Faythe Harriers snub for 'Club of the Year' award
First things first, it's not Cloughbawn's fault that they were crowned Club of the Year at the Coiste na nÓg G.A.A. Convention.
It's always intriguing to know how a committee arrives at its final decision, but sure as always, a final decision will always provoke lots of talk as to the merits of the winner, or a club(s) left behind.
Cloughbawn had a successful enough year on the playing fields, but after all the winning of an All-Ireland title merits extra consideration.
It's an intriguing situation to develop that Faythe Harriers who brought the only All-Ireland title back to the Model County when winning the national Féile under-16 title, the first Model County club since Oulart The Ballagh, failed to merit the accolade of club of the year, but even more startling did not figure among the runners-up.
The conventional wisdom is that the accolade should have come down to straight contest between themselves, having also won the Wexford Premier under-16 hurling title, and St. Martin's. who completed a unique double in winning the Minor hurling and Football Premier titles.
After all their achievements could not be surpassed. The expectation was that Faythe Harriers having set the national Féile alight with their marvellous displays en-route to eventual glory, would be runaway winners of the county accolade.
Ultimately the story of the pundits rise, like most stories these days, might just be about achievements of a club not just on the pitch but also off it, but irrespective of the happenings outside the playing arena, one cannot be seen to degrade the winning of an All-Ireland title, for Wexford are limited in this aspect of the game.
We operate in an era when it's all about winning. The expectations for all club's are always there but it was both Faythe Harriers and St. Martin's who achieved success at the highest levels.
However, it's the winning of a national title, that swing the matter the way of the Wexford town club. It deserved more than just a token presentation from Coiste na nÓg.
Cloughbawn had their share of success at local level but it was mostly through the lower grades, but crucially they were unable to deliver at a higher level. While, no doubt, there is merit in their achievement, they fall considerably short of the achievements of Faythe Harriers in particular.
Perhaps the committee of Liam Roche, Seamus O'Toole and Kevin Geoghegan, under the Chairmanship of Joe Sheehan, have a legitimate explanation as to why an All-Ireland winning club failed to merit the winning of the Club of the Year award.
This adds further to the turmoil which Coiste na nÓg now finds itself in with three board members, Bobby Goff (Chairman), Angela McCormack (Secretary), and Noel O'Keeffe (Treasurer) having relinquished their posts following a recent controversial County Board meeting. Coiste na nÓg is also seeking a new PRO, as P. J. Howlin has been elected to a similar position with the adult board.
At the time of going to press, Mr. Howlin had failed to return a call with details as requested having spoken to him earlier.
The Roll of Honour for the three club's mentioned for 2017 is as follows:
Faythe Harriers: All-Ireland Féile U-16 winners; Premier U-16 county champions;U-12 'B' Shield 'B' team; Under-14 Division 1 Cup.
Cloughbawn: Hurling - U-12 New Ross/Wexford 'A' Shield; U-14 Division 5 League Cup; Minor Roinn 2 Cup. Football: U-14 Division 5 League Cup; U-16 Football Roinn 2 Shield Runners-Up; Minor Football Roinn 2 Shield.
St. Martin's: Premier Minor hurling and football; U-16 Premier Shield hurling winners; 'B' team winners of U-12 'A' Shield; Under-14 Division 1 Cup runners-up.