LONG-SERVING Pat Quill has officially succeeded Geraldine Giles as President of the Ladies' Gaelic Football Association.
Last year in Athlone, Pat was selected as President-elect, taking over the mantle of President at last weekend's gathering of the Association in Newry, Co. Down.
Pat, a native of Castletownbere in Co. Cork, has been involved with ladies' football in Wexford since the late 1970s and previously served as Association President between 1985 and 1988.
On the local scene, Pat has been a long-serving member of the Shelmalier ladies' football club, and also has served in officer positions in the county.
He has not just confined himself to the executive positions, as he has also been to the forefront in coaching, managing and acting as a selector with various Wexford inter-county and provincial sides over many years.
Now setting out on a second term as President, Pat sees many new challenges which were possibly not there during his previous term at the helm back in the 1980s.
'With the economic downturn we have been listening to doom and gloom, and now we must try tod turn the negatives into positives. There's a lot of unemployment out there, with many people out of work through no fault of their own. Now we must encourage people to become involved in sport, give them an opportunity to get out, and also promote active participation by everyone.
'We have a number of development projects to be rolled out, such as coaching courses, getting parents who drop children off at clubs for coaching to become involved, helping those people, encouraging parents to become involved and make them feel a part of it.
'We have set up clubs where there was no ladies' football previously. We've ran coaching and blitz events, helped such clubs with assistance in the basic rules, while we have also this inter-linked so these people become involved in administration. These people have also brought in new ideas.'
On the dual player, Pat also feels there is scope to accomodate such players.
'If they want to play both codes, ladies' football and camogie, I've no doubt this can be accommodated. We've just got to sit down and come up with a system, something I believe can be achieved.'
Pat was also glowing in his praise of the role played by both G.A.A. President, Nickey Brennan, and Ard Stiurthóir, Páraic Duffy, over the past 18 months in having the G.A.A. integration policy implemented.
'Both have done marvellous work. Meetings have been held around the country and counties have to report back to Croke Park. The G.A.A. are now taking this very seriously.'
With 132,000 members and over 1,000 clubs, Pat is also anxious that National Schools, Post Primary Schools and Third Level Colleges take up their place at County Board level which they are entitled to.
'At the moment we have 16 full-time staff around the country and it's important to have interaction between full-time staff and volunteers as we need this.'
Congratulations also to Liz Quill on retaining her position on the National Appeals Comittee and also to Peter Rice St.Fintans on retaining his position as National Treasurer and also his posiiton on the National Disciplinary Committee.