Secretary's Report to Convention 2018
*Tuarascail an Runaí - CLG Chiarraí 2018
Seo dhibh mo thuarascáil ar ímeachtaí Cumann Lúthchleas Gael i gCiarraí i rith nambliana 2018. Ba mhaith liom mo bhuíochas a gharbáil do gach éinne a chabhraigh liomi rith na bliana.That elusive 5 in a row All-Ireland titles that even the greatest of teams found beyondtheir reach, was finally reeled in by our Minor Footballers in Croke Park in September.Our young stars not only landed the 5 in a row but became the first team to win the AllIrelandMinor Championship at the new U17 age level, while team manager Peter Keanebecame the first and so far only team manager to win All-Ireland Minor titles at twodifferent age levels.While Kerry supporters rejoiced at our Minors’ success, we were left somewhatdownbeat at the failure of our Seniors to qualify for the All-Ireland Semi-Finals followingsome indifferent performances in the new Super 8’s Group style All-Ireland QuarterFinals.Becoming the first team to ever exit the Championship having won our last game was oflittle consolation with the realisation that the result of the other Round 3 game betweenGalway v Monaghan ensured a potential Semi-Final clash with Dublin the followingweekend did not materialise.With Eamon Fitzmaurice announcing his resignation as Team Manager immediatelyafter the game against Kildare, a year that promised so much ended in hugedisappointment.We congratulate Dublin on winning 4 in a row All-Ireland Senor FootballChampionships a feat last achieved by Kerry (1978-81).On behalf of all Kerry supporters, our sincerest thanks to the management team,backroom team and of course the players who committed so much to the cause.
I wish topay a special tribute to Eamon Fitzmaurice. During his six years in charge, Kerry won 6Munster titles, one All-Ireland title and one National League. In addition he managed totransition a number of young players into the senior ranks and has built a strong supportstructure around the team that will be of immense benefit to Kerry going forward. Thankyou Eamon, your wife Tina and your family for your commitment and dedication toKerry. You were a tremendous ambassador for Kerry GAA both on and off the field.We welcome new Senior team manager Peter Keane and wish him and his managementteam the very best of luck in the years ahead.The Kerry Minor Football team’s history making achievement in winning 5 in a row AllIrelandtitles was the highlight of the year for Kerry Supporters.Congratulations to our Junior Football Team who once again reigned supreme atprovincial and national level. Four All-Ireland titles in a row is some achievement and atribute to all involved. Well done to team manager Jimmy Keane, his management &backroom team and all the players for continuing this great run of success. In Hurling we had another good year on the Intercounty scene, with our U21s retainingthe Richie McElligott Cup, while our Seniors put in solid performances in both theAllianz League and Joe McDonagh Cup.Within the county, the highlight of a very active year was Dr. Crokes overcoming gallantDingle in securing their third Senior County Championship title in a row.Lixnaw prevailed in the Senior Hurling Championship and became the first team toclaim the new Neilus Flynn Cup in defeating Kilmoyley in the final.Our new Centre of Excellence in Currans opened for the first time in January with theKerry senior teams being the first to avail of its fine facilities. Since then many teams anddevelopment squads have used the Centre and we look forward to plenty of activity therefrom now on.On the FieldKerry who did not compete in the 2018 McGrath Cup got their year off to a winning startwith an exciting one-point victory over Donegal in Round 1 of the Allianz FootballLeague played in Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney on Sunday 28 January.The following weekend our team secured a fine victory away to Mayo putting in abrilliant performance in the second half when down to 13 men to hold off theWesterners. Unfortunately, our Round 3 game away to Monaghan was a mostfrustrating experience with the game initially postponed at very short notice due toweather conditions. We then suffered a narrow defeat in the re-fixture in a game playedin very difficult underfoot conditions.In Round 4 played on Saturday 24 February, we welcomed Galway to Austin StackPark, but an impressive Galway side proved too strong on the night.Defeat to Dublin in Round 5, played in Croke Park the following Saturday evening,ensured our interest in the league was now geared towards avoiding relegation ratherthan securing a place in the final.We welcomed Kildare to Austin Stack Park for a Round 6 encounter played under lightson St Patrick’s night 17 March. A spirted Kildare performance wasn’t sufficient toprevent Kerry notch up their third victory and pretty much ensure retention of theirDivision 1 status for 2019.Our final and last game in the League was away to old rivals Tyrone, played on Sunday25 March. Defeat here did not have too much of an impact on the overall placings. All inall, the League allowed the team management to introduce a lot of new players into thesenior ranks with supporters in general happy with the emerging talent on show.With a summer heatwave on the way, Kerry supporters looked forward with relish to theupcoming Munster Championship. A home game to familiar opponents Clare in theMunster Semi-Final did nothing to diminish the optimism with a young and confidentteam sweeping aside the Banner men, scoring an impressive 32 points in a verycomfortable win.The Munster final against Cork played on 23 June created history. A Munster finalplayed for the first time on a Saturday evening and Kerry’s first visit to the newly builtPairc Uí Caoimh. What a fantastic setting for a match. A superb venue, played under ablazing hot sun and Kerry in full flow.At the final whistle the large Kerry contingent present were licking their lips inanticipation as Kerry demolished Cork with a scintillating display of fast, open footballrunning out easy winners on a score-line of 3-18 to 2-4.So it was with great confidence Kerry embarked on their quest for All-Ireland glory as weprepared for battle in the newly constituted Quarter-final series with games againstGalway, Monaghan & Kildare. With two teams from the Group qualifying for the Semifinals,a win in our opening game against Galway in Croke Park was always going to bevital. Played on Sunday 15 July, the only wet day in the Summer of 2018, Kerry hopessank with a very poor 1st half display. Despite a rally of sorts in the second half, Kerrywent down to a shock defeat and their form never seemed to recover for the remainder ofthe Quarter-Final Series.Defeat to Galway put us under pressure to qualify, so our next game in Clones againstMonaghan took on critical importance. A beautiful setting and huge local supportseemed to inspire the locals who from the throw in took the game to Kerry. With timerunning out and Kerry on the ropes facing exit from the Championship even before weplayed our last game, our young star David Clifford scored a brilliant goal to pull a drawout of the fire.Relieved to be still in contention, our final game against Kildare took on some unusualcharacteristics for a Championship game. Our opponents Kildare had nothing to play foras they were already out, while Kerry even if they won, were dependant on the result ofthe Galway v Monaghan game to determine whether we progressed to the Semi-Final ornot.Played on Saturday 4 August in Fitzgerald Stadium, Kildare despite their situation putup a mighty battle before Kerry emerged with a hard earned victory on a score-line of 3-25 to 2-16. Alas news from the West was not so good with Galway going down to asurprise defeat to Monaghan. With that result our race was ran in our quest for Sam. Itwas very disappointing for all of us, none more so than for our players and teammanagement who put in so much effort all year long.For the second year running the highlight of the playing year was the performance of theKerry minor football team, who succeeded in writing themselves into the history booksby winning the All-Ireland Championship for a fifth year in a row.The historic achievement began with a comprehensive win over Tipperary in Thurles on11 April in the Munster Quarter-Final with a final score-line of Kerry 1-15, Tipperary0-4.The Semi-Final at home to Cork in Austin Stack Park played on Tuesday 8 May was amuch tighter affair with Kerry squeezing home by a single point against a very talentedCork side. Final score here was Kerry 1-11, Cork 1-10.In the Munster Final played as curtain raiser to the Senior Final in Pairc Uí Caoimh on23 June, Kerry secured victory in a rather one-sided game. Final score Kerry 3-21, Clare1-7.Having claimed another Munster title, Kerry’s incredible run in the MinorChampionship (last defeat v Tyrone in All-Ireland Quarter-Final in 2013) was generatinga lot of excitement and team manager Peter Keane worked hard on keeping the teamfocused on the next game ahead.That game, the All-Ireland Quarter-Final against Roscommon played in Limerick onSaturday 28 July resulted in a 2-16 to 2-7 victory for the Kingdom. The Semi-Finalencounter against Monaghan played on Sunday 14 August resulted in a hard earnedvictory over our northern rivals. Indeed, with Kerry down to 14 players mid-way throughthe second half and Monaghan in full flight it looked curtains for our lads, but in fairnessthey showed cool heads and a couple of brilliantly taken points at the very end got usover the line, with the final score-line reading Kerry 1-16, Monaghan 2-11.A fifth appearance in the All-Ireland Final, could that elusive 5 in a row be secured? Theopposition in Croke Park on Sunday 2 September was Galway who settled well and tookthe game to a nervous Kerry from the outset. However, as the game progressed Kerrygradually imposed themselves on proceedings and by full time were All-IrelandChampions on a score of 21 points to Galway’s 1- 14.Congratulations to all involved, to Manager Peter Keane, his selectors and backroomteam and all the players who made history by winning the 1st All-Ireland Minor FootballChampionship played at U17 and of course securing 5 in a row titles for Kerry.As well as the minor age dropping from U18 to U17, what was the U21 grade in footballwas also dropped to U20 with a proviso that U20 players involved with the SeniorChampionship team could not participate. This latter rule had serious consequences forKerry Manager Jack O Connor, who found himself without the services of DavidClifford & Sean O Shea, arguably the two best footballers in the country at that level.Despite such a loss the Kerry management team and players prepared well for theMunster Championship and secured very facile victories over Limerick & Waterfordrespectively in the Munster Championship before meeting old rivals Cork in the Munsterfinal played in Austin Stack Park on Friday 29 June.With temperatures reaching 30 degrees Celsius, both teams showed tremendous fitnessand conditioning to serve up a fine game. Kerry though finished strongly and became theinaugural winners of the Munster U20 Football Championship on a score of 3-11 to 0-14.In the Semi-Final against Kildare played on 14 July in Limerick, Kerry were so unluckynot to secure a draw in the last play of the game as they showed tremendous character torecover from a poor start. However, it was not to be and Kerry went down to eventualchampions Kildare by a single point. Final Score Kildare 1-14, Kerry 1-13.Our thanks to Jack O’Connor, his management and backroom team and to all the playersfor putting in such a great effort. I have no doubt many of these players will go on toplay for Kerry at senior level in the years ahead and the experience gained with theirinvolvement at U20 level will stand them in good stead.Our Junior Footballers was another team on a glorious run of victories having securedthe last three All-Ireland titles. This year only two counties from Munster took part, so itwas straight into a Munster Final for Jimmy Keane’s charges against Cork in AustinStack Park on Wednesday evening 27 June.As in previous years these two teams served up a cracking game of football and onceagain Kerry prevailed on a score of 2-14 to 1-15.The All-Ireland Semi-Final played on 7 July in Pairc Tailteann against Kildare was atough battle all the way, but with Kerry having the better forwards, we ran out winners inthe end on a score-line of 2-17 to 1-14.So to Ennis for a final showdown against Galway played on Saturday 21 July. A thrillinggame with victory in doubt right up to the end. However the Kingdom showed their classwinning out on a score-line of Kerry 2-13, Galway 2-11. Congratulations to TeamManager Jimmy Keane, his management team and backroom team and to a wonderfulgroup of players.On the hurling front, a new championship for Tier 2 teams namely the Joe McDonaghCup was introduced into this year’s Fixtures Calendar. A very welcome initiativeensuring competitive games for the teams involved with progression guaranteed to theTier 1 championship for the winners & runners-up.Before that Kerry had to prepare for Div 2A of the Allianz League with a quick return toDiv 1B being the target for Fintan O Connor and his team. Kerry warmed up for theleague by participating in the Munster League with games against Clare, Limerick &Cork. While competing well against Clare and subsequent All-Ireland championsLimerick, it was our shock victory over Cork played in Austin Stack Park on 14 Januarythat really caught the headlines and brought great delight to Kerry supporters.The Allianz league itself started with an away game to London played on Sunday 28January. A comprehensive victory was secured by the Kingdom with a final score-line ofKerry 2-30, London 1-13. We welcomed Carlow to Austin Stack Park on 4 February inRound 2. An impressive Carlow side prevailed running out 1-18 to 1-11 winners.Round 3 involved an away fixture to Kildare on the following weekend, 11 February.Kerry ran out impressive winners with a 1-23 to 0-10 victory. Another impressive victoryfollowed in Round 4 at home to Meath played in Austin Stack Park on Sunday 25February. The final score here was Kerry 3-19, Meath 1-9. Our Final game would becrucial in determining whether we qualified for the Final. Postponed due to theinclement weather from its original date of 4 March, Kerry travelled to Westmeath thefollowing week knowing a tough challenge awaited them. After putting up a great battlethe Midlanders overcame Kerry’s challenge with a seven point winning margin and withthat result our interest in the League came to an end.The inaugural Joe McDonagh Cup, (Tier 2 All-Ireland Championship) ensured a verycompetitive competition for all the participants. As well as the honour of winning theCup in its own right, the opportunity for the two finalists to compete in the qualifyingrounds of the McCarthy Cup added an extra incentive for the teams taking part.Kerry started their campaign with a visit to Carlow on Sun 6 May. Carlow whosubsequently went on to win the Cup, showed their class with a strong finish to emergevictorious by three points, but not before being pushed all the way by an impressiveKerry side.The following weekend we hosted one of the competition favourites Laois to AustinStack Park for our Round 2 clash. A brilliant performance by Kerry, eventually winningby 10 points put us right back into the mix for honours.With one victory and one loss, Round 3 against Westmeath played in Austin Stack Parkon Sunday 20 May would be a crucial game. Despite a great effort, Westmeath prevailedon a score of 2-12 to 0-15 and this result ended any real hopes of making the Final.A two point away win in Round 4 against Meath on Saturday 2 June eased anyrelegation fears. Final score; Kerry 0-18, Meath 0-16.Our final Round game involved a long journey to Antrim on Saturday 9 June and afteran outstanding performance we defeated our hosts on a score-line of 2-21 to 1-20.So ended our interest in this year’s Joe McDonagh Cup. Well done to all involved. Itproved to be a great competition and gave Tier 2 teams a championship that excited bothplayers and supporters. No doubt Fintan O Connor and his team will relish thechallenge for 2019. With an excellent management team & good backroom supports inplace and some outstanding players coming through, we are well placed for honours inthe year ahead.From the outset, with the quality of players at our disposal and an excellent managementteam in place, our U21 team was seen as favourites to retain the Richie McElligott Cup.A preliminary round meeting with Down, played in Cusack Park, Mullingar on Saturday7 July resulted in a 12 point win over the Mourne men and franked the class of this Kerryside. An 11 point win over Kildare in the Quarter-Finals played on Saturday 14 July inthe Gaelic Grounds in Limerick confirmed Kerry’s determination to retain their title.With Kerry emerging from the strong side of the draw, their semi-final encounter withSligo was always likely to be a one-sided affair. Played in Ballinasloe on Saturday 22July, Kerry strolled to an easy victory and so progressed to the Final where theopposition was Derry. Played on the Saturday of the August Bank holiday weekend inNolan Park, a final score-line of 2-20 to 0-11 in favour of the Kingdom indicated howdominant Kerry were.A great achievement to retain the Richie McElligott Cup and well done to all concerned.The total dominance of Kerry in both the Semi-Final and Final would suggest that theCCCC should consider a seeding system to ensure the final stages of the competitionretain a competitive edge.A particular mention to team manager Ian Brick who has done such a marvellous jobwith the U21s over the last couple of years and prior to that, manager of the Minor team.Ian has opted to take a well-earned break from the Intercounty set-up and we thank himfor his efforts and look forward to his return in the not too distant future.In the Celtic Challenge (U17 Hurling) competition, having won all their group games,Kerry qualified for the knockout stages of the national competition before bowing out at the Quarter-Final stage to East Cork. This competition has served Kerry well over thelast few years, providing top class competition against a variety of teams. Our thanks toall involved, Team manager John Hennessy, his Management team of Alan Duggan,John Healy, Mark Ryall, William Quinlan and to all the players for showing greatcommitment.Team ManagementOur thanks to all our management teams who worked so hard during the year to ensureour teams were as always so well prepared. The time and commitment now required forvoluntary people involved with Inter-County teams is huge. Being involved in teamsports is wonderful but it tends to be dominated by honours won. Easily forgotten can bethe sheer effort required to prepare a team and the emotional demands on mentors andtheir families when defeat rather than victory is the outcome.There is huge respect and admiration for people who commit to such a cause This is notroared from the roof tops because fair minded people don’t feel the requirement to dothat.Congratulations to Eamonn Fitzmaurice who despite the disappointment of this year’sAll-Ireland Championship, guided Kerry to their sixth Munster Championship.To Fintan O Connor who in his second year in charge did a great job with the SeniorHurling team, to Peter Keane whose minor footballers re-wrote the history books onceagain. To Jimmy Keane who guided the Kerry Junior Footballers to yet another AllIrelandtitle and to Ian Brick who led the U21 hurlers to victory in the All-Ireland BChampionship for the second year in a row.
Team Management 2018Senior Football: Eamonn Fitzmaurice, Padraig Corcoran, Mikey Sheehy,Liam Hassett & Maurice Fitzgerald.U20 Football: Jack O’Connor, Johnny Crowley, Micheal Ó Sé, EamonWhelan.Minor Football: Peter Keane, Tommy Griffin & James FoleyJunior Football: Jimmy Keane, John O’Connell, Daniel Murphy & Pól ÓCuinn.Senior Hurling: Fintan O’Connor, Brian Culbert, Ian Brick & BrendanCummins.U21 Hurling; Ian Brick, Fintan O’Connor, D J Leahy & John Lucid.Minor Hurling: John Hennessey, Alan Duggan, John Healy & Mark Ryall
INTER COUNTY GAMES 2018ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE ROINN 1Round 1 28-Jan Kerry 2-18 Donegal 3-14Round 2 03-Feb Mayo 2-9 Kerry 1-15Round 3 18-Feb Monaghan 1-13 Kerry 0-14Round 4 25-Feb Kerry 0-14 Galway 1-14Round 5 11-Mar Dublin 2-17 Kerry 0-11Round 6 17-Mar Kerry 0-19 Kildare 0-14Round 7 25-Mar Tyrone 1-17 Kerry 0-14MUNSTER GAA SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPSemi Final 03-Jun Kerry 0-32 Clare 0-10Final 23-Jun Kerry 3-18 Cork 2-4GAA FOOTBALL ALL IRELAND SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIPSuper 8 Phase 1 15-Jul Kerry 1-10 Galway 1-13Super 8 Phase 2 22-Jul Monaghan 1-17 Kerry 1-17Super 8 Phase 3 04-Aug Kerry 3-25 Kildare 2-16MUNSTER SENIOR HURLING LEAGUERound 1 30-Dec Clare 4-20 Kerry 0-12Round 2 07-Jan Limerick 3-19 Kerry 1-15Round 3 14-Jan Kerry 1-23 Cork 1-13ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE ROINN 2ARound 1 28-Jan London 1-13 Kerry 2-30Round 2 04-Feb Kerry 1-11 Carlow 1-18Round 3 18-Feb Kildare 0-10 Kerry 1-23Round 4 25-Feb Kerry 3-19 Meath 1-9Round 5 11-Mar Westmeath 1-20 Kerry 0-16JOE MCDONAGH CUPRound 1 06-May Carlow 0-21 Kerry 0-18Round 2 13-May Kerry 3-20 Laois 0-19Round 3 20-May Kerry 0-15 Westmeath 2-12Round 4 02-Jun Meath 0-16 Kerry 0-18Round 5 09-Jun Antrim 1-20 Kerry 2-21ELECTRIC IRELAND MUNSTER GAA MINOR FOOTBALL CH-SHIPQuarter Final 11-Apr Kerry 1-15 Tipperary 0-4Semi Final 08-May Kerry 1-11 Cork 1-10Final 23-Jun Kerry 3-21 Clare 1-7ELECTRIC IRELAND GAA ALL IRELAND MINOR FOOTBALL CH-SHIPQuarter Final 28-Jul Kerry 2-16 Roscommon 2-7Semi Final 12-Aug Kerry 1-16 Monaghan 2-11Final 02-Sep Kerry 0-21 Galway 1-14MUNSTER JUNIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPFinal 27-Jun Kerry 2-14 Cork 1-15ALL IRELAND JUNIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPSemi Final 07-Jul Kildare 1-14 Kerry 2-17Final 21-Jul Galway 2-11 Kerry 2-13EIRGRID MUNSTER GAA FOOTBALL UNDER 20 CHAMPIONSHIPQuarter Final 15-Jun Kerry 1-30 Limerick 0-5Semi Final 22-Jun Kerry 3-22 Waterford 0-1Final 29-Jun Kerry 3-11 Cork 0-14EIRGRID GAA FOOTBALL ALL IRELAND UNDER 20 CH-SHIPSemi Final 14-Jul Kildare 1-14 Kerry 1-13BORD GAIS ENERGY GAA HURLING ALL IRELAND U21 B CH-SHIPQuarter Final 07-Jul Down 2-9 Kerry 2-21Semi Final 14-Jul Kildare 2-11 Kerry 2-22Final 22-Jul Sligo 0-8 Kerry 4-26
Congratulations to the following:➢ David Clifford – All Star and Young player of the Year.➢ Bryan Murphy & Sean Weir - Selected on Irish Senior Shinty Team➢ Evan Murphy & Fionán Mackessy - Selected on Irish U21 Shinty Team➢ All-Ireland Scór winners Spa & Churchill.➢ Minor All-Stars; Owen Fitzgerald, Colm Moriarty, Darragh Rahilly & Paul Walshwho was also selected as Minor Footballer ‘Player of the Year’.➢ Dr Crokes & Kilcummin on winning Munster Club 2018 Senior & IntermediateChampionships respectively and best wishes to Beaufort in their upcoming MunsterJunior Club Final. Should Beaufort be successful it will be a clean sweep of MunsterFootball Championship titles (x7) for Kerry at both intercounty and Club level in2018.➢ McNamee Awards winners Austin Stacks.➢ To Shane Conway on winning the U21 B Hurler of the Year award for the secondyear in succession.➢ Kerry Camogie team on reaching the All-Ireland Junior Final played in Croke Park.➢ To Spa on launching new Handball ClubClub SceneDr Crokes continue to set the standard in Club football, completing a 3 in a row in theSenior Football Championship. Special mention to Dingle on reaching the Final andbringing a great buzz to the Championship.
This year our senior county footballchampionship was played in one block during the September/October period. With theClub Championships played and completed during the April/May period, all the teamsparticipating (especially the group teams) were able to give the County Championshiptheir full attention, while the uninterrupted flow of the games insured great interestthroughout for both players and supporters.In the Club Championships the new format ensured teams played a minimum of 3 gamesrather than what used to be a straight knock-out competition The new system generatedgreat interest and with a couple of minor adjustments, these championships can befurther enhanced going forward. A particular highlight was the atmosphere and qualityof football served up at the Intermediate and Premier Junior Finals played as a doublebill in Austin Stack Park on Sunday 5 May.Hopefully the national fixtures programme will continue to provide specific time periodsin the calendar year to allow us continue with our new format. I believe this is muchbetter than the stop start nature of competitions that prevailed up to this year.On the hurling front, Lixnaw were crowned county champions in dramatic style withgallant opponents Kilmoyley having a last second penalty saved by Lixnaw goalie MartinStackpool. This year the hurling championship started and finished a little earlier than inprevious years. This new alignment of dates in our fixtures calendar was of particularbenefit to dual players with the Hurling championship completed before the footballchampionship started.For the first time in their short history, Tralee Parnells entered a team on their own in theMinor Hurling Championship. This was an important milestone for a Club that has beengrowing steadily over the last number of years, facilitating the growth and developmentof hurling in the Tralee area. Well done to all involved.We are well served in this County with the structure of our County Football Leagues.Regular games played on schedule is most important for players. The less restrictions onplaying these games the better. The non-availability of an Intercounty player shouldnever be a reason to deprive 30/40 other players from the enjoyment of playing incompetitive and well organised competitions.With regard to minor competition, while respecting the wishes of the Clubs to continueto keep the age level at U18, I believe that only when the minor grade is completelyseparated from Senior and dropped to U17, can we develop a proper games programmefor this level. The reality is that our present minor competitions are not fit for purpose.
DisciplineSome unsavoury incidents involving high profile games and personnel did not serve theCounty well this year. The coverage of these events by the media diverged as seems to bethe norm these days, into two distinct strands. One being accurate, fair and informative,the other inaccurate, over the top and based wholly on hearsay. As a Board we welcomeand take note of the former and try our best to ignore the latter. While the abovementioned incidents have no place in our games, their frequency is thankfully rare enough. Indeed I believe the amount of such incidents in and around the playing fieldshave diminished a lot over the last 20 years. However any such incident is one toomany. Each and every individual regardless of who he or she is, or whatever their rolewith any team is or whether they find themselves on a side-line or in the Stand is subjectto the same laws that applies to everyone else in this country. They must realise andwhere necessary be informed though our clubs and other units that society has notgranted anybody permission to use a sports occasion to justify this sort of behaviour.A more pressing concern is the lack of respect within the Association for those who giveof their time voluntarily, be they referees, stewards, officials, or whoever. The problemhas become endemic and appears at all levels from juvenile to senior games, involvingsupporters, parents, players & team mentors.Why this is so and what can be done about it, I don’t know but I feel rather thanexpending all our energies on the high profile incidents we need as an organisation tofocus on finding solutions to this much more prevalent issue. If left go unchecked, it willdo more damage to our games than problems with fixtures ever will.
Adult Club Coach Education.On a more positive note I would like to complement Coaching &
Games and inparticular Games Development Administrator Mike Quirke for recently developing anddelivering a coaching course for would be Adult Club Coaches.The idea behind this initiative (a pilot scheme for Clubs in the Tralee and surroundingarea has just been completed) is to give up and coming club coaches the confidence,knowledge and skill set to take up the challenge of coaching their own Senior Club team.With some Clubs spending a lot of money every year trying to secure the services of aSenior team trainer, I feel this is a very timely and practical initiative.
Kerry Stars announce their retirement from Inter-County Football.It was inevitable in the aftermath of Kerry’s departure from this year’s Championshipthat some players, having given so much to Kerry over long and successful careers woulddepart the inter-county scene. To all of those players and their families we want to thankthem most sincerely for the fantastic contribution they gave to the county, for theexcitement and joy they brought to all of us and we wish them continued success both onand off the field in the years ahead.Kieran DonaghyIn a glittering career that spanned 14 years, theAustin Stacks man won 4 All-Ireland seniormedals, three Allianz League titles, 10 MunsterSenior Championships, 3 All-Star awards and wonPlayer of the year in 2006.He became one of the most popular players in thehistory of the GAA, and was an outstanding rolemodel for young people all over the country. Darran O’SullivanOur winning Captain in 2009 theGlenbeigh/Glencar star won 4 AllIrelandSenior titles, 9 Senior MunsterChampionship medals, 3 AllianzLeague titles and was selected on the20011 All-Star Team. His brilliantbalance combined with electric paceenabled him to cut through defencesscoring some memorable goals during agreat career.Donnchadh WalshThe Cromane native won 3 All-IrelandSenior titles and received an All-Star awardin 2015. He holds 8 Munster SeniorChampionship medals and 2 Allianz Footballleague titles. A brilliant all round player, heperfected the role of the modern day halfforward, linking play, supporting colleaguesand providing a vital outlet to his defenders.Anthony MaherThe towering midfielder from Duaghclaimed 2 All-Ireland Medals, 2 AllianzLeague medals, 8 Munster Senior Footballchampionship titles and was an All-Star in2015. A superb fielder he developed into abrilliant kick passer of the ball and longrange point scorer. Unfortunately injuryover the last couple of years seriouslycurtailed his contribution and his absence invital games was a big loss to Kerry.
AdministrationMy thanks to my fellow officers for their tremendous work on behalf of the Board duringthe year. We are ably led by our Chairman Tim Murphy whose commitment andleadership ability continues to serve the county well.I would like to thank all our Sub-Committees where so much work goes on. Thank youfor your time and commitment and I hope each and every one of you enjoyed beinginvolved.Congratulations to our Strategic Plan Sub-Committee ably led by Joe Crowley & WillieO Connor who recently launched ‘The Road to Gold’ Kerry GAA strategic plan 2019 -2021.Also congratulations to our Vice-Chairman Diarmuid Ó Sé and his sub-committee fortheir production ‘Stay, Play & Work in Kerry’ a very informative booklet which onceagain emphasises the GAA’s commitment to the local community.This Convention see’s Dermot Lynch complete his 5 year term as Treasurer, having priorto that served for 5 years as Assistant Treasurer. Dermot has made a huge impressionduring his ten years involvement. His revamping of our gate system with the introductionof the ‘Ticket Van’ was a major imitative that will always stand to his vision andforesight. As Treasurer he was diligent in ensuring the finances of the Board were kept ingood order while his ability to explain in simple language, complicated financial data wasimpressive and greatly appreciated.As well as minding the books, Dermot was very involved in securing the support ofAssociate Sponsors for the Board and played a key role with the Austin Stack ParkCommittee for a number of years. When last minute help was needed by any officer overthe years, Dermot was always the first port of call.On a personal level, Dermot was a huge help to me, particularly around ticket time,making sure monies balanced and every now and then lightening up the moment with afunny story. Most of all Dermot, thank you for being a good friend.I have no doubt that your talents will not be lost to the GAA and we wish you the verybest for the years ahead.
Kerry GroupOur thanks once again to Kerry Group and in particular CEO Edmund Scanlon andHead 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 MinorFootball All-Ireland winning team. A lovely occasion for the players and their parentsand greatly appreciated by all.Other SponsorsWe thank our Senior Football & Hurling Championship Sponsors, Garveys SuperValu,in particular Tomás, Jim and all the Garvey Family and congratulate them on theircontinued success in the business world.We acknowledge the Board's Associate Sponsors: The Meadowlands Hotel, GleneagleHotel, Lucozade Sport, Aherns Car Sales, Horans Health Stores, Atlantic Oils andOrigin Bars. Your support is greatly appreciated.Chapter 23 of the Irish Credit Union continues to sponsor our County Football andHurling Leagues. Thank you for your continued support.This year marks the end of our association with Castleisland Mart who have sponsoredour Club Championships over a number of years. Our sincere thanks to you for yourtremendous support. It was a pleasure working with you and we wish your businessevery success in the coming years.At underage level Acorn Life sponsor the U21 competitions and Peter Keane (Keane'sSuperValu) 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.FinanceMy thanks to our Finance Committee chaired by Michael J. Kearney for doing such anexcellent job during the year. As the business of the Board grows the need to have goodfinancial structures and governance in place becomes ever more important.A big thank you to members of Cairde Chiarraí and to all supporters of both theFitzgerald Stadium Development Scheme and Austin Stack Park Development Scheme.Your continued support is vitally important for the development of our facilities.We were disappointed that Ireland’s effort in securing the Rugby World Cup came upshort. It would have been a massive boost for Fitzgerald Stadium, which was one of thevenues earmarked as a host venue. I would like to complement the efforts of the localCommittee headed up by our County Manager Moira Murrell for putting in such a hugeeffort in ensuring Fitzgerald Stadium was shortlisted to be one of the host venues.A lesson from the World Cup experience is surly the requirement of Central Governmentto be proactive in the development and modernisation of strategically placed sportsstadiums around the country and begin engaging in a meaningful way with the likes ofthe GAA to ensure next time someone comes looking at our facilities their left in nodoubt about our ability to deliver on their requirements.A necessary part of any voluntary organisation is the ability to fundraise. For Kerry GAAit plays a critical part in our ambition to develop and grow our games, develop andenhance our facilities, strengthen our coaching structures and support our teams.With this is mind, the Board earlier this yearappointed Maurice O Meara as the Boards CommercialManager. Maurice who is based in our Centre ofExcellence in Currans will play a crucial role in thiskey area. We welcome Maurice and wish him all thebest is his new role.Out Centre of Excellence in Currans is now up andrunning. All who have visited the facility have beenimpressed and it is great to see the venue being sobusy and getting great reviews. This has been a hugeundertaking by the Kerry County Board and hastaken up huge time and effort over the last numberof years. To all who played a part in the process, my sincere thanks. Your efforts are nowbearing fruit and I have no doubt that Currans will continue to develop and grow andbecome an integral part of Kerry GAA into the future.Sometimes we in the GAA seem to show a great reluctance to praise ourselves for a jobwell done, highlighting the negatives seem to come a lot easier, but in the case of Curranslet us all agree, an outstanding effort, super facility and excellent value for the money.Well done to all.My thanks to our Treasurers Dermot Lynch and Joe Crowley for their work anddiligence and to all who support the County Committee in various ways, it is greatlyappreciated.We thank our patrons who attend our games and to all the people who look after thegates, many thanks for your efficiency and commitment for what at times can be ademanding job.I would like to acknowledge the people involved in organising the various fundraisingevents that took place during the year and all those who supported them. Our ‘Night atthe Dogs’ annual fundraiser is now an established event on the calendar but every yearrequires a tremendous effort by the organising Committee to ensure its success. Mythanks to Chairman Christy O’Connell, Secretary John Joe O Carroll and all members ofthe 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 wethank Luke and his family and the local organising Committee for their efforts.In Killarney JP Brick, Ger O’Keeffe, Seanie Walsh & Pat O’Connor were some of thekey organisers in what was a very well run and successful event. Our thanks to all whosupported both Golf events.This year our Dublin Committee ably led by Mark Kennelly, Richard Willis & LukeMoriarty hosted a fundraising lunch in Croke Park. The event was a great success andthe intention is to host an annual event in Dublin going forward. Our thanks to all thepeople who helped and all who so generously supported. BereavementsWe offer our sympathy to the families of the following who passed away during the year.Paul Wallace, Weeshie Fogarty, John Kelly, Mike Fitzgerald, John O Riordan, PatDelaney, Amy O Connor, Aodhán O Comchúir, Breda McCarthy, Denis Courtney,Donie Murphy, Tommy Bridgeman, Jerry Brosnan, Niall McGillicuddy and all otherswho have lost a loved one since our last Convention.BuíochasAt the end of another year where Kerry captured their sixth Munster Senior FootballChampionship in a row, our Minor Footballers created GAA history in winning 5 in arow All-Ireland titles, out Junior Footballers completed 4 in a row All-IrelandChampionships, out U21 Hurlers successfully retained the Richie McElligott Cup, I wishto thank the following:➢ Our Cathaoirleach Tim Murphy for the huge amount of time and energy he continuesto give to Kerry GAA. Thank you, Tim.➢ To my fellow Officers for their great work and support during a hectic year, mysincerest thanks.➢ To the office staff in Austin Stack Park, Kate, Breda & Eileen➢ To Austin Stack Park groundsman Ger O Mahony➢ Thanks to the Austin Stack Park Committee, Fitzgerald Stadium Committee andChairman of Caherslee grounds Joe Wallace.➢ To all our Sub-Committees for their huge contribution towards the running anddevelopment 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 toyour fellow coaches for all your work in ensuring the participation and development ofour young players is second to none.➢ To David O Dee our former Hurling GDA for his commitment and work inpromoting hurling in the County. We welcome Patrice Diggins who takes over fromDavid and wish her all the best in her new career.➢ To Niall O Callaghan who recently stepped down as Manager of our GAA shop inKillarney. Niall did so much in making the shop a very successful enterprise and wewish him well in his new career. We welcome Niall’s replacement, Sean O Sullivanand wish Sean the very best in his new role.➢ To our Clubs and District Committees for all your support and work. To the ClubSecretaries for your great assistance to myself and all in the Office.➢ To Kieran Leddy, John Brennan and all the staff at Munster Council.➢ Thanks to all in Croke Park for your support and assistance during the year, especiallyto Teresa Rehill, Fergal McGill, Fiona O Rourke, Bernard Smith, Pat Doherty andTom 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 thebest for 2019.
Is mise le meas