At last night’s County Board meeting, chairman Paddy McNicholas confirmed that he plans to step down from the position at this year’s Convention before Christmas, ending a four-year term in the role. It’s expected that vice-chairman Mike Connolly (who despite the slightly different spelling in his surname is indeed Noel Connelly’s brother) will shift up to the position of chairman once the Kiltimagh clubman finishes his term, though I guess we’ll have to wait to see the list of nominations put forward at the Convention before making any conclusions on that score.
It’s no surprise – indeed it’s pretty much been an open secret for the last few weeks – that the current chairman has decided to step down at this juncture. He became the lightning rod – perhaps a bit unfairly but as the man in the hot seat inevitably so – for the managerial appointments fiasco and while all of the blame for this debacle can’t in any sense be laid at his door alone, his departure will at least help to bring this sorry episode to a close.
At last night’s County Board meeting, Kiltimagh Chairman Seamus Corry paid tribute to his fellow clubman – which was only right and proper, given the many years service Paddy has given to club and county – but he also took the opportunity in doing so to criticise both print and social media for their coverage of recent events. While such sentiments are understandable at a human level, there is, though, an element of shooting the messenger here – it wasn’t the media that created the issue that gave rise to what followed, even if, as is always the case nowadays, the reaction to events did become a tad OTT at times in relation to the key personalities involved.
Even while the storm was raging, though, it’s been said more than once – including by those posting comments here – that the root causes for this fiasco can’t all be traced back to a small few individuals on the County Board. As so many have acknowledged, there are wider issues out there contributing to the obvious problems that exist at County Board level, including the calibre of delegates put forward to serve on the County Board and all that. That, in turn, comes back to the salient point – which again has been made here and elsewhere – that meaningful change in this respect will only happen when others step forward to take on what are so often thankless and time-consuming roles within the county set-up. Plus ça change, in other words.