WHILE the top table of the Beara GAA Board is currently without a chair, a vice-chair and a secretary, outgoing chairman Jim Hanley is hopeful those positions will be filled in the weeks ahead.
Bere Island clubman Hanley had served as chairman since 2018 but, living in Cork City, feels he won’t be able to give the position the commitment it requires this year.
In Beara there is no three-year restriction on a divisional officer’s terms, and an officer can hold a position for five years.
For various reasons, a number of the board’s officers are not in the position to seek re-election to the Beara board for 2021, so the search is on to find club members willing to take on these important roles.
‘We made our decisions and let the clubs know in advance of the Beara AGM, and while there were a couple of nominations there were none for chair, vice-chair and secretary,’ Hanley explains.
‘We’ve had a couple of separate meetings where we made the clubs aware of the situation. Another meeting was due to be held early this week but that had to be rescheduled. We are working hard to get new officers in place.’
With Hanley (outgoing chairman), James O’Shea (outgoing vice-chairman) and Shirley Murphy (outgoing secretary) not putting their names forward, the six clubs in the Beara division have been asked to put forward their nominations.
‘We left it to the clubs over Christmas, told them to have a chat and see what they think,’ Hanley says.
‘I’m hopeful we will fill those positions. Ideally, we would like to get it sorted sooner rather than later, but sometimes you might need a little bit more time. There is no deadline in place. Also, given the situation with Covid, it’s an added complication because we can’t meet in person.
‘The clubs need to put people forward, that’s the next step. There are loads of really capable and talented people who would be well able for the roles that are there on the Beara board. The workload needs to be spread out over half a dozen people because you can’t expect a small group – two or three people – to do it all.’
Hanley feels strongly that the clubs in the division need to support the Beara GAA Board. The first step is to put forward nominations for the vacant positions. He’s confident the positions will be filled, but also sounded a note of caution.
‘Last year we were unable to put out a senior football team and that was extremely disappointing. The clubs need to make a decision – if they want to proceed, what do they want Beara GAA to look like?’ Hanley says.
‘In the three years we were there I think we did some good work. The most significant piece of work was putting a Strategic Plan in place. The plan was adopted by the clubs at the start of 2020 and, in my view, it is the roadmap to bringing Beara back to where it needs to be and where it should be.
‘The clubs have a choice now: do they want Beara GAA to continue? That is do they what Beara representative teams at senior and U21 level and do they want our clubs competing in Beara leagues and championships?’