Though the New York GAA election campaign took on a contentious tone in the last couple of weeks, a lot of positives emerged from Sunday’s elections, all of which bode well for the long-term health of the association.
To recap, the delegates gave Monty Maloney a third term as president, over long-time GAA and LGAA stalwart Terry Connaughton, but unseated vice president John Moore, opting for another highly experienced GAA man, Liam Bermingham. Given the high quality of all four candidates for the top two jobs, it’s hard to imagine the GAA coming out a loser no matter which way the delegates had voted.
Among the truly positive signs — besides, of course, the overall strength of the candidate field — were: The candidates offered very clear outlines on their vision for the GAA. (That these were so ambitious, and so similar, particularly with regard to the need to improve and expand facilities and to better promote the games, suggests that Maloney and Bermingham will be able to work well together.) Also, 99 of 100 delegates were present to vote, a fact that demonstrates a level of interest and commitment that should make the association proud.
Recognizing this, the president wisely struck an upbeat and conciliatory tone after the vote. The association would do well to heed his words as it moves to grasp the opportunities of the new millennium: "We will get together, we are together. We are the strongest organization in the world outside of Ireland. We are New York. If we can’t do it, nobody can. I have all the faith in the world in these new officers who’ll be working with me, and I with them."
Indeed, congratulations to all the new officers. And to the departing Moore, kudos for a job well done.