New Ulster Council chairman Aoghan Farrell lost no time in outlining his priorities when he formally succeeded Tom Daly in the top office at Saturday’s annual provincial Convention in his home town of Cootehill.
Farrell, who steps up from vice-president, has already identified a more streamlined club fixtures programme embracing the season overall, the ongoing upgrading of major and secondary county grounds in the province and a continuing expansion of the Council’s much-acclaimed integration policy as three of the main areas in which he hopes to see further progress.
He becomes the first Council officer to attain the chairman’s role via the line of accession which entails serving three years in each position as PRO, treasurer and vice-chairman.
Farrell recalled that he had been a handball delegate to the Cavan county board at one stage and professed his ongoing love of hurling. Not surprisingly, he is keen to see both sports flourish but expressed the hope that the top tier Ulster hurling counties might be able to take more significant strides in a national context to complement the encouraging advances that are being made already within the middle tier of the sport in the province.
Farrell now faces into a hectic three-year term as Daly bowed out on a high note having been hailed as a visionary and trend-setter in the wake of the numerous initiatives which he helped to bring to fruition during his term in office. He spearheaded the Ulster Council’s concerted drive to reach out to other communities and helped to oversee the expansive 125th Anniversary celebrations in the province last year.
The new Ulster Council vice-chairman is Ballybay man Martin McAviney who has just completed his term as treasurer in which role he is succeeded by Rasharkin businessman Michael Hasson with Cavan’s Oliver Galligan taking over from the latter as PRO.