Northern Ireland news

Former Tyrone PRO Eugene McConnell to stand for Sinn Féin in local government election

21 October 2022; In attendance during the GAA Champion 15 Awards at Croke Park in Dublin, are, from left, Tyrone Press Officer Eugene McConnell, Tyrone hurler Chris Kearns, Sean Casey, father of the late Tyrone hurler Damian Casey, and Aodhan McHugh. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***.

A FORMER Tyrone GAA official who bore much of the brunt of outrage over the cost of live streaming county finals is to stand for election.

Eugene McConnell, who until recently acted as the county's PRO, will stand as a Sinn Féin candidate for Mid Ulster Council in May's local government election.

The former Eire Og's player, who late last year made an unsuccessful bid to be county chairman, will stand in the Clogher Valley DEA.

In December 2021, former civil servant Mr McConnell revealed that he, his family, and friends were subjected to “horrendous and vile abuse” over the cost of live streaming county finals.

Despite privately conceding that the charge was too high, the then Tyrone county PRO publicly defended the £16 charge for the senior final between Dromore and Coalisland.

Mr McConnell was regarded as the main driver behind a rapid increase in followers of Tyrone social media platforms.

“For me communications was a key element on setting out our standards on all we do as a county, and I sincerely hope over the course of the five years at the helm I have managed to do justice to how we communicate and how we get our message out to all Gaels everywhere," he told The Irish News in December.

“From day one in the role, I set out as one of my main goals to improve all our social media platforms and to reach out to as many as possible via the many forms of social media.”

The former Red Hand PRO also placed emphasis on promotion and coverage of hurling, ladies' football and handball.

Northern Ireland news