History came to pass at the weekend when Liam O’Neill was formally ratified as the next President of the GAA at the association’s annual Congress in Mullingar.
Mr O’Neill will become the 37th President when he takes over the office from Christy Cooney in a year’s time. As widely expected Mr O’Neill was elected unopposed, an unprecedented development for the GAA.
In his address to delegates in Mullingar on Friday night, he thanked his family, club and the wider Laois and Irish GAA community.
On a light note, he thanked those in attendance for sparing him the stress of another ballot. “I am happy to remind you that on the day of my previous attempt to be elected to this position a national newspaper carried a quote from me. That quote expressed my dislike of elections. I said that I wished we could find a better way of electing a President.
“I honestly didn’t expect that you would go the route of dispensing with a vote in favour of a single ‘Unity’ candidate but Míle Buiochas for doing just that. If every request I make is met as positively I will indeed be a happy man.”
O’Neill will now act as Uachtarain-Tofa, or Presdident-Elect, of the GAA for the next 12 months, before assuming the role next year.
For further coverage see Sport, Page 75