Tom Clear has been re-elected as Laois GAA vice-chairman, it was announced at this year’s annual convention in the Midlands Park Hotel this evening.
The Clough-Ballacolla club man saw off the challenge of Mary Whelan from Ballypickas and Jody Conway from Clonaslee-St Manman’s in a postal vote that was carried out last week.
A total of 129 votes were cast with Clear getting 80, Whelan 27 and Conway 20.
The result means that Clear will see out his five-year term as vice-chairman.
In the first in-person convention since 2019, clubs were only permitted to send one delegate rather than the usual three because of the current Covid situation.
Voting for vice-chairperson and Leinster Council delegate had been by postal vote last week.
With PJ Kelly from the Timahoe club elected unopposed as chairman to replace the departing Peter O’Neill, there was also a vote required for the two Leinster Council delegate positions.
The sitting delegate Richie Kennedy was returned to the post and will be joined in 2022 by former chairman Brian Allen who saw off the challenge of Mary Whelan and Jody Conway.
Kennedy was elected on the first count with 69 votes with Allen getting 32, Whelan 19 and Conway 11. On the distribution of Kennedy’s surplus, Brian Allen got an additional 13 votes which was enough for him to be elected ahead of Whelan who got four and Conway who got seven.
Laois GAA reported a surplus of €505,132 for the 11-month period to September 30, 2021 and treasurer Martin Byrne gave an extensive presentation on the detail of the accounts.
The convention was addressed by former GAA President Nickey Brennan, who chaired the Laois GAA Strategic Review 2018-2020.
He spoke on a range of issues effecting Gaelic games in the county with a large focus on coaching but also touched on club amalgamations, Portlaoise town, finances, media relations and multiculturalism in the GAA.
In his last speech as Laois GAA chairman, Peter O’Neill said “it was an honour and a privilege to serve this great county”.
Incoming chairman PJ Kelly praised O’Neill for his contribution to Laois GAA and said he was looking forward to the challenge of the new role. He said he was “privileged” to be the new chairperson.
We will have a full report on PJ Kelly’s first address to the Laois GAA club as well as photos with family members and supporters on site tomorrow.