By Sean Creedon
Former GAA President John Dowling, 71, died last Saturday after a short illness. Dowling, 71, who was a post office employee in his native Tullamore, served as Offaly County secretary for over 20 years. He later became chairman of the Leinster Council and was subsequently elected president of the GAA, serving from 1987-90. He was also a intercounty referee and took charge of three All-Ireland hurling finals and two football deciders.
Kerry’s Kelly favored
Former Kerry County Board Chairman Sean Kelly is favorite to replace Sean McCague as president of the GAA next year. Kelly, like the other candidates, has been lobbying hard for votes over the last year or so. His opponents at the GAA’s Congress next month are likely to be Seamus Aldridge (Kildare), Noel Walsh (Clare), Albert Fallon (Longford) and P.J. McGrath (Mayo).
If Kelly is named as president-elect at Easter, he will become the first Kerryman to become president of the GAA.
Selectors put in place
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Team selectors will have to take their place in the stands for this year’s
hurling and football championship. In the future the selectors will be confined
to a controlled area in the stands and will not be allowed to patrol the sidelines.
The proposal was carried by an overwhelming majority at a recent Games Administration Committee meeting in Croke Park.
There will also be a seat in the stands for team mangers, but they will still retain freedom of movement.
An attempt to increase the team panel numbers on match day from 24 to 30 was rejected. The idea was proposed by former Armagh star Jarlath Burns, who is chairman of the official Players Association.
Tuohy to retire
One of Ireland’s best-loved soccer stars, Liam Tuohy, is to retire this
Summer as director of coaching at the Dublin club Home Farm. Tuohy, who will be 69 in April, has always been affectionately known as “The Rasher.” He a star player with Shamrock Rovers in the 1960s and was capped eight times for Ireland. He also managed the Irish senior team for a while in the early ’70s. But it was as youth coach that Tuohy is best remembered.
Tuam schools to merge
Two of the best-known schools in Galway are to unite in four years. St.
Jarlath’s and St. Patrick’s, both from Tuam, are to join forces. Down through
the years, Jarlath’s have been one of the leading lights in colleges football
and the club has won a record 11 All-Ireland titles. Last year, it was
confirmed that two Cork schools, Farranferris and North Monastery, were to
Wood may miss 2
Irish hooker Keith Wood is definitely out of the Irish team for Saturday’s
Six Nations game against England at Twickenham. And the Irish captain, who
is recovering from a calf injury, will probably also miss the game against
Scotland in Dublin on March 2.
“I can’t see any way Keith will be playing against England or Scotland,” Wood’s Harlequins coach, John Kingston, said last week. “We are probably looking at our Cup semifinal on March 9 as a target now.”
Wood’s former Munster colleague Mick Galwey captained Ireland against Wales
and Frankie Sheehan did a good job as hooker.
The good news for Ireland is that
second row forward Malcolm O’Kelly should be fit to resume.
Meanwhile, the Stade de Gerland, a 42,000-seat stadium and home to Olympique
Lyonnais soccer team, is being touted as the likely venue for Munster’s European Cup semifinal against Castres. The game will be played on the weekend of April 27-28. The City ground in Nottingham is likely to be the venue for the other semifinal, between Leicester and Llanelli.
Like father, like son
Former Chairman of the Boards Eamon Coghlan was in Tinryland, Co. Carlow, last week to see his son John win the Under 14 race at the Leinster Schools Cross Country Championships. John is a student at Castleknock College in Dublin.
Ferguson staying put
Alex Ferguson, who many were touting as the man likely to replace Mick McCarthy as Irish manager in 2004, is staying with Manchester United for another two and a half years. But if some pundits are correct, Ferguson could still take over from McCarthy as Irish manager in two years. By then, McCarthy is expected to want to move on to a club job and he could go to Glasgow Celtic.
McCarthy would love to go back to Celtic, provided Martin O’Neill makes the expected move to Old Trafford. At this stage it’s sounds like musical chairs, but of course you can never predict what’s going to happen in soccer management.
Former Irish manager Eoin Hand once said that the only thing a manager can be sure of in soccer is that one day he is going to be sacked.