Louth GAA Convention

Q&A | Peter Fitzpatrick on why he is running for Louth GAA chairman, his manifesto and priorities

Peter Fitzpatrick talks to Caoimhín Reilly

Caoimhín Reilly

Reporter:

Caoimhín Reilly

Email:

caoimhin.reilly@dundalkdemocrat.ie

Q&A | Peter Fitzpatrick on why he is running for Louth GAA chairman, his manifesto and priorities

Peter Fitzpatrick managed Louth to the 2010 Leinster final, having served as a player across previous decades. Now he wants to become County Board chairman. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)

WHY ARE YOU RUNNING FOR CHAIRMAN?
I just think this is a great opportunity for someone new to come in.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE, IF ELECTED?
I think the most important thing at the moment is to have a look and see what goals we need to set going forward. Louth football is definitely not where is should be; I think there is more potential in Louth. We’ve Wayne Kierans in as the senior manager: I’d like to sit down with him and ask him what we, as a County Board, can do to help him going forward. In underage football, we have to put a template together and get Louth’s underage structure back up and running, and get some pride back.

HAVE YOU A MANIFESTO?
We haven’t done any fundraising over the last couple of years and you have to spend to make progress. I want to sit down with the senior manager, the clubs and the development squad coaches, and get good people involved. It’s about time that Louth, instead of looking for excuses, get off of our backsides and put a big effort in. The effort has to come from everybody. That’s my manifesto.

WHERE DO YOU FEEL LOUTH GAA IS AT AT THE MOMENT?
Since 2010, Louth had an opportunity to go forward that we have missed.

WHERE, THEN, DOES YOUR IMMEDIATE PRIORITY LIE?
I’m not going to say we’re going to do all this in two, three or four years. It’s now. I would love to sit down with Wayne Kierans, the clubs, the development squads… I’m full of energy and enthusiasm. I think this is an opportunity with the new stadium coming and the new stadium is very important. I want to see Louth seniors back steady in Division Two, and pushing for Division One. I would like to see a provincial title, if not an All-Ireland, at underage level. I think we’ve got the talent, but I feel the structure of club football is something we have to look at. Too many parts of the year there is no football; other parts there is too much. We’ve a lot of clever individuals and we need to sit down together and work a plan out.

HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN HELP THE COUNTY GROUNDS DEVELOPMENT?
I’ve never worked with such a hard-working committee. The stadium people are fantastic and, please God, if I’m chairman, I’ll be out there looking for good people who want to get involved with Louth GAA because it’s going to take a lot of different individuals to get this thing up and running.

HOW CAN LOUTH'S DECLINE AT INTER-COUNTY LEVEL BE ARRESTED?
We need to get everybody involved. We need the best players to play and if they’re not making themselves available, we need to see why. I’d like to see the Louth Supporters’ Club back for one and if I can get everybody behind the wheel going forward, I will do that. The big problem I see at the minute is a lack of funding. We’ve done no fundraising over the last few years and for us to achieve our goals, we’re going to have to get some funding. There is a lot of goodwill from all over and we need to start tapping into that.

CAN YOU PROMISE LOUTH GAELS ANYTHING?
If I’m chairman, I’ll guarantee 200 percent commitment. I will leave no stone unturned. I love GAA. I played for Louth for 16 years, captained the team for five years and was manager for three years. I’m a real sports man, but I love the GAA. I’ll spare nothing for the GAA people of Louth.

CLICK HERE FOR FRA KIERAN'S INTERVIEW.

- THE DEMOCRAT EXTENDED THE OFFER OF AN INTERVIEW TO DECLAN BYRNE, BUT RECEIVED NO RETURN COMMUNICATION.