Austin Stacks elect club’s first fe­male chair­per­son

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - SPORT - BY PAUL BREN­NAN

MAIREAD Fernane has said her strong fam­ily ties with the club con­vinced her to take on the role as chair­per­son of the Austin Stacks GAA club, de­spite hav­ing no in­ten­tion of tak­ing on the po­si­tion ahead of last Sun­day’s AGM. Ms Fernane told The Ker­ry­man she was a lit­tle over­whelmed since Sun­day but was slowly com­ing around to the re­al­i­sa­tion that she is the club’s new chair­per­son - the first fe­male to hold the po­si­tion but added that she is de­lighted and hon­oured to be elected to suc­ceed the out-go­ing chair­per­son Liam Lynch.

Ms Fernane, who served as vice-chair­per­son for the last two years, said it was pleas­ing to say she is the first women to hold the of­fice of chair­per­son in the club.

“Even though it is be­com­ing more preva­lent through­out the county with more and more women tak­ing the chair in their clubs it’s still nice to say I’m the first woman to be chair­per­son of the Stacks club,” she told The Ker­ry­man.

“To be hon­est I had no in­ten­tion of go­ing for the thing on Sun­day. In fact I was go­ing in to step away from it. I had been asked by a few peo­ple over Christ­mas about tak­ing over from Liam but I re­ally didn’t have any plans for it. Then at the meet­ing a few peo­ple held up the pic­ture of my un­cle in front of me and I felt I had no op­tion. But I have to say I’m de­lighted now that I’ve taken on the job and I only hope I can re­pay those peo­ple’s faith in me to do it.”

The un­cle she refers to is Dan O’Sul­li­van, who was the Stacks’ first Chair­per­son when the club was founded back in 1917.

“I was de­lighted in 2017 when they asked me to do the vice-chair be­cause I felt that was car­ry­ing on the fam­ily link from the first cen­tury to the next. All my mother’s fam­ily, the O’Sul­li­vans, were found­ing mem­bers of the club and Dan was the first chair­man. But then my fa­ther, Gary Fernane, was the first Ju­ve­nile pres­i­dent of the club, so re­ally his­tory in­formed my de­ci­sion, I couldn’t re­ally get away from it.”

In­deed, it’s fit­ting that Ms Fernane will lead the famed Tralee club into its sec­ond cen­tury, af­ter the club cel­e­brated its cen­te­nary in 2017.

“I would hope that the good coach­ing sys­tem we have for the ju­ve­niles would con­tinue be­cause with­out your ju­ve­niles you have no club. I’d hope the ju­ve­nile club con­tin­ues to go from strength to strength and that will en­sure Stacks place in the GAA into the fu­ture.

“Of course a (county) championship would be the icing on the cake, but what I’d say is that I’d hope we main­tain the high stan­dards we have in the club, on and off the field.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.