BY CHRIS MCNULTY
AIDEEN Gillen has joined the race to succeed Aodh Mairtín Ó Fearraigh as the Donegal GAA secretary and it will be a straight fight between the Dungloe clubwoman and Ed Byrne, the outgoing PRO, for the position.
Ó Fearraigh has to vacate his position having served as secretary for the last five years at Sunday’s Convention in the Abbey Hotel, Donegal town.
Noreen Doherty, Nicola Ferry and Mary Kelly have been nominated for the post but will not be allowing their names to go forward. However, the Dungloe club has this week confirmed that Gillen will be contesting for the job.
That means it will be a vote between Gillen and Byrne, who has completed his first year as PRO. The Killybegs clubman is understood to have indicated that he will not be going again for the PRO position again in the event of an unsuccessful contest for secretary.
There will be a few hot contests, including that race for the secretary’s seat.
Vice Chairman Denis Ellis, Treasurer Cieran Kelly and Central Council delegate Niall Erskine will all be returned to their positions unopposed.
Ó Fearraigh has been nominated alongside Ellis for the vice chairman’s post, but the Gaoth Dobhair man has his eyes on one of the Ulster Council delegate’s places. Sitting officers Pat Connaghan and Brendan Kelly will be seeking re-election while the entry of Ó Fearraigh means a keenly-contested vote here with Kilcar’s Trevor McBrearty also expected to be in the frame.
Outgoing coaching officer Anthony Harkin faces a challenge from Buncrana’s Gary Duffy, while Frankie Doherty is expected to be returned as the assistant treasurer with none of those nominated alongside him likely to challenge.
The PRO post also looks an interesting one, with Byrne having indicated that he won’t be seeking the post. Former Highland Radio Managing Director Charlie Collins, Oisin Cannon – who ran Byrne extremely close last year – Fiona Shiels and Catríona Harkin have also been nominated.
Outgoing assistant secretary Seán McGinley may face a challenge with the names of Declan Martin, Jim Quinn and Paddy Mullen still all potential candidates by yesterday afternoon.
Michael McMenamin leaves the role of Development Officer having, like Ó Fearraigh, completed a five-year term.
Cloughaneely’s Séamus Ó Domhnaill, the Falcarragh-based county councillor and Aodh Ruadh’s Terence McShea appear set to contest the vacancy.
THE FULL LIST OF NOMINATIONS
Seán Dunnion, Eddie Gallagher,
Denis Ellis, Aodh Máirtín Ó Fearraigh,
Ed Byrne, Noreen Doherty, Nicola Ferry, Aideen Gillen, Mary Kelly,
Seán McGinley, James Keenan, Jim Quinn, Nicola Ferry, Paddy Mullen, Declan Martin, Fiona Shiels,
Frankie Doherty, Aideen Gillen, Paddy Tinney, Brendan Kelly
Oifigeach Caidrimh Poiblí
Ed Byrne, Oisín Cannon, Fiona Shiels, Aodh Máirtín Ó Fearraigh, Charlie Collins, Caitríona Harkin
Terence McShea, Séamus Ó Domhnaill, Paddy Mullen, Diarmuid Keown, Terry Reilly
Oifigeach Gaeilge agus Cultúir
Con O’Donnell, Fergus McGee, Máire Graham,
Anthony Harkin, Gary Duffy, Brian McCabe
Ionadaí ar Ard Chomhairle
Ionadaí ar Comhairle Uladh(2)
Pat Conaghan, Brendan Kelly, Trevor McBrearty, Aodh Máirtín Ó Fearraigh, PJ McGowan.
Teachtaí go Comhdháil Bhliantúil Chomhairle Uladh
Trevor McBrearty, Mick McGrath Séamus Ó Domhnaill, Niall Erskine, Naul McCole, Ed Byrne, Terence McGinley
Teachtaí go Comhdháil Bhliantúil C.L.G
Mick McGrath, Aodh Máirtín Ó Fearraigh, Ed Byrne, Conor McDermott, Pat Conaghan, Michael McMenamin