County Board Meeting Report By Kevin Corrigan : Tullamore Tribune
MIXING charm with logical argument, former Offaly GAA chairman, Paudge Mulhare showed delegates how to win support and get your way with an impassioned plea at the October meeting of the Offaly GAA County Board. Mulhare, a chairman of the board in the late '80s and a selector when Offaly won All-Ireland senior hurling titles in the 1990s, was in ebullient form as he sought a postponement of an Intermediate Football Championship semi-final between st Rynagh's and Raheen, which was fixed to be played last Thursday night - Just four days before Sunday's Minor Football Championship final between St Rynagh's and Rod Og.
Mr Mulhare complained that players should not be asked to play such important games so close together and he won over delegates as he spoke eloquently about how St Rynagh's had worked hard to rebuild football in the club in recent years and were now chasing dual glory. The veteran administrator also mixed a sense of fun with putting forward a very serious case. He engaged in some classic 'ball hopping' as he claimed that St Rynagh's had no chance in the minor final and joked about them only scoring 1-5 in the drawn IFC semi-final against Raheen. He drew laughter when he quipped that St Rynagh's had decided to send in their 'most diplomatic man' to state their case.
He also pulled on heart strings as he pleaded: 'I'm asking the Competitions Control Committee to help us. I'm asking the County Board to ask the CCC that they meet and postpone the IFC semi-final to some night next week. Chairman of the CCC, Padraig Boland replied that St Rynagh's were a victim of their own success and were in six semi-finals between both codes.
He acknowledged, however, that minors should play in their own grade before an adult fixture and that this was a big determining factor for him. It was agreed that the CCC would meet with both clubs after the meeting where it was decided to postpone the IFC semi-final to this Saturday, with Drumcullen being nominated to represent Offaly in the Leinster Club Intermediate Hurling Championship.
Normally fixtures are not discussed at full board meetings and Mr Mulhare clearly showed his 'political astuteness' as he helped Rynagh's get their way.