brendan Kelly is expected to let his name go forward for one of the two Ulster Council delegate positions, which would leave Frankie Doherty free to keep the status quo in place in the Treasury department. The Ulster Council posts will, as tends to be the case, be contested by several candidates.
Strangely, there have been no motions to conventions submitted by clubs ahead of the December 16 meeting in the Abbey Hotel.
DECLAN BONNER will look to collect the first piece of silverware from his second tenure in charge of Donegal.