Treacy Takes Chairman’s Role

Padraig Pearses clubman and former politician Noel Treacy made a dramatic return to the world of GAA administration at the Claregalway Hotel last Thursday night when he was elected Chairman of the Galway County Board at its 2011 convention. The return to active duty in the GAA after a thirty-year absence due to a political career which saw the Gurteen man reach the post of Junior Minister of State is a remarkable achievement. However while it was a night of triumph for the new chairman, it was quite the opposite for his beaten opponent John Fahey who was the only other candidate in the contest.
Not only did Fahey lose the vote but he did so by a considerable margin, 114 to 49. That was quite a surprise to most pundits who had expected a close run battle. The St. Thomasandamp;rsquo; clubman, who has given 35 years of dedicated service to hurling in Galway and Connacht as coach, delegate and administrator and who served for six years as Secretary of the Hurling Board, was entitled to be disappointed.
In wishing Noel Treacy well, Fahey admitted that andamp;ldquo;I knew that I was up against a machineandamp;rdquo; and that while he had made many friends during his career as an officer, andamp;ldquo;I must have made enemies too.andamp;rdquo; He also withdrew his name from the race for the right to represent Galway as a Connacht Council delegate. In complete contrast, the night represented a huge turnaround in fortune for Treacy after he had been forced to stand down from Dail Eireann because of ill-health at the last General Election earlier this year.
However he was happy to confirm to the club delegates and officers that he was again in good form thanks to the efforts of doctors in Galway who he declared andamp;ldquo;were as good as any in the world.andamp;rdquo; Speaking extensively in Irish as well as English, he said: andamp;ldquo; I was born in a GAA house, I live in a GAA house and I hope to die in a GAA house.andamp;rdquo;
He was initially reluctant to run in the election to replace Gerry Larkin, but was urged to do so by many delegates and it was only after much thought and consultation with his family and considering his current good health that he allowed his name to go forward. He looked on the chairmanship of the County Board as a andamp;ldquo;huge honour for meandamp;rdquo; and was proud to have been elected despite andamp;ldquo;having done no deals with anybody or any club.andamp;rdquo;
Treacy relished the new position and its challenges but in the euphoria of success, he was quick to praise his vanquished opponent. andamp;ldquo;I have known John Fahey since he first became a teacher in St. Killianandamp;rsquo;s Vocational School,andamp;rdquo; he stated, and then praised his record both as a teacher, as a hurling coach and officer.
Treacy joined the Gurteen-Ballymacward club in 1966 and has remained a staunch member ever since. He was later to become a founder member of the clubandamp;rsquo;s football wing, St. Kerrillandamp;rsquo;s. Despite a thirty year absence from official duties in the organisation, he was always a familiar figure wherever and whenever Galway played in both big and small ball codes.
Noel Carney, Connacht Tribiune, Dec 22, 2011