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Donegal make moves to get back to the top

By John Campbell

Donegal chairman Sean Dunnion could scarcely have perceived the catalogue of setbacks that would mark his first year in office.

Yet in a season in which the football team's fortunes slumped and off-field setbacks impacted on morale, Dunnion offered a spirited speech at yesterday's Convention in Letterkenny which might just help trigger a change in fortunes.

With the media conspicuous by their absence following the decision by the executive committee to reserve the right to conduct some of the business in camera if deemed necessary, the Convention was staged against a most unconventional backdrop.

It would now appear, though, that Dunnion could prove a central figure in brokering a pact with the media in January in order to re-establish good relations in 2014.

It is known that elements within the county administration are keen to see the much-publicised impasse between the board and the media ended.

And yesterday new faces were chosen to help drive Donegal into more positive territory.

Cieran Kelly takes over as treasurer while the new vice-chairman is Dennis Ellis and Ed Byrne, a Kildare native, becomes the new PRO.

In a year in which Donegal has shipped financial blows and suffered PR gaffes, a shake-up at the top was not unexpected.

Meanwhile, former Crossmaglen Rangers joint boss Tony McEntee has taken over as manager of the St Brigid's club in Dublin. He succeeds Meath All-Ireland winner Gerry McEntee, who is now one of the country's most eminent surgeons.

Ulster junior football champions Emyvale beat John Mitchels in Birmingham yesterday to reach the semi-final of the All-Ireland Championship in which they will meet Twomilehouse, the Kildare and Leinster champions.

Daniel McMahon, who had been in the running for the Ulster GAA Writers Association merit award for November, scored both goals in Emyvale's 2-6 to 0-9 win.

Daithi Colton, Gareth McQuaid and Ryan McAnespie were others who stood up to the mark in what was a significant victory for the Monaghan outfit.

Cavan manager Terry Hyland has named his panel for the Power NI McKenna Cup with Michael Lyng and Niall Smith returning to senior county duty. Hyland has given the nod to a number of the players who have helped to bring the last three Ulster U21 titles to the Breffni County.

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