Éamon O'Connor appointed GUI's new Ulster chairman
DONEGAL resident Éamon O'Connor was appointed chairman at the GUI Ulster Branch annual delegates meeting, held in Shandon Park Golf Club, after a glowing tribute from outgoing boss Peter Sinclair, who proposed O'Connor's nomination on behalf of the council.
Knock clubman Sinclair traced O'Connor's path through the ranks, from his move to Donegal from his native New Ross, and described him as one of the most genuine men he had ever met. He praised him for the work he has done for the Ulster Branch in his many roles, including honorary secretary. In seconding the motion, Donegal Club delegate Manus Brennan spoke of the herculean work that Eamon did in helping to upgrade the Murvagh links from a nine hole course to an 18 holes championship track.
The new chairman's maiden speech was short as he said: "I never heard so much rubbish in my life."
He, of course, thanked the delegates for their support and he wished Peter Sinclair all the very best as he now moves on to become President-Elect of the Golfing Union of Ireland.
There was a further shuffle of chairs at the meeting as Armagh man John White moved up to the Honorary Secretary's position and Alasdair Gibson (Knock) takes over as Honorary Treasurer. Norman Bennett (Holywood), however, remains as Honorary Match Secretary because of his intimate knowledge of the intricate rules of golf.
Players will have to pay a little more in future as a motion from the branch, asking that the provincial levy be increased by £2 to £5.50 (€3 to €7) from this month was passed. A motion proposed by the Leinster Council that team members in the Fred Daly Trophy be reduced from seven to five was defeated.
Presentations were made to Order of Merit winners: U18 Peter Kerr (Royal Portrush); U16 David Cunningham (Tandragee) and U14 Odran Maguire (Slieve Russell) by former Ulster Branch and ex-GUI President Peter O'Hara and sponsor Andrew Morris.
With three youth grades now, rather than two, Andrew Morris has agreed to sponsor all three and stated: "I'm very pleased to be supporting junior golf as I have seen many juniors move on to greater things."
A detailed and comprehensive update on the Confederation of Golf in Ireland was given by Rory Leonard while Ivor McCandless spoke on the Implementation of the new GUI Strategy.
Chairman: É O'Connor (Donegal); honorary secretary: J White (Co Armagh); honorary treasurer: A Gibson (Knock); honorary match secretary: N Bennett (Holywood); GUI president elect: P Sinclair (Knock); Provincial Council: T Jones (Belvoir Pk), D McNeill (Cairndhu), N Agate (Malone), S McBurney (Massereene), D Irwin (Rathmore); Match & Handicapping Committee: T Cassidy (Dunmurry), K Logan (Edenmore), D Ervine (Greenisland), J Wilson (Loughgall); delegates to GUI Central Council: R Archibald (Shandon Pk). T Magee (Clandeboye).