GAA presidential race: And then there were four ...

 

GAA/SÉAMUS ALDRIDGE (Kildare): (Management Committee) - Currently chairman of the Leinster Council and formerly secretary of the Kildare county board.

(Current highest position stated)

Originally famous as an intercounty referee, he gave the free for the Mikey Sheehy/Paddy Cullen goal in the 1978 All-Ireland final. He is presumed to be putting down a marker for the next election, as with Fallon in the field the Leinster vote is split. Regarded as something of a maverick, he is nonetheless not afraid to stand over minority opinions if he believes them to be correct. May struggle to accumulate sufficient support to position himself satisfactorily for a genuine shot in three years.

SEÁN KELLY (Kerry): (Management Committee) - The front runner and strangely Kerry's first ever candidate for the presidency. He has a long administrative track record and served as chairman of the Kerry county board and then as chairman of the Munster Council. Kelly currently holds the chair of the International Dimension Work Group, a position that has enabled him to work the overseas vote. He has planned for this over a long period and attracts the criticism that he has been unwilling to confront issues that would alienate prospective voters. Articulate and personable, he has yet to demonstrate heavyweight credentials, but is likely to get opportunity to acquire them.

ALBERT FALLON (Longford): (Chairman Policy and Planning Committee) - Haunted by his defeat in the 1999 election when he polled disappointingly to lose on the first count to Seán McCague and was upstaged by the speech of Noel Walsh in third place. An able administrator he has however been out of the spotlight for a number of years, his term of office as Leinster Chairman having expired in 1996. Yet he has worked hard and effectively on committees at the highest level and currently chairs Policy and Planning. He is under a lot of pressure in this with his own province spilt and competing candidates in Connacht and Munster.

PJ McGRATH (Mayo): (Chairman Mayo county board) - The second All-Ireland football referee in the race - he once sent off his son in a club match. He was in charge of the Kerry-Offaly final in 1982 when Séamus Darby's late goal derailed Kerry's five-in-a-row ambitions. He has served on the Management Committee as both chairman of the Connacht Council and as a trustee. His candidacy was a bit of a surprise in that he hasn't been as high-profile at national level in recent years. An affable individual with plenty of experience he remains an outsider despite finely-tuned political antennae and good second preference potential.