A large gathering of delegates from clubs around the county met in O’Connor Park for the Annual General Meeting of Coiste na nÓg.
Proceedings commenced with a minutes silence to honour deceased members from all clubs in Offaly.
Once the standing orders were adopted, the minutes from the 2011 AGM were also adopted and the Secretary, Michael McNamee then gave his report which read;
“2012 was a very busy year in Offaly Underage GAA as the All-Ireland Football Feile was held here in conjunction with Laois. We had the school visits with the President Liam O Neill coming to various Schools in the County, the Parade of teams from all over the world in Portlaoise, the games themselves eventually culminating with the Finals in O Moore Park in June.
The Community Spirit which this event generated was great to be a part of and I would like to say congratulations to all who took part in the event in any small way. The burgers in Clonbulloge were top class too!
In the County Hurling Feile, Kilcormac/Killoughey were the winners against Birr where the hospitality was again top class. Kilcormac/Killoughey went on to represent Offaly in Dublin at the All-Ireland Finals and again did the County proud with some good displays.
Thanks to the CCC led by Pauric Pierce for the excellent job they did on fixtures and disciplinary matters, and to Alan Mulhall and John Leahy in Coaching and Games.
Thanks also to Joe Higgins our Chairman who has been a great help to me over the past few years in dealing with things.
I would like to wish him the best of luck in going for Vice Chairman of the Senior County Board in the next couple of weeks and if I had a vote I would give it to him.
Special mention to Garrett Reilly with some help from Eddie Nally and Niall Murphy for transforming the PRO side of things, we are now fully up to date on the web site, twitter, facebook and the coverage in the local media was the big turnaround, with major coverage of all semi finals and finals.
Congratulations to all the teams and the mentors who won competitions and well done to all the teams who took part this year.
I am not standing for the post of Secretary next year as I have another job with the footballers and will not have the time. It has been an honour to serve in this role for the past two years and I would like to thank all who helped me to along the way.”
An Cathaoirleach, Joe Higgins, in his address welcomed all to the meeting. He stated that community spirit has been the life blood of the association in the past and that this spirit certainly shone through during the All Ireland Feile hosted jointly with Laois in June of this year. He was thrilled to have been a part of such a successful event and stated that it was the highlight of his tenure as Chairman.
Joe thanked the schools of Offaly for their vital role in nurturing the development of Gaelic Games in the county and reminded all clubs that the schools are under no obligation to do so. He asked clubs to develop and maintain close links with the schools in their area and to offer any assistance they can to help the schools continue to promote our games.
The chairman also thanked the media for their continued coverage of our games especially during the Feile weekend and all the underage finals played during the year. He thanked the Offaly Management Committee and the O’Connor Park committee both of whom offered every assistance during the year.
As Joe will not be putting his name forward as Chairman in 2013 he thanked everyone who had worked with him but he wanted to especially thank Michael McNamee, who as secretary ensured that Joe had little to worry about and carried out his job with great efficiency.
The one regret that Joe noted during his tenure was that more clubs were not playing Hurling at A grade and although he had offered the solution of two clubs amalgamation to play “A” and then playing “B” as separate clubs, this had only been taken up by two clubs. He hoped that the new fixtures review may offer a more permanent solution.
Finally, Joe congratulated the winners of all competitions organized by Coiste Na nÓg in 2012 and thanked all clubs who had taken part throughout the year.
County board chairman Pat Teehan spoke to delegates to thank them one and all for their work with under-age teams at club and county level. He thanked all who were involved with Coiste Na nOg, Coaching & Games committees, and all involved with fixtures.
Pat Teehan also spoke to delegates regarding the recent announcement that there would be no elections at the Coiste na nÓg AGM. A recent directive from Croke Park meant that as Coiste na nÓg is a sub-committee of Offaly County Board it cannot be elected under rule contained in the Official Guide. He explained that if elections were held, then any club could at any time call into question a decision taken by the committee. The committee will be re-formed following the County Convention which will be held in December.
Eddie Nally had compiled a slideshow featuring images and video clips from this years Feile Peil na nÓg and this was played to the assembled delegates. The slideshow comprised of photos from around the county of the school visits and the playing action from the weekend. Eddie thanked the clubs who had supplied the photos for use in the slideshow. PRO ,Garrett Reilly is currently exploring how to best display it on the Offaly GAA website and hopes to have it available in the coming week.
Cumann na mBunscol
Michelle Corcoran represented Cumann na mBunscoil at the meeting and she thanked Offaly GAA for arranging the school visits in the build up to the Feile weekend. She stated it was an excellent way to inspire young children to take up the sport.
Michelle offered sincere thanks to all Offaly GAA Clubs who continue to provide assistance to their local schools by providing coaching, equipment and playing pitches. The link between the schools and the GAA club is vitally important and should be maintained. As the Cumann na mBunscoil year was almost at an end she wanted to thank all clubs who had provided playing facilities for their Football Finals and looked forward to working with clubs again in 2013.
Coaching and Games
Alan Mulhall gave a detailed account of Coaching & Games activity during the year.
Under the Go-games programme there were huge numbers playing both hurling & football at U8, U10 & U12 level. While there will be minor changes to the structure and scheduling of games next year the Go-games is working well.
Our Cúl Camps were very well supported by parents this year with participation up on previous years. Our participation levels are the sixth highest in Leinster. Alan thanked all clubs for their assistance with promoting the camps and with the provision of pitches during the camps.
In terms of Coach Education, Alan informed the meeting that 8 Foundation level workshops were held during the year along with 1 Level 1 course in both Hurling & Football. There were two further workshops held with Football coaches from the clubs during the year. The Hurling coaches who provide coaching to the schools are undertaking a Development Course at present to improves standards even further.
Offaly GAA are providing coaching in all Offaly National Schools and in addition will be organinsing Astro Turf Football and Indoor Hurling Blitz Days for the schools. These games will be played under the Go-games model. Alan also informed the meeting that Coaching & Games are now providing coaching assistance in all Offaly Post-Primary Schools with methods varying from workshops, strength & conditioning and coaching sessions.
The Development Squad system is also currently under review and the review should provide a more professional approach to these squads with sessions on strength & conditioning, nutrition & diet etc being part of the overall annual programme.