Duhallow clubs' rising stock applauded by Lynch
A NUMBER of Duhallow teams basking in the warm glow generated by county triumph were commended by secretary Steven Lynch at the Duhallow GAA Convention.
From many great games, keen rivalry and upsets surfaced before the destination of the major prizes were determined.
"The year under review has again been a most successful season with no fewer than three county titles won in league and championship. And with a bit of fortune, a number of others could had been added," Lynch said.
Paying tribute to the divisional senior football, he said the management of Ned English and Paddy Gleeson brought a new dimension to their approach and the players responded magnificently.
"They sacrificed alot to be part of Ned's set up and between club, county and divisional games, they were really tested, especially towards the business end when extra-ordinary demands were placed on them. Not a complaint from any but they continued about their schedule and were oh so close to ultimate glory. Hopefully, they can stay together for 2013 with a few new faces on board", he said.
The Secretary lauded a loyal band of referees for their sterling service to the Association.
"Unfortunately, we face a shortage unless we can encourage people to take up the whistle. On a number of occasions during the year, referees from outside the division had to be sourced. We need new refs to take on the mantle", he said.
Board Treasurer Tony McAulliffe outlined a detailed financial summary and the extension of sponsorship across championships and leagues contributed significantly to the board's wellbeing. However, a hefty deficit on divisional teams coupled with a shortfall of €8,500 on gate receipts contributed to a €9,911 deficit that lightens the load on resources.
"The advent of Sunday afternoon live television games has implications and hosting our divisional hurling final on a Saturday afternoon wasn't appealing. A serious look is needed at arranging championship fixtures. We must look at staging games at most advantageous timing to draw in numbers", he said.
Chairman Richard Murphy concurred on declaring its the Board's intentions to play their premier divisional finals on a Sunday in 2013.
"It's traditionally a big day for the division and the participating teams", he said.
County Treasurer Pearse Murphy congratulated all involved in the efficient running of affairs within Duhallow and commended clubs on their outstanding facilities, the ongoing maintenance and development that's reaping benefits.
On the subject of raising finances, Mr. Murphy preached that key club games are condensed into a short time period thus reducing attendances.
"To entice patrons to attend games, the programme of games needs to be streamlined. And to maximise returns, a culture of taking up gates is important", he said.
Development Officer Seán McAulliffe related much work on sanding pitches had taken place yet the cost for maintenance at €10,000 per field is a huge burden. Improved facilities for substitutes such as moving "dug outs" outside the perimeter of pitches will help to avoid crowding along sidelines.
Cultural Officer Jerry Doody spoke of the progress and rate of success enjoyed by Duhallow clubs in Scór at county, provincial and national levels.
"In the year ahead, the social Initiative Scheme which the GAA operates under the patronage of the President of Ireland will fall into the cultural portfolio", he said.
Board President Frank Healy hailed the achievements on the field that gathered success for clubs. At inter county level, the unique achievement of Anthony Nash and Aidan Walsh on capturing All Star Awards and Donncha O'Connor selection as Munster Footballer of the Year were most deserving.
Mr. Healy spoke of the huge developments undertaken by clubs compared to the 1940/50s's where clubs relied on the goodwill of farmers to provide fields.
"The huge club developments of grounds, dressing rooms, complexes to second pitches and lighting is a credit to the foresight of so many people. Some of them have passed on, their contribution immense on making the GAA a healthier association", he said.
The 2013 Officer Board is President: Frank Healy (Kanturk), Chairman: Richard Murphy (Lyre/Banteer), Vice Chairman: Joe Kearns (Kanturk), Secretary: Steven Lynch (Boherbue), Treasurer: Tony McAulliffe (Lismire), Development Officer: Seán McAulliffe (Kilbrin); Cultural Officer: Jerrry Doody (Millstreet); PRO John Tarrant (Millstreet).
Proceedings opened with a Mass celebrated by Kilbrin's Fr. Michael Campbell and delegates were welcomed to Kanturk by club chairman Joe Kerins.