JIM Hanley intends to put his name forward in January for the vacant position of Beara GAA Chairman.
Hanley had to step down as chairman at the end of last Thursday night’s Beara AGM at Twomey’s Bar in Castletownbere.
Because Hanley’s club, Bere Island, didn’t field a team this year, it means that the club, technically, is not a current member of the GAA. The knock-on effect is that neither is Hanley so he is ineligible to continue as Beara chairman – but he will put his name forward in January, as he can do, and look to hold the position for a third year.
As of now, there is no chairman of the Beara board, which also has three other positions to fill as secretary Shirley Murphy, treasurer Aisling O’Sullivan and development officer Ciarán O’Sullivan have all stepped down, though Murphy agreed to stay on as secretary for an interim period.
The Beara GAA board intends to hold a meeting in January where it hopes to fill these vacant positions.
The following officers have all remained in their roles – vice chairman James O’Shea, assistant treasurer Michael Joe O’Sullivan, Irish and Cultural officer Sinead Whelan and PRO Joseph Blake.
There was a poor turnout at the AGM but a lot of different topics were discussed including the poor treatment of divisional teams in the Cork SFC and how Beara would be open to change in the way that the Divisions/Colleges' section of the senior championship is run off.
Also, in his chairman’s address (before he had to step down), Hanley gave an update on the division’s ongoing strategic review, having held an open meeting last month.
‘Since the public meeting the committee has been working at collating the information gathered and it is anticipated that the final plan will be put to the clubs in the new year,’ Hanley said.
‘I would like to thank the following people who have worked with me on this committee: Shirley Murphy (Glengarriff), Paudie B O’Sullivan (Garnish), Brian McCarthy (Urhan), Donal O’Sullivan (Castletownbere) and Michael Joe O’Sullivan (Adrigole).
‘I would also like to thank the county board and their officials for supporting the process, particularly Michael Byrne and Conor Counihan, who facilitated the public evening.’
Hanley also called on Beara GAA clubs to come together in an effort to ensure that the division’s full programme of adult games is completed each year, as it was noted that two competitions weren’t finished this season.
‘At the start of 2019 Beara GAA brought in new fixture regulations,’ he said.
‘Broadly speaking, these regulations improved the situation regarding the arrangement of adult fixtures in the division with the specific fixtures’ meetings proving particularly useful.
‘Nonetheless I do believe there is still some distance to travel in terms of improvements which need to be made to ensure that our full programme of fixtures are played. This will require Beara GAA and all of our clubs working together in a spirit of cooperation.’
Hanley also sounded a word of warning to Beara GAA clubs about the implications of rural depopulation, highlighting the problems his own club has encountered.
‘Unfortunately, due to the rural nature of our peninsula our clubs are having to deal with the very real problems of rural depopulation. No more so than in my own club Bere Island who were unable to put a team on the field in 2019,’ Hanley said.
‘In this regard I would urge all of our clubs to be vigilant to the problems which may be approaching.
‘I would like to bring to their attention recent changes to the Cork GAA Transfer Byelaws which, by club arrangement, now allows players to transfer to their father’s home club and also from any senior of intermediate clubs to any junior club.’