THE long-running rift between the Louth senior and minor GAA boards appeared to reach a very uneasy conclusion on Monday night as a new minor executive was ratified by the senior county committee.
The new underage line-up - which will have senior officers Declan Byrne and Des Halpenny as its chairman and secretary respectively - survived a ballot in Darver by 28 votes to 22.
Significantly, however, nearly all of the senior management committee voted in favour of the new minor line-up, which was proposed by management.
The final voting tallies echoed the obvious disquiet among many clubs, as a number of delegates spoke out against the procedure used and the fact that, apart from treasurer Aidan Berrill, the 2012 minor board was 'removed enmasse'.
A St Bride's motion to re-ratify the 2012 minor executive was ruled out of order by chairman Padraic O'Connor, who reminded delegates that they had agreed a procedure for selecting all sub-committees at their last meeting immediately after convention in December. The procedure stipulated that only the management committee could present recomendations to the county committee for ratification.
Dundalk Young Irelands delegate and former county secretary Pat Hamilton queried whether the meeting at which the procedure was agreed was valid, given that clubs received no prior notification or agenda.
However, the main objection to the process came from outgoing minor board chairman south, Sean Reid, who accused senior officers of 'shafting' their minor counterparts.
'I want to know why a number of other counties allowed their minor boards to hold an AGM, but the Louth minor board were denied this right,' the Mattock Rangers clubman asked. 'Let's call a spade a spade - this is a total shafting exercise on behalf of the county board.
'Four years ago I was elected to the position of vice chairman south of a minor board that had football as number-one. It was a good committee, that was ran very well, including the financials. It's an absolute travesty that not one of those men were asked to sit on the  minor committee.'
Mr O'Connor explained that it was up to the county committee to accept or reject the new minor executive proposed by management, but that a counter-proposal was not permitted. It was also confirmed that clubs will still be represented by a minor delegate on the new minor committee.
As well as Mr Byrne and Mr Halpenny, the minor executive will be made up of Aidan Berrill (Treasurer), Joey Carolan (Vice Chair South), Roddy McQuaid (Vice Chair North), Joe Reid (Assistant Secretary), Bob Doheny (PRO), Tony Melia (Children's Officer) and Peter Bannon.
The drama didn't end there, however, as later in the meeting, Mr O'Connor revealed that he and Leinster Council delegate, Paddy Oliver, had been receiving malicious text messages from an unidentified individual.
'The texts are coming under the name Pat, but when you try to phone Pat back he's suddenly anonymous,' revealed Mr O'Connor.
'I've spoken to the Gardai - this kind of behaviour cannot go on. The only way to meet a bully is to stand straight up to him.'
Mr Oliver added that he knew who was sending the texts, but insisted he would 'not name him'.