Council primed to take some scalps

ON the assumption that they remain in office until next Friday, it now seems highly unlikely that Joe Delaney and Louis Kilcoyne…

ON the assumption that they remain in office until next Friday, it now seems highly unlikely that Joe Delaney and Louis Kilcoyne will survive the motions of confidence which will be voted on at that night's senior council meeting.

With each passing day, the stature of the other three officers is also diminishing. Pat Quigley and Des Casey looked safe up until yesterday, and Michael Hyland was considered a borderline case, but the numbers are changing with every bombshell that lands outside 80 Merrion Square the latest being Michael Morris's statement.

In the light of this, the majority of senior council, up until now passive and as quiet as church mice, simply cannot be seen to turn a blind eye to the wave of adverse publicity which the FAI has attracted - no matter that some of them may feel loyal to certain officers.

It is doubtful, in any case, whether the perks of council membership - its trips and free blazers will greatly influence them. Many would see a trip to the US World Cup finals in 1994 and the recent Anfield play-off as deserving perks for the unpaid time they give to the game.

The vast majority of full council were taken to America, with their flights paid for by the association and each was provided with an expenses' allowance of £l,800, rising by a further £600 if they decided to stay on for the second round game against the Dutch in Orlando.

Inside sources say the final bill was about £120,000. At Anfield, the association took 49 members of council, providing them with flights, hotel and match tickets, which was a comparatively cheaper trip.

Some members of council may feel indebted to officers for favours given in the normal course of horse-trading that takes place when clubs and associations apply for FAI grants.

Little of that will surely count next Friday evening or, more pertinently, cannot be seen to count. Furthermore, many of them will either be mandated or left in no clear doubt as to the feelings of an exasperated football public.

A simple majority amongst the 52 votes will suffice in each motion, with Kilcoyne's vote of confidence expected to be taken first.

It might help the officers' cause that the individual motions of confidence will be conducted by secret ballot - presuming, in accordance with FAI rules, that three members of council request such a procedure.

In that context, the pronouncements made beforehand to journalists or others may not necessarily come in tablet form. Nevertheless, there is a growing groundswell of opinion moving against the officers in the following order: Delaney Kilcoyne, Hyland, Casey and Quigley.

In addition to the five officers the make-up of the senior council is as follows:

Leinster FA (9 votes) - Bernard O'Byrne, John McDermott (both AUL); Charlie Cahill, Liam; Dodd, (both Leinster Senior League), Frank Molloy (Leinster: Junior League), Gerry Gorman: (Meath and District), Jack Smith (Amateur League), David Blood (United Churches League).

Molloy, Gorman, Smith, Blood, Byrne and Cahill, who is on record as having raised questions about monies accrued from US `94 tickets, are all expected to vote against Delaney and Kilcoyne. Three of them may also vote against Hyland. However, they meet on Thursday night and could be mandated to vote en bloc. It is believed that will be allowed to wait and hear the evidence presented on Friday night.

Munster FA (5 votes) - Donie Forde (Munster FA secretary), John O'Sullivan (Cork AUL), Vincent Cummins (Cork AUL), John O'Regan (Kerry District League), Michael Hanley (Desmond District League).

The 12-man executive of the Munster FA have already met. Nothing has been decided and they have not been mandated. They have so far kept their counsel. Generally regarded as conservative, it might be one of the few areas where the Tipperary-based Delaney receives some support.

Noel Kennedy (Connacht FA/ Sligo and Leitrim District League). May vote for all five.

Jim McDonnell (Ulster FA/Donegal League). Anti Delaney and Kilcoyne, he could swing either way on Hyland.

Willie Moran (Schools FAI) - As one who tabled the motions, he may vote against all five.

Kevin Fahy (FAIS) - Will vote for some, maybe all of the five.

Aidan Duggan (IUFU/Universities). Unknown.

Niamh O'Donoghue (LFAI) - A critical voice at executive meetings, who will probably vote against at least some of the officers.

Paddy Cummins, Myles O'Neill (Junior council) Their council meets on Tuesday night. Liable to vote for Hyland, Casey and Quigley, but not Kilcoyne and Delaney.

Willie Attley (Referees) - Would not be enamoured with recent developments at all.

Comdt Noel McCann (Defence Forces). Unknown.

National League (22 votes) - Johnny Keena (Athlone), Donal Crowther (Bohemians), Eddie Cox (Bray), Michael Cody (Cobh), Noel O'Mahony (Cork), Jack McAuley (Derry), Vincent Hoey (Drogheda), Enda McGuil (Dundalk), Derek Wilkinson (Finn Harps), Niall O'Reilly (Galway), Brendan Menton (HomeFarm), Jim Rhatigan (Kilkenny), Noel King (Limerick), Finbarr Flood (Shelbourne), Kevin Dykes (Sligo Rovers), Jack Burke (St James's Gate), Phil Mooney (St Patrick's), Dr Tony O'Neill (UCD), Milo Corcoran (Waterford).

Surprisingly, a special meeting of the 22 League representatives and the five officers is scheduled to take place on Monday, where perhaps some of the doubters could be swayed by what they hear. By my calculations, the voting pattern is likely to go 12-5 against Kilcoyne and Delaney, and 9-8 in favour of Hyland, with about five clubs too hard to call.

Prospects for the big five?

Louis Kilcoyne, president - You would never underestimate Kilcoyne, who rebounded from the Milltown sale and revived his administrative career from the equivalent of the back benches at Cork. A sociable, personable fellow, the ghost of Milltown may be coming back to haunt him. The numbers don't appear to be adding up favourably for him.

Joe Delaney, treasurer - Little or no chance now.

Michael Hyland, national league president Misgivings about him are born out of jealousy amongst the junior ranks and his autocratic style with League clubs. Has made enemies, but still derives some loyalty and respect.

Des Casey, vice-president - His attempts to fill the vacuum created by Sean Connolly's departure and `save' the association backfired, especially at the famous press conference. Whether being in Malta for a week means he avoided the flak or the hard questions remains to be seen.

Pat Quigley, senior vice-president - Largely removed from it all. His only danger is that by standing alongside his fellow officers he runs the risk of falling with them as well.

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley is Rugby Correspondent of The Irish Times