ELECTED: Killarney Celtic’s Padraig Harnett has been elected on to the FAI’s National Council.

Killarney Celtic lost out on becoming the FAI Club of the Year on Friday night – but will take consolation that one of its members has been elected to the governing body’s National Council.

By Sean Moriarty

The local soccer club was one of six clubs short-listed for the prestigious title. Members were invited to attend the association’s AGM weekend in Trim, County Meath last weekend where they took part in a series of promotional tasks in front of a judging panel on Friday.

Although deemed highly commendable by the judges, the Killarney club lost out to Colmanstown FC of Galway.

“It was disappointing for us not to win,” Club Chair Paul Sherry told the Killarney Advertiser. “I felt we did a very strong presentation, but we were not the lucky one of the six. It was a tight run thing but when you get to the top six there can be very little in it.”

The clubs spirits were lifted on Saturday when it emerged that former club chair Padraig Harnett had been elected on to the National Council.

Following the acceptance of the Governance Report by the members of the FAI at the weekend’s AGM, a number of changes have come into place including the women’s game having its participation levels on the National Council increased from two to four to reflect the growth of that side of the game.

Harnett, who is Chair of the South West Regional Women’s Committee and the Kerry Schoolboys Girls League, was selected to fill one of these seats alongside Frances Smith, Lorraine Counihan and Marie Price Bolger.

“These are important times for change in the FAI and I am delighted to be on the Council to help oversee the recommendations of the Governance Report,” said Harnett, who is also a former FAI PRO of the Year.

Harnett is also the founder of the new Rose Bowl girls’ soccer tournament that will run alongside the International Rose of Tralee Festival this year.

Kerry now has two representatives on the Council with John O’Regan being a long-time member through the Munster Football Association.