Beidh la eile, le cúnamh Dé!

Mayo's call

I started my campaign on this blog on September 28th last and I have now decided to bring it to a close here also. In concluding I would like to acknowledge the efforts made by a number of people and organisations in supporting my campaign over the last few months.

Firstly, I would like to pay a special thanks to Willie Joe for the platform he has provided me. Without his support I clearly would not have had my five minutes of limelight! It truly is a great resource for those of us who follow the Mayo teams, especially those of us who reside outside the county. Long may it continue.

Thanks also to all those who have supported me on this blog, be that through your supportive comments or the emails you have sent me directly. Needless to say your support over the last few days in particular is greatly appreciated when a few felt the need to have a go at me. I am more than willing and capable of accepting an element of criticism and indeed an element of abuse; however, it would be nice to put real names to those who posted nasty comments about me. Somehow I don’t think they would be brave enough to disclose who they are!

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my good friend John Cuffe for his support over the last few months. Without doubt the most informed and passionate Mayo supporter I have ever met.

To Eugene Rooney in New York City (former Mayo goalkeeper), thanks for your many emails of support. I only had to read your emails to reignite any dip in motivation!

There are others also who have helped my campaign and it would be wrong of me to disclose their identity as they wanted to stay in the back ground, again thanks.

I want to pay a special thanks to a number of our company employees who helped with the huge amount of work involved in preparing the survey. They have no connection with Mayo but they were committed to the cause.

A special thanks also to the Mayo News and the Western People for the local coverage they provided me.

A very special thanks to the clubs of Mayo who had decided to vote for me at Convention. It’s a pity you didn’t get an actual chance!

Thanks to my home clubs in Belmullet, both Football and Hurling, and to their Delegates who attended Convention. A special thanks in particular to the Football Club Executive, its Officers, and its Chairman John Gallagher. John was my teacher in Eachleim National School many moons ago; he became my mentor in my sporting life and is now a very close friend so his support was greatly appreciated.

Finally and most importantly I want to pay a special thanks to my wife Catherine and our two special boys Padraig and Tom for putting up with me over the last few months. It all began with a discussion I had with my two boys in terms of what Mayo actually meant to them as I watched them wear their Mayo jersey to school on Blue Day here in Dublin. Their innocent reply was that they just ‘love Mayo’.

Unfortunately for the County Board they have been unable or indeed unwilling to harvest the deep love the Mayo diaspora has for our county. This ground has the potential to be very fertile but the County Board’s approach is all wrong. For this ground to bear fruit it needs to be nurtured and respected. The begging bowl approach just won’t work.

In relation to the Convention, there are two points I would like to clarify, firstly my non-attendance which I can assure you was due to a long standing family commitment here in Dublin. I have provided details to Willie Joe on this and I am sure he can vouch for me if required. To be branded a ‘coward’ for not turning up was the greatest insult which could be levelled at me.

Secondly, in relation to my nomination, all I can say is that I entered this process with honest intent and my home club in Belmullet submitted my nomination in accordance with protocol. However, it is clear now that there was another fence to be jumped which the County Board clearly used to their advantage in this instance. The feedback I had received from a number of sources in the run-up to Convention was that the County Board was going to ‘pull a stunt’ on my nomination and true to form they did. Again, for the record this is what the Bye Law states:

“Nominations for Conventions within the County shall be automatically withdrawn at the Convention unless the nominee indicates, in writing, that he/she is standing for election.”

When the Convention pack was issued the week before Convention my name was down as a candidate and there was no mention of any matter arising. I do take an element of the point made by Sinabhuil in relation to my failure to write to the County Secretary but the responsibility should not be on the nominee to determine who they should write to – surely this should be the responsibility of the County Board who drafted the Bye Law to begin with? One could assume that the Bye Law implies that the nominee should write to the Secretary but it still does not actually state this. Another assumption could be that the nominee should write to the clubs, which is what I did so as far as I am concerned I did comply with the Bye Law.

The County Board clearly didn’t want me inside the County Board tent and I can only conclude that the tactics used to prevent me entering the election for Assistant Treasurer meant that they feared my success. I fully accept and respect many of those who have and continue to volunteer their time on the County Board, however, I am now convinced more than ever that there are also individuals involved who have vested interests and my election to the Executive could have made it difficult for those vested interests.

I think I could have written to Santa confirming my intention to stand for election and I could argue that I satisfied this Bye Law!

I really do wonder how many more confirmations the County Board had in writing?!

Since Convention I have written to the Secretary (twice) and Chairman (once) seeking clarification on the Bye Law and I still await a response. Somehow I don’t think I will be getting one so next stop may have to be the Connacht Council and then Croke Park if necessary!

The Connelly brothers now hold the two most important jobs in Mayo GAA and as a supporter of Mayo GAA I genuinely wish them well. Let’s have no doubt but the same green and red blood runs through us all and we all want the same for Mayo irrespective of the views we hold on a personal level. Without doubt Noel and Pat have a high water mark to reach let alone beat given the positive legacy left by James Horan. On the other hand, Mike is working from a very low water mark and any reasonable attempt on his part should improve things at County Board level given the dreadful legacy left by the last two Boards.

Our new Chairman has promised to rebuild bridges and if he is true to his word I would expect that he will begin this journey by contacting Liam Horan. If there was ever a man who deserves an apology then Liam deserves one for the amount of work he did, along with so many others in preparing a Strategic Plan for Mayo GAA.

In concluding I would like to reflect on what I actually meant by calling for change at County Board level. Yes we can change the faces that sit on the County Board and change the approach but until we actually change the culture we will have changed nothing. In my experience in business, success is mainly down to the culture which exists. A positive open culture generally leads to an organisation’s ability to harness all that is good and positive while a closed, negative culture never allows an organisation to realise its full potential.

In my opinion Mayo will only achieve greatness if there is a change to the culture at County Board level and if the County Board decide to implement Liam Horan’s Strategic Plan. Anything less could leave us all going to our graves wondering what it would have been like to stand in Croke Park on the third Sunday in September looking up at the Hogan Stand watching a Mayo man lift the Sam Maguire Cup.

Nollaig Shona Daoibh Go Léir.

17 thoughts on “Beidh la eile, le cúnamh Dé!

  1. Sorry it didn’t work out for you PJ. I have supported you from the outset and indeed did so at convention, as did my club. While I despaired at some of the yahoos that were elected in Kiltimagh, I did leave with the impression that the correct man is now at the helm.
    As PJ has demonstrated, it is a lonely place when you put yourself at the front of a movement that supports change. I would urge all the supporters on this site, especially those residing within the county, to become involved with your club. Start asking the county delegate about meetings and maybe even put yourself forward for the role. It’s all well and good using this forum to air your views and demand change, talk is cheap as they say. Unless the calibre of person that clubs send to CB meetings improves, then neither will the calibre of individuals at the top table.

    Thanks for putting yourself forward PJ and I hope you and your family have a thoroughly deserved happy Christmas.

    Regards,
    Liam

  2. P.J. I want to apologise for my previous writings . I can honestly see now you are genuine in your efforts to make Mayo GAA a better place. You have a valid question for the County Board to answer and I expect they will. If they are going to go forward those are the issues they should be dealing with. Explain and people will listen. To you and your family may I wish you yours a happy Christmas and may 2015 bring everyone a better and joyous year. This I also wish to Willie Joe and his family. Again P.J. thanks for trying your best for Mayo GAA.

  3. Fair play P.J for trying to make a difference, so many of us are hurlers on the ditch at least you have tried to change things and there is always next year!!!

  4. Pj it is with deep sorrow I read that you are giving up on getting on the county board, as I have said previously I feel you had something to offer and you should have welcomed aboard, perhaps later you might reconsider and go forward again. I think that the county board might have been like the poker players who welcome a stranger but then change therrules when the stranger has a winning hand.i just want to wish you and your family all the best for the festive season also to wj and john cuffe who I really enjoy his writing and comments and hopefully some day we will welcome sam at corick bridge

  5. A reply to PJ woud be some little indication that there is change in thinking at Co Board. Without a reply I would be inclined to despair of them.
    We certainly need to see some evidence of new thinking early in the New Year if we are to believe that things will improve. Bringing Liam Horan back into fold might be seen as too much of a climbdown at this stage but we do need to see some positive changes.
    Regards harnessing the diaspora I would suggest that the Co Board appoint ambassadors in centres of Mayo population abroad and within the country also. These would preferably be people/former players who have shown their commitment down the years and who could help harness support for the county. [If they have their own biscuit tin, all the better]

  6. You accuse the Co Board of amateurism etc ye you coulfdnt even follow the laid down procedure for standing for an elected position. You make a lot of good points but you let yourself down in thsi regard and by your non attendance at convention.

  7. Mikey Bhoy, surely you’re way out of order here, as you’re accusing PJ of being a liar. He has already said that owing to a long standing family commitment, of which he has already provided details to Willie Joe, it was not possible for him to attend. Unless you can prove otherwise, you at the very least owe PJ an apology…..

  8. Mayo mchale this is hardball. Pj made his choice not to attend. Personally I wish he had and shook them to the core. I don’t see where mikey is calling pj a liar.

    PJ you should come back next year, judging by the remarks of these lads at the convention you’ll sail through.

  9. Mikey Boy,

    If Mayo Co Board were genuine about seeking new candidates for election, as any genuine board/committee should be, at convention time the detailed requirements for nominations should have been laid down clearly. Obviously they were not for the recent Mayo convention. It is normal for a nominated candidate to be required to confirm his candidature in writing but this is normally done at the time of nomination, i.e. the candidate is asked to countersign the nomination form. For some reason Mayo bylaws require a more cumbersome method. My suspicion in these circumstances is that this is to trip up unwelcome candidates.
    Therefore I consider it a bit much to accuse PJ of letting himself down in not following strict procedures or attending the convention. In contacting clubs stating his position and seeking their support he had done more than enough to prove himself a genuine candidate.

  10. Maybe PJ has dodged a bullet in missing out on being elected. Denise Horan the former PRO tried to tell truths about the Mayo Co board and they had her name blackened.

  11. Sometimes we choose words that don’t convey the real meaning. PJ , not that it’s anyones business choose to state his non attendance at the Convention was due to a “long term standing family commitment” .

    I am aware of what PJ terms a “family commitment” so too is WJ. I for one would not wish that commitment on any family. It’s my undoubted opinion that whatever rules PJ Monaghan confirmed to, one would have been created to block his entrance to the inner sanctum of Alice in Winderlands garden.

    So all is well, Dillon is back, all 30 are back, the Connacht Telgraph has been put in its place and “next year” arrives within a fortnught. Rest assured “next year” will be a lesser year than last year but hey it’s Christmas time and who wants to hear from the Grinch?

  12. John C, may I ask you a question-have you an issue with Alan Dillon? At any opportunity Ive noticed you tend to take a cut at him or am I getting paranoid ?!
    Fair play PJ for giving it a crack, your views have a lot of thought behind them, its obvious the good of the county is your priority which is commendable. As JC says its nobodys business only your own why you couldnt attend, you were hardly sitting with the feet up watching Nationwide. Anyway, all the best to all on here for Christmas and the New Year, especially to Wille joe for running the site

  13. PJ your I too want to thank you for all your efforts over the last three months and rest assured those guys now sitting at the top table, are thanks to you, now more aware than ever of what’s required of them. I can only begin to imagine the amount of time and effort you must have put in for the Mayo cause, and even though your race in run for now, your heading sums in up nicely – “Beidh La eile, Le Cunamh De !”

  14. PJ, You deserve nothing but praise for all your efforts to advance the cause of football in Mayo!!! It doesn’t matter one f…ing bit that you didn’t succeed over the last hurdle. The main thing is, YOU TRIED !!!
    First of all I know zero about the workings of the Mayo or any other Co.Board. I have no interest in the workings of them but if the results are shite, as Hamlet said ” there is something rotten in the state of Denmark”. The results show how they function.
    There is a great supply of “people” in Mayo and throughout Ireland who are only waiting to knock the likes of far-seeing people like PJ when they dare to take on the establishment and try something new. I call them “enablers” because they enable all the shite to happen by ‘supporting the ”Status Quo” and putting down anyone who dares to question.
    The real and more succinct terms I would normally use in describing those “People” have to be tempered so as not to attract the ire of Willie Joe.
    They suffocate the fresh energy that everything in the Universe needs to function successfully. Like a river; fresh water, without blockages, is needed to help the flow and the health of the life therein. Any obstacles create a putrid pool !!!
    Happy christmas….

  15. Well done Pj, you made a great stab at it on your first attempt… 2015 could be a great year?
    Nollaig Shona a mhac : )

  16. Whatever about the co board if Mayo are to have success it will be on the field. I am delighted Dillon is back and am also pleased that no Mayo player has decided to pack it in.Fair play to them they deserve our full support as they aim for what we all desire. While the rest of us do the talking they are the ones who put in the countless hours. Having a cheap shot at Alan Dillon is poor form as he has put in more hours than most and has been a brilliant player for the county.

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