The New York GAA will have a new chairman for the upcoming year after Larry McCarthy decisively defeated the incumbent John Riordan in the annual election on Sunday.
After six years as secretary of the association, McCarthy now steps into the top seat following a one-year term by Riordan. With all 62 delegates on hand to vote, the Cork native came away with a 35 to 27 victory, with the advantage that much wider when the fact that Riordan's club Kerry has four votes (two for each team) against McCarthy's club Sligo's two votes taken into account.
After the two vote victory of last season by Riordan over Brendan O'Sullivan the clubs spoke in strong terms, with the odd number accounted for by what is projected as a club split this year. McCarthy now leads what is proclaimed as the largest board outside of Ireland into the New Year, with divisional meetings on December 11 to install the rest of the officers for the new season.
The junior division will get the ball rolling with a 7:30 p.m. meeting on that night, while the senior football division follows the regular meeting with their meeting. Terry Connaughton (junior) and Donie O'Sullivan (senior) are the outgoing chairs. There is some unfinished work, however, with the board for that night's regular meeting also.
The auditors election on Sunday gave the board three officers for the new year, with John Kelly, 55 votes (Galway), John Fitzpatrick, 45 (Rockland) and Frank Molloy, 45 (Donegal) edging out Therese Crowe 38 (Tipperary).
Kelly, who is the former hurling chairman, topped all polls on the day with an impressive total that parlayed into a resounding win after 29 of the 32 clubs gave him their support. Fitzpatrick is a returning officer at that position.
In the battle for the trustee positions, three were available and the closeness of the voting was intense, with Dennis Twomey (Rangers) topping the poll with 42 votes, Tommy Fahey (Galway) was a close second with 41, while Lawrence McGrath 30 (Donegal) and Joe Prunty 30 (Leitrim) were tied for the third slot with a recount taken and still no winner.
The election will now be redone on December 11 as per an announcement in his first official act by McCarthy. Paul Levins, a former junior chairman and officer for the last three years, was a surprising loser with 26 votes, while Donie O'Sullivan, the current senior football chair, tailed in with 17 votes.
The slate is set then for the work ahead, with just the financial position to be filled as of press time.
In his first words after his victory, McCarthy was gracious in his win while he looked forward to the year ahead. Asked by the Irish Voice of his early thoughts for 2009, he stated, "We need to look at the Tony Jordan report and work to get to where we need to be next year. There is a new group of officers on hand with the likes of Ira Goldman at PRO and Dennis Twomey as a trustee which is great.
"The top four positions of myself, Liam Bermingham, Brendan O'Sullivan and John Larkin also have a youthful look and new look which is great for the GAA as we get down to work. The division meetings are huge this year, and as we strive to help all clubs come back next year they will be a major focus in the next two weeks."
Certainly a lot of items on the horizon that need addressing before the short winter recess. "We also need to look at how we can help the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform in any way as they are a major part of our community. There is a lot of work ahead but we certainly are looking forward to the challenge," said McCarthy.
Jordan was a referee assessor who was sent over from Ireland this past summer for 10 days. His report will be addressed on these pages next week. The full list of officers and their affiliate clubs for 2009 is as follows: Chairman, Larry McCarthy (Sligo); first vice chair Brendan O'Sullivan (St. Barnabas); second vice chair John Larkin (Offaly); treasurer John Phelan (Rangers); secretary Liam Bermingham (Cork); registrar Joan Henchy (Kerry); sergeant at arms Tom Lilly (Donegal); trustees D. Twomey (Rangers), Tom Fahey (Galway), Joe Prunty (Leitrim) or Lawrence McGrath (Donegal); auditors John Kelly (Galway), John Fitzpatrick (Rockland), Frank Molloy (Donegal); custodian Tom Nugent (Galway); PRO Ira Goldman (Donegal); development officer Patrick Gormley (Leitrim); assistant secretary Geraldine O'Brien (Brooklyn/Long Island Gaels).