Sport GAA

Tuesday 20 November 2018

Former President O'Neill linked to top position

Dublin clubs are under pressure from urban development
Dublin clubs are under pressure from urban development

Martin Breheny

Former GAA President Liam O'Neill is believed to be on the shortlist to replace Paraic Duffy as Director General.

Former Tipperary hurling manager, Liam Sheedy and the GAA's Director of Finance, Tom Ryan are understood to be the two other leading contenders.

New president John Horan stated at a press briefing following Congress in Croke Park on Saturday that the process would not be completed until after the next Central Council meeting on March 23.

Under rule, Central Council makes the formal appointment, although in reality it's no more than a formal rubber-stamping of a decision reached after an exhaustive process.

The Croke Park corridors were awash with speculation at Congress over the weekend on who would land the plum role.

Sheedy and Ryan have been among the favourites since Duffy announced his intention to retire at the end of March but O'Neill's name has remained under the radar until now. He served as GAA President in 2012-2015 before returning to his teaching job.

Ken Spratt, assistant secretary in the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, has also been publicly linked with the job in recent weeks but it's understood he is not a candidate.

As originally signalled, Duffy is expected to depart at the end of March. It was thought that because the appointment process had to be delayed due to a problem with the original advertisement, he might have to stay on into April but Horan insisted that would not be necessary.

"It's Páraic's wish to go at the end of March. If he went away on a month's holiday we'd have to manage. We have six very good directors here in Croke Park," Horan said. The final round of interviews are expected to take place inside the next ten days.

Irish Independent

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