The race to become the next president of the GAA has attracted two more runners with Armagh’s Jarlath Burns and Offaly’s Pat Teehan lacing up for the contest.
Both were nominated by their respective county on Tuesday night and now join Niall Erskine, who was proposed by Donegal in September, as candidates to succeed Larry McCarthy.
This is the second time Burns is running for the presidency, having lost out to McCarthy in 2020. McCarthy will step down as president at GAA Congress in 2024, but his successor will be confirmed following a vote at next year’s gathering.
Burns, who captained Armagh to an Ulster senior football title in 1999, is principal of St Paul’s High School in Bessbrook. Burns served as chairman of Silverbridge Harps between 2012-15 and is currently Armagh’s delegate to Ulster Council. Over the years he has served on a number of the GAA’s national committees, including chairing the Standing Committee on Playing Rules between 2015-18. His son, Jarlath Óg, is a member of the current Armagh squad.
“Jarlath has a profound knowledge of all aspects of the GAA, both at home and abroad. As administrator at all levels, he has remained true to the values which inform and enrich our association, while never failing to challenge it where he sees that the integrity of the association and its games are at stake,” said Armagh chairman Michael Savage.
“In an environment in which the GAA is under intense daily scrutiny and where communication skills are vital, he would be an articulate public defender and advocate of the association and a strong voice for modern and progressive action.
“It is for these reasons that Armagh GAA proudly propose Jarlath Burns, certain in the knowledge that he will make an outstanding Uachtarán CLG.”
Teehan, from the Coolderry club, is currently Leinster Council chairman having previously filled the positions of provincial PRO and vice chairman. He was Offaly chairman from 2008-2012 and also served as the county’s PRO in the past.
“[Pat] is a hugely committed worker for the GAA who has developed the necessary knowledge and experience at all levels to drive the association forward in the coming years,” said current Offaly chairman Michael Duignan.
Erskine is chairman of the GAA’s World Council. He was previously a GAA trustee and Donegal’s Central Council delegate. A native of Killybegs, Erskine also served as London GAA secretary and assistant secretary in the past.
Given how close he came to succeeding in 2020, Burns will be hoping to secure enough support to get over the line next year. However, the fact there are two candidates from Ulster muddies the ballot waters somewhat as it could see a splitting of votes in the province rather than the block uniting behind one nominee.