AS the contest for the chairmanship of the Clare County Board enters its final phase, both candidates have this week stepped forward and pledged to put a Strategic Plan for the promotion and development of GAA affairs in the county over the next five years.
This commitment from both Michael McDonagh (St Joseph’s Miltown) and Noel O’Driscoll (O’Callaghan’s Mills) to show the leadership and finally put a Strategic Plan in place for Clare GAA comes a year after a Croke Park deadline to have such a blueprint finalised, published and used a template for the next number of years.
The two candidates made this pledge when taking part in an exclusive question and answer session with The Clare People on a range of issues affecting Clare GAA ahead of next Tuesday’s eagerly anticipated vote on who will succeed Michael O’Neill as county board chairman for 2013.
“I am for putting a Strategic Plan in place,” said Michael McDonagh, “because there should be a plan in place, but some plans that have been put in place over the years have just been put up on the shelf and not acted upon.
“I would hope that whatever plan is put in place that it would be structured,” added the St Joseph’s Miltown clubman.
“Under my watch if elected this Strategic Plan will be put in place,” said Noel O’Driscoll, while Mr McDonagh added that “clubs have to come forward and play a major part in putting this Strategic Plan in place”.
These unequivocal policy statements come a year after it was revealed by The Clare People that the Clare County Board was the only county in Munster without a Strategic Plan.
An audit carried out by The Clare People revealed that county boards in Kerry, Cork, Waterford, Limerick and Tipperary had published their ‘Strategic Plan’ as directed to under the terms of the GAA Vision and Action Plan 2009-2014, which left Clare as the only county in the province that didn’t put a plan to print.
Cork led the way with the publication of its plan in April 2010 and was followed by Kerry in June of that year. Waterford was first out of the blocks in 2011 when it published its plan in April, while the Limerick and Tipperary county boards followed in June and August 2011 respectively.