Secretary's Annual Report From Recent AGM
February 09, 2021
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING FEBUARY 2021
RUNAI REPORT AND REVIEW 2020
2020 Will go down in GAA history as the year of Covid. It was a year which started so brightly for our club only to be brought to a shuddering halt in March when all our activities were shut down suddenly due to a lockdown to help try and stop the spread of a deadly virus which swept the whole world. It meant we as a club had to cope with extraordinary changes to our normal activity and we had to endure many stops and starts to our games and our normal day to day running of the club. It meant cancellation of competitions, no meetings, and a whole new way of conducting of our affairs. And yet despite all the difficulties, we have as a club achieved so much in the last twelve months and each member should be so proud of what we did achieve through the most difficult and challenging period we have witnessed. Our parents and grandparents lived through wars and kept the Association vibrant and I am proud to say our club has replicated that achievement.
I want, on behalf of all officers and committees of our club pay a special tribute to players, parents, mentors, officials, and indeed everyone who has contributed to improving our Club in 2020.The leadership and commitment of our people is second to none and we are blessed to have such dedication by all of the above to furthering the cause of Aghabullogue GAA.
I want at this juncture to thank especially the Covid Officials who ensured all our protocols were properly implemented on return to play. This group really stepped up when asked to and continued right throughout the playing season ensuring the utmost safety for all. It made for a very safe environment for all involved in our training and games and their enthusiasm and commitment is highly commended.
I want to say a big thank you to our adult players, who showed great leadership in the area of Covid during 2020. It was a great example of how to play a part in combatting the virus.
2020 became synonymous with the livestreaming of games at adult level. Joseph Perrot and Michael Dilworth took on this huge task and launched” Aghabullogue Gaa TV” Michael, in his role as Communications Officer sought out extra sponsorship from local businesses for our adult games and did a massive job. Viewing figures hit the roof as we progressed and people who never get the opportunity to attend games now have the games coming into their living rooms!! It has generated a huge interest in the fortunes of our club and has enhanced our reputation as one of the most progressive clubs in Cork. Up to the minute videos, results and team/event news through our Social Media platforms are the way of the future and I want to thank Michael, Joe, Brendan Barry Murphy and all who helped out in this regard in 2020. Lets hope we can continue to stream our games and events from hereon as they give our club great profile.
Another huge success I want to highlight was the organisation of Barrathon, jointly undertaken by Aghabullogue GAA and Camogie clubs. The brainchild of Senior club players and inspired by Barra Buckley and in aid of Aoibheann’s Pink Tie Charity, it proved what can be achieved by the whole community coming together in aid of a great cause. It was a huge undertaking and proved to be a massive success in terms of finance raised, almost 100k and got the young members out in droves to run a marathon around the whole parish. Highlights included many messages of support from household names, great videos of our players and livestreaming of the event itself and I want to thank everyone who contributed to make the event a success.There are so many to thank for this venture and it was a proud day for us all when we gathered to show our support for Barra and his parents Niall & Mairead and all the Buckley family who are synomonous with the GAA in our community. Sadly, Barra lost his battle and we extend our deepest sympathy to Niall, Mairead and the extended Buckley family.
There are some notable events at County level in 2020. Firstly, Marc Sheehan has been elected Chair of Cork County Gaa Board for 2021. It is indeed a proud achievement for Marc personally, but also a proud moment for Aghabullogue Gaa Club. To see one of our own elevated to this position is a marvelous achievement. Marc was chairman of our club at 23yrs of age and we wish him every success during his term as Chair of Cork GAA.
Paul Ring continued his meteoric rise in Football and was rewarded with a place on the Cork Senior football team in both league and championship in 2020. Well done to Paul and we wish him continued success at the highest level.
I also commend Cliona Healy and Ciara McCarthy who were elevated to the Cork Senior Camogie Team in 2020.
In April this year, former Club President Jimmy O’Riordan was laid to rest. Jimmy was a stalwart of the club for many years, and did huge work to promote the club in a variety of roles. In his role as groundsman, the facilities were always top class. Jimmy was a true gentleman and will be great missed by all in the club. Ar dheis de go raibh a ainim.
This year we amalgamated with Dripsey to form St Olans at Minor and u16 level and it was largely successful. It meant a lot of our players got to play at their relevant level and I want to thank all those worked to ensure it was successful. It was not an easy decision, but it was the correct one.
Unfortunately, we were unable to go ahead with Cul Camps in July due to Covid and Scor also suffered at the hands of Covid but we look forward to holding these events again in 2021. Caroline Kiely and Dolores Long, Ann Carey and Avril Healy have spearheaded these for us and are to be commended for their ongoing endeavours in this regard.
And so to the games in 2020.
At adult level, we did start off early with u21football. After the great expoits in 2019,we were upgraded to A in this grade. We bowed out to Eire Og after a great game in which the team played really well.
We eventually got back to training at the end of June.
At Intermediate Football level, we beat Kildorrery, lost narrowly to Kilshannig and defeated Glanmire in the group stages. We qualified to play Millstreet in the QF and comprehensively beat them in a great display to set up a semi final v Mitchelstown. On the day we were well beaten but injuries hampered us and despite a valiant effort it was not to be. We have a very young team and it augurs well for 2021 and beyond. Maybe, as a dual club the compressed nature of the championship made it more difficult to sustain momentum and I believe County Board need to relook at this for 2021.
At Intermediate Hurling level, We beat Clougduv, Midleton and Glen Rovers in the group stages. We then beat Mayfield in the QF in a close match and set up a SF with Kildorrery. This was a thrilling game and the lads played brilliantly, winning comprehensively in the end to set up a Final with Eire Og. Unfortunately, Covid intervened and the final is now down for June 2021. While it is disappointing not to have got the chance to play the Final in November, the team is regrouping for training and it will be all systems go for that mouthwatering clash.
I want to especially thank Tom Tarrant and Connie Lucey and their management teams and indeed all the players for the dedication they continue to show in difficult times.
In Junior Hurling, competing in the Muskerry A competition for the first time in a while we beat Iveleary in a thrilling penalty shootout and lost narrowly to Ballinora.
In Junior B Football, we again lost narrowly to Iveleary. A big thanks to Kevin Barry-Murphy and Tim O’Leary and their selectors for taking charge of our Junior Teams in 2020. They blooded a lot of younger players which augurs well for all our adult teams in the future.
I would like at this juncture to thank Pat O’Riordan & staff for providing a meal to our teams after matches in 2020. This is always welcome and the club are grateful for your support.
The club would also like to acknowledge the support of Centra Coachford for their financial support as Main Sponsor to the club. On behalf of the club ,I wish to extend our sympathies to the Murphy families on the death of Patsy and Sandra during the year.
A separate report by Joseph Perrot, underage chair, on our underage is included in my report.
JUVENILE REPORT- Joseph Perrott Chairperson:
An incredible year in 2020, teams were just coming back onto the training field in late February and early March to begin another year of hurling and football. Much of the fitness work was already underway and our U16’s and Minors were already playing challenge and early league games. Before it all came to a halt in mid March with the Covid lockdown.
During lockdown, the coaches were still focused on their players were passing out drills and challenges to their teams over WhatsApp ensuring some level of fitness was to be maintained and the first touch was still in toe. We salute all the players and coaches for the dedication during the lockdown, and incredibly difficult period as we all had to forgo what we love doing for a few months.
At the end of June, we were allowed backwash with lockdown lifted for trainings. I’d like to thank Mick Healy for heading up the Covid group in the club. Much work was done in setting this up, and a few socially distant meetings later we had at least 2 parents who stepped up at every grade to volunteer to be Covid-Supervisors. We could not have got back up and running without them, and they must be complimented in the way they went about the job, as they often we were working in uncertain times with changing information. Every training session and every match from U6 to Minor was covered, over 150 individual events between July till now. This role will be with us into 2021 also, so I continue to express my thanks to all who have stepped up.
A major word of thanks goes to Denis Ring and Joe Foley also for coordinating the pitches for trainings and matches for the full club.
On the games, post lockdown, in total we played a total of competitive games from U12 to Minor. We competed very well at every level and won 60% of the games played across both codes.
Our U12 hurlers were the highlight of the year, winning a major battle against Ballinora in Coachford. The same group reached the football Shield Final but were unable to pass a strong Bishopstown team. Great experience from a massive group of players, and the fact we were able to fields two U12 teams shows great promise for the coming years.
Our U14’s reached the semi-finals in both codes, losing out to Kilbree and Shamrocks in September.
The U16’s joined forces with Dripsey this year to form St. Olans. The footballer’s made the shield semi-final, losing out to St. Nicks. Great battles were had in the group against Canovee, Donoughmore and Blarney , with all games finishing within a few points. The U16 hurlers made the West Division Final, beating Cloughduv, Newcestown, Cill Mochomog and Ibane Gaels on the way to the final, but narrowly lost out to Courcey Rovers in the final.
Minors were also part of St. Olans in 2020. The hurlers made the Division 1 West Semi Final, losing out to a strong Kilbrittain side. Great win’s to get that far against Clonakilty and Owen Gaels. The Minor footballers were involved is a fantastic group where all matches played were either won or lost by less than 3 points. A very competitive group with Sam Maguires, Clonakilty, Owen Gaels and Newcestown in the West Division 1. After winning 2 games and losing 2 games in a group where every team was winning and losing, our lads qualified for the semi final with the results going our way after our Final group win against Newcestown. Level 3 lockdown in October put a stall on the semi final being played, and we are awaiting confirmation to what will happen the competition once the lads are left play again.
What was disappointing was that an U13 and U15 competition that was set to get started in October had to be halted with the 2nd wave of Covid restrictions. This meant that some of our players on some of these ages probably didn’t get the game time they would have had in a normal year. We hope that will be addressed in 2021. However, we do want to say a massive thanks to all the players for turning up in great numbers this year for trainings and games this year.
At U7/8/9/10 levels, the teams got to play a series of games during August and September. Again, fantastic numbers turning up for training and for games each week.
And one of the major highlights of the year was the numbers we saw turning up for the U6 training this year. Pat Leary again turned on the style and made sure the weather was in check for Saturday mornings. We have 50+ boys and girls at every one of the ten sessions run by Pat before we finished up. Special thanks to Evelyn Tarrant that stepped in the help Pat also, as well as a number of parents that got involved each week.
Overall, with the year that we just had, we were jus delighted to be allowed back on the field. Competitions had to be run off so quick and for many age groups they were going twice a week to ensure games got played. The kids loved it just to be playing I’m sure, but this put a lot of strain on the families that drive the kids around each week. This was even more an issue this year with car sharing less of an option. So from the club, we thank the parents for the time this year.
To all the coaches, I’d like to thank you all for the work and dedication put in this year. It wasn’t easy, and lots extra pressures put on with rules around COVID guideline’s in trainings.. You all stood up, and turned up multiple times each week to work with the kids.
I’d like to thank Sarah King for her hard work as secretary of the Juvenile club. Lots of changes came in this year again and she always takes the job in her stride. We are in good hands with Sarah at the helm.
And finally to all the players. A short season, and the demands of switching between football and hurling was tough for many. We could see that everyone was delighted to be back out, the numbers in every session this year was fantastic. To the work you all put in, your a credit to your families and to the club. We were competitive at all levels, in both codes and this was a testament to the work you put in. The club is looking forward to more in 2021.
Martin Corkery has also filed a separate report on Club Development.
A highlight is opening of our new walkway which is another fantastic achievement in 2020.Great credit must go to Martin for spearheading this development ,along with support from Daniel Crowley and committee members. As part of the development we have completed the Boundary fence between ourselves and Dairygold and removal of the old galvanise fence on the Nadrid side of the old pitch. This has been a huge enhancement to the overall face of the facilities.
As you are aware, our facilities did not go idle during 2020.The local community College are currently renting our premises for the school year up to May 2021, bringing in some much needed revenue.
The ongoing need to generate finances remains pivotal to our future growth as a club.
Covid has put paid to our regular card drive, and this is a huge loss to the club finances. With the payouts to our loan commitments to patrons and ongoing management of day to day expenses, it is not an easy task. Finances are excellently managed by our Treasurer John Tarrant, who keeps a close eye on income vs expenditure.
We are indebted to Ml Dilworth and others for the extra income generated this year through innovative ideas like team and player sponsorship. Michael has also secured extra business signs in our main pitch.
The new Rebels Bounty Draw, managed by Denis Finnegan, Seanie Delaney and the sellers will really enhance our income stream and I urge all the sellers of this draw to support Denis and his team in this venture.
CLUB Development Update-Martin Corkery.
2020 was another positive year in progressing our club development plan. In December 2020 we welcomed the addition of a lit 620m tarmac walkway around the complex as well as replacing the historical enclosure and adding new fencing to the Dairygold boundary. Additional Tarmac resurfacing was also undertaken to the rear of the complex which has really cleaned up this area. Further resurfacing work is planned in front of the Hall in early 2021 as well as a range of reseeding work around the complex. This project will cost ~€187k but we have been fortunate to have secured ~€173k in grant aid from a variety of sources including Cork County Council, Avondhu Blackwater and the Sports Capital Programme. We expect all payments to Browne Brothers and grant drawdown will be concluded by March/April 2021. I would like to thank the club and especially the club executive (Denis/John/Mick) in supporting this project which I’ve no doubt will be a great asset to our community.
Rose Hally from Community Finance Ireland was also instrumental in supporting us with our funding application and I want to also recognise and acknowledge the support of Rob Allen, Stephen Murphy, Daniel Crowley and Martin O’Mahony who provided design and engineering services free of charge. Additional development on the clubs property in 2020 included the installation of new waste water pipes for Bisgoal and Irish Water. This work will greatly benefit the growth and development potential of the village into the future.
Finally I want to thank and acknowledge the work of the complex team led by John Barry Murphy in maintaining our facilities. As we add new facilities every few years it add to their workload but their efforts have been superb and we have a complex that is the envy of many of our visitors.
Brendan Barry-Murphy’s reputation as a top class referee continues to grow. It is really important that we have a referee in our club of his stature and Brendan and his team took charge of many important games in 2020.We wish Brendan continued success.
Brendan continues to manage the online shop for gear and this has proved to be very successful. Patrons can place online orders at www.oneills.com
I wish to pay tribute to Our Hall Committee, who do an excellent job in maintaining our facilities, generating club funds and for their continued support to the main Club projects. I want to thank especially Jerry Hubbard, Mary Barry-Murphy and Margaret Byrne for their help and support in 2020.
I want to thank all those who continue to help out at the pitch when we host games. This takes a huge effort and we are grateful for your continued support. The club received many compliments from teams and officials in 2020 for the way we handled the games and that is down to your efforts.
Our facilities are top class and the maintenance, under John Barry Murphy is second to none. Thank you to John and his team for the huge work put in in 2020. There is a lot of unseen work that goes in and we really appreciate the time and effort put in. The club have many top class tradesmen in our ranks who are always at the ready to lend a hand when necessary and we are lucky to have such people.
As always at this time of year we reflect and remember those members who have passed to their eternal reward. May they rest in peace.
I want to take this opportunity to thank our various delegates at Divisional and County Board, and delegates to Coiste na nOg. They continue to do an excellent job for our club. John Crean continues as Muskerry delegate to Cork County Board.
On a personal note , I Want to thank fellow Officers Denis Ring and John Tarrant, Michael Dilworth and Joe Perrot for all their help and support during 2020.
I also want to thank Asst Secretary Anthony O’Riordan for his help and support, especially with Covid Regulations during 2020. Anthony continues to do a huge volume of work in his logistics role as well, and I want to wish Anthony well as he recuperates from a recent ankle operation.
I want to thank my fellow committee members for their continued advice and support which is always welcome and it is great from my point of view to be able to reach out for that advice and support for the many different situations that arise from time to time.
Finally, we are living in strange times but for us as a club we are living in exciting times as well. I know we will all continue to be the best we can be for Aghabullogue GAA Club. We have met the challenges head on and we will continue to grow and develop our club into the future.
Hopefully 2021 will be more “normal”
Finally, STAY SAFE
AGHABULLOGUE ABU !!
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