Tuesday 20 August 2019

Former Tánaiste Mary Coughlan in running to be chairperson of Donegal GAA

Former Tánaiste Mary Coughlan. Photo: Damien Eagers
Former Tánaiste Mary Coughlan. Photo: Damien Eagers
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Former Tánaiste Mary Coughlan is in the running to be the next chairperson of Donegal GAA.

The ex-minister is one of six names put forward for the County Board’s AGM which will take place on December 8.

Ms Coughlan confirmed to Independent.ie that she is happy to be nominated and said she will consider taking a full part in the contest.

“I’m very involved in the GAA,” she said, noting that her club Naomh Naille has had a successful year.

Ms Coughlan served as Tánaiste and deputy leader of Fianna Fáil from 2008 until 2011. She lost her seat as a TD in the election which followed the economic crash.

She is currently secretary of Naomh Naille which recently hosted the Scór competition and won the All Ireland Junior Gaelteacht championships.

“We’re in the league final on Saturday and if we win that we’ll be top of the pops. The ladies already won the county final,” she said.

If Ms Coughlan were to win the position she would become only the second woman to hold the position of county board chairperson, following in the footsteps of Tyrone’s Roisin Jordan.

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Sources in Donegal GAA described Ms Coughlan’s nomination as a “surprise” but said she is “well known and respected” in GAA circles.

“Mary knows her stuff and Naomh Naille would be seen as having become very progressive in recent times,” said a senior figure.

“She has attended county meetings as a delegate in the past. And the truth is that whether or not she won the vote there would be nobody ‘against’ her becoming chairperson.”

If Ms Coughlan leaves her name on the ballot paper she will be up against Mick McGrath, Grace Boyle, Frankie Doherty, Cieran Kelly and Nial Erskine who all have extensive experience working with Donegal GAA.

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