Tuarascail an Runai - CLG Chiarrai 2017
Tuarascail an Runaí - CLG Chiarraí 2017
Seo dhibh mo thuarascáil ar ímeachtaí Cumann Lúthchleas Gael i gCiarraí i rith na mbliana 2017. Ba mhaith liom mo bhuíochas a gharbáil do gach éinne a chabhraigh liom i rith na bliana.
The Kerry Minor Football team’s record breaking achievement in claiming their fourth consecutive All-Ireland title was the highlight of yet another busy and action-packed year for Kerry GAA.
As always in Kerry, we look to Senior glory in September in Croke Park to gauge our year on the playing front. This year’s defeat to Mayo after a replay in the All-Ireland Semi-Final was a body blow for all. We thank our gallant team as always and acknowledge the huge work and effort put in by both players and management. Looking forward, the extension of Eamon Fitzmaurice’s tenure as team manager is to be greatly welcomed and this along with the emergence of young and hugely talented players makes for exciting years ahead for all Kerry supporters.
Congratulations to our Junior Football Team who completed three in a row All-Ireland Titles under new team manager Jimmy Keane. The team provided us with no end of excitement in their march to glory, none more so than their epic encounter with Cork in the Munster Final.
In Hurling it was great to see our U21’s win the All-Ireland ‘B’ championship and at long last claim the Richie McElligott Cup.
At senior level, the appointment of Fintan O Connor as Team manager brought great energy to the scene. We were unfortunate to lose our Division 1B status in the Alliance League while in the championship we were very unlucky to just miss out on qualifying for the Leinster Championship.
On the home front, Dr Crokes established themselves as one of our greatest ever club sides by winning the All-Ireland Senior Club Championship on St. Patricks day and later going on to successfully defend their County Senior Championship title. Ballyduff re-emerged as the kingpins of Kerry hurling overcoming Lixnaw after a replay in the County Hurling Final.
Our Centre of Excellence Development has finally reached the end line and recent visitors to the Centre have been very impressed with the project. We have presently four floodlit playing pitches completed and a beautifully designed Club room containing 10 dressing rooms, 8 of which are now ready for use. Dining areas, meeting rooms, large gym, medical rooms and other facilities complete a very impressive Centre and we look forward to our teams availing of these facilities for years to come.
On the Field
Kerry Senior Footballers got their year off to a winning start by claiming the McGrath Cup in an exciting final that required extra time to separate the victors from a gallant Limerick Team. In the earlier rounds, Kerry mainly comprising of our U21 players overcame Tipperary in Austin Stack Park. We overcame Cork in the Semi-final which was played in Mallow.
An exciting Alliance League campaign started with a fine away win against Donegal but disappointing results in our next two games against Mayo played under lights in Austin Stack Park and against Monaghan played in Fitzgerald Stadium, threw a damper on our hopes for League success. However, a good away win against Roscommon was followed by a tremendous tussle against Dublin in the 5th Round. Played under lights in Austin Stack Park before a sell-out crowd, the atmosphere was more akin to championship fare. In the end it was honours even with the winners on the night being the host venue and town, with the marvellous atmosphere enjoyed by all. Another draw away to Cavan in Round 6 meant Kerry had to beat Tyrone in the last game and hope other results would go their way in order to reach the Final. On the day Kerry did the business with a seven point winning margin in Fitzgerald Stadium. After a few anxious moments waiting for news from other games, it was finally confirmed that a day in Croke Park awaited our boys in the final against Dublin. And what a final it proved to be with Kerry overcoming Dublin by the narrowest of margins to claim the League title.
Victory in the League instilled great confidence amongst supporters as we set out for championship honours. First up in Munster was a tricky away game against Clare in the Semi-Final. After a tough opening half, Kerry eventually prevailed in a hard-fought encounter. The Munster Final fixed for Sunday July 2 was to mark the opening of the newly developed Pairc Uí Chaoimh in Cork but was switched to Fitzgerald Stadium at the last moment. The change of venue did not deter Kerry from putting on a scintillating performance as they overcame their great rivals and complete a five in a row Munster Senior titles.
With Muster and National League titles successfully secured attention now focussed on Croke Park and the All-Ireland Championship. In the Quarter-Final we were drawn against Galway. A sluggish but successful performance here, was put down to some rustiness since our last game in the Munster Final and confidence was high that Kerry would be ready for Mayo in the Semi-Final. This game, played in very wet conditions turned out to be a thriller. A draw at the end left supporters from both sides relieved to fight another day. Unfortunately, the replay turned out to be hugely disappointing with Kerry struggling from the start to impose themselves on their rivals. Despite a great rally towards the end, victory went to Mayo.
For Kerry it was a heart-breaking result. The team just didn’t perform on the day. On behalf of the Board and all the supporters, sincere thanks to the players, the management team led by Eamon Fitzmaurice and all the backroom team. After giving so much, defeat is always hard to take but in the best style of Kerry, we must dust ourselves down and come back stronger than ever next year. We have the players and management to make a serious challenge for All-Ireland glory next year and I feel the introduction of the new ‘Super 8’ Quarter-final system will suit Kerry.
Without doubt the highlight of the playing year was the performance of the Kerry minor football team, who succeeded in writing themselves into the history books by winning the All-Ireland Championship for the fourth year in a row.
The historic achievement began with a comprehensive win at home in Austin Stack Park against Clare in the first Round of the Munster Championship. Cork were no match for Kerry in the Munster Semi-Final played in Pairc Uí Rinn with Kerry having 10 points to spare in the end. The Muster Final played in Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney was a re-match against first round opponents Clare. However, Clare struggled from the start and the home side ran out easy winners to capture the Munster title.
Portlaoise was the venue for the All-Ireland Quarter Final played on Sat Aug 5 against Louth. Kerry once again finished well ahead of their opponents and progressed to a meeting against Cavan in the All-Ireland Semi-Final. A 12-point winning margin here confirmed to all the quality of this team and Peter Keane’s charges entered the All-Ireland Final odds on favourites against Derry on the third Sunday in September in Croke Park.
A goal by star player and captain David Clifford after just 10 seconds into the game was the precursor to one of the great displays seen by a minor team on the hallowed grounds of Croke Park. The final victory margin and the quality of football played by the entire team was a joy to behold and had neutrals watching in awe.
While we celebrate such a glorious performance let us also acknowledge our gallant opponents Derry who never stopped trying and will no doubt experience better days in the years ahead.
Congratulations to Peter Keane and his management team and to all the backroom team for doing a fine job. To the parents and family of all the players heartiest congratulations.
If our minors were fancied to go a long way in the Minor Championship, then it was no different for our U21 team under the management of Jack O Connor. Coming off three All-Ireland winning minor teams, Jack’s charges started their campaign with a six-point home win over Clare on 8th March.
Kerry had a comfortable win away to Waterford in the Munster Semi-Final before a meeting with Cork in the Final in a game played in Pairc Uí Rinn on 29th March. A huge winning margin in the end for the Kingdom probably did us more harm than good as the hype surrounding this very talented team most likely contributed to us crashing out of the All-Ireland series in the Semi-Final against an excellent Galway side. A disastrous opening 30 minutes left Kerry with too much to do and despite a great effort in the second half there was no catching the westerners.
Our thanks to all the players and to Jack O’Connor and his management team. The defeat to Galway will be a valuable learning curve for our young and talented players and we look forward to seeing their progress over the next few years.
Our Junior Football team had experienced All-Ireland glory in the two previous years so a three in a row was the target for Jimmy Keane when he was appointed team manager for 2017. With plenty of talent to avail of, Kerry fielded a very strong team in our opening game against Limerick, a game played as the curtain raiser to the Kerry v Clare Senior Munster Championship game in Ennis.
Limerick were no match for Kerry who won convincingly to progress to the Munster Final where they met Cork in the rebel’s home turf. What a game this proved to be. Cork seemed to be in the driving seat before a sensational come back by Kerry forced the game to extra time. It was a titanic battle all the way with Kerry emerging victorious in the end but both teams must be complemented for serving up a thriller.
So Kerry once again marched on to the All-Ireland Semi-Final where our opponents were Leitrim with the game played in the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Kerry were made battle all the way against their gallant opponents before emerging with a seven point winning margin. Our All-Ireland final opponents were a talented Meath side with the game played in Portlaoise on the August Bank Holiday Saturday.
A brilliant performance by the Kingdom ensured a third All-Ireland title in a row. Congratulations to the players, team management and all involved.
Due to the minor age level dropping to Under 17 years from 2018 onwards, it was decided to play an U17 championship to compensate those players who would miss out next year from representing their county. Peter Keane and his minor management team took up the challenge of also looking after the U17 team and our first game was against Tipperary played in Austin Stack Park on 2nd May. Kerry secured a comfortable win to progress to the Munster Final also played in Austin Stack Park. Opponents Cork were determined to halt Kerry’s recent domination at under age level, but Kerry prevailed on a 15 points to 10 score-line. The All-Ireland Semi-Final against an unfancied Roscommon side proved to be a disappointment with the Roscommon lads putting in a great effort to overcome the Kingdom.
While this defeat was disappointing it was still a great achievement to win the inaugural Munster Championship at this age level and congratulations to all the players involved, their parents and families and clubs. Also well done to Peter Keane and all his team for doing a marvellous job with his young charges.
In hurling, new senior team manager Fintan O Connor was appointed early in the year and games in the Munster League provided Kerry with good quality preparation prior to the start of our Division 1B Allianz League Campaign. In what was always going to be a very tough Division, we got the best possible start with an opening victory against Laois played in Austin Stack Park. However away defeats to Limerick and Wexford followed by a home loss to Galway who subsequently went on to claim the Liam McCarthy Cup, put in perspective the challenge facing the Kingdom.
Our Round 5 game at home to Offaly was always going to be a key tie in our efforts to retain Division 1B status and in a very closely fought encounter played in Austin Stack Park, the Midlanders prevailed. This meant a relegation play-off against Laois, played in Portlaoise on Saturday 1st April. What a game this turned out to be with Kerry losing out by one point after extra time.
Kerry re-grouped quickly to prepare for the Leinster Championship Qualifiers where four teams fought for two places in the Leinster Championship proper. Our first game was away to Meath on 23 April. After a great battle the home side prevailed. A win in Round 2 was now required to maintain our interest. Westmeath provided the opposition and hosted the game. Kerry however emerged victorious with a two-point win and all was to play for in our final game against great rivals, Laois played in Austin Stack Park. Again another closely fought game transpired, with Laois prevailing by three points in the end. Kerry just lost out on progressing to the Leinster Championship on scoring difference and with that our season came to an end.
No doubt the team was very unlucky in both the League and Championship, losing vital games by the narrowest of margins. Our thanks to all the players, to Fintan O Connor & his fellow selectors and backup team. Well done to all. There is no doubt that Kerry hurling has gone from strength to strength over the last few years and we look forward to 2018 where promotion from Division 2 will be the target while the new Tier 2 Championship will be very competitive and provide plenty of excitement during the summer.
Our U21 team having suffered disappointing defeats in the All-Ireland B championship over the last couple of years, set out the win the Richie McElligott Cup with an opening game against Donegal played in Hyde Park Roscommon. Donegal struggled to keep up with Kerry who ran out easy winners in the end.
We met Meath in the Semi-Final which was played in Thurles where Kerry, playing excellent hurling had another comfortable win.
The final also played in Thurles on Saturday 9 September against Wicklow was a much closer affair than our previous games but at long last Kerry claimed the Richie McElligott cup with a four-point victory. Congratulations to Team manager Ian Brick, his selectors and backroom team and of course the players on their great win.
Our minor team who had won the last five Minor B titles did not succeed in extending this run, going down to Kildare by two points in the Quarter Finals while our U17s playing in the inaugural Munster U17 Championship went down to a strong Clare side in the first Round.
Once again this year the U17s took part in the Celtic Challenge. This competition provides a great opportunity for our players to play in very completive games during the early summer. Whilst this year we weren’t as successful as 2016, we competed well and most importantly the players benefited from the games.
Our thanks to all our management teams who worked so hard during the year to ensure our teams were well prepared. Congratulations to Eamonn Fitzmaurice who despite the disappointment of suffering defeat to Mayo in the All-Ireland Semi-Final replay, guided Kerry to their fifth Munster Championship in a row and claimed the Allianz League Division 1 title. To Fintan O Connor who in his first year in charge did a great job with Kerry Senior Hurling team, to Peter Keane whose minor footballers re-wrote the history books. To Jimmy Keane who guided the Kerry Junior Footballers to three in a row All-Ireland titles and to Ian Brick who led the U21 hurlers to victory the All-Ireland B Championship.
Team Management 2017
Senior Football: Eamonn Fitzmaurice, Padraig Corcoran, Mikey Sheehy, Liam Hassett & Maurice Fitzgerald.
U21 Football: Jack O’Connor, Micheal Ó Sé, Eamon Whelan & Declan O’Sullivan.
Minor & U17 Football: Peter Keane, Tommy Griffin & James Foley
Junior Football: Jimmy Keane, John O’Connell, Niall O’Mahony & Pol Ó Cuinn.
Senior Hurling: Fintan O’Connor, Ian Brick, Maurice Leahy & Brendan Cummins.
U21 Hurling; Ian Brick, Aidan O’Mahony, Fintan O’Connor, Brendan Cummins, D J Leahy & John Lucid.
Minor Hurling: John Hennessey, Eamon Fitzgerald, Jerome O’Sullivan & John Healy.
|Inter County Games 2017|| |
MCGRATH CUP SENIOR FOOTBALL
|ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE ROINN 1 || |
|MUNSTER GAA SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP|| |
|GAA FOOTBALL ALL IRELAND SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP|| |
|Semi Final Replay|
|MUNSTER SENIOR HURLING LEAGUE|| |
|ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE ROINN 1B|| |
|Relegation Play Off|
|LEINSTER GAA SENIOR HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIER|| |
|ELECTRIC IRELAND MUNSTER GAA MINOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP|
|ELECTRIC IRELAND GAA ALL IRELAND MINOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP|
MUNSTER JUNIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
|ALL IRELAND JUNIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP|| |
|EIRGRID MUNSTER GAA FOOTBALL U21 CHAMPIONSHIP|| |
|EIRGRID GAA FOOTBALL ALL IRELAND U21 CHAMPIONSHIP|| |
|BORD GAIS ENERGY GAA HURLING ALL IRELAND U21 B || |
|MUNSTER GAA U17 FOOTBALL COMPETITION|| |
|GAA FOOTBALL ALL IRELAND U17 COMPETITION|| |
|MUNSTER GAA U17 HURLING COMPETITION|| |
Congratulations to the following:
Paul Geaney – All Star for second year in a row.
James O’Connor - Selected on Irish Senior Shinty Team
Stephen Murphy, Shane Conway & Tomás O’Connor - Selected on Irish U21 Shinty Team
Peter Crowley, Paul Murphy & Paul Geaney – Selected on Ireland Compromise Rules team.
Dr. Crokes (Senior) & Glenbeigh/Glencar (Junior) on winning All-Ireland Club Titles (2016/2017).
Kenmare Shamrocks on winning Munster Club Intermediate Championship.
Lispole on winning Munster Junior ‘B’ Championship.
St Brendans College - Hogan Cup winners for second year in a row.
To Colm Cooper on his recently published book, ‘Gooch – The Autobiography’.
An Ghaeltacht on winning the 2017 Munster Intermediate Club Football Championship and to Dromid Pearses on reaching the Munster Junior Final.
Former Kerry Hurler Darragh O Connell, All-Ireland Senior Club and Man of the Match winner for his adopted Club Cuala
To Shane Conway on winning the U21 B Hurler of the Year 2017 Award.
Coiste na nÓg who this year celebrate their 50th year in existence.
Dr. Crokes having claimed a long awaited All-Ireland Senior Club title in Croke Park on St Patricks day, continued their winning way within the county, retaining the County Senior Football Championship and also winning the Senior Club Championship and Senior Football League Division 1. With such a fine array of talented footballers coming through their ranks the Lewis Rd outfit will no doubt continue to be a major force in the years ahead..
Ballyduff were the impressive winners of the Senior Hurling Championship, overcoming Lixnaw after a replay in the final. Congratulations to both clubs for serving up such great entrainment on both days. Played as the curtain raiser to the Senior Final the Minor Championship Final proved to be a great contest won in the end by Crotta O Neills, defeating Abbeydorney/Parnells by a narrow margin. Great credit to both clubs for contributing to the occasion.
Overall the fixtures programme seemed to go well. The summer games for the Senior Football League have been well received, while the format for the Senior Football Championship now in its second year has been well received and the quality of games have improved.
Thankfully the days of constantly seeking postponements is becoming more and more a memory and clubs and team managements are to be complemented on this more positive approach. Indeed, Kerry has now become a model for club fixtures within the association, especially the very streamlined championship structure and our very competitive county leagues involving plenty of summer games.
However, with the new changes in the intercounty scene for 2018, the opportunity arises to take stock of where we are and look to adapt where necessary to the new challenges. With this in mind we recently held a well-attended Fixtures Forum where new ideas were discussed and views exchanged.
While the views on the release of inter-county players for Club games is always going to be an issue, I feel that a balance and sense of realism has to pertain. Winning a Senior All-Ireland is very important for everybody in the County. The efforts required to achieve it should not in any way be underestimated. Efforts by some to try and pit the clubs against the county is wrong and not the Kerry way. Both have and will continue to play vital roles in the overall development of Kerry GAA.
The club fixtures in Kerry are solid and well-structured as they should be. Of course there is always a need to challenge and take on different ideas. That’s a healthy and mature approach. But just adopting a narrow view on an issue without considering the broader consequences is short-sighted and does not serve Kerry well.
The District Boards continue to serve the County well, particularly this time of the year when everyone looks forward to the local District championships. However, I do feel it is time to look at some of the secondary competitions played at both district and county level to see if more efficiencies can be achieved.
Competitions such as Junior Leagues, U21 Championships, Senior Leagues, should I believe be looked at with a view of either dropping some or at the very least streamlining the competitions so that they can be played and completed in a more orderly and efficient way. I would include as well some of the Junior Cups and League competitions played at County level with a view of how these competitions can be run off in a better fashion.
Aidan O Mahony
After 14 years of massive service to his County Aidan O Mahony announced his retirement from the intercounty scene in January. To Aidan many thanks for your huge commitment to Kerry.
A winner of five All-Ireland Senior Medals, three Allianz League titles, eight Munster Championships and an All-Star in 2006 & 2007, Aidan will be remembered as one of Kerry’s finest ever defenders.
We wish Aidan and his family all the best in the years ahead and look forward to seeing this great warrior continue to perform for his Club Rathmore.
Perhaps the greatest player ever to don the green & gold, certainly up there with the very best, Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper bid adieu to his intercounty career in April.
He leaves behind a treasure throve of memories, magical moments that just made the man so special. Both on and off the field Colm was a class act and on behalf of all Kerry supporters all over the world, I want to thank Colm for lighting up all our lives during a glorious period in Kerry GAA history.
At Senior level Colm won 5 All-Ireland Medals, 3 Div 1 & 1 Div 2 National League titles, 9 Munster Senior Championships, 8 All-Star awards, being selected Texaco player of the year in 2004 and of course fittingly claiming a long awaited All-Ireland Senior Club medal for his beloved Dr Crokes on St Patricks Day this year.
In May, long serving Kerry hurler John ‘Tweek’ Griffin announced his retirement. John has served the county well, captaining Kerry to Christy Ring success in 2015, his second All-Ireland success at this level.
He was an outstanding leader both on and off the pitch and I would like to take this opportunity to thank John for his tremendous commitment to Kerry hurling over many years.
An outstanding coach and former hurling GDA, we look forward to John playing an influential role in Kerry hurling for many years to come,
We wish John all the best and we look forward to seeing this dual star continue to play for his Clubs Lixnaw and Finuge
In November Bryan Sheehan announced his retirement from the Inter-County scene. The South Kerry man will always be remembered as one of the finest placed ball kickers in the history of the GAA.
Holder of 5 All-Ireland Medals and an All-Star winner in 2011, Bryan Sheehan has been a tremendous ambassador for Kerry both on and off the field. We wish Bryan and his wife Ita all the best in his retirement and thank him for his huge contribution to Kerry. Probably one of the greatest players to play in the County Senor Football Championship we look forward to seeing Bryan lining for his club St Marys and District team for many years to come.
Centre of Excellence
I am happy to report that our Centre of Excellence is now ready for use. At time of writing, the floodlights are being installed and players will be using the facility by end of December.
A lot of visitors have remarked on the eye-catching and well-designed clubhouse and as a County we can be very proud of the development. The Centre will provide Kerry teams and Development squads with long overdue facilities that properly reflect this County’s leading position in the Association.
The Board will be taking on an increased financial burden with the opening of the Centre and I believe a County Development Draw should be put in place to ensure we have the resources to meet this extra challenge. I am asking all Kerry GAA supporters both here at home and further afield to get behind the Board and make sure our Centre of Excellence will serve our players and teams well and reflect our County’s pride and passion for our games.
Another very busy year on the administration front, with new Cathaoirleach Tim Murphy taking over at the helm at last year’s convention. Tim’s leadership of the Board in his first year has been quite outstanding and on behalf of all within Kerry GAA we thank him for his huge contribution.
To all other Officers, many thanks for your commitment and all the work done on behalf of the Kerry GAA.
I would like to thank all our Sub-Committees where so much work goes on. Thank you for your time and commitment and I hope each and everyone of you enjoyed being involved.
Congratulations to the PR & Marketing Committee on the recent launch of our new Kerry GAA Website.
A big thank-you to retiring Officer Stephen O Sullivan for his work as Assistant Secretary, especially his great initiative with the development of Kerry GAA TV, while we welcome new Officer Fionan Fitzgerald who takes over Stephen’s role.
This year sees a number of Officers complete their 5-year terms and while they will be returning in new positions I would like to acknowledge the great contribution they made in their outgoing brief. Thanks to Ger McCarthy for his huge commitment to Kerry hurling and his willingness to help out his fellow officers no matter what the task, likewise to John O Leary whose work as PRO has been recognised throughout the Association. Both Ger & John will be returning to the Management Committee in 2018 as our Munster Council Delegates. Also thanks to our new PRO Leona Twiss for her excellent stewardship of the Oifigech Cultúa portfolio and to outgoing Assistant Treasurer Paudie Dineen who returns as new Hurling Officer.
Thanks to Christy Killeen our outgoing Munster Council Delegate and legendary Minor Football Team Liaison Officer who will now serve as the new Cultural Officer. Finally, my thanks to our other outgoing Munster Council Delegate Joe Crowley who will be contesting for the position of Assistant Treasurer on the 2018 Management Committee along with Pat McAulliffe.
I would like to give a special mention to Aileen Foley who was a member of the staff in the County Board office for the last number of years Thank you Aileen for your work and the very best of luck to you in your new career.
Our thanks once again to Kerry Group and in particular to outgoing CEO Stan McCarthy and to Head of Corporate Affairs Frank Hayes for their wonderful support of Kerry GAA.
This year as in previous years, Kerry Group hosted a banquet for our winning Minor All-Ireland team. A lovely occasion for the players and their parents and greatly appreciated by all.
A few weeks ago Stan McCarthy stepped down from his role as CEO. His stewardship marked a hugely successful period for the Company. On behalf of all involved with Kerry GAA I want to wish Stan a very happy retirement. No doubt he will continue to follow his beloved Kerry and we look forward to his continued presence in Fitzgerald Stadium, Parc Uí Chaoimh and especially Croke Park for years to come.
We warmly welcome his successor, Brosna’s own Edmund Scanlon. We wish him the very best as the takes over the leadership of such a great company and look forward to working closely with him during his tenure as CEO.
We thank our Senior Football & Hurling Championship Sponsors, Garveys SuperValu, in particular Tomás, Jim and all the Garvey Family.
We acknowledge the Board's Associate Sponsors: The Meadowlands Hotel, Gleneagle Hotel, Lucozade Sport, Aherns Car Sales, Horans Health Stores, Atlantic Oils and Origin Bars. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Chapter 23 of the Irish Credit Union continues to sponsor our County Football and Hurling Leagues while Castleisland Mart continues to support our Club Championships. Our thanks to both Sponsors.
At underage level Acorn Life sponsor the U21 competitions and Peter Keane (Keane's SuperValu) sponsors the Minor Championships and Leagues.
We also acknowledge the support of the Rose Hotel in Tralee towards Kerry hurling.
Our sincere thanks to all for your support.
My sincere thanks to our Finance Committee chaired by Michael J. Kearney for doing such an excellent job during the year. As the business of the Board grows the need to have good financial structures and governance in place becomes ever more important.
A big thank you to members of Cairde Chiarraí and to all supporters of both the Fitzgerald Stadium Development Scheme and Austin Stack Park Development Scheme. Your continued support is vitally important for the development of our facilities.
This year’s hosting by Austin Stack Park of the two Allianz League games against Mayo and Dublin, underlined the value of having a well developed stadium in our capital town. Both games brought a tremendous economic boost to Tralee and surrounding areas and we in the Kerry County Board were delighted to see such benefits accrue.
A necessary part of any voluntary organisation is the ability to fundraise. For Kerry GAA it plays a critical part in our ambition to develop and grow our games, develop and enhance our facilities, strengthen our coaching structures and support our teams.
For a small minority there seems to be nothing but criticism any time the Board takes on any fundraising projects but thankfully the vast majority of people understand and appreciate what the Board is trying to do and the financial support we get is greatly appreciated.
While overseas support has been wonderful and we plan further forays abroad in 2018, it is very important that our own County and our exiles all over Ireland continue to support our fundraising initiatives.
Of particular importance I feel will be the running costs associated with the Centre of Excellence. I would take this opportunity to ask everybody who support and follow our teams to make sure that this facility, built at a cost of €7 million for the benefit of all our teams will be maintained in a proper and fitting manner and any fundraising needed for this objective is well supported.
My thanks to our Treasurers Dermot Lynch and Paudie Dineen for their work and diligence and to all who support the County Committee in various ways, it is greatly appreciated.
We thank our patrons who attend our games and to all the people who look after the gates, many thanks for your efficiency and commitment for what at times can be a demanding job.
I would like to acknowledge the people involved in organising the various fundraising events that took place during the year and all those who supported them. Our ‘Night at the Dogs’ annual fundraiser is now an established event on the calendar but every year requires a tremendous effort by the organising Committee to ensure its success. My thanks to Christy O’Connell Chairman, Maureen O’Shea, Secretary and all members of the Committee.
In the lead up to All-Ireland Final weekend we held Golf Classics in both Killarney & Dublin.
Dublin as always was organised by our great friend and supporter Luke Moriarty and we thank Luke and his family and the local organising Committee for their efforts.
In Killarney JP Brick, Frank Stephenson, Ger O’Keeffe & Pat O’Connor were some of the key organisers in what was a very well run and successful event. Our thanks to all who supported both Golf events.
We offer our sympathy to the families of the following who passed away during the year. Vince Linnane, Jimmy Roche, Ted Houlihan, John Horan, Brendan Keogh, John Bambury, Jack Condon, Geraldine O Connell, Eileen Holly and all others who have lost a loved one since our last Convention.
At the end of another year where Kerry captured the Allianz Football League Division 1 title, the Munster Senior, Junior, U21, Minor Football and U17 championships, the All-Ireland Junior & Minor football titles, the All-Ireland U21 ‘B’ Hurling championship and our Clubs won Munster Senior, Intermediate, Junior and Novice Club Football Championships & All-Ireland Senior & Junior Club football titles, I wish to thank the following:
Our Cathaoirleach Tim Murphy for the huge amount of time and energy he has given to Kerry GAA in his first year in the Chair. Thank you, Tim.
To my fellow Officers for their great work and support during a hectic year, my sincerest thanks.
To the office staff in Austin Stack Park, Kate & Breda.
To Austin Stack Park groundsman Ger O Mahony
Thanks to the Austin Stack Park Committee, Fitzgerald Stadium Committee and Chairman of Caherslee grounds Joe Wallace.
To all our Sub-Committees for their huge contribution towards the running and development of the Association within the County.
To all our Team Managements for your time and commitment to Kerry GAA.
To our excellent Coaching and Games Manager Donal Daly. Thanks Donal and to your fellow coaches for all your work in ensuring the participation and development of our young players is second to none.
To Maurice Leahy who retired this year as Hurling GDA and whose contribution to hurling in Kerry as player, team manager and coach will never be forgotten. We also welcome Giles O Grady who takes over from Maurice as Hurling GDA.
To our Clubs and District Committees for all your support and work. To the Club Secretaries for your great assistance to myself and all in the Office.
To Simon Moroney, Kieran Leddy and all the staff at Munster Council.
Thanks to all in Croke Park for your support and assistance during the year, especially to Teresa Rehill, Fergal McGill, Fiona O Rourke, Bernard Smith, Pat Doherty and Tom Ryan.
To our Referees, Gatemen and Stewards for doing a great job.
To all the Clubs, it was another great year on the playing fields and I wish you all the best for 2018.
A special word of thanks and appreciation to our retiring Ard Stiúrthóir Páraic Duffy. Páraic has been the leading Sport Administrator in this Country for the last decade. His vision, integrity and courage in taking on the challenges of the day in an open and honest way has been a key factor in the Association’s growth and its enhanced status within Irish society. On behalf of all involved with Kerry GAA, we wish Paraic and his wife Vera the very best for the future.
Is mise le meas
“Volunteers do it for free”