Will friends become foes in big Mayo GAA election battles?
By Aiden Henry
The annual Mayo GAA Convention, which will be held in the Air Dome at the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence tomorrow (Sunday) evening at 5 p.m., is destined to be more interesting than normal.
There will be three major contests – for chairman, vice-chairman and two Connacht Council delegate positions – down for decision, and to make it more intriguing, there is a possibility that we could see three new faces in three of the five top table positions.
This would happen if present secretary Dermot Butler was to win the vice-chairman position.
While the contest for chairman between Seamus Tuohy (Breaffy) and Con Moynihan (Ballaghaderreen) is straightforward, its outcome will have a major bearing on the elections for a vice-chairman and the two Connacht Council delegate positions.
Club delegates must decide if Tuohy or Moynihan is best suited to lead the county board forward and address issues that need to be worked on if Mayo wants to be up there with the best in the country.
Moving on, delegates won’t know until after the election for chairman how many candidates will be in the field for the vice-chairman position.
As it stands there are three candidates nominated: current vice-chairman Con Moynihan, current secretary Dermot Butler and current Connacht Council delegate Paul Cunnane.
In the event of Moynihan winning the chairman position, it would leave just Butler and Cunnane in the race for the vice-chairman.
But should Moynihan lose to Tuohy, the big question is will Butler and Cunnane still challenge Moynihan for vice-chairman?
There is a feeling that Butler might pull out of the race if Moynihan were to lose but that Cunnane would leave his name in there regardless, despite the fact that Cunnane is strongly canvassing for Moynihan for the chairman position.
The third contest sees three candidates nominated for the two Connacht Council delegate positions: Johnny Hopkins, Paul Cunnane and Liam Moffatt.
Again, this contest will only take place if Cunnane fails to win the vice-chairman position.
If he does win it, it would just leave Hopkins and Moffatt to fill the two positions.
A question remains as to whether Moffatt will stay in the race if Cunnane fails to win the vice-chairman position.
Like Cunnane, Moffatt is canvassing for Moynihan for chair and backing Cunnane for vice-chairman.
If Moynihan and Cunnane win their contests, Moffatt would automatically get one of the two Connacht Council delegate positions.
If he has to contend with Hopkins and Cunnane in a battle for the two positions, he would not be certain of winning a seat.
As it stands, friends Moynihan, Cunnane and Moffatt are all backing one another.
However, once the elections come around tomorrow evening, will these friends become foes if they have to face off each other for either the vice-chairman or Connacht Council positions?
It could turn out to be a very interesting evening.