Changes at top table and one important seat left empty after Offaly Camogie AGM

Offaly Express Reporter

Reporter:

Offaly Express Reporter

Email:

news@offalyexpress.ie

Changes at top table and one important  seat left empty after Offaly Camogie AGM

Mairead Devery of the Offaly Camogie county board presents Martin Delaney outgoing chairman with a thank you gift

The Offaly Camogie AGM took place last Thursday night with changes to the existing committee with one important chair left unfilled. 

Outgoing Chairperson Martin Delaney and outgoing PRO Ann Marie Guinan stepped down from their positions. Mary Shanhan was elected as the new PRO and outgoing Secretary Mairead Haugh was elected as the new Chairperson.

No secretary was elected at the meeting meaning there will be an EGM in January to fill the position.

Chairperson's Address

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone here to the Offaly Camogie AGM. As this is my last time chairing, I would like to thank a few people. Firstly, Mairéad Haugh who has sat at the top table beside me for the last three years. Mairéad has certainly made my job a lot easier. She keeps the wheel turning and puts in a lot of work for Offaly Camogie.

I’ll miss all the phone calls and texts. Secondly, all the present and past executives I have worked with. It has been a pleasure to be associated with so many great people who give their tie freely and all for the cause of Offaly Camogie.

No one outside of the executive sees what is done behind closed doors but I assure you the amount of work they do goes above and beyond what is asked of them. To all the clubs that have won in their perspective grades congratulations and well done. To the eleven camogie clubs that we have in Offaly I have to say thank you to them all for all the disputes, agreements and disagreements at our county board meetings.

We certainly had a few interesting ones, but we never got out of hand and that’s down to the delegates that your clubs send in to represent you. I will miss the interesting ones! To all the volunteers outside of the county board a big thank you goes to you. The time you give us is very much appreciated and noticed too. To all our management teams, past and present, thank you for your time and commitment and to the present management teams. I wish you the very best of luck in your forth coming campaigns.

I have really enjoyed my time with Offaly Camogie. I have coached, sat on fixtures and chaired the county board. Through all the years I’ve been doing this I have made good friends and met good people also. I will certainly miss being involved with Offaly Camogie, but I think it’s time we have someone fresh and eager with new ideas to bring to Offaly Camogie and I’m sure the new incoming chairperson will bring that to the table.

I wish her/him the very best of luck for the next five years. Camogie will always have my support and I'm eager to see how Offaly teams progress through the coming year.

I could sit here and talk about what was achieved during my time but I won't bore you with details but just to mention one; it’s good to see the amount of underage games that’s being played at the moment in our county assuring that all girls get to play the game that they enjoy. I’m not taking credit for this as this is down to our Development Officer and a big thank you to our Development Officer and a big thank you to Cormac for this. 

If I have failed to thank or left out anyone I do apologise as I don’t want to go on too long. Having said that again thanks to all the clubs, volunteers, players, managers, club delegates, referees and the county board executive. Wishing you all the best for the future - Martin Delaney - Cathaoirleach.

MORE BELOW PICTURE

Mairead Devery of the Offaly Camogie county board presents Ann Marie Guinan outgoing PRO with flowers at the Offaly Camogie AGM

Secretary’s report 

St Rynagh’s went on to win the Offaly Senior championship and went ahead to represent Offaly in the Leinster Championship in the Intermediate grade. St Rynagh’s went on to beat Clara of Kilkenny in the Leinster Intermediate club championship and faced Na Fianna (Meath) in the Leinster semi-finals. Congratulations to St Rynagh’s for retaining their Leinster title and we look forward to once again supporting them in the All Ireland semi-final in January. We are assured that not only will St Rynagh’s do Banagher, their club, the players, management and the supporters proud but also Offaly once again. We wish St Rynagh’s every success going forward and be assured that you have the support of all clubs within the county. Great achievement for an Offaly club!

Kilcormac Killoughey also represented Offaly at club level in the Leinster Junior championship. They were unlucky on the day to be beaten by Raharney (Westmeath). Raharney are now competing in the All Ireland Junior club final. We are very proud of the achievements of our clubs. It is also testament to the fine standard of Camogie in Offaly. Every club who played St Rynagh’s and Kilcormac Killoughey throughout this year should also take confidence and pride from competing with top tier clubs. 

2019 also saw the introduction of a separate Junior and Senior championship in 2019 which has assisted in developing the game even further in Offaly and to raise standards. A separate Junior B competition was also introduced this year. Despite its teething problems it is great to see so many players getting game time and challenging for positions on their respective Senior club teams.  

I would also like to thank everyone who sat on the fixtures committee throughout the year. You had the thankless task of compiling fixtures, organising games, referees, pitches throughout the year for competitions from u14 to senior level.  

County teams 

 Firstly, I would like to pass on my appreciations to all of our management teams in 2019 for their commitment and hard work; Senior : Mike Wall, Ger Walsh, Richie Power, Jane Byrant and Jessie Barr. Junior: Brendan Hanamy, Benny Wyer, Leona Kennedy and Theresa Ryan. Minor: Mary Shanahan, Pauline Kilmartin, Fiona Mahon and Pat McCormack. U17: Robbie Bergin, Liam Bergin, Mary James and Margaret Conroy. U16: Barry Kinsella, Mark Gallagher, Liam Byrne, Mary Byrne and David Dillon. U15: Declan Fogarty, Albert Nevin, Mary Nevin and Audrey Butler. U14: Cormac Ginty, Mairead Devery, David Dillon, Kevin Carey, Bobby Cushen, Sarah Cleary, Cormac Moylan, Séan Murphy, Carol Dillon and Alana Roddy. 

Underage 

A huge thank you to all of the mentors involved with our underage academy’s. Without your help and assistance, we could not have had our u11 academy's. This has proved to have been a huge benefit to the standard of Camogie in the county over the past number of years but without the amazing help it could not be accomplished. 

County teams 

For our senior squad, this was their fifth consecutive year to be in a Leinster Final and unfortunately, victory was denied to them once again. We are confident that this will only serve as motivation and that 2020 will be the year that a senior Leinster trophy will be brought back to Offaly. We have full faith that with Albert’s guidance and the persistent commitment from our players that 2020 will be a far more successful year for the senior squad. We wish the new management team and players every best wish and we will support them in every way possible.  

The Junior team failed to reach the All Ireland Semi-final and were defeated by Kerry who went on to win the All Ireland Junior championship. Our minor team competed well in the All Ireland championship and were defeated by Wexford in the Leinster Shield final.The u16 team competed well in 2019 but unfortunately did not get out of the group stages to reach a semi-final. 

This was the first time that Offaly had three u14 county teams, which proved to be a huge success. The managers set out a vision at the beginning of 2019 and built on the success of two panels in 2018. Our u14s competed in several Blitz over the year. Thank you to the counties for hosting and inviting Offaly to the varies Blitz throughout the year. It is always a great occasion to play for your county. The u14s had 32 sessions this year between training and blitzes. The three panels also attended the All Ireland Blitz where the A team was beaten in the Semi-final by Kilkenny and the B team reached the All Ireland final but lost to Derry.  

As you can see Offaly are competing well throughout the varies age groups which can only strengthen and give our players vast amount of experience. Great work girls and we look forward to even better things from all our teams in 2020. 

Thank you to every single one of our managers, coaches, selectors, physios/first aiders in 2019. I’m always in awe at the passion and loyalty displayed by our county and club mentors. Whether in hail, rain or snow they train and bring players to blitz/games. They create leaders within our communities and facilitate friendships and memories which will no doubt last a lifetime as well as creating county stars which, is no mean feat! All of this done in a voluntary capacity while sometimes even at the determent of family events and plans! My heartful gratitude for what you do on a weekly basis! It does not go unnoticed! We are excited by what our 2020 county managers will offer, and we wish them and their teams the very best of luck. I also want to thank all the players who dedicate their time to training, matches, gym sessions etc… It is an honour to wear the Offaly jersey, but it also takes commitment and devotion to be able to do so.  

I also wish to thank all the GAA clubs and the Faithful Fields for the use of their facilities in 2019! Without your generosity in opening your doors to our teams we would be in a very difficult situation. We look forward to working with you all in 2020!  

Sponsorship 

A huge thank you to Dáire and Niall in Rudd’s for all their help and continued support of Offaly Camogie in 2019. We extend a big thank you to Top Oil and Supermacs in Birr for sponsoring gear for our u14 panels. A huge thanks also to our sponsors of our club championships; Sean O’Meara from O’Meara sliotars as the sponsor of the u16 championship, Hynes school of motoring as the sponsor of the minor championship and Nick Lawlor (HQ physio) as the sponsor of the Junior and Senior championship. Sponsorship is very important to any organisation and without the people above Offaly would be in a very difficult position financially. 

Accolades  

Well done to Cayla Fletcher and Roisin Pinches who came 4th and 5th in the Leinster Feile skills in June. The Poc Fáda was also held with Caoimhe Kinsella being the u16 winner and Rachel O’Donoghue the senior winner in Offaly. Caoimhe went on to represent Offaly in the Leinster Poc Fáda while unfortunately Rachel couldn’t attend. A huge congratulations to Caoimhe’s sister Roisin Kinsella who won the Offaly competition and represented Offaly at the national skills event in Abbotstown in June.  2020 will also see Offaly Camogie gain a lease for their very own Camogie training pitches. We are extremely excited by the prospect but also for the potential that this project will have for generations of players to come. A lot of work needs to be done but we are confident that with the support of the Camogie community that it will be accomplished.  

Executive members 

I would like to take this opportunity to commend Mairéad and Ethel. This was their first year on the executive and they have excelled in their positions. I’m always astounded by the amount of work Mairéad puts in! Not only does she keep our financials in order and organise and do gates, she was also a u14 mentor in 2019, (with all that entails) while maintaining a family life and studying!

Ethel has been phenomenal in her pursuit of e-vetting and safeguarding! She has ensured the safety of all players, mentors and clubs while also ensuring that clubs are compliant with the law! These women have made a huge impact, all for the better and we are so lucky to have them as officers on the county board! Unfortunately, bad information often follows good news! It would be extremely remiss of me if I was not to talk about Martin and Ann Marie who are not seeking nominations for 2020. Ann Marie and Martin have been here since I was elected as Secretary. Martin was then the Fixtures Secretary and was relentless in his pursuit of fixtures being played. His favourite word was ‘no’! Martin was then elected Chairman and his favourite word was still ‘no’! I can honestly say that during your tenure you have been unbiased in decisions. I will miss chats with you Martin! I’m sure you will still act as a mentor whenever called upon!  Ann Marie, it was never an easy task to be a player and to be on the executive committee. Yet, you achieved the balance and always created pieces with such professionalism and strove to raise the standards of the PRO position in Offaly. Your award as Camogie PRO of the year in 2018 demonstrates just that. None of my words will do either of these justices but I think everyone sitting here knows how much work and consideration they have put into their roles over the years. I am very sad to see you go! Whoever replaces you will have big boots to fill! 

I would also like to thank the other executive members for their work with fixtures, Development and registration. We are so lucky to have a county board with people who are passionate, energetic and passionate for the roles that they fill. I look forward to seeing what projects our Development officer will have for us in 2020 because no doubt, they will seek to raise player retention and the profile of Offaly Camogie!  Each of you are always on the end of the phone when I have a query or in times of trouble! Thank you!  

Thank you to all the clubs who work so hard to keep everything going and are the backbone of Offaly Camogie. Thanks for your assistance, support and co-operation throughout the year.  A big thank you to all our helpers especially those on gates, to Séan, Mary and Ann Marie for photos and match reports. Thank you to out THDC members also who have an extremely important job in upholding the rules of our association. I would also like to thank the Leinster secretary; Linda, and Leinster Chairperson; Hilda for all their assistance and support throughout the year. Thank you all for your support, co-operation and your patience. As you can see from my report, Offaly Camogie relies on a lot of people to work so effortlessly. The danger with having an extensive list of thank you’s is that you omit someone so my sincerest apologies if I have done so.  

I also wish to pass on my condolences for those of you who lost loved ones through bereavement this year. It would be extremely remiss of me if I did not take the opportunity to pass my condolences to the Flaherty and Bergin families in Kinnitty on the very untimely and sad passing of Eamonn and Mary this year. The Bergin family have in particular have been huge servants to Kinnitty and Offaly camogie over the years either from playing, serving on executive committees, training teams or as club delegates. Offaly Camogie is a wide community and we hope that we can be of some help during this difficult time. I want to wish the incoming executive the best of luck for 2020! I want to wish you all and your families a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and successful new year. 

Go raibh mile maith agat!  Mairéad Ní hÉachach, Runaí, Cumann Camogaiochta Uibh Fhailí.