John Lacey has been re-elected as London chairperson for a second year after the county board’s end of year convention.
Only two candidates stood for the position and Mr Lacey received 59 votes to Tony O’Halloran’s 38 votes. After the result the Granuaile club-man set out his plans for the next year, as the Ruislip development is on course for completion for the early summer, and more funds have been made available after the sale of New Eltham.
“What I endeavour to do, and what the main goal of the year is to expand. Not only here with the Ruislip development, but across the capital we need more playing fields.
“I am confident that with good management we could get at least two, whether it be in the north, south or east of the city.
“We need clubs and delegates to identify where these could be. I have already been to look at two recently, but they were not suitable. One, for example was 20m too narrow.
“We are looking at ones with an extremely long lease, or preferably to buy. Then we must look at refurbishing the clubhouse here in Ruislip.
“It will take more than a new carpet and a lick of paint, because we need to have somewhere to be just as proud of as the grounds outside.
“There is no point in having a Rolls Royce out there and a mini in here.
“We hope that it will be of a standard that can host 250-300 people for dinners and conferences, as it is a cash cow that is not being used.”
Expanding on comments made in Coaching Officer Tony Griffin’s closing year statement, Mr Lacey also said that working to build youth hurling was also a priority.
“I also would like to revive underage hurling. Once the stadium opens we need to all be here in unison so we can go from strength to strength.
“I hope I don’t disappoint those who didn’t vote for me, and that I can do better for them in the coming year.
“Tony O’Halloran is someone that I didn’t want to meet in a vote, he is one of the better workers for London GAA. “I am sure he will continue his work for the board, and he is welcome any time.”
Mr O’Halloran echoed the sentiments of the 2017 chairman.
“It is great to have competition and it is few and far between the amount of people who have tried to get involved with the board this year. “We should have two or three people running for every position.
“As John said I ain’t going anywhere and I will be back next year, so you can keep the seat warm!” he joked. “But in seriousness we do have to get behind the board and continue to work together.”
Bill Reilly took over from Proinsias Redican as President, with the Shalloe and Brothers Pearse man saying it was an ‘honour’.
Mr Redican, of Tara GFC, said he was happy at who was coming in to replace him and urged everyone to keep London GAA strong like previous delegates had since he attended his first London convention in 1958.
Eddie Naughton, of CuChullains, stayed on as assistant chairperson as did John Malone (St Brendan’s) as the Treasurer of the Social Club. John Molloy sent his apologies for not attending convention due to family reasons, and withdrew from his position of assistant secretary.
Mr Lacey said: “I hope that John will be back in some capacity and not out in the wilderness as he has been a trojan for London GAA over the past 20-30 years.”
Declan Flanagan (St Joseph’s) took over from Noel Dunning as development officer, but Mr Dunning will stay on in terms of the Ruislip development, having held the position for the past five years.
Tony Griffin (Parnells) remained as coaching officer and Tommy Harrell (Fr Murphy’s) took over from St Gabriel’s Pat Griffin as Oifigeach Na Gaeilge. Seamus Carr (Tir Chonaill Gaels) stayed on as Central Council officer, and Tony O’Halloran (Harlesden Harps) and Noel O’Sullivan (St Kiernans) were voted in as Provincial Council delegates.
The position of PRO, was left vacant after Declan Flanagan stepped down after five years service.
Assistant Secretary and Treasurer are all still open going in to the first County Board meeting of 2017.
Munster’s victorious hurling manager Anthony Daly calls for interprovincial competitions to be brought to Ruislip to reignite interest in the game.