BY CHRIS MCNULTY
SEAN Dunnion has officially declared his candidacy for the position of Chairman of the Donegal County Board.
The Four Masters clubman confirmed last night to the Donegal News that he is leaving his name in the running to succeed PJ McGowan in the top administrative post in Donegal Gaelic Games.
McGowan’s tenure ceases at the annual convention on December 16 when a new Chairman will be elected at the Abbey Hotel in Dunnion’s hometown, Donegal town.
Charlie Cannon, the current Vice Chairman, and Mick McGrath, the sitting Children’s Officer, have already signalled their intentions to run, but now Dunnion has joined them for a three-way battle.
Former Donegal captain Anthony Molloy is another nominated, but has yet to make a decision on his candidacy, while Liam Ward, the fifth man nominated for the Chair, is said to be now seriously considering a bid for the Vice Chair.
Dunnion is a long-standing administrator of his local Four Masters club. Having served as Secretary and then PRO, he has been Chairman of the club for seven years now. A Project Leader in the Information Systems section of Donegal County Council, Dunnion is well-respected and highly regarded delegate at county committee meetings.
Now, he says the ‘time is right’ to bid for the Chair.
“I have decided to enter the race having given it a lot of thought over the past week or ten days,” he told the Donegal News.
“It’s mainly because of the encouragement I’ve got from the club and from people outside the club. A lot of people have asked me, either directly or indirectly, if I would run for the Chair.
“There is no point in me saying otherwise, this has always been an ambition of mine to get into the county scene and now I feel that the time is right.”
Dunnion has been nominated for the Chairman’s post in the past, but declined to put his hat into the high-powered ring previously.
He said: “I always swayed away because the club was involved in pitch developments that have now come to fruition.”
The Four Masters club has developed a new training pitch and also an all-weather facility at Tir Chonaill Park.
Dunnion said: “I feel now that I can take things away from what I have done with the club and bring them to the county executive.
“I think that this is a good opportunity now. That, coupled with the encouragement that I’ve got, made me put my hat in the ring.
“I am under no illusions about what the role involved. It is a very privileged position and there is an awful amount of work involved.
“I would be familiar with what surrounds county committee and I’ve also put feelers around Ulster and national level to see what is involved in things like dealing with county football and hurling teams.
“I’ve done plenty of research over the past week and decided that I’ll leave my name in.”
DECLAN BONNER will look to collect the first piece of silverware from his second tenure in charge of Donegal.