Offaly man looking to get the top position in Laois GAA

Edenderry native narrow favourite to be next Laois GAA Chairman

Offaly Express Reporter


Offaly Express Reporter


Peter O'Neill

Peter O'Neill

An Offaly man is among three contenders looking to become the new Chairman of Laois GAA. 

Edenderry native Peter O'Neill has held many positions with the Laois County Board and now is hoping to get the top job. 

The Laois based Leinster Express ran Bios and verdicts for each of the candidates and here is what Rory Delaney made of O'Neill's chances of taking the top position in Laois GAA.

BIO - He would appear to have the major advantage at the moment, in that he is perceived to be the only 'football' candidate in the running, although he would be the first to stress he is not solely a 'football' man.
Originally from Edenderry, something which could well cost him votes in the minds of some delegates, he has been involved at county board level for the last 15 years. He has also been involved in organising two national Féile's, including last year's Hurling Féile, which was one of the biggest ever. He has been Coaching and Games Officer in the past, and is currently the Football Liaison Officer, providing the link between county football teams and the County Board.
He has also been a referee, and chaired the Laois Referees Association for around ten years.

VERDICT - Being perceived as a 'football' man, whether he likes it or not, currently stands as a major tick in his favour. With football at a particularly low ebb, football clubs will want to see someone in the chair who will make the county competitive again, and for whom football is at least perceived to be their number one priority.
Losing to Sean Mortimer in the vote for Vice Chairman last year will have been a major blow to him though. With four years already done in the job, the general etiquette of these things is that you're given the fifth, and final, year of your term unopposed.
The defeat was a major shock on the night, and a clearly stunned O'Neill sounded like he was ready to walk away from the Laois GAA scene in his concession speech afterwards. Still, the final tally showed he had decent support in the room (Mortimer won by just three votes, 72 to 69).
Having already lost to the Camross man, if this was a head-to-head between them then he wouldn't be favoured, but a likely split in the hurling vote works in his favour.
However, there is no guarantee that he will get the lion's share of the football votes either, as many clubs were rankled by his role in the SFC relegation fiasco of 2014. If that controversy has abated for him, then he's probably the favourite as things stand, but not by a huge margin.

The other two candidates are the aforementioned Sean Mortimer and former Chairman Brian Allen.