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GAA Football

Jarlath Burns not in the running for GAA Director General position

Jarlath Burns will allow his name to go forward as a candidate to succeed new GAA President John Horan after his three-year term of office ends in 2021
Andy Watters

JARLATH Burns will not be the next Director General of the GAA.

It has been reported that Burns was in the running to succeed Paraic Duffy (who retires next month after 10 years in office) as Ard Stiurthoir but the Silverbridge native has confirmed to The Irish News that he hasn’t applied for the position. Liam Sheedy and Alan Milton have also been linked to the post.

Former Armagh skipper Burns will allow his name to go forward as a candidate to succeed new GAA President John Horan after his three-year term of office ends in 2021.

Dubliner Horan said he intended to be a “champion of the people” during his time at the helm of the GAA after he was installed by outgoing president Aogan O Fearghail at Annual Congress in Croke Park on Saturday.

Horan, a life-long member of the Na Fianna club, is the GAA’s 39th president and the first Dublin-born Gael to hold the office since Daniel McCarthy was the Association’s seventh president from 1921 to 1924

“This is a very proud day for myself, my family, my club Na Fianna and also for my county,” said Horan, principal of St Vincent’s CBS.

“I remain deeply humbled and privileged to have the honour of Uachtaran bestowed upon me by our Association.

“It’s very fitting that I should take office at a congress staged here in Croke Park of all places. I was born and reared on Marguerite Road, just a couple long pucks from here and that magical, unmistakable rumbling noise of the crowds at Croke Park was the soundtrack to my childhood and helped capture my imagination.”

Horan said that, for him, the GAA is about its volunteers, the people who give up their time to drive the Association forward.

“The GAA in many different things, but ultimately it is about people and when we reflect on our time in the GAA we end up reflecting on people who have shaped and shared our journey with us,” he said.

“My wish over my time as Uachtaran is to champion the people who make the GAA what it is. Be that players, referees, coaches, administrators or members. I would like to ensure that whatever decisions we are faced with that we have GAA people foremost in our minds.

“Having parents who hailed from Wexford and Laois meant that love for Gaelic Games was ever present in our house growing up. Alongside the dedication of the Christian Brothers and lay teachers of St Vincent’s, it was the volunteers of Na Fianna GAC who lit a flame and an interest in Gaelic Games inside me and my friends.”

Horan intends to initiate a review of county development squad which are now commonplace throughout the country.

“I have a concern about the manner in which these squads are being allowed to grow beyond all measure,” he said.

“The development squads, in my view, are starting too early and we need to row back from creating a level of elitism in young players which is unhealthy for our games.”

He added: “These players are being taken away from their clubs for long periods and there can be a detrimental effect on young players who end up being cast aside from these squads after a few years.

“In some instances they are under unnecessary pressure and are being deemed a failure before they have even graduated from minor.

“We’ve gone down the wrong track and we cannot fly in the face of best practice in terms of developing talent across all levels where the emphasis at underage level needs to be about participation and enjoyment.”

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