Club Secretary’s 2016 Report from AGM
A dhuine uasaile, failte romhaidh anocht go dtí an T-ionad Na Daibhéidí go dtí an Criunniú Ginearalta Bliantúil dhá mile is a sé déag.
Welcome everyone tonight to the Davitts Clubhouse for the 2016 Annual General Meeting.
2016 was our fifth season back in Senior football. However for a fifth consecutive season we failed to make any progress from the group stages in the Senior Championship. In our first game we faced near neighbours Claremorris in a game which would have a major impact on our progression prospects. A fantastic performance from the team and panel saw us over the line in a relatively comfortable manner.
This performance gave the team renewed optimism for the second round game versus Garrymore in another mouth-watering South Mayo tie. However, in truth we failed to get motoring in any significant manner and our near neighbours held out to take the two points and the bragging rights.
A long break in football waiting for the third group game didn’t help the team’s preparations as we welcomed a well fancied team of Breaffy to Ballindine in our first championship game in our new dressing rooms. In fairness to the team and management they set about the onerous task of breaking down a serious outfit full of county senior and under 21 players in a positive manner. However, in the end a failed penalty claim and subsequent goal for Breaffy set the difference between the sides thus ending our championship campaign for 2016. The vast majority of people in attendance at that game showed respect to all players with the exception of one Davitts supporter. Davitts GAA does not condone this behaviour and the views of that individual do not represent the views of the executive, management or players.
Our senior team’s league 1B campaign which concluded last weekend was a major success. After only securing 5 points in Division 1A last season the players and management set about adopting a more attacking style of football. Only one defeat in the league saw our senior team secure promotion back to 1A before a trip to Belmullet to secure the title. Well done to the players, management and all involved in securing this promotion. Hopefully in 2017 and solid league campaign can provide a strong foundation to going further in the championship. I would like to thank the management team for their work over the last twelve months. I would also like to thank their support network of physio and video recording throughout the season. Our players and management are very much appreciated by all within the club.
Our second team, plying their trade in division 1D acquitted themselves well in the league with some good wins and heartening performances.
The junior team also had a very good championship season. They worked well as a unit and progressed all the way to the Junior B Championship final before succumbing to a very strong Knockmore side. Huge credit must go to all involved with this team. It is hugely important for the club that the junior team continue to work in conjunction with the senior team and management to develop players and provide football for as many players as possible.
A under strength senior team lost the O Mara Cup to Hollymount/Carramore and the Junior team reached the final of the South Mayo Junior B competition which has yet to be played.
The U21 team built on the backbone of many senior players enjoyed a very decent campaign reached the quarter final of the A Championship before losing out to Ballintubber. Again, this is a competition that needs to be looked at as it is very difficult on players to play in October and November especially as many of these players are in second level and third level education.
The minor team had an encouraging year overall with a young squad, with two thirds of the panel available for minor again next year. They enjoyed a steady performance in Div 3 league, just missing out on semi final place. Very good performance to win the C Summer League Final v Hollymount Carramore. It was however disappointing to lose in South B Championship to same opposition. The team also had a good run in C County championship, losing out to eventual champions Ballintubber in semi final.
The squad contained many players that will continue to show promise for the club in years ahead, with members of the panel already playing for both juniors and seniors. Well done to the players and management.
The U16 team had a good league campaign. After a competitive spring in Division 3 Davitts got to the divisional final where they lost out to a very good Louisburgh side. They plied they league campaign in Divison 2 and came up against strong sides of Charlestown, Castlebar and Ballintubber in the championship, however they acquitted themselves very well against the opposition. Lost out to Claremorris in a tough battle in the South A Championship. A very encouraging year by all the players. Three players; Jordan Flanagan, Dmitry Trench and Cian Naughton also won a Ted Webb title with the Mayo SW side. Well done to the players and the management.
Davitts U14 season began with a comprehensive win over near neighbours Carras in March. This victory set the tone for this attacking team.Going through the league unbeaten was straight forward for this panel with all players seeing plenty of game time on a regular basis.
Seeded in division 2 in the championship these young lads, many playing out of their ages, were more than able to hold their own but were just on the wrong side of some memorable games. However, exposure to these games will provide valuable experience for the squad.
The South Mayo championship was another milestone for these boys with great performances by the attacking nature of this crop of exciting players.
The younger lads in the squad of which there were many also came close in the U13 league just getting pipped to the league final by a very determined Ballaghaderreen by 1 point in the semi.
The claimed the A final in the 9 a side blitz in Garrymore with a hard fought victory over Ballinrobe. Some outstanding performances by the heirs to the throne from the young players on the panel.
Our U12’s had a good year. They fought hard throughout their summer league with some excellent performances. It was great to have such a large crop of players at this age groups and hopefully these players will stick together over the years.
The Under 6’s and 8’s enjoyed their year with the club. They played in Go Games both home and away and were helped along the way by their coaches and parents who often gave a hand when required. The large numbers in attendance deserve huge attention and it is important to make these future stars as passionate about our national games and culture as many of us are.
I would like to thank the managers and selectors of the all the teams within the club. It takes huge dedication and commitment and is often a thankless job. The people who look after the underage players are massively important to the development of the club and their work most never be underestimated or taken for granted. We do however need more coaching right throughout our club in order for the club and players to benefit in the future. The mentors hold the key to improving our players and developing our club over the next few years.
The club has plans underway to use the hall here for the development of all our players over the winter. The club is very cognisant of the fact that we need to provide the best possible facilities for all our players. The club intends to hold winter training for players from U6 through to minor over the off season. I would like to thank our various sponsors for their continued support throughout the year, particularly our main sponsor Pat McHugh Builders. I would like to thank sponsors and friends of the club: John Hennigan, Danny McHugh, Frank & Mary Clarke, Jackie’s Bar, The Borderline and Bourke’s Irishtown for their continued support especially in these tough economic times.
The most exciting aspect of Davitts GAA Club in 2016 was activity off the field. The completion of the new dressing rooms and complex has been a job that consumed many of the people within our club over the last few years. A huge credit must go to all the people who made this fantastic building happen. I would particularly like to that the industrious Building Committee who worked tirelessly to ensure that the building was completed in the best possible manner. I would also like to thank Michael Ring and his Department for funding receiving received over the years. There are not many organisations through the country who managed to secure two rounds of funding. We must congratulate ourselves for securing funding and it shows that a well run and organised club can make projects like this happen.
Personally I would thank the Department of Transport and Tourism for their support through the years in relation to grant allocations and funding. As a result of the building of the complex Davitts GAA Club has already hosted South Mayo Finals as well as a Ladies Connacht Final. This is as a direct result of the new facilities and the hard work of the committee in promoting Davitt Park as a viable venue for games. I would like to acknowledge the hard work of Liam Nyland, Lawrence Daly and John Noone with regards to the completion of the new building.
The primary school in Ballindine has plans in place to build an astroturf. The club has pledged funding of €10,000 towards this over five years. It is in my opinion and that of many of the club that the club continue to maintain strong likes with our local national schools. The link between the club and the local schools is of vital importance to the development and prosperity of the club. I would like to acknowledge the contribution of Ger Conroy through the school in Irishtown over the years.
I would like to thank our fantastic presto sellers who again throughout the year have worked tirelessly and enthusiastically. These sellers are the glue that keeps the club together and are held in the highest regard by the executive of the club. The club is extremely lucky in having enthusiastic sellers who give up so much of their time for the club. I would like to acknowledge the extra effort made this year by the majority of committee members in selling presto tickets this year. I would also like to thank the players who sell tickets. I would also like to thank the Davitts Ladies who have come on board with selling extra tickets this year.
I would sincerely like to thank the sellers of the €100 Club and County Draw tickets. The club sold a record amount of tickets this year and that is down to the industrious work of the sellers. I would like to thank all those who bought the €100 tickets and those who continued to purchase presto tickets throughout the year. Congratulations to those who won through the presto and €100 tickets. It would at this juncture be remiss of me to thank the club members who were involved in the selling of the €10 Croke Park tickets. The club sold the highest amount of tickets in the country. This was down to two reasons, 1) The industrious selling of the ticket committee and 2) the fantastic response of the community, without which we would not be in a position to improve our facilities at Davitt Park. Personally, it was an honour to represent the club last Febraury at the draw and Croke Park officials were most complimentary of how we run our club. I would like to thank Breda Waldron and Sean Higgins in their support with regards to the distribution of tickets and organisation of selling groups. Without the hard work of the €10 and €100 sellers and the support of the community we would not have strong and vibrant club.
I would like to thank the executive committee for their work throughout the year and the sub committees of the Children’s Officer, the Finance Committee and the Building Committee. The committee work tirelessly throughout the year and are hugely important to the running of the club. I can assure all members that the committee and their subcommittees are extremely diligent in developing the club and moving forward in the future.
I would like to thank our Treasurer Michael Waldron for his excellent accounts and assistance during the year. I would also like to thank County Board Delegate Sean Higgins for his support & assistance during the year. I would like to thank the South Board delegates Michael Waldron & Michael Hynes. At this stage I would also like to thank club Chairman Frank Hyland for his work, support and dedication to the club throughout the year.
I would like to thank Rosemary Dunne for allowing us to use the Community Centre, Ballindine. Rosemary always made the hall available to us, often at short notice and for this I thank her and her committee. I would like to thank Father Martin O Connor, Mary Barrett and Mary Freely for their assistance with regards to the newsletter. The newsletter is an important outlet and link for us with the community and it greatly helps us communicate with the parish.
Thank you to Garryowen McMahon for representing the club as referee and for refereeing in house games.
I would like to thank John Noone for his work at the pitch throughout the season. The pitch surface has improved greatly over the last few years.
I would like to thank Joe Reapy and Noel Reapy for their fantastic and colourful at times work in relation to the website. It is a superb medium for communicating with our members in the locality and those further away. I would also like to thank the administrators of our Facebook and Twitter accounts which are growing from strength to strength and testament to those who work on it.
On a county level I would like to thank all those who work to look after teams. Unfortunately the Mayo senior team were without luck this year losing out to narrow winners Dublin after a replay last October. I would like to acknowledge the time and effort given by Stephen Rochford and his backroom team and wish them the very best of luck in 2017. The Mayo Senior Team have given us many great days out in the past and we must remember that many counties are vary envious of our position. While we haven’t crossed the line yet we will continue to give it one hell of a rattle.
I would like to congratulate and acknowledge Colm Boyle on his performances for the Mayo Senior Team. Unfortunately Michael Conroy was released by Stephen Rochford after struggling with injury in recent times. He can hold his head high with his contribution to Mayo over the years. I would like to congratulate Colm Boyle on securing a third All Star this year. It is testament to his performances, skill and contribution to the game that has seen him rewarded with such an accolade. I would like to congratulate Davitts man Paul Cunnane on his role as County PRO. Paul has set about his role in a successful and professional manner which also saw him pick up the award of PRO of the year by the GAA Press-Congratulations. I would also like to acknowledge Mayo kitman and Davitts man Shane Halligan on his contribution to the Mayo set up. He really is a credit to himself how he put a serious medical condition behind him and showed that a positive attitude is well rewarded. I would like to congratulate clubman Kieran Kilkenny on becoming Games Promotion Officer for South Mayo. It is great to have a clubman in this position and already he is making great progress in relation to school/college and South structures.
I would like to congratulate the Mayo U21 team and management who secured the All Ireland Title during the year. I have no doubt that many of these players will go on to provide key roles for the Mayo Senior Team in the years ahead.
I would like to congratulate Castlebar Mitchells on their Senior Title. I would like to congratulate Westport and Louisbourg on their county and Connacht titles. I would sincerely like to wish them every success in their games as they represent the county and province going into 2017. Westport have become the 5th Mayo club side to win the Gene Kelly, Connacht Title in 6 years bringing back memories of our march to Croke Park in 2012.
I would like to thank our own players for their persistence both this year and in the past. The contribution you make to the club is appreciated by myself, the executive, the committee and indeed the wider community. I wish you all the very best for the future both on the field and off.
The club would like to extend sympathies to all those with connections to the club who have passed on in 2016. Death is never an easy time for grieving families but the support of friends and community helps those suffering. Gur dhéis Dé gur raibh an hanamnacha dhílís.
I would like to thank my own family for their support and guidance throughout the years. Without the support given to me then I wouldn’t have been able to serve the club as secretary over the last seven years. I would like to thank my wife Tríona, my children, my parents, brothers and sister as well as my in-laws and friends during my tenure as club secretary. I would like the South Board, in particular John Farragher and Mike King for their support. I would personally like to thank the County Board for their support. I would particulary like to thank Michael Cummins, Michael Connelly, Kevin O Toole, Vincent Neary and Paul Cunnane for their assistance and co-operation. In order for a club to be successful it is vitally important that we continue to build on the strong connections within the county, province and association. Davitts GAA Club is held in very high regard throughout the association and this has been relayed to me from MacHale to Croke Park.
At this juncture I would like to wish my successor and indeed all the officers of the club the very best of luck in the future. I was very fortunate to have a very hard working committee around me with many people willing to deliver on projects and club activities. There were many times I disagreed with certain decisions or plans but the strength of a club lies with the collective decision and I will always respect the hard work and diligence of the committee and challenge decisions that warrant it. Club decisions are made for one reason and one reason alone and that is the club rather than personal agenda comes first. My intentions and decisions were always made without personal gain but with the club at the centre of club activities. I stand by all decisions that I made in relation to the running of the club from decisions at committee level through to ticket allocation. I was always conscious of the situation that no one person is bigger than the club-we are as one and Davitts GAA Club will continue to grow and develop. I would particularly like to acknowledge the support given to me by a number of the officers both past and present. I couldn’t possibly thank all those who made my job easier however I genuinely am very grateful for the support I received. Not to single out too many people but I certainly wouldn’t have been able to do the job without the assistance of both Sean Higgins and Frank Hyland. These two men steered me on the path and were always there to support me through thick and thin. Their years of experience, wealth of knowledge and straight talking was of great benefit to me and I always knew I had their support with decisions made for the club. I’m hugely grateful to Frank, Sean and indeed all those who helped me alone the way. Davitts GAA Club is our club-it is your club.
Hopefully I haven’t forgotten anyone and if I have then I apologise unreservedly.
Go raibh mile buíochas go léir don tacaíocht trid an bhliain agus tríd na blianta.
Ronán Ó Ciaráin,