Laois GAA Convention threw up no surprises last Wednesday night, as the outgoing committee were returned en masse to continue in their positions for 2012.
In a sign of what appears to be dwindling interest in the largest GAA meeting of the calendar year, this year’s Convention lasted just under two hours, with no significant debate or election taking place.
The quartet of Brian Allen (Chairman), Gerry Kavanagh (Vice-Chairman), Martin Byrne (Treasurer) and Phil Duggan (Vice Treasurer) were all returned unopposed, in a theme which would set the tone for the rest of the evening.
Allen is now commencing his fifth, and final, year at the helm of Laois GAA, so the 2012 convention will throw up at least one interesting election.
The only positions contested on the night was for the seats at the top table for Leinster Council delegates. Kieran Delaney (Camross) contested with outgoing delegates Kieran Leavy (Portarlington) and Mick Carroll (Abbeyleix).
In the first round of votes, Carroll received an overwhelming majority and comfortably made the quota with 132 votes. With the quota set at 92, Leavy (84 votes) and Delaney (56 votes) went head it head for the final position.
In a bizarre turn, Delaney actually received less votes the second time around (53), while Leavy’s held firm at 84 to see him elected.
In the other positions on the executive, Anthony Delaney (Shanahoe) returned as Central Council delegate, Peter O’Neill (Portlaoise) will act as Coaching Officer while Tom Jones (The Heath) continues as Development Officer.
Pat O’Sullivan (Cultural and Irish Officer) and Paschal McEvoy (PRO) were also returned to their positions, with the five men listed above facing no opposition.
Gerry Kavanagh and Paschal McEvoy will be delegated to Congress, while Tom Jones, Paschal McEvoy, Martin Byrne, Gerry Kavanagh and Brian Allen will be the delegates to Leinster Convention.
The only other position on the night to be forced to a vote was for the position of U-21 Congress Delegate, which was contested between Ciaran Booth (The Heath) and Dermot Nolan (Arles-Kilcruise). Booth won in a landslide, taking a 96 to 41 majority.
In a new position which has been incorporated into the county board, Alan Langton (Barrowhouse) was appointed as Laois’ first ever holder of the role.