Jerome O’Connell Limerick Leader Sport
“A huge responsibility has been placed on my shoulders,” John Cregan told Limerick GAA’s Annual Convention after his elevation to County Board chairman.
The Dromcollogher-Broadford man defeated Liam O’Sullivan, Claughaun, 140-57 in the vote.
“This is a humbling, humbling experience for me – it is one of the greatest privileges of my life,” Cregan told the Cappamore Community Centre gathering of over 200 delegates.
“A chairman’s role is to give leadership and that will be my role in the next few years as long as the clubs and delegates leave me there,” he said in a seven minute speech.
”We had a very worthwhile engagement today in this hall during the discussion on finance and I am talking about all aspects of that discussion – we want more of that. I want people to ask questions, I want people to challenge me and I want people to challenge my colleagues in their respective roles and only when we do that can we ensure Limerick GAA will be in a better place,” he said.
“The first thing that comes into my head when I look down this hall and I see 200 people in attendance and I cast my mind back to our last County Committee meeting and the previous one when out of 65 clubs we have 25/30 delegates attended. That causes an issue for me – there is obviously reasons for that and it’s the first thing that I will address. Whether there is a disconnect or we are disengaged or what the problem is but there is a problem. A county like Limerick we need everybody asking questions and everybody engaging to ensure we take all views on board to proceed together for success,” said the former politician.
”If we have people left behind or if people have got lost along the way I believe we have to bring them back and listen to their concerns also. I am not for one moment trying to be all things to all people but I want to lead a united team and I refer to the Limerick team as our players, our clubs, our schools, our coaches, our delegates, our sponsors, our divisional boards, our management team and all supporters. That is our Limerick team and that can only be successful if we are all doing the same thing, not just saying the same thing,” the new chairman outlined.
”While I am not so foolish to stand on a podium and make promises before I have my legs under the table, the one commitment I will make is that I will visit every club in the county over the next number of months and on a one-to-one basis discuss in private what their concerns are and what changes they would like to see. I will lead that change with my management colleagues in the coming years.”
He vowed: “I will be a chairman for all – for all divisions and for every man that pulls a green jersey over his head from U-14 to senior, whether he is playing football or hurling”.