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GAA: Five-year rule sees familiar faces out

By John Campbell

The rule whereby GAA officials can now hold office for no longer than five years could see several familiar faces head for the exit door when County Conventions get into full swing next month.

It has been intimated that several prominent county officers in the province will be standing down.

But while this will evoke regret, it also opens the door for younger people to come forward and take up office.

This is something that the GAA in general Ulster in particular is keen to encourage.

GAA President Nickey Brennan has insisted that, while it is "probably not ideal" to have so many top officials leaving office at the same time, the association's five-year rule is essential.

The guillotine is hanging over several officials not just in Ulster and it will certainly be interesting to see how the association fares when new blood begins to stride the corridors of power.

Indeed, the drain of top-flight officers begins at the very top with director general Liam Mulvihill and PRO Danny Lynch about to vacate their posts.

The edict that office-holders should depart after five years was handed down from Congress two years ago.

President Nickey Brennan makes the reasonable point that no county had come to Congress with a proposal for a phased introduction of the rule.

"Even taking something like this into account, there is little we could do about it," said Brennan. "Really, if you didn't have it, people would be putting it off for ever.

"It's important that it takes place, but it's not the perfect way. But hopefully you will see things 'staggered' going forward."

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