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A united front will help Tyrone flourish, says new chairman Kerr

 

By John Campbell

Some people are born great and others have greatness thrust upon them. New Tyrone county board chairman Michael Kerr, the essence of modesty, falls into the latter category.

When it became clear that change might be afoot within the corridors of power in the Red Hand County, this intrepid Carrickmore man was nothing more than a relatively anonymous bystander.

But when overtures were made to him in relation to the post of chairman, he considered, went forward and duly landed the role at Tuesday night's convention, thus succeeding Roisin Jordan.

Speaking before the vote, Jordan said she was considering legal action over "sinister attempts to undermine my position".

Today, Kerr is preparing to face up to what he sees as the biggest challenge of his life.

"I believe that the real task with which we are confronted right now is to strive for unity within the GAA in our county," stated Kerr (right). "Speaking from a personal perspective, I feel I owe this to the people who had faith in me and elected me. I am of the opinion that the GAA family can become even stronger and that all units can become closer.

"While it is great to have sampled All-Ireland success in the past - and hopefully we will achieve this in the very near future again - it is vital that all work together to make the GAA stronger within Tyrone.

"That is the challenge for us all. I believe it is important that we leave the Association in a better place than that in which we found it when we first became acquainted with it."

Kerr is adamant that there will now be an even bigger increase on the volunteer ethic which has underpinned the Association since its founding in 1884.

"I know that many, many people are making huge sacrifices every week to help promote the aims of the GAA within the county and this is admirable," stated Kerr.

"But I believe that more can be done, and it is most encouraging to see young people coming on board to do their bit.

"Having said that, there are many people who have served Tyrone diligently in the past, some indeed in the role of county board chairman, and I think they still have something to contribute and should be encouraged to do so."

Kerr is effusive in lauding the efforts of the outgoing chairperson Jordan and development officer Sarah Jane Kelly.

"People will remember Roisin as the first female chairperson at county level but she should be recalled too for her efforts and diligence," insisted Kerr.

Kerr is particularly keen to see Tyrone teams in all codes continue to achieve success and is determined that no stone should be left unturned in a concerted bid to keep the county firmly on the map.

"In Carrickmore, we have Naomh Colmcille football club, the Eire Og hurling club as well as the ladies' football and camogie teams, while handball is still strong," said Kerr. "It's encouraging to see all these elements of the GAA flourishing within the county as a whole but we certainly cannot be complacent.

"There is still much to be done because there is another generation of children growing up who want to embrace the GAA."

While Kerr's election as chairman has been welcomed, the choice of Eunan Lindsay as vice-chairman has also been warmly embraced.

For the past five years, Lindsay, a member of the Glenelly club, has been the highly efficient Tyrone PRO.

He is succeeded as PRO by Eugene McConnell from the Clogher club, who has extensive communications skills and has served in various capacities at club and county level over the years. His appetite for work is insatiable - and Tyrone will benefit accordingly.

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