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Cork coaching officer Kevin O'Donovan. Picture Denis Boyle
Cork coaching officer Kevin O'Donovan. Picture Denis Boyle
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Cork coaching officer: We need a more open approach to GAA on Leeside

CORK County Board coaching officer Kevin O’Donovan has said that he is running for the position of vice-chairman so as to offer delegates a choice on the future direction of the county.

County convention takes place on December 10 and Kilmeen/Kilbree club member O’Donovan will be up against current board development officer Richard Murphy of Lyre, with the possibility of others declaring.

Last year, O’Donovan circulated a 25-point plan for the future of Cork GAA and, while he doesn’t expect people to agree with all of his views, he wants to provide them with an option.

“What we need is a more open approach,” he said.

“There is a disconnect there that we need to address, people in clubs need to be able to see and feel real democracy, it’s no use saying that it’s there.

“It’s easy to tell people that they can bring about change by going down to their local club, writing a motion and getting that through at county and national level, but there are a lot of hoops to be jumped through, it’s not quite that simple.

“The alternative option is to put yourself out there and stand as a candidate, give people an option, and that’s what I’m doing. I have a vision for the county, I feel that we should be investing in coaching and supporting clubs.

“People mightn’t agree with all of what I’m saying, but at least they have a chance to make their voice heard, one way or the other.

“I’m not peddling any grand vision, I’m listening to people on the ground and asking to be given a chance to implement change. For there to be democracy, there must be candidates, and there must be differences between those candidates.” 

O’Donovan is also calling on other like-minded individuals to put themselves forward.

“One person isn’t going to change things on his or her own on a 14-person executive, so we need more people to stand up,” he said.

“There are definitely better people than me in the county, but they may not be willing to stand, so I’m happy to be a proxy.

“My hope is that other people will also go forward to give clubs viable options, as you can’t have that without candidates.

“I don’t think that there is a place for political parties in the GAA, but what I’d term it would be more of an independent alliance, similar-minded people coming together to provide an alternative, with clubs then voting between that and the status quo."