By Mike Fitzpatrick
Monty Moloney was returned as president of the New York GAA during Sunday’s annual elections, which were held at the Lansdowne Bar in the Bronx.
Twelve positions were on offer: president, first vice president, corresponding secretary, and three positions each on the boards of trustees, auditors and delegates to congress.
The battle which took most attention was that between Moloney and the long-serving New York GAA official Liam Bermingham. Moloney came through, winning by 51 votes to 37. Bermingham, gallant in defeat, praised his fellow officials, guaranteed his involvement in the future of New York GAA and gave his best wishes for 1999.
The second on the bill battle witnessed incumbent vice president John Moore facing a challenge for his position from the popular Brendan O’Sullivan. This was a more closely fought contest, with Moore emerging victorious by 47 votes to 41. O’Sullivan, speaking to the assembled crowd after his defeat, stated loyally: "If the GAA need somebody in any field for any assistance, I’ll be there." Gaining an appreciative applause from the crowd, the unpretentious Moore had admitted prior to the contest to feeling "cautiously optimistic," though at the same time, as if he were about to enter the fray of an important championship final game.
Former New York GAA president Eddie Burke presided over the panel of vote counters that consisted of Tommy Fahey, Boscoe Walsh and Sean Guinan.
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Burke opened proceedings by paying tribute to three of the New York GAA’s longest-serving ambassadors, Paddy Armstrong (Longford), Peter McKiernan (Cavan), and Mike McMahon (Clare) and invited them to the front row to listen to proceedings from there. Also gaining Burke’s nod of approval were his fellow ex-presidents, Oliver O’Donnell, Terry Connaughton and Mike Cassidy, all of whom attended the election.
Condolences were offered to the souls of Jim Nicholson (Sligo), Joe McInerney (Leitrim) and Mickey O’Sullivan (Kerry), all of whom sadly passed away since last year’s meeting.
The position of corresponding secretary went to Anne Marie O’Dowd, defeating Dermot Flynn by 52 votes to 36, receiving "sincere congratulations" from Flynn and the other delegates.
The positions of trustees went to Therese Crowe (66 votes), Noel Lennon (68 votes) and Tom Nugent (65 votes). Nugent, however, faced a second battle when he originally tied with Donie O’Sullivan on 65 votes. A second ballot then proclaimed Nugent the winner by 41 votes to 28.
The three auditors for the 1999 season will be Peter McKiernan (72 votes), Frank Molloy (70 votes) and John Joe McGovern (62 votes), whom all edged out Pat Gormley (59 votes).
Delegates to congress, perhaps the most difficult of all the positions to predict, for 1999 are Seamus Dooley (52 votes), Terry Connaughton (47 votes) and Paddy Sheanon (36 votes). Those who missed out included Anne Marie O’Dowd (22), Sean Guinan (29), Therese Crowe (20), Pat Gormley (25), and Mike Cassidy (33).
And so, with the results in, all that was left was for second term president Monty Moloney to speak. Moloney claimed that "the individuals who lost out on positions this year gives one an idea of the high caliber of delegates involved with the New York Gaelic Athletic Association. Pointing to the New York GAA banner on the stage, Moloney defiantly declared "that’s what we’re about."
An exciting year beckons for the New York GAA with next year’s assault upon the All-Ireland football championships looming in the near future, Moloney is already pressing for the election of selectors for that side. He also praised the pleasant atmosphere of the Lansdowne Bar, hoping that "maybe in the future we’ll be more pleasant to each other!"
Although only elected on Sunday, Moloney already has a plan of action for the coming season. Among those priorities are the securing of an extra playing field at Yonkers, providing a top-class playing surface at Gaelic Park, promoting minor divisions to play in Gaelic Park, the forming of a referees board, promoting women’s sports and many other topics with which to continue New York’s image as a home of the GAA. The elections are over, Moloney and Moore begin second terms and at least this year John Moore wore a suit.