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Howlin weighs up options

LEINSTER Council chairman Seamus Howlin remains a contender to be the next GAA president -- for the moment.

Yesterday's surprise withdrawal of Tipperary's Con Hogan created the perception that the election of a successor to Christy Cooney would feature just two candidates -- Liam O'Neill, the favourite, and former Ulster president Tom Daly.

However, Howlin insisted yesterday: "My name is still in for the moment. I'll keep my options open."

The probability is that, if Daly remains in the race, Howlin will withdraw to avoid splitting the Leinster vote with O'Neill. But, if Daly were to withdraw, he could make remain a contender. Nominations close on February 18, although candidates can withdraw after that if they so choose.

Two of the last three presidents have been from Munster, with Sean Kelly serving from 2003 to 2006, and that played a part in Hogan's decision.

O'Neill lost the last election to Cooney and that makes him the favourite three years on. He is currently the chairman of the GAA coaching and games development committee.

Irish Independent