Officers to vacate, but will it be all change at the top for Cats?

THE familiar face of Kilkenny GAA could change dramatically over the next few weeks, writes John Knox.

THE familiar face of Kilkenny GAA could change dramatically over the next few weeks, writes John Knox.

Between now and County Board annual Convention on December 13 no less than eight seniors officials of the ’Board and a sub-committee will vacate their positions.

The clear out of officers from their current positions is in accordance with GAA rules, which stipulates that a sitting official must vacate a role after serving five consecutive years.

The only position on the Executive of the County Board not bound by the five year rule is that of treasurer, which is held in Kilkenny by Barry Hickey (John Lockes).

However, the service rule means that Kilkenny chairman, Paul Kinsella (St Martin’s) must vacate his position.

It is likewise with secretary, Ned Quinn (Mooncoin), County Board vice-chairman, Pat Dunphy (Rower-Inistioge) and a raft of other officials.

All must move out of the job they currently hold, but as the official word used is “vacate”, all are free to seek re-election to another position, if they are nominated and if they stand for election.

Lose experience

In a worse case scenario, Kilkenny could lose the experienced officers listed above along with Conor Denieffe, O’Loughlin Gaels (PRO), Val Malone, James Stephens (Coaching Officer), John Comerford, Young Irelands (Development Officer) plus Dan Kenny, Piltown (South Board chairman) and Jim Kearns, Ballyhale Shamrocks (South Board vice-chairman) because all have completed five consecutive years of service.

“I would like to thank everyone for the help and co-operation they gave me over the last five years,” said chairman, Paul Kinsella, when he signed off at the last County Board meeting of the year at Nowlan Park on Monday night.

“I have to thank you all for the work you have put it. It is nice to be leaving when things are going smoothly.”

The South Board will definitely elect new top officials at annual Convention in the Rising Sun on Tuesday, December 4 (8pm).

It could be the same with the County Board at Convention in the O’Loughlin Gaels centre on Thursday, December 13.

If there was a complete clear out, it would be the biggest exodus of serving officers ever in a single year in Kilkenny.

The chances of it happening are unlikely, however. Clubs are unlikely to vote for massive change, especially as ready-made replacements are thin on the ground.

Clubs will make their nominations for the positions on the Executive shortly, and it will be no surprise if the names of the sitting officers are put forward to fill different roles.

Watch this space as they say!

Hoban the manager

Meanwhile, 12 months after vacating a position as manager with a Kilkenny hurling team, Pat Hoban has been brought back into the fold.

The Mullinavat man, who guided Kilkenny to All-Ireland glory with the intermediate team, is the new manager of the county minor side. He takes over from fellow Bank of Ireland employee, Adrian Ronan, who stepped down after serving a two year term.

Mr Hoban will be joined on the Selection Committee by Sean Kelly (St Martin’s) and Pat Nolan (Blacks and Whites) while Jimmy Meagher, St Lachtain’s will be team coach.

It will be as you were with the Kilkenny intermediate selectors, with Pat O’Grady of Blacks and Whites the manager. He will be joined by Pat O’Neill (Young Irelands), P.J. Kenny (Lisdowney) and Tom Murphy (Mooncoin).

The under-21 Selection Committee remains the same, with Richard Mulrooney (Dicksboro) the manager. He will be joined by Adrian Finan (James Stephens) with Brian Ryan, Fenians the team coach.

All the appointments, including those of Brian Cody (manager), Martin Fogarty and Michael Dempsey (selectors) with the senior team, were ratified at Monday’s meeting.