Wednesday 21 February 2018

Big-name duo not in race to succeed Duffy for top GAA job

Dublin CEO John Costello Photo: Sportsfile
Dublin CEO John Costello Photo: Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

As the search for Páraic Duffy's replacement as GAA director-general reaches the shortlist stage, two of the big names initially linked with the position are not in the race.

The Irish Independent understands that neither Dublin CEO John Costello nor GAA commercial director and Croke Park stadium director Peter McKenna applied for the job.

Costello, who has overseen a very successful Dublin operation for several years, and McKenna, who was shortlisted for the DG's job when it was last vacant in 2007, were installed among the early favourites when Duffy announced his intentions to retire late last year.

Jarlath Burns, former Armagh midfielder and school principal, and Liam Sheedy, former Tipperary All-Ireland-winning manager and Munster director with Bank of Ireland, are regarded as the leading 'outside' contenders while several GAA staff in Croke Park are understood to be in contention.

They include director of communications Alan Milton, head of games Feargal McGill, finance director Tom Ryan, director of development and research Pat Daly, and head of information Tomás Meehan.

It was originally planned to complete the appointment in time for Congress on the weekend after next but the process was delayed by a controversy over the required qualifications.

The advertisement stipulated that applicants needed a Honours Business degree (Level 8).

However, following complaints that it would rule out some genuine contenders, the Level 8 requirement was removed and the closing date put back by nine days.

It's unlikely that the announcement on Duffy's successor will be made until after St Patrick's Day. Duffy is due to depart at the end of March but will stay for a short time if required.

Outgoing president Aogán ó Fearghail, who completes his three-year term on Saturday week, and his successor, John Horan, are key figures in the recruitment process.

Irish Independent

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