Mayo County Board Secretary's Report 2022

  • Dec 05,2022

Secretary’s Report 2022

Tuarascáil an Runaí 2022


As 2022 draws to a close we can look back on a mixed year for Mayo GAA. Our Senior Footballers qualified for a League Final, our Senior Hurlers qualified for the Christy Ring Hurling Final and our U-17’s qualified for the All-Ireland Final.

The common denominator between all the above is that Mayo Teams were well beaten in all three games.

On top of that our Senior Footballers lost out to Galway in the Connacht Championship in Castlebar on the day Hastings Insurance McHale Park reopened after the pitch surface was replaced and would limp out of the All-Ireland series at the quarter final stage against Kerry.

Our U-20 Footballers, who were hot favourites to win the Connacht title, were beaten in the final by Sligo.

James Horan stepped down as our Senior Football Manager after the defeat to Kerry and the work began to find a replacement. Four strong candidates put their names forward for the position with former Mayo star Kevin McStay coming out on top in a process that was welcomed by all applicants. Kevin has put a significant back-room team in place, and they are wished well for 2023.

Derek Walsh stepped down as our Hurling Manager and he has since been replaced by the experienced Dave McConn and Tom Phillips as joint Managers. Dave and Tom and their back-room team are wished well for 2023.

Maurice Sheridan, Sean Deane and Brian Finn are remaining in their respective Managerial roles with our U-20 Footballers, U-17 Footballers and our U-17 & U-20 Hurlers.

Oisin Mullen has decided to move to Aussie Rules and while his loss to Mayo GAA in 2023 will be immense we wish him well and hope to see him back in a Mayo jersey in the future.

Sunday the 6th of February 2022 will never be forgotten by the people from the Parish of Kilmeena, as this was the day that their team reached the pinnacle of Junior Football when the captured the All-Ireland Junior Football title beating Gneeveguilla from Kerry.

The Kerry Champions were favourites going into the game but that didn’t bother the men from the shores of Clew Bay.

Kilmeena dominated the game for almost its entirety.

They were 3 points clear heading into injury time only for disaster to strike when Gneeveguilla scored a late gaol to level matters and send the game to extra time. Kilmeena trailed by 1 point early in extra time but quickly turned the tide to lead by 2 points, a lead they would not surrender. Once the referee sounded the whistle at the end of extra time the Kilmeena lads found themselves in dreamland, they were All-Ireland Champions. The celebrations had started and would go on for weeks. Of note was the Kilmeena after match outfits, they were certainly eye-catching.

The only disappointing matter about the day was that Officials had penciled in the Junior Final for 1.30pm in Croke Park while the Mayo Senior Footballers were in Clones for 2pm and the Mayo Hurlers in Ballina for 2pm and least we forget the Castlebar Ladies who were also playing that afternoon. Surely the Officials in Croke Park could have played the Junior Final on the weekend of the 12th/13th of February and allowed Mayo people attend the game. Every All-Ireland Final deserves respect, but I feel that the GAA Fixture planners got this one wrong.

Demographics and Age Grades

Some rural Clubs are continuing to struggle with numbers especially in North Mayo. Two Clubs in North Mayo have agreed to come together in a co-operation agreement at adult level for the 2023 season. The Clubs involved have realised that to give their adult members football they have had to make the tough decision to enter into the agreement. It is a brave move for the Clubs involved and it is hoped that both Clubs will be able to stand alone in the near future. The work of our Demographics Committee must be acknowledged in bringing the Clubs together. I would urge other Clubs within the County, that are struggling for numbers, to consider going down the same route in a co-operation agreement. It should not be looked upon as defeat or an embarrassment but rather to stay alive and regroup.

There have been numerous discussions in relation to the odd or even age grades. I for one am in favour of returning to the even age grades going forward. The age grades were changed a few years ago at Congress, but the process has not worked. I have spoken to several other Counties, and they are also in favour of returning to the even age groups. Croke Park have given two choices to Counties, one is to stay as it is with the odd age groups and the second one is to return to the even age group with the added provision that if this is the chosen route then 18-year-olds will not be allowed to play adult football with their Clubs. This to me is putting a gun to Clubs heads, many rural Clubs depend on their 18-year-olds to enable them to play adult football and to prevent them from doing so in wrong. It is a total contradiction on the part of Croke Park where on one hand they are saying that if the odd age group remains then the 18-year-old can play adult football but on the other hand if the even age groups are to be the preferred grouping then the 18 year old cannot play adult football. Croke Park Officials did meet with Counties over the past number of weeks and Mayo have made known our position in relation to the age gradings. I do hope that when Congress comes along next February that Croke Park will have taken on board the views of the Counties when they put the Motion to the floor.


Mayo like many other Counties around the Country is not immune from incidents involving the abuse, both physical and verbal, of match officials. This type of behaviour cannot be tolerated and must be dealt with accordingly.

I welcome the fact that Croke Park are considering dealing with all disciplinary issues surrounding the abuse of match officials thereby taking the responsibility of dishing out punishments for such breaches away from Counties. There have also been some very unsavoury incidents involving members of team managements and supporters during the year and again this type of behaviour cannot be condoned. I firmly believe that the “punishment must fit the crime” and our CCC have dished out the appropriate penalties in all such cases. It is incumbent on us all to get back to the “give respect get respect” initiative that had proved so successful at underage level. We seem to have forgotten that initiative during the Covid pandemic. Our games are there to be enjoyed by all including players, team officials, match officials and supporters alike and should not be overshadowed by acts of thuggery.

I am also of the opinion that there needs to be an overhaul of the rules surrounding breaches of discipline as some of them are still in the dark ages. The CCC have over the past 12 months handed down punishments for striking and other such offences and for people to appeal those decisions and win their appeal on a technicality because all the i’s weren’t dotted, and all the t’s not crossed is beyond belief.

We need to move with the times and refresh the rule book to ensure that acts of thuggery are not as easy to get away with. We could learn a lot for our colleagues in the Rugby world where only the team Captain is allowed to speak to the referee. When the referee in Rugby makes a decision, the players move away and do not question him or her. I am not suggesting that these measures would rectify the problems that we are encountering at games, but it might help. Parents too need to set an example to their children at games in relation to how they conduct themselves. I welcomed the notion at our U-11 games this year where the silent initiative was introduced and it proved to be a great success, if more of that is needed going forward then let’s do it, it can only improve our games. Racial abuse has no place in our games and will not be tolerated, thankfully such incidents are minimal within our County.

Mayo GAA sought permission from Croke Park to wear special rainbow flag numbering on our jerseys supporting the LGBTI+ Community. This was to be done in conjunction with our Charity Partners, Mindspace, at a home League game in early 2023. The matter was discussed by the Management Committee in Croke Park and our application was turned down on the grounds that that the numbering of players was too integral to the game and shouldn’t be interfered with and they suggested that Coiste Contae Mhuigeo could possibly explore the option of using the rainbow flag laces in boots. I found the response from Croke Park to be very disappointing to say the least. The “rainbow “ coloured numbering on the jersey was to be a one off venture and would have shown Mayo GAA’s clear support for our LGBTI+ Community, I believe it was an opportunity missed.


There are several areas that Croke Park could introduce that would be fairer to all Clubs and Counties. The first one being the Black Card, the time the player spends on the side-line is done through real time and does not consider stoppages in play which I believe it should. The other area is where a player takes a free kick from his hands, we have all seen players at both Club and County level gain significant yardage before they kick the ball, this could be rectified if the referee marked the spot from where the free is to be taken from like what they do in soccer.

When inter County games in the Championship move outside of the Provincial Championships then the match officials appointed, should not be from a province involving any of the competing teams.

I have learned recently that the CCCC are hoping to bring about a rule change that will allow Senior Inter-County teams make late changes to the 26-man squad that has to be submitted by 9am on the Thursday before the game. The CCCC are also looking at the possibility of allowing Counties make matchday changes after the team sheet has been submitted to the referee in the event of a last-minute injury. I would welcome these changes as would all Inter County Managers because the rule as it stands makes absolutely no sense.

The split season would appear to have been a success, but I feel that the All-Ireland Football and Hurling Finals should be played in August, that is only my opinion.

I find myself once again talking about the abuse of our Inter County footballers on social media. It simply must stop. As I’ve said previously, all these players have families, and they also feel the hurt and pain caused by the social media “hero’s”.

Our players don’t go out onto the pitch to intentionally loose games, they always give of their best. Few people within the County or Country have given up so much of their lives to play a game they love as has our Senior Footballers. They deserve better. It also saddened me this year to see some of our Inter County Footballers “targeted” on the field of play in our Club Championships, yes, it is a physical game but some of the tackling and off the ball incidents were scandalous to say the least.

FBD League:

Galway manager Padraic Joyce savoured his first win over Mayo in a competitive fixture at the fourth attempt in the FBD Connacht League semi-final at the NUI Galway Connacht GAA Air Dome in Bekan on Friday the 7th of January. Joyce’s well-drilled outfit finished strongly to deservedly beat an experimental Mayo side, with late points from impact substitutes Shane Walsh, Tom Culhane and Paul Kelly helping the Tribesmen to victory.

Mayo faded out of contention in the closing stages and only managed a single point in the last 20 minutes, a free from impressive substitute Ryan O’Donoghue in the 69th minute. In front of 300 spectators, Galway led for most of an uneventful match, and they were in front at half-time by 0-10 to 0-07. Mayo started brightly with early scores from the impressive duo of Fergal Boland and debutant Sam Callinan, but Galway quickly took the initiative back and led by 0-05 to 0-03 at the first water break.

The second quarter was a similar story, with Mayo’s only score from play arriving from Frank Irwin while Fionan Duffy converted three frees. Mayo introduced All-Star forward Ryan O’Donoghue at the break, and he made an instant impact, shooting three quickfire points, two from frees, to close the gap to the bare minimum. Galway also only led by 0-13 to 0-12 at the second water break as Mayo upped the ante, but Padraic Joyce sprung the likes of Kieran Molloy, Paul Kelly, Culhane and Shane Walsh from the bench, and they all helped to turn the tide. Galway ran out easy winners on a score of 17 points to Mayo’s 13points.

Allianz League:

Mayo’s first game in the League was a “home” game against old foes Donegal on Sunday the 30th of January 2022. The game was played in Markievicz Park in Sligo as MacHale Park was not available due to the upgrading of the pitch. A crowd of nearly 9,000 packed into Markievicz Park on a dreadful day, weather wise, for football. Donegal exploded out of the starting blocks and were 5 points to 1 up after 15 minutes. Mayo were at 6’s and 7’s and had little or no reply to Donegal’s dominance. Donegal were good value for their 4-point lead at half time, in fact only for some wayward shooting they could have been much further ahead. Mayo gathered their composure at the break and introduced Aidan O’Shea and Bryan Walsh for the start of the second half. These changes seemed to have an immediate effect as Mayo began a comeback that seemed unlikely in the opening 35 plus minutes. Mayo began to play with more urgency and intensity. Both teams traded scores four times during the third quarter to ensure that Donegal held on to their 4-point lead. Donegal were playing with a strong wind at their backs in the second half. Michael Langan had kicked some superb points for Donegal, and they seemed to be home and hosed on 55 minutes when he kicked his fourth point of the game. Incredibly that was to be Donegal’s final score of the day. At that point Mayo were down to 14 men after team Captain Stephen Coen was sent off in the 51st minute after receiving a second yellow card. This resulted in Donegal been awarded a penalty which was brilliantly saved by Robbie Hennelly. This appeared to drive Mayo forward and they scored the last 4 points to earn a draw when 10 minutes earlier had seemed unlikely. Robbie Hennelly was Mayo’s hero of the day as he kicked the equalising score from a difficult free kick into a strong wind. The game itself wasn’t a classic but it was wonderful to see Jason Doherty and Brendan Harrison back in a Mayo Jersey. Jason helped himself to 3 wonderful points. It’s amazing that he was even playing considering the injuries he has endured in the past 2 years.

In Tommy Conroy, Mayo have one of the most exciting players in the Country, he put in a good performance in the second half and was hard to handle. Mayo put in a gutsy second half display and deserved to get a point from the game. This was the fourth time in ten games between the teams since 2012 that has ended in a draw. Mayo could look forward to the remainder of the League in anticipation as they would welcome back the likes of Lee Keegan, Cillian O’Connor, Enda Hession and Oisin Mullen to name but a few.

Their lack lustre display in the first half would be punished by more clinical teams. In the end James Horan was delighted to get a point from the game. Our next outing would see us travel to Clones on Sunday the 6th of February to take on Monaghan.

Mayo travelled to St Tiernach’s Park in Clones on Sunday the 6th of February to take on Monaghan who had former Mayo selector, Donie Buckley, in their backroom team. This was the third time in 6 years that Mayo had taken points from Monaghan on their home patch. Monaghan were guilty of some wayward shooting kicking 10 wides which would not have pleased Monaghan Manager, Seamus McEnaney. The fact that they only scored 1 point in the final 25 minutes wouldn’t please him either. Monaghan opened the scoring before man of the match Ryan O’Donoghue scored Mayo’s opening goal in the 6th minute which was closely followed by a Fionn McDonagh point which helped Mayo into an early 3-point lead. Mayo played with the aid of a strong breeze in the opening half. We struggled in the middle of the field in the opening half, but Aidan O’Shea steadied the ship once he was introduced in the 25th minute at the expense of team captain Stephen Coen. Mayo were dealt a huge blow toward the end of the first half when defender Eoghan McLaughlin was stretchered off in what looked like a serious ankle injury. Monaghan went in a point clear at half time. Mayo emerged after the break and appeared to have moved up a few gears as they took the game to Monaghan. Lee Keegan, Padraig O’Hora, Paddy Durcan and Rory Brickenden were immense in the second half. Surely there hasn’t been a defender in the Country over the past 10 years better than Leeroy Keegan. Once Mayo got their noses in front in the second half they hung on. A long overdue goal from Jason Doherty in the 54th minute set Mayo on the road to victory. Mayo subs Jordan Flynn and Conor Loftus contributed significantly to Mayo’s second half performance. The outcome of the game hung in the balance entering the final moments and despite a very late goal mouth scare Mayo went on to secure their first League victory of the 2022 season on a score line of 2-10 to 1-10. As Mayo left St Tiernach’s Park people hope that Eoghan McLaughlin’s injury was not too serious and looked forward to a trip to GAA Headquarters on the 19th of February to take on old foes, Dublin. Mayo’s Mattie Ruane would be back after serving his suspension.

Mayo travelled to GAA Headquarters on Saturday the 19th of February to take on Dublin in Round 3 of the Allianz League. Mayo were buoyed after a good win against Monaghan and the travelling supporters were hoping for a good display from what many saw as an inexperienced side. Mayo had not beaten Dublin in Dublin in the League since 1971. Many people, even the “anonymous keyboard warriors”, were expecting a resurgent Dublin side as they had suffered two defeats in the opening round of the League. The tone of the game was set in the opening few seconds after Jordan Flynn played a long ball into the unmarked Diarmuid O’Connor who duly obliged by splitting the posts to register Mayo’s first score within 14 seconds. Moments later Mattie Ruane had the ball in the Dublin net only for play to be called back for a free out to Dublin. Dublin eventually started to get into the game with points by Kilkenny, Rock and Bugler. Mayo steadied the ship in the 21st minute when a moment of brilliance from Diarmuid O’Connor saw him pick out Jack Carney who would find the Dublin net courtesy of the Dublin Keeper Eoin Comerford. It was good to see Mayo get some luck in Croker. Dublin responded and were back level four minutes before half time before Mayo scored their second goal through Aidan Orme after a well worked move out of our defence. Mayo went in three points up at half time on a score line of 2-6 to 9 points. The second half was more comfortable for Mayo than many expected. The two highlights of the second half was the two magnificent points scored by Michael Plunkett. In fairness Mayo never looked in any danger throughout this encounter. Mayo brought on Aidan O’Shea, Conor Loftus, Kevin McLoughlin, Enda Hession and Fergal Boland in the second half and all 5 played their part in this well-deserved Mayo victory. There were many excellent displays from Mayo players, Diarmuid O’Connor having one of his finest ever games in a Mayo jersey, Jordan Flynn and Mattie Ruane were excellent throughout in the middle of the field while Jack Carney and Aidan Orme could be well satisfied with their efforts. In defence Oisin Mullen, Lee Keegan, Donnacha McHugh, Stephen Coen, Michael Plunkett and Rory Brickenden were excellent throughout. Robbie Hennelly, who kicked 2 wonderful points, was awarded the man of the match award and nobody could argue with that. Let’s not get carried away this was only the 3rd week in February and Mayo would face much stiffer tests ahead, but it was satisfying to travel home from Croke Park with a smile on one’s face after a job well done. Mayo ran out easy winners on a score line of 2-11 to 12 points. Next up for Mayo would be a “home” clash in Hyde Park against highfliers Armagh.

Mayo took on fellow table toppers Armagh in our second home game of the League. The game took place in Hyde Park and I wish to thank Roscommon GAA for allowing us to use their ground. There was drama before a ball was even thrown in as Mayo net minder Rob Hennelly suffered a leg injury and had to be replaced by Ruairi Byrne with Colm Reape coming into the subs as cover for Byrne. Mayo found themselves 3 points down after 10 seconds as Armagh scored a goal courtesy of midfielder Ciaran Mackin who‘s shot went over the head of the stranded Mayo Keeper. In fairness it was a “lucky” goal as he appeared to shoot for a point. Armagh powered on from the goal and found themselves 5 points clear after the opening 10 minutes. Mayo were struggling to get to grips with Armagh in the first half. League debutant Frank Irwin had to go off with a blood injury and was replaced by Kevin McLoughlin. Paddy Durcan was introduced during the first half to replace Rory Brickenden and these two changes helped to turn the tide. Diarmuid O’Connor and Aidan Orme were causing trouble for the Armagh defence in the opening 35 minutes. Armagh went in leading by 1-5 to 6 points. James Horan introduced Aidan O’Shea and Padraig O’Hora at half time and their introduction coupled with Oisin Mullen moving to full back laid the foundation for the comeback. By the 40th minute both Orme and O’Connor had reduced the Armagh lead to just one point. Armagh upped the ante once again and with Ryan O’Neill and Aidan Nugent finding their range the visitors found themselves 3 points ahead after 65 minutes. Mayo scored the next 5 points without reply, 2 from Ryan O’Donoghue, 1 from Jordan Flynn and 2 absolute stunners from the excellent Paddy Durcan. Mayo won on a score line of 15 points to 1-10. Mayo had snatched a win from the jaws of defeat and some wonderful performances were put in by the likes of Oisin Mullen, Paddy Durcan, Padraig O’Hora, Mattie Ruane, Jordan Flynn, Diarmuid O’Connor and Aidan Orme. The mid-field partnership of Ruane and Flynn was proving to be very fruitful. James Horan could draw on some positive aspects of Mayo’s performance but acknowledged that improvements would be required for Mayo’s trip to Tralee to take on Kerry.

Mayo travelled to Austin Stack Park in Tralee on Saturday the 12th of March to take on table toppers Kerry. The weather made it difficult for both sets of players not to mention supporters. A large Mayo contingent made the trip in the hope that we could extend our unbeaten run against the home side on their home patch. Alas it was not to be as Mayo went down by the narrowest of margins. A 20th minute goal by Tony Brosnan for Kerry proved to be the decisive score. Mayo got off to the ideal start as Mattie Ruane got the opening score of the game in the third minute. Kerry soon got into their stride and were 4 points to 1 ahead after 13 minutes, with David Clifford scoring twice. Mayo were guilty of some wayward passing in the opening 35 minutes, and it began to cost the visitors as Kerry led by 1-5 to 3 points in the latter stages of the first half. Mayo managed to claw the home side back with points from Ryan O’Donoghue, Fergal Boland and a ’45 from goalkeeper Robbie Hennelly left just the kick of a ball between the teams at the break. Mayo’s Diarmuid O’Connor had a glorious chance to bring the teams level only to see his goal bound shot saved by the Kerry net minder Shane Murphy. There was still just three points between the sides after 20 minutes of the second half with Kerry leading by 1-10 to 10 points. Mayo then hit a purple patch hitting the next 3 points to level the tie in the 63rd minute. Both sides traded points through David Clifford and Ryan O’Donoghue respectively to keep the tie level heading toward the final whistle. Kerry managed to engineer a free which Clifford duly converted. Mayo broke up field to get the equaliser only for Lee Keegan’s last gasp effort to tail narrowly wide. Referee Brendan Cawley, (who’s grandparents hailed from Crossmolina) blew his whistle to sound the end of the game and you could sense the mood of disappointment among the players with Kerry winning by 1-12 to 14 points. Mayo deserved to get something out of the game but came up just short. This was Kerry’s first win against Mayo on Kerry soil since 2009. Ryan O’Donoghue picked up a deserved ‘Man got the Match’ award. Mayo’s next outing would be a trip to Omagh on Saturday the 19th of March to take on Tyrone.

Mayo travelled to Omagh to take on reigning All-Ireland Champions Tyrone in the hope of getting revenge for the defeat in last years final. James Horan raised a few eyebrows with his team selection most notably naming Aidan O’Shea at centre back. Tyrone came into the game knowing that anything but a victory for them would more or less condemn them to playing Division 2 League Football in 2023. The Mayo attack did not fire on the night with only Ryan O’Donoghue from the starting forward line registering a score. Mayo struggled throughout and the loss of players like Paddy Durcan, Eoghan McLaughlin and Diarmuid O’Connor was clear on the night. One point in the last 26 minutes of the game is not good enough at this level and it would give the Mayo Manager plenty to think about. Tyrone, with the aid of a strong breeze in the first half came galloping out of the starting blocks and were 5 points to no score up after 13 minutes. Mayo’s first 5 attacks in the first half ended with Tyrone turning over the ball but it must be said that Mayo’s distribution during the first half was shocking. Ryan O’Donoghue scored Mayo’s first point after 24 minutes. Tyrone led by 8 points to 3 at half time and, should have been out of sight. Mattie Donnelly scored Tyrone’s opening score in the second half to extend the home sides advantage. Mayo to their credit put in a much improved second half performance and by the 49th minute had reduced the deficit to a solitary point thanks to some excellent scores from Jordan Flynn, Mattie Ruane, Jack Carney and Ryan O’Donoghue. That was as close as Mayo could get to Tyrone. Mayo appeared to run out of ideas coming into the final stages of the game. A black card for Kevin McLoughlin in the closing stages of the game only capped a night of disappointment for Mayo. Overall, it was a very poor display from Mayo, granted there were a lot of young lads in the starting 15 but from the outset Mayo were on the back foot, it was as flat a display from Mayo as I’ve seen in a long time. Strangely other results went our way, and we would still have an opportunity to qualify for a National League Final against Kerry on April the 3rd if we could get a result against Kildare.

Mayo travelled to Carrick-on-Shannon to take on Kildare in our final “home” of the year on Sunday the 27th of March hoping to qualify for a League Final for the first time since we won it in 2019.

Mayo travelled to Avant Money Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada in Carrick-on-Shannon to take on Kildare in the Final Division 1 League game of the year. The weather on the day was superb and the thousands of supporters that made the journey were treated to an excellent game of football. Goals either side of half time by Ryan O’Donoghue and Jordan Flynn were the decisive scores that helped Mayo to a much-deserved win. The victory was tarnished somewhat with injuries to Brendan Harrison and Diarmuid O’Connor both of whom were replaced in the opening half. Both teams must be complimented by the high standard of football delivered on the day. O’Donoghue’s goal after 12 minutes put Mayo ahead for the first time in the game. Kildare responded well and found themselves 1 point behind at half time on a score line of 1-10 to 12 points. Ben McCormack, Kildare’s centre forward was a constant thorn in Mayo’s side and scored 4 points from play. James Carr, making his seasonal debut, along with Jason Doherty were equally impressive for Mayo. Padraig O’Hora and Michael Plunkett scored 2 points apiece and both turned in impressive displays. Jack Carney chipped in with 3 points and he could not be more than happy with his performance. Once Jordan Flynn scored the second goal for Mayo it seemed to knock the stuffing out of Kildare, that left the score at 2-14 to 16 points in favour of Mayo. It was Mayo’s best performance of the League. Mayo were heading back to Croke Park for a Division 1 League Final against Kerry on Sunday the 3rd of April. The defeat meant that Kildare would be plying their trade in Division 2 for 2023 along with their neighbours Dublin.

League Final:

Mayo took on Kerry in the Division 1 League Final in Croke Park on Sunday the 3rd of April. Mayo went into the game in hope rather than expectation. This was due to the fact that many of our first-choice starters were side-lined due to injury. As it turned out it was a bad day at the office for Mayo as we seemed to have no answer to a Kerry team that were bidding to win only their second game in Croker in their last ten visits. Kerry were ahead by 1-10 to 7 points at half time and that could have been far more only for some excellent saves by Rory Byrne in the Mayo goal. Kerry’s goal came in the 24th minute courtesy of Gavin White who eluded 3 Mayo defenders before planting the ball in the back of the net. Mayo to their credit could have been closer to Kerry at half time if Conor Loftus and Jack Carney had converted their goal chances. James Carr scored an excellent point in the opening half when he collected the ball on his own 20 metre line from a kick out and ran the length of the pitch before dispatching a shot that split the posts. Thoughts of a Mayo revival were ignited early in the second half as Michael Plunkett landed an excellent point however that was as good as it got for Mayo. Kerry drove forward in waves and Mayo didn’t appear to have any answers. David Clifford was causing all sorts of problems for Padraig O’Hora in the Mayo full back line, and he ended scoring 1-6. The second half was as bad a performance from Mayo for a long time and there would have to be a huge improvement if they would have any hope of defeating Galway on April 24th. Jordan Flynn suffered a serious ankle injury in the second half from a late tackle from a Kerry player to whom the referee issued only a yellow card. The only plus to Mayo’s day was the return of Cillian O’Connor to competitive action but not even his presence on the field could turn things around. It was a bad day all round for Mayo and the best thing to do would be to put it behind us and concentrate on the upcoming game against Galway. There were some positives to be taken from the League, we had retained our Division 1 status with relative ease and we had beaten the Dubs in Croke Park along the way.


Mayo opened their Championship campaign against old rivals Galway on Sunday 24th of April. This was also the day that the refurbished playing surface on Hastings Insurance McHale Park welcomed back football in over 8 months. The playing surface looked splendid much to the satisfaction of the near 25,000 spectators who turned up on a glorious day drenched in sunshine expecting a battle royal. However, the large Mayo support would go home scratching their heads after a dismal performance by the home side. Galway grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and were 5 points up after only 7 minutes which included the only goal of the game by Galway forward Johnny Heaney. Galway were winning a lot of ball in the middle of the field and Damien Comer was a live wire for them up front. As the game wore on in the first half Mayo started to get scores on the board through the O’Connor brothers and Ryan O’Donoghue. James Carr was beginning to cause problems for the Galway full back line and scored an excellent point in the 32nd minute. Galway forward Finnian O Laoi was black carded for a late tackle on Cillian O’Connor, and this aided Mayo’s resurgence. As half time approached Mayo missed two glorious chances to take the lead, firstly when Cillian O’Connor missed a free he would normally convert and secondly when Jason Doherty’s attempt on goal was excellently blocked by Liam Silke. The sides went in level at half time on a score line of Galway 1-6 Mayo 9 points. Mayo got the opening score through James Carr and many would have expected the home side to drive on but amazingly Mayo did not score for another 22 minutes. Mayo were a dealt a cruel blow when star defender Oisin Mullen limped off with what appeared to be a hamstring injury. Mayo just could not get into a rhythm after the injury to Mullen and that coupled with poor shot selection made it easy for Galway to pull away. Paul Conroy was having a fine game for Galway in the middle of the Park and his contribution of 3 points certainly aided his teams cause as did the excellent long range scores from frees by Shane Walsh. Mayo’s second point of the second half came courtesy of a Cillian O’Connor free in the 61st minute. Mayo trailed by 6 points with the end of normal time approaching. Lee Keegan scored a wonder point, and this seemed to kick Mayo into action and they scored the next 4 points without reply to leave the minimum between the sides. Mayo had one more chance to level matters but Aidan Orme’s shot went agonisingly wide. As the referee David Coldrick blew the full-time whistle Galway were heading for a Connacht Semi Final against Leitrim while Mayo once again would go on the road in the qualifiers. Much improvement would be required if we were to progress in this year’s Championship.

Mayo took on Monaghan in Hastings Insurance McHale Park in the first round of the All-Ireland qualifiers on Saturday the 4th of June. This was Mayo’s first game in 6 weeks. A crowd of nearly 17,000 were in attendance and they certainly got value for money. The Monaghan Management very annoyed at some of the decisions by referee Barry Cassidy. They felt hard done by when they weren’t awarded a penalty towards the end of the game which could have brought matters to extra time. Monaghan started the game strongly with 2 points from Gary Mohan. They were dealt a blow early in the game when their talismanic forward Conor McManus was black carded for a trip on Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea. During McManus’s absence Mayo scored 1-3 without reply which included a Cillian O’Connor penalty in the 12th minute after Oisin Mullen’s goal bound effort was foot blocked by a Monaghan defender. Mayo went in at half time leading by 1-7 to 7 points and increased their lead on the resumption with another Cillian O’Connor effort. Amazingly Mayo would not score again for another 20 minutes a familiar trait in a few previous games. Monaghan didn’t fare much better in those 20 minutes either only scoring 2 points. Monaghan’s forwards, like Mayo’s, were not firing on all cylinders. Lee Keegan, Mayo’s best player on the day, showed the forwards how it was done when he kicked a superb point to put Mayo 5 points clear heading towards injury time leaving the score 1-12 to 10 points. Monaghan then appeared to kick into gear and scored 2 points without reply to leave only 3 points between the sides deep in injury time. Mayo were lucky not to concede a penalty when a missed placed pass from Aidan O’Shea found it’s way to Monaghan’s Conor Leonard who went to ground albeit a bit tamely. The Monaghan players, management and supporters were incensed with Barry Cassidy when he did not award them a penalty. Mayo swept down the field and Paddy Durcan scored an excellent point to put 4 points between the sides. As the referee sounded the final Monaghan supporters and Management vented their anger towards Cassidy with some unsavoury scenes.

Mayo had won the game and thus qualified for round two of the qualifiers, for Monaghan their season was over. Defensively on the day Mayo were sound with heroic performances from Keegan, Durcan and Hession. Club mates O’Shea and Ruane combined well in the middle of the field. It was up front that Mayo with our half forward line mostly non existent for the evening and only the inside line that was causing any sort of a threat. With that said a win is a win and that is all that matters. James Horan would hope to have some injured players back for the next round.

Mayo travelled to GAA Headquarters on Saturday the 11th of June to take on Kildare in the second round of the All-Ireland qualifiers. There was annoyance among the Mayo supporters at the game going to Croke Park and this was evident with the small crowd that was in attendance. It would have made more sense to have played the game in Tullamore or Hyde Park. The first half performance from Mayo was as poor as has been witnessed in a long time. Kildare led by 5 points to 2 after 28 minutes and, should have been much more in front. The shot selection by the Mayo players left a lot to be desired and Kildare were equally as bad. Man of the Match, Lee Keegan raised Mayo’s spirits in a dour first half with a well taken point but there was little else to cheer about in the opening 35 minutes. Kildare led by 8 points to 5 at the break. Mayo came out for the start of the second half and had to wait for Kildare to return. Ten minutes into the second half and Mayo found themselves 6 points down and looking like this was the end of the road. Mayo reduced the margin to 5 points thanks to a sublime point from Fergal Boland. Daniel Flynn has a glorious chance to score a goal and put the lights out for Mayo but up stepped the impressive Enda Hession to somehow block the shot and Mayo breathed a huge sigh of relief. From the resulting turnover Mayo worked the ball down the field and Cillian O’Connor scored a point to put 4 points between the teams. Conor Loftus scored a superb point as did Diarmuid O’Connor and Lee Keegan to leave 3 points between the sides heading down the stretch. Then up popped Oisin Mullen, who played a brilliant one two with his defensive partner Padraig O’Hora, and duly slammed the ball to the Kildare net. The scores were now level, 13 points to 1-10 and the writing was on the wall for the Kildare men. Fergal Boland, Cillian O’Connor and Darren McHale landed points for Mayo and going into injury time Mayo led by 1-13 to 14 points. Deep into injury time and Jordan Flynn gained possession just inside the 45’, he looked up and saw the Kildare keeper retreating towards goal. He lobbed the ball goal wards; the Kildare keeper flapped at the ball but couldn’t prevent it from going into the net. As the ball was kicked out the referee sounded the end of the game and Mayo had won by 5 points on a score of 2-13 to 14 points. James Horan was delighted with the win and the way his team ground out the victory but there were many aspects of the game that were a cause for concern, and he would have to rectify these issues before facing old foes Kerry in the quarter final.

Mayo were back in Croke Park on Sunday the 26th of June to take on Kerry in the All-Ireland quarter Final. The Mayo supporters travelled to the Capital in the hope that we could reverse the result of our previous two meetings earlier in the year. Mayo went into the game without several key players including Brendan Harrison, Michael Plunket, Tommy Conroy and Ryan O’Donoghue. Their absence from the field would eventually catch up with Mayo, with that said Mayo did start strongly with Oisin Mullen putting the shackles on Clifford, Stephen Coen doing a fine job on O’Shea. When Conor Loftus scored a monster point from under the shadow Cusack Stand and Aidan O’Shea scored another beauty with the outside of the boot from near the halfway line the large Mayo support in attendance began to dream of another good day at GAA Headquarters. In the 28th minute Mayo had built up a two-point lead, 7 points to 5, and Kerry seemed to be in a bit of bother. Clifford escaped from Oisin Mullen and gained possession, played a one two with O’Shea and buried the ball in the back of the Mayo net. Clifford seemed to have injured his ankle early in the game but there was no sign of that when he stepped forward to put Kerry ahead by 1-5 to 7

points. Kevin McLoughlin had a glorious chance of a goal for Mayo just before half time but blasted the ball over the bar. Kerry led by 1-7 to 9 points at half time. Mayo started the second half brightly and for the first 12 minutes of the half they owned the ball. Good scores coming from the impressive Jordan Flynn, Mattie Ruane and James Carr kept Mayo in the game. Mayo were guilty of some very wayward shooting in the second half and in doing so gave momentum to a Kerry outfit that struggled in the early stages of the second half. Kerry kept picking off points and when Mayo’s only response in the final 20 minutes was Jordan Flynn point the writing was clearly on the wall. The last quarter of the game was hugely disappointing from a Mayo perspective some of our shot selection was not of a standard acceptable at this level. Our injury list came back to haunt us. David Gough turned in a fine refereeing performance but one strange call from him was the black card issued to Aidan O’Shea before half time.

To my understanding it was issued for abusive language to an opponent?? but if that was the case there could have been a dozen cards issued. As the referee sounded the final whistle many of the supporters present wondered what lay ahead for Mayo, they would have to wait less than 24 hours as James Horan announced he was stepping away from his role as Manager of the Senior Team. James had come to the end of his four-year term; he didn’t resign as some social media pundits would like you to believe he simply stepped away. James was not offered an extension to his contract at any time during the year as was stated on social media in fact his contract was never discussed.

In light of James stepping away from his role I would like to sincerely thank him for the work his has put into Mayo football over the past 4 years. He has brought Mayo to a new level, and I know he is as disappointed as we all are that he was unable to deliver Sam Maguire to the County. James has given a huge chunk of his life to Mayo GAA both as a player and Manager and I again thank him for that. As the saying goes “behind everyman is a good woman” and to that end I want to thank James’ wife Siobhan and his family for giving him the time and space to Manage Mayo a task that wasn’t always easy given comments on social media. To the backroom team I wish to thank you all for the work that you all have put in over the years. To the players on the panel, thank you one and all for your efforts during 2022, every one of you have been great ambassadors for Mayo GAA.


The Mayo U-20’s got their 2022 campaign off to a winning start in the Leo Murphy Cup against neighbours Roscommon at a bitterly cold Connacht Centre of Excellence in mid-February. Great credit must be given to both sets of players who performed well despite the artic conditions. Mayo dominated the game and led at half time on a score line of 1-6 to 1-4. The second half was evenly contested with Mayo a step ahead of the opposition at all times. Mayo ran out 3-point winners on a score line of 1-12 to 1-9, next up for Maurice Sheridan’s charges would be a trip to take on Derry. Maurice Sheridan would hope to welcome back a few players who were training with the Senior team.

The U-20’s next outing in the Leo Murphy Cup was a trip to Loup to take on Derry. Mayo had Ruairi Keane and Paddy Heneghan back among their ranks after they were released from the Senior Squad. Mayo were unable to build on their opening round win by losing this encounter by the minimum. Derry led by 10points to 1-1 at half time as the made the most of a gale force wind advantage in the opening 30 minutes. Derry scored 1 point in the second half while Mayo scored 6. Mayo Manager Maurice Sheridan was justifiably disappointed with the result as his charges squandered some glorious scoring chances in the second half. Next up for Mayo in the competition would be a trip to high flying Donegal.

The Mayo U-20’s bowed out of the Leo Murphy Cup after a very disappointing loss to Donegal in Ballybofey on Saturday the 5th of March. Two goals from Keelan Dunleavy helped Donegal to an easy 9-point win. Mayo started the game brightly and were level on 2 points apiece after 10 minutes. Mayo had the ball in the back of the Donegal net on 15 minutes and all in attendance were expecting a close encounter however that never materialised as Donegal powered on and led by 1-6 to 1-2 at half time. Donegal didn’t let up in the second half and ran out comfortable winners on a score line of 2-10 to 1-4. Mayo’s attentions would now turn to their Championship encounter with Galway on the 6th of April in Ballina. Maurice Sheridan would be hoping to have Senior panellist’s Sam Callinan, Frank Irwin and Donnacha McHugh back with his U-20 squad in time to overcome our neighbours. Overall, it was a disappointing Leo Murphy Cup campaign for Maurice Sheridan and his charges.

Mayo began their Connacht Championship campaign against Galway in the COE on Wednesday the 6th of April. Both teams deserve credit for playing the game in atrocious conditions. As one pundit put it “this was not an evening for flair and flamboyance, this was a match when work rate, honesty and commitment were the order of the day” That was certainly true in Mayo’s case. Sam Callinan was excellent in defence and drove Mayo forward at every opportunity, he was ably assisted by Ruairi Keane in the Mayo full back line. Mayo’s midfield pairing of Frank Irwin and Donnacha McHugh were dominant throughout and one could see why James Horan rated them so highly. Mayo seemed to cope better than Galway in the stormy conditions. Whatever advantage was in Galway’s favour in the opening 30 minutes, but they couldn’t deal with the storm like conditions. The teams went in level on 2 points apiece at half time. Six minutes into the second half Mayo scored the opening goal when Jack Fallon, caught a Galway team that were too casual coming out of defence, he seized the ball and fired it into the Galway net. It was no more than Mayo deserved. Mayo added on 3 more points from Frank Irwin, Paddy Heneghan, who was excellent throughout and Bob Tuohy and appeared to put the game beyond Galway’s reach. Galway rallied late on to score a goal through James McLoughlin and a point from Nathan Grainger. Mayo managed to withhold the late Galway surge and ran out deserving winners on a score line of 1-6 to 1-4. Maurice Sheridan could be justifiably proud of his charges and could now look forward to a trip to Carrick-on-Shannon to take on Leitrim in the Connacht semi-final. Sheridan and Patrons alike would be hoping for a much calmer evening weatherwise.

Mayo took on Leitrim in Carrick-on-Shannon on Wednesday the 13th of April and were hoping to qualify for the Connacht Final for the second year in a row. Mayo, raging hot favourites to overturn Leitrim but in the end Mayo managed to hold on to a one point victory by the skin of their teeth. Mayo were dominant in the opening half with Sam Callinan, Frank Irwin, Donnacha McHugh and Dylan Thornton to the fore. Mayo led comfortably by 8 points to 3 at half time. Mayo were dealt a hammer blow in the first half when Sam Callinan and Cian McHale both had to go off injured with Callinan’s injury looking like a serious hamstring problem. The third quarter of the game belonged to Mayo as they totally dominated proceedings. Mayo hit the post twice in the opening moments of the second half and Paddy Heneghan was denied a goal chance by Leitrim net minder Conor Flood.

Mayo were in cruise mode and were ahead by 15 points to 4 with a little over 12 minutes remaining. Leitrim’s substitutes began to torment Mayo but a Dylan Thornton point appeared to settle Mayo who were now leading by 16 points to 6. However, Leitrim were not ready to lie down and produced a near miraculous escape scoring 2-3 without reply. As the referee blew the final whistle Mayo Players, Management and supporters breathed a huge sigh of relief and Leitrim were left to ponder on what might have been. Mayo had won the game by a single point on a score of 16 points to 2-9. Maurice Sheridan would be hoping for a better performance against Sligo in the final because any repeat of their implosion in the latter stages of this game would be punished by a Sligo team who beat the reigning Connacht Champions Roscommon in the other semi-final.

Mayo went into the Connacht Final as favourites against Sligo who had never won a title at this grade. This was a game that Mayo should not have lost, we were 5 points up nearing full time and appeared to be heading for a first Connacht Title since 2018, however Sligo hadn’t read the script. Mayo found themselves 1 point behind Sligo at half time on a score line of 2-3 to 8 points with Sligo benefitting from 2 goals from Jack Davitt. In the second half Mayo took control of the game and with points from Frank Irwin and Rory Morrin and a goal from the very impressive Paddy Heneghan saw the visitors surge ahead. Sligo hadn’t scored for 24 minutes, and their cause was helped when referee Paddy Neilan red carded their corner back Shane Molloy for a heavy challenge. Mayo found themselves 5 points ahead playing against 14 men and for the third game in a row they pressed the self-destruct button. Sligo began to find holes in the Mayo defence and a long ball from the side-line fell to Sligo’s Eoghan Smith who duly planted the ball in the Mayo net. Sligo got the next point and suddenly they were now only 1 point behind Mayo. Mayo got the next score and appeared to have weathered the storm, but Sligo’s Jack Lavin launched a high ball towards the Mayo goal. There were enough Mayo players to deal with the high ball, but they all missed it and the ball flew into the Mayo net. Sligo were now a point up and try as they might Mayo just couldn’t get back on level terms. As Paddy Neilan blew the final whistle the large Sligo support in attendance ran out onto the pitch to celebrate with their hero’s. Sligo Captain Jack Lavin delivered stirring speech and dedicated the victory to the memory of Red Og Murphy who had died tragically a few weeks earlier. Sligo would march on to an All-Ireland semi-final while for Mayo it was the end of the line.

I would like to thank Maurice Sheridan and his backroom for their efforts throughout the year.


The Mayo Senior Hurlers began their League Campaign against Wicklow in James Stephens Park Ballina on Sunday the 6th of February. In the opening half both teams struggled to cope with the lashing rain and swirling wind. Adrian Phillips seemed to settle quickest and had Mayo two early points to help them grab a foothold in the game. Mayo were playing the better hurling and were 4 points to the good when Wicklow full forward Germaine caught the sliotar over the head of his marker before spinning to his left and sending an unstoppable shot past Mato goalkeeper Bobby Douglas, that left just the minimum between the teams. Mayo regrouped and went in at the interval leading by 1-10 to 1-5. Early in the second half Mayo were awarded a penalty which was saved by the Wicklow Keeper. Mayo scored the next 2 points to lead by seven early in the second half and seemed destined for victory. Wicklow had the elements in their favour in the second half and scored 4 points in seven minutes to haul themselves back into the game. Shane Boland scored a late point for Mayo that seemed to be the clincher but 2 late points for Wicklow saw them share the

spoils. Mayo Manager received a one match ban after using foul/abusive language towards a match official and would be suspended for the Mayo’s next game against London.

The Mayo Hurlers travelled to McGovern Park, Ruislip to take on London on Sunday the 13th of February. Mayo were hoping to record their first win of the League and went into the game as favourites as London had lost heavily to Donegal in the opening round of League fixtures. Mayo began the game on the front foot but were no match for a resolute London team who led by 3-5 to 1-6 at half time. Derek Walsh’s backroom team looked to change things after the break but came up against a brick wall. London ran out easy winners on a score line of 4-11 to 1-10. Mayo’s next opponents would be Derry (away) and there would be much improvement needed if they would have any chance of upsetting the team from the Oak Leaf County. Overall Mayo were very disappointing on this occasion and Derek Walsh, who would be back in the dug-out after his one match ban, would be looking for a much-improved performance from his charges.

Mayo travelled to Owenbeg on Sunday 27.2.22 to take on table toppers Derry. Derry proved too strong for a very disappointing Mayo team, and they ran out very easy winner on a score of 4-24 to 1-14. The weather was a contributing factor in Derry racing into a 14-point lead at half time. In the last quarter of the game Mayo tagged on some points to flatter the scoreboard but it was too little too late. Mayo would have to improve to beat Sligo in Ballina in their next outing but as it stood, they were facing relegation. Derek Walsh would have to hope for a miracle if Mayo were to avoid the drop to a lower Division but on this performance even a miracle wouldn’t help Mayo.

Mayo took on near neighbours Sligo in Ballina in round 4 of League. Mayo started brightly and were 5 points to 1 up after 10 minutes. By the 30th minute Mayo seemed to be in control of the game and were ahead by 8 points to 5. Then disaster struck for Mayo as Sligo scored two goals in the space of two minutes to turn the game on its head. Mayo were now playing catch-up and went in at half time 1 point behind Sligo on a score line of 2-6 to 11 points. Mayo’s cause wasn’t helped as Paul Kirwan received his marching orders from referee James Connors. Sligo tagged on two more goals in the second half and ran out comfortable 6-point winners. Mayo’s last game in the League would be a tough assignment against Donegal and would be hoping that results go their way to avoid an automatic drop back down to Division 3A for 2023.

Mayo took on Donegal in James Stephens Park Ballina on Sunday the 20th of March in a dead-rubber game. Mayo were already destined for a relegation play-off against Wicklow. Mayo went into the game with only 18 players togged. Donegal were the better team throughout with their corner forward David Flynn scoring 1-9. Donegal scored their opening goal in the 7th minute with full-forward crashing the ball to the net and by the 12th minute the visitors led by 1-4 to 1 point. Mayo slowly began to claw their way back into the game and scored their goal courtesy of a Sean Regan penalty. By the 36th minute the sides were level however a late score by Brendan Coulter had Donegal ahead by a point at the break. Keith Higgins was introduced at the start of the second half and he scored a point with his first touch of the sliotar. Donegal hit back immediately with their second goal through Flynn and from there they never looked back. Donegal ran out easy winners on a score line of 2-17 to 1-12. Keith Higgins had to retire injured late on in the game. Derek Walsh would have to rally his troops for a winner take all relegation battle against Wicklow on Saturday 26th of March.

The Mayo Hurlers headed to O’Connor Park in Tullamore on Saturday the 26th of March to take on Wicklow in a relegation battle. A late point by Wicklow consigned Mayo to ply their trade in Division 3 of the National League in 2023. It was a hugely disappointing League campaign for Derek Walsh and his charges as they failed to register a solitary win during the League, the highs of winning the Nickey Rackard Cup in 2021 were soon forgotten and more would be required if they were to remain in the Christy Ring competition. Both teams traded scores in the opening minutes, and they were level after 10 minutes of play. The weather wasn’t a factor as O’Connor Park basked in glorious sunshine. John Doyle the Wicklow Centre Forward was causing all sorts of trouble for the Mayo defence as Wicklow went 4 points up. Sean Regan and Adrian Phillips scored 2 late points for Mayo before the break. Wicklow led at half time on a scoreline of 7 points to 5. Mayo, to their credit upped the ante in the third quarter and scored some wonderful points through Eoin Delaney, Sean Regan and Keith Higgins. Coming down the final stretch Mayo managed to get their noses in front by a single point thanks to the impressive Shane Boland. Both teams traded points in the closing stages but John Doyle popped to score the winning point for Wicklow who ran out winners on a score line of 16 points to 15. Mayo would have little time to dwell on the defeat and relegation as they would have to prepare for an outing against Kildare in the opening Round of the Christy Ring Cup.

Christy Ring Cup:

Mayo began their Christy Ring Cup Competition on Sunday the 10th of April in James Stephens Park, Ballina against Kildare. Mayo went into the game after a League Campaign that saw them relegated to Division 3 for 2023 and on the display against Kildare, they might not fare much better in this competition. This was as poor a performance by our Senior Hurlers in many many years. Mayo welcomed three additions from outside the County who lined out on the day, Joe Mooney and the McManus brothers. Much work had gone on behind the scenes prior to the game to get the three players sanctions ratified by Croke Park, however their inclusion on the panel did little to stop a rampant Kildare side who justified their favourites tag for this competition. Mayo were within touching distance after 30 minutes when they trailed Kildare by 11 points to 8 but I’m afraid that’s as good as it got for Mayo. At the break Kildare had increased their advantage to 13 points to 8 and they drove on in spectacular fashion scoring a further 5-13 in the second half, Mayo could only manage a further 3 points. Kildare put on an exhibition of hurling that Mayo could do very little about. Kildare ran out very easy winners on a scoreline of 5-26 to 11 points. Mayo would have no time to feel sorry for themselves as they would head east on Saturday the 16th of April for Round 2 of the Competition to take on a Wicklow side that consigned them to Division 3 League hurling a few weeks previous.

Mayo travelled to Aughrim on Saturday the 16th of April to take on Wicklow. Mayo were out for revenge in this fixture as it was Wicklow who had relegated them to Division 3 of the League a few weeks previous. This was a much better performance from Derek Walsh’s charges and they were 4 points up after as many minutes. Mayo led by 5 points to 3 after 15 minutes with Shane Boland, Joe Mooney and Sean Kenny to the fore. Mayo continued to pile on the pressure in the second quarter and were ahead by 13 points to 7 at half time. Wicklow’s opening goal came courtesy of Eoin Kavanagh and this reduced Mayo’s lead to 3 points. Mayo gathered themselves and by the 58th minute had extended their lead by 22 points to 1-9. Kavanagh scored Wicklow’s second goal in the closing stages of the game but Mayo were well worth their 26 points to 2-9 victory. It was a pleasing turn around by Mayo who hadn’t a great League campaign and a very poor display against Kildare in the opening round. Mayo would travel to Ruislip to take on London in the 3rd Round.

The Mayo Hurlers powered to their second straight victory in the Christy Ring Cup against London at McGovern Park Ruislip on Saturday the 23rd of April. This was Mayo’s best performance for a while and were full value for their 13-point lead at half time. The same opposition had beaten Mayo by 10 points earlier in the National League. Early points from Keith Higgins, Sean Regan and Mark Philips had Mayo 7 points to 2 up after 15 minutes. Shane Boland scored Mayo’s goal in the first half to leave the visitors leading by 1-16 to 6 points. Mayo continued their scoring spree in the second half and were ahead in the 54th minute by 1-20 to 9 points. London did stage a comeback late in the second half, but it was too little too late. London did manage to score 2-7 in the second half which would be a cause for concern for Manager Derek Walsh. Mayo went on to win by 1-22 to 2-13. Mayo’s next opponents would be neighbours Sligo.

Mayo took on Sligo on Saturday the 7th of May at James Stephens Park in Ballina. Both teams served up a thrilling encounter and the game was in the melting pot up to the time when the evergreen Keith Higgins and Kenny Feeney scored the two crucial goals for Mayo in the second half. This performance from Mayo was a far cry from their disastrous League campaign and the 30-point beating by Kildare in the opening round of this competition. Sligo went 2 points up at the start of the game before Mayo registered their first score through Kenny Feeney. Sligo were in control of the game during the first half and led at one stage by 6 points to 1. Mayo finally got their act together in the first half and through some excellent work by Higgins, the McManus brothers, Mooney and Huane had reduced the deficit to a single point at the break with Sligo leading by 13 points to 12. Nothing but a victory for Mayo would keep their hopes alive of reaching the final of the competition. Sligo scored the first point of the second half, but Mayo rallied and scored the next 2 points to bring the teams level. Then Mayo hit a purple patch scoring 2 goals and as many points to ease into the lead. Sligo tried their best to get back into the game but were unable to claw Mayo back. Mayo ran out easy winners in the end on a score of 2-24 to 1-20. Mayo’s final game in the group stage would be against Derry in Hastings McHale Park on Saturday the 14th of May where victory for the home side would propel them to the Christy Ring Cup Final.

Mayo took on Derry in what was for all intense and purposes a Christy Ring Cup semi-final. After an extremely disappointing League campaign Mayo put in a strong performance to see off a fancied Derry outfit and qualify for a first ever Christy Ring Cup final. The transformation in this Mayo team since the 30-point defeat by Kildare in the opening round of the competition has been nothing short of amazing. Mayo got off to a great start with Joe McManus landing the first score of the game followed by two scores from team Captain Shane Boland which had Mayo 3 points up inside three minutes. Derry then managed to find their rhythm and by the 10th minute the sides were level on 4 points apiece. Mayo were soon back in front thanks to a goal and a point from the inspirational Joe Mooney, this was a lead that Mayo would not relinquish. Mayo continued to put the squeeze on Derry and led by 1-12 to 1-8 at half time. Twenty minutes into the second half and Mayo found themselves 1-16 to 1-13 ahead. Mayo goalkeeper, Bobby Douglas, pulled off a great save to deny Derry the equaliser and from the resultant clearance, Mayo worked the ball up the field to Kenny Feeney who duly dispatched the ball to the back of the Derry net. This left Mayo 6 points clear but Derry were far from finished. Derry came roaring back and when they scored their second goal through Odhran McKeever Mayo’s lead was reduced to the bare minimum. A draw would have seen Derry qualify for the final while Mayo needed the win. Shane Boland stood up to the mark for Mayo and scored 3 of Mayo’s last four points to secure a famous victory on a scoreline of 2-23 to 1-18. Mayo had many hero’s on the day but the star was the captain Shane Boland who led by example. Mayo would be hoping to turn the tables on a strong Kildare outfit in the final.

Christy Ring Cup Final:

Mayo headed to GAA Headquarters on Saturday the 21st of May to take on Kildare in the Christy Ring Cup Final. This was the same opposition who had beaten Mayo by 30 points in the opening round of the competition. Kildare were odds on favourites to regain the Christy Ring Cup and as the result proved the Bookies very rarely get it wrong. Kildare hit the ground running and had the first point of the game courtesy of Man of the Match Gerry Keegan. Mayo responded through scores from team Captain Shane Boland and the sides were level by the 6th minute. Kildare will play two Divisions above Mayo in next years National League and their class was evident early on. Kildare’s first goal arrived in the 9th

minute through Brian Byrne and the writing was on the wall for Mayo. From there to half time Kildare put the game well and truly out of Mayo’s reach. Cathal Dowling scored Kildare’s 2nd goal in the 31st minute and by half-time they led by 2-17 to 8 points. The Mayo supporters who had travelled to the game hoped for a better performance in the second half. The second half was always going to be about saving pride for Mayo and to their credit they matched Kildare for large parts of the half. Mayo were outscored by Kildare in the 2nd half by 12 points to 11, it could be said that Kildare eased off the pedal in that 2nd half but great credit must be given to the Mayo lads who left everything on the pitch. There were some wonderful scores by Mayo in the 2nd half most notably by Keith Higgins, Shane Boland and Joe McManus. In the end Kildare won the game by 2-29 to 19 points.

Not many pundits would have given Mayo a chance of qualifying for the Christy Ring Cup Final given our disastrous League campaign, but great credit must be given to Derek Walsh and his backroom team for getting them this far. It was certainly a roller coaster year for the Hurlers but one I’m sure they will gain much experience; they have after all retained their Christy Ring status for 2023 which can only improve our standard of Hurling. On behalf of the Board I wish to thank the players for their efforts during the year and also thank Derek Walsh and his backroom team for the work they put in during the year.

County Competitions

Connacht Gold Senior Football Championship:

This was the first year of the split season which meant our Club Championships did not begin until the first weekend in September. Knockmore Team were the reigning Senior Champions and fancied by many to retain their title, other names mentioned were Westport, Ballina Stephenites and Castlebar Mitchels. The group games didn’t really throw up any surprises and all games were well attended as patrons finally got back to watching Club Championship Football. At the end of the group stages the following teams qualified for the quarter finals, Westport v Garrymore, Ballina v Claremorris, Castlebar v Knockmore and Ballintubber v Breaffy. The standout game of the quarter finals was the paring of Castle Mitchels v Knockmore, with the Mitchels winning the game by 12 points to 11 thereby ending Knockmore’s dream of a 3 in a row.

The semi-finals threw up 2 exciting parings with Westport pitted against neighbours Castlebar while Enda Gilvarry’s Ballintubber would take on his home Club of Ballina.

The Westport v Castlebar game went down to the wire with Westport winning a thrilling contest on a score line of 1-11 to 1-10. Ballina managed to turn the tables on their former Manager and ran out easy enough winners on a score line of 3-10 to 1-10.

The final was played in Hastings Insurance McHale Park on Sunday the 30th of October between Ballina Stephenites who had captured the Moclair Cup on 36 occasions and Westport who were bidding for their first Senior County title. Westport won the eagerly awaited contest on a score line of 1-9 to 1-6. Westport had to work hard for their victory as they frustrated the Ballina ball players and starved them of possession. A fantastic crowd of 7,187 turned to see a game that never really ignited as it was a tight tactical game from start

to finish. Westport finished the stronger and outscored their opponents by 4 points to 1 in the final 15 minutes to lift the Moclair Cup for the very first time. It was great to see Mayo Legend Lee Keegan win his first Senior County Medal. Westport went on to represent Mayo in the Connacht Club Championship but were beaten by a better Moycullen side from Galway in the Club quarter final.

Davitts were relegated to the Intermediate grade for 2023 after losing a thrilling relegation play-off against The Neale which was decided on penalties as the sides couldn’t be separated after extra time.

Egan Jewellers Intermediate Championship:

The Intermediate Championship got underway at the beginning of September and would prove to be as exciting as the Senior grade. Ballyhaunis, Kilmeena, Bohola Moy Davitts, Hollymount Carramore, Parke Keelouges/Crimlin, Crossmolina, Louisburgh and Ballinrobe all progressed from the group stages of the Championship. Ballyhaunis, Hollymount Carramore, Kilmeena and Bohola Moy Davitts qualified for the semi-finals of the competition. The final would pit last year’s beaten finalists against the reigning All-Ireland Junior Club Champions.

The Intermediate Final was played on Saturday the 29th of September in Hastings Insurance McHale Park.

The game itself went right to the wire with Kilmeena missing three clear goal chances in the second half and on any other day if any of those chances gad gone in there would have been a different result. Kilmeena led by 6 points to 5 at half time with the swirling wind playing havoc. Ballyhaunis came out with the bit between their teeth for the second half and gradually stamped their authority on the game. Ballyhaunis ran out three-point winners on a score line of 13 points to 10. Ballyhaunis went on to represent Mayo in the Connacht Club Intermediate Championship but were beaten by Dunmore McHales of Galway.

Lahardane were relegated to the Junior ranks for 2023 after Ardnaree Sarsfields beat them on a scoreline of 1-11 to 1-10 in the relegation play-off Final.

The TF Royal Hotel and Theatre Junior Championships:

This year’s Junior A Championship commenced at the begining of September with last years finalists Cill Chomain many people’s favourites to claim the trophy. Islandeady, Killala

Tuar Mhic Eadaigh and Ardagh were also fancied to feature prominently.

Cill Chomain, Killala, Shrule/Glencorrib and Islandeady all qualified for the semi-finals of the competition having come through their respective quarter finals.

The Junior A Final was contested between Cill Chomain and Islandeady on Sunday the 30th of October in Hastings Insurance McHale Park. Islandeady were the stronger team on the day and a strong third quarter saw them edge closer to victory. Cill Chomain threw the kitchen sink at Islandeady but it wasn’t enough. Islandeady ran out easy winners on a scoreline of 2-11 to 1-7.

Islandeady went on to represent Mayo in the Connacht Club Junior Championship but lost out to the Galway Champions, Clifden, on a score line of 1-10 to 11 points.

The Exclusive Junior B Final took place between Achill and Moygownagh on Saturday the 29th of September in Hastings Insurance McHale Park. Achill proved too strong for a brave Moygownagh outfit winning on a score line of 2-12 to 1-6.

The other Junior Championship Competition winners were as follows: New Junior A – Ballina Stephenites B, New Junior B – Bohola Moy Davitts B and New Junior C – Kilmeena B.

The County League Competitions Commenced on the first weekend in June with Divisions 1 to 5 divided into A and B Sections.

The League winners were as follows;

Division 1 – Castlebar Mitchels,

Division 2 – Davitts,

Division 3 – Bonniconlon,

Division 4 – Charlestown B,

Division 5 – Westport C

The Michael Walsh League winners were as follows;

Senior – Beal an Mhuirthead

Intermediate – Parke Keelouges/Crimlin

Junior - Swinford

Comortás Péil na Gaeltachta:

The Comortas Competition was played in mid-March with Beal an Mhuirthead getting a walk over against Kiltane in the Senior and Cill Chomain securing the Junior title with a comfortable victory over Achill

Bord na nOg:

Bord na nÓg competitions took place throughout the year and I wish to acknowledge the effort of the Bord na nOg Executive Committee with a special mention for Daithi Gallagher and Ronan Kirrane. Ronan is finishing his term as Secretary of Bord na nOg and I wish to acknowledge his work over the past 5 years.

The Chairman and Secretary of Bord na nOg, will deal with matters in more detail in their respective reports.

Sub Committees:


The CCC Committee continues to run the Football and Hurling competitions within the County with Con Moynihan in the Chair. The work that this Committee carries out throughout the year goes largely unnoticed by the general public. It is extremely challenging organising fixtures, venues, and referees throughout the season. The Committee also has to deal with disciplinary issues which at times can be challenging I wish to acknowledge the efforts of each member of the Committee for the extremely difficult work they carried out during the year.

I wish to thank the Hearings Committee under Chairman Brendan Byrne and Secretary Tod O’Mahony who are always available, sometimes at very short notice, to adjudicate on matters.


Declan O’Reilly is our Coaching Officer and works closely with Billy McNicholas on all Coaching matters within the County. A tremendous amount of work was carried out with our Academy teams during the year, and I would like to thank all the Coaches involved. Kieran Kilkenny was appointed as a Performance GDA for Mayo GAA. Adrian Hession left his role as the Hurling Coach and at present Mayo GAA have advertised the position and hope to make an appointment shortly. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Adrian for all his work with Hurling within the County over the years and Mayo GAA wish him well in the future.

I wish to thank Declan for all the work he has done in this area over the past twelve months.


Mayo GAA handball operated under the stewardship of Gemma O’Malley and a very hard-working committee. Michael Heraty is the Handball Delegate to the board, and I would like to thank Gemma, Michael and their committee in a sometimes a forgotten piece of the GAA jigsaw and I believe more needs to be done by Mayo GAA to promote the game.


John Walker is our PRO and he has done a great promoting Mayo GAA through Social Media Channels during the year. John continues to keep the Mayo faithful up to date with team news fixtures and upcoming events through our social media outlets. Mayo GAA T.V. continues to go from strength to strength and we are indebted to John and his hard-working PR Committee for the service they provide. Thanks again to John and his committee for a job well done.

Connacht Council/Central Council:

Paul Cunnane and Johnny Hopkins are our Connacht Council representatives and I thank them for their work through the year. Paddy McNicholas is our Central Council delegate and has been our voice at the Management table in Croke Park. I would like to thank Paddy for his work during the year.

Planning and Development Committee:

Mary Prenty is our Planning and Development Officer. Mary has done great - work throughout the year in organising various training seminars for Club Officers. As planning and Development Officer Mary was instrumental in streamlining the GAA email addresses for Club Officers. Mary has also organised workshops on Biodiversity, Green Energy which will prove invaluable to Clubs in the years ahead. Mary was also on hand to help Clubs with developments. I would like to thank Mary and her Committee for their efforts during 2022.


Michael Diskin has looked after the infrastructure portfolio during 2022 and he oversaw the relaying of the playing surface in Hastings Insurance McHale Park. Michael also looked after other works within the ground including the installation of new lights in the Stand, repairs to the Media Tower and the booking of pitches and dressing rooms for our various teams. I wish to sincerely thank Michael for the work he has done throughout the year.

Childrens Officer:

Celia Rattigan is our Childrens Officer, and she has carried out her duties in exemplary fashion during the year. This was Celia’s first year in the role and she didn’t shy away from any of her duties. Celia was always on hand to offer advice to Clubs in relation to Garda Vetting, Child Protection issues and safeguarding courses. I wish to thank Celia for her work throughout what was at times a difficult year.


The Hurling Committee under the stewardship of Jimmy Connor and Sean Reilly continues to do great work in the promotion of Hurling within the County. Our Seniors did us proud again this year. I would like to thank Jimmy and his Committee for all their work during. Jimmy is stepping down as Hurling Chairman this year and on behalf of the Board I wish to thank him most sincerely for the work he has done during his time in the Chair.


Sean MacEil returned to the Refereeing Co-ordinators Chair for and has done a tremendous amount of work in organising referee’s and side-line Officials for games during the year. Sean has been instrumental in recruiting new referees during the year and he continues to search for new referees. Any Clubs that wish to nominate people can they please contact Sean. I wish to thank Sean for all the work he has done during 2022.


Grainne Kelly-Frayne continues to do tremendous work as our Cultural Officer. I would like to thank Grainne and her Committee for their work during the year. Work continues to go on behind the scenes in relation to our history project. The Internal picture project for Hastings Insurance McHale Park has been ongoing throughout the year by the Committee and hopefully the more pictures will be in place when Hastings Insurance McHale Park hosts our opening Division 1 Allianz League Clash with Galway at the end of January 2023. Grainne and her Committee are also responsible for Scor and again they do great work within the County promoting Scor. The All-Ireland Scor Finals were held recently in The TF Hotel in Castlebar and were a wondrful success thanks in no small part to Grainne and her “crew”

Bord na nÓg:

Bord na nÓg continue to organise underage fixtures within the County. This year Bord na nÓg administered the highest number of annual fixtures on record with approximately 2,250 fixtures held from March to early October. I know from experience that the organisation of so many fixtures coupled with venues and referees makes it one of the most demanding sub-committees within Mayo GAA. I wish to acknowledge the efforts of the Committee throughout the year.

Cairde Mhaigh Eo Fundraising:

I would like to thank our Cairde Mhaigh Eo fundraising Committee who are responsible for fundraising events throughout the year. One of the projects this Committee undertook was the “Hero’s Wall” which enabled Mayo GAA resurface Hastings Insurance McHale Park. The pitch turned out well as did the tiles on the commemorative wall. There were issues initially

with some of the tiles, but this has been rectified. There were Golf Classics held in Claremorris and Dublin which were well supported. I would like to thank Maria Staunton and her hard-working Committee for all their work on fundraising during the year. I also wish to acknowledge the significant financial contribution of Cairde Mhaigh Eo in London, your financial support is very much appreciated.

Health and Well-being:

Fran Downey Chaired our Health and Wellbeing Committee in 2022. Fran and her team worked tirelessly throughout the year to assist Clubs across the County. The promotion of the “Healthy Club programme” was very well-received by Clubs. Fran was always on hand to offer advice to Clubs. I would like to thank Fran and her Committee for their work throughout the year.


Valerie Murphy is our Treasurer and as you will see from the accounts that will be presented to Convention Mayo GAA is an extremely satisfactory financial position. I would like to thank Valerie and her Finance Committee for the work that they have done during the year by keeping a tight rein on spending and having proper procedures in place. I also wish to acknowledge the enormous amount of work Michael Diskin, our Assistant Treasurer, does in relation to the payment of Player expenses, the Club Development Draw and organising the Gatemen for our Championship. I would also like to thank our Audit and Risk Committee for the very important work they have done throughout the year.

Club Insurance and Player Injury:

I wish to acknowledge the work that Regina O’Donnell has done in this area. Regina had big shoes to fill as she replaced the late Paddy Muldoon but she has done so with the minimum

of fuss. Regina was always on hand to offer advice on Insurance matters to Clubs throughout the County. Thank you, Regina, for a job well done.

Coiste Bainistí:

Our Executive Committee continues to carry out their duties behind the scenes. I want to thank the Committee for their help during the year. I wish to acknowledge the contribution of Ronan Kirrane who is finishing his term as Assistant Secretary, Mike King who is stepping down from his role as Chairperson of the South Mayo Division and Johnny Hopkins who has completed his term as one of our Connacht Council Delegates. I want to thank them for their work over the past number of years. I also wish to acknowledge the work of my other fellow Officers for their work during 2022.

Congress 2022:

Congress 2022 was held in the Connacht Centre of Excellence. The venue was warmly welcomed by delegates. There were motions on the Clar that led to some long debates. The Motion in relation to the Championship structure was passed overwhelmingly. The motion in relation to the introduction of an inter-county U-19 competition was defeated. The

Motion in relation to allowing Counties to pick their own underage grades was defeated. This is a motion which I’m sure will resurface.

Club Development Draw:

The Cáirde Mhaigh Eo Club Development Draw, as always is an important source of income for both the County Board and Clubs alike. This year was the first year that all draws were completed on time. A total of 6,934 tickets were sold in 2022 which was up 315 compared to 2021. A total of 437 were sold on-line compared to 470 in 2021. The net value of the Draw to Clubs in 2022 was €405,270. All prize money was paid out to clubs by 30th of September 2021.

Cúl Camps:

There were over 6500 children in attendance with 52 camps held in 2022. The camps were a major success, but the recruitment of coaches is difficult and looks like that will continue in 2023. We may have to look at capping camps due to the ratios of coaches to children. Overall the camps were great success. A big thank you must go to our full time and part time Coaches, Clubs, Parents and in particular the children for making them a most enjoyable experience for all concerned.


I would like to thank our Chief Steward, Gerry Bourke, and all Stewards for all their help at our games during 2022. It was a difficult year for our Stewards as all of Mayo’s “home” Leagues games were played away from Hastings Insurance McHale Park. Our Stewards had to travel to grounds in Sligo, Carrick on Shannon and Roscommon and we were fortunate that many of our Stewards had worked at these grounds previously with the Connacht Council. Training and recruitment of new Stewards will continue during 2023. If any person is interested in becoming a Steward, can they please contact Gerry Bourke. I would also like to thank our gatemen and gate women for the tremendous work they do throughout the year.


A sincere thank you to all our sponsors whose financial support throughout the year has proved invaluable to the County Board.

Connacht Gold sponsored the Senior Football Championship, Egan Jewellers sponsored the Intermediate Championship and the TF Hotel sponsored the Junior Championship. Homeland continued to sponsor our underage competitions and Smyths Toys have continued their sponsorship of the underage academies.

To the Companies and individuals that sponsor signage around the pitch in McHale Park I thank you one and all for your continued support.

Elvery’s continue to be our main sponsor and I want to thank them and Pat Rowland for all their help.

Portwest continued their sponsorship for 2022 and we within Mayo GAA are grateful for their financial support.

Hasting Insurance have come on board as one of our major sponsors. During the year McHale Park was renamed as Hastings Insurance McHale Park and again Mayo GAA are very appreciative of the financial support from Hastings Insurance.

Corduff Travel continue to be our Travel Partners for which we are thankful.

Smyths Toys renewed their support of the academies in 2022 and I would also like to thank them for their continued financial support It is great to see successful local businesses putting money back into the Community via Mayo GAA.


During the past year we lost some people who had devoted their lives to the GAA and more importantly Mayo GAA, we remember them all in our thoughts.To all those who suffered bereavement during the year may I, on behalf of Mayo GAA, offer our sincere condolences to all.


This is my final report to you as Runaí of Coiste Chontae Mhaigheo. The past 5 years have been very rewarding but also challenging at times. The role of the Runai is an enormous one and should not be underestimated. I have met some wonderful people and made some lifelong friends along the way. I have always tried to help Clubs in any way that I could and if I have offended any individual or Club I do sincerely apologise. There are a number of individuals who have tried their best to undermine the workings of Mayo GAA in the past number of years. These individuals, who don’t deserve to be named, are not GAA people and have no place in Mayo GAA and never will.

There were several highlights during my term as Runai most notably winning the National League title in 2019. The trip to New York in 2019 was also memorable where the highlight of the trip was undoubtedly the sizable Mayo crowd in Times Square on the Saturday evening singing the Green and Red of Mayo it was a sight that will live long in the memory of those who were present. We also celebrated Mayo Day in New York on that trip with a visit to the Famine Memorial Garden. Other highs were the All-Ireland finals in 2020 and 2021 which we lost unfortunately.

Convention this year will see a few changes in personnel, with Ronan Kirrane, Johnny Hopkins and myself moving on having completed our respective terms in office. I wish to thank my fellow officers for their assistance over the years. I would like to particularly like to acknowledge the Chairpersons who I have served under, Mike Connolly, Liam Moffatt and Seamus Tuohy and also our former Treasurer Kevin O’Toole.

The loan repayments on Hastings Insurance McHale Park continue to be a huge strain on the finances of the Board. We have actively engaged in dialogue with the Finance Department in Croke Park and have agreed on an extended repayment plan which will ease our financial burden.

To the media, Western People, Connaught Telegraph, Mayo News and Mayo Advertiser I thank you most sincerely for your coverage of both our games and meetings during the year.

A big thank you to Mid-West Radio who continue to broadcast many of our games throughout the year to people at home but more importantly to the Mayo diaspora spread all over the world. I would also like to thank An Garda Siochana, Murray Ambulance and the Order of Malta who provide a valuable service on match days not only in McHale Park but throughout the County.

I wish to thank Phil Heneghan who continues to have the facilities in Hastings Insurance McHale Park in tip top condition.

To John Prenty and his staff in the Connacht Council I thank you for your help during my term as Runai and for all the advice you offered me during that time it is very much appreciated.

To Tom Ryan, Bernard Smith, Fergal McGill and the staff in Croke Park, thank you for your assistance during the past 5 years, it wasn’t always plain sailing, but we have remained friends and I thank you for that.

I wish to thank most sincerely our Administrator, Michael Cummins, for all the work he does behind the scenes. Michael, as always, puts in many long hours in the Office in order to keep the operation running smoothly. Michael is an invaluable asset to Mayo GAA and I thank him most sincerely for his help, advice and friendship over the past 5 years.

It has been a huge honour and privilege for me to have been your Runai for the past 5 years, I would like to thank my own Club Crossmolina Deel Rovers for nominating and supporting me over the years.

Finally, I wish to thank my wife Sarah for allowing the time to carry out my duties with Mayo GAA. Without Sarah’s help, support and understanding I don’t believe I would have been able to complete my 5-year term, she has been my rock and I will be eternally grateful to her.

If I have omitted to mention anyone I sincerely apologise.

I want to wish you all a healthy and prosperous 2023 and let’s hope it’s a good one for Mayo GAA.

Thank you one and all,

Mile buiochas,

Diarmúid dé Buitléir Runaí