Sports

Michael Bourke steps down after completing his three year term

Thursday, 21 December 2017

MICHAEL Bourke stepped down at last Sunday's Tipperary GAA Convention as he had completed his three year term as chairman of the County Board.
The Upperchurch Drombane man said GAA should have taken their major revamp of the fixtures schedule one code at a time. It will take significant discipline and planning to execute the new fixtures plan for 2018, he said.
Earlier this year the GAA revealed that the month of April would be dedicated solely to the club game and that the national leagues would start in January rather than February. Bourke says it could be a tricky year ahead with both football and hurling calendars being altered.
"There will be major changes on the fixtures calendar going forward. It will take dedication, careful management, total commitment from all involved to ensure that it will work out successfully for our inter-county game and our club scene," said the former chairperson.
"I believe for a lot of the changes at national level, it might have been more prudent to take one code at a time, would have been the way forward. Tipperary County Board has been continually striving to put a club fixtures plan in place that strikes the right balance between the club and the inter-county game," he added.
He reflected on the past year saying it was a year of mixed fortunes.
“Looking back on 2017 it was a year of mixed fortunes. The highlight of the year was the footballers gaining promotion from Division three to Division two in the Allianz Football League. Looking back on my three year term the winning the All-Ireland double (senior and minor) was the real highlight. Reaching Croke Park with the Tipp footballers for the All-Ireland semi final while the Trip to Antrim to commemorate Fr Alex Reid will never be forgotten. It is something I will cherish for the rest of my life," he said.
John Devane Is The New County Chairperson
John Devane was elected unopposed as the new Tipperary GAA chairperson and he insisted a disciplined fixtures plan in the county and nationally is the way forward.
The Boherlahan man, who played full back in his clubs' 1981 County Intermediate final win, had just completed his three year term as Vice Chairperson of the County Board and chairman of the CCC Fixtures committee, a task which he covered very well in difficult circumstances. Once again he cited the need for clubs to change and bring about the right balance between club and county fixtures.
"I don't see any point in going along just doing what we've always done. If there are issues that need addressing then do it," said Devane.
"Three years ago when accepting the vice chairman role I stated that I wished to tackle the whole fixtures structure. It is the most discussed and a most contentious issues in the GAA. There is not a club player or official here tonight or throughout the country who are happy with the way our games are being played.
"I know it arouses deep passion in people and many people are very much against change, but I'd never try and do something if it wasn't the right thing to do. Devising that structure with the right number of teams involved playing the right number of games with a clear beginning, middle and end is the right thing to do," he said.
New Vice Chairman
Joe Kennedy won the vote to become vice Chairman of the Tipperary County Board for 2018. The Moyne Templetuohy man defeated Jimmy Minogue of Nenagh Eire Og in a close fought contest 114 to 111.
Joe has been involved at administration for the last six years beginning with his three year term as Coiste na nOg chairman followed by his term as chairman of the Mid senior board. He succeeds John Devane who was promoted to chairman of the County Board.
“I know some of you were worried about the division I came from. I am a proud Moyne Templetuohy man and a proud Tipperary man I want to assure you that I will serve every corner of the county to the best of my ability. I know this is a major challenge, a challenge I am looking forward to.
“I would like to pay a compliment to Jimmy Minogue for the manner in which the contest was conducted over the last three weeks.
Jimmy Minogue was magnanimous in defeat as he congratulated Joe Kennedy on his election. He praised Joe for the manner in which he went about canvassing votes. It was a clean contest he said. "Three weeks ago we met at the Sean Gael Awards night we met and shook hands and wished each other well. We met again today and wished each other well," said Jimmy. "I want to congratulate John on his election as new chairman and to wish Michael Bourke the best as he steps down from three great years as county chairman." said Jimmy who held on to his position as Rep to the Munster Council.

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