By Kieran Murphy
CLONMORE clubman, Jim Bolger, has put himself forward as a candidate to become President of the GAA. The election takes place at National Congress in Croke Park in 2020. If successful he would assume the role of President elect and would take up the position of President the following year.
His nomination has to be ratified by Carlow GAA but this is just a formality.
In front of members of the Clonmore club and officers of the Carlow County Board, he officially launched his campaign at his home club, Clonmore, on Thursday.
The Chartered Safety Practitioner and Associate Lecturer has extensive administrative experience in the GAA having served as treasurer of Leinster Council and is currently completing three years as vice-chairman of Leinster. He is currently set to complete his third year as chairman.
He faces stiff opposition from four other candidates in Jerry O’Sullivan from Cork, Mick Rock former Connaught chairman, former Armagh footballer Jarlath Burns and Corkman, Larry McCarthy who is associated with the GAA in New York.
Bolger says that from the moment he got involved in Leinster it was always an option for him to go for president.
“It wasn’t sudden. From the time you go into these positions people ask will you make President some day? It is always in the back of your mind if the opportunity arose. I am honoured to be able to say I have the credentials to put my name into the hat so to speak,” the Clonmore man said.
He has a broad vision for the GAA but feels help is needed at grass roots level where volunteers put so much time into the organisation.
“There is a lot of bureaucracy or red-tape involved around being a club officer at present or a county officer at present. Support is needed for data protection and GDPR for example. Support with health and safety and child protection,” he pointed out.
He is hoping his message will appeal to voters in the coming months.
“What I am about if it resonates with the wider GAA public then I have an opportunity,” he said.