Strategic Review – it hasn’t gone away, you know

There was a mention of the county’s strategic review – or, to give it its proper title, the Mayo GAA Strategic Action Plan – in the comments earlier on and this has prompted me to post some details on it, which the County Board published the other day.

As you’ll no doubt be aware, this process is being chaired by Liam Horan and he hasn’t exactly been idle since taking up these particular reins.  On the contrary, he has set in motion a whole load of activity, which is all primed to feed into a finalised action plan that will be launched in mid-January and will then be discussed at the February meeting of the County Board with the intention that it will at that stage be ratified and adopted as the county’s official Action Plan.

The way the process is working is that an overall Steering Group, chaired by Liam, has been assembled, and it has identified ten specific areas to be examined.  For each of these areas, a sub-committee has been established and each has been tasked to produce approximately six concrete recommendations for action.  As I understand it, these recommendations will not be of the airy-fairy boil-the-ocean variety but will instead be practical, actionable decisions that are designed to have a positive impact in the area under review.

The ten sub-committees, their chairmen and contact details are as follows:

  1. Coaching and Games Development (Tony O’Connor, Ballintubber GAA Club – email:
  2. Bridging the Gap: Bringing Through our High-potential Players (Stephen Rochford, Crossmolina;
  3. Urbanisation and Rural Depopulation (Neil Sheridan, Balla,;
  4. Club-Board Relationship and Structures (joint chairpersons Denise Horan, Ballinrobe; Sean Deane, Breaffy –;
  5. Finance and Funding (PJ Monaghan, St Sylvester’s, Dublin, and formerly Belmullet – this committee will be based in Dublin –;
  6. Public Relations (Robert Grealis, Kilmeena –;
  7. Harnessing Support of Mayo People Worldwide (Charlie Gilmartin, Kiltimagh –;
  8. Mayo GAA as Stimulator of Economic Activity (joint chairpersons Sean Hannick, Killala; Stephen Carolan, Belmullet –;
  9. Hurling (Aodan MacSuibhne, St Jude’s, Dublin –;
  10. Secondary Schools (chairperson to be announced –

As well as Liam and the chairs of the ten sub-committees, the Steering Committee also includes JJ Costello (Carramore), Jimmy Lyons (Aghamore), Eamonn Kennedy (Castlebar Mitchels), John Healy (Ballina Stephenites), Martin Carney (Castlebar Mitchels) and Maria Staunton (Ballintubber).

Those email addresses aren’t just for show either.  Anyone – clubs, other GAA units or members of the public – can make submissions to any of the sub-committees so if you think you have an action point that you believe should be included under one of these headings, then feel free to direct it to the appropriate email address.  Alternatively, you can also contact Liam directly at or, if you’re one of the real traditionalists you can write him a letter and send it to him at The Farmyard, Liskillen, Ballinrobe.

So, if you do have any opinions on what needs to be done and who needs to be doing it in the context of this review, now’s the time to shout about it.  If you don’t take the opportunity to do so, there’ll be no point in bitching about what is or isn’t in the action plan once it’s finalised.

I know there was a fair bit of scepticism about this initiative when it was first announced in the aftermath of our defeat to Longford at the end of June.  A good deal of time has passed since then, however, and I think it’s fair to say that we’ve all calmed down a bit after that particular catastrophe.  For the purposes of the strategic review, it’s probably as well that the real work is happening now in the midst of the inter-county closed season and following the appointment of James Horan as manager of the senior team.  The tight timeframe for completing the review is also, I think, a good idea as it avoids the whole thing descending into an endless talking-shop and is instead a process which is set to produce a tangible deliverable by a specific end-date early in the New Year.

And sure by then we’ll all be fretting about how the FBD is going and looking forward in earnest to what 2011 may hold for us.

6 thoughts on “Strategic Review – it hasn’t gone away, you know

  1. have to say i am delighted this has gotten off to such a start , it bodes well that such good people are involved and hopefully those that have the good of the county at heart will make submissions.

    interesting that the purse strings are being held in dublin however.. is this more evidence of the dublin cabal?

    also could someone clear up who the stephen carolan from belmullet is ? the county player who played a couple of years back? ( missed a penalty against galway)

  2. Roger – I understand that this is the same Stephen Carolan. He’s never going to be let forget that penalty miss, is he?

    I don’t think that the fact that the Finance and Funding sub-committeee is meeting in Dublin can be characterised as the purse strings being held by anyone up here. This is very much an initiative driven by the county board and the clubs and the sole purpose of all the sub-committees (including the one based in Dublin) will be to come up with a set of recommendations that County Board delegates can choose whether or not to adopt themselves. Once the review is completed, this committee, like all the others, will simply disband.

  3. As a Mayo dub I see the Blog’s very own Jim Corr constantly talking about a “Dublin cabal”.

    I’d love to know what the hell it is, the influence they have. If a cabal is a small group of secret plotters, as against a government or person in authority please share with us ordinary supporters because I think nobody in Mayo football would be in any way supportive of such behaviour.

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