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PRO GAA Scene December 14th 2016 2016-12-14 22:24:00

Kerry GAA News 14th December 2016

New chairman takes over at Kerry GAA Annual Convention on this Wednesday evening

The Annual Convention of Kerry GAA takes place on this Wednesday evening in the Rose Hotel Tralee with a starting time of 7:30 and the meeting will herald a change at the top of Kerry GAA when Brosna native Tim Murphy takes over the position of chairman from the outgoing Patrick O’Sullivan whose five year term in the chair will come to an end due to the five year rule.

End of an era as O’Sullivan bows out

It certainly is the end of an era for the Dr Crokes man who was first elected an officer of the Board nineteen years ago in 1998 as Development Officer and was subsequently elected Vice Chairman in 2008. Having spent four years in that position he contested the position of chairman at the 2012 Convention where he brushed aside the challenge of Johnny Mulvihill to go on and lead Kerry GAA for the last five years. His tenure of office will be remembered especially for the advancement of the Centre of Excellence project at Currans and while the official opening of that long awaited facility will not now take place until next year, it will forever be associated with his time in the chair. Patrick worked tirelessly for the advancement of the project, particularly with regard to the very necessary fundraising associated with such a huge capital undertaking a fact readily acknowledged by his successor Tim Murphy who, as Development Officer and project manager, worked closely with him during his term of office;  “It would be remiss of me not to mention and acknowledge the contribution that Pattrick O’Sullivan has made over the past 19 years but in particular over the past five years as chairman of Kerry GAA. I have seen at first hand the level of effort and commitment that Patrick has brought to bear during his tenure as chairman. His fundraising abilities are unequalled and he brought a unique single-mindedness in formulating a vision for the development of Kerry GAA in the years to come”.

O’Sullivan’s tenure in office will also be remembered the fantastic achievement which has seen Kerry minor teams achieve the elusive 3-in-a-row of All Ireland titles, while on the hurling front, it has also been a very exciting  time with the county winning the Christy Ring cup and subsequently consolidating their senior league and championship status.

County secretary, Peter Twiss, also paid tribute to the Dr Crokes man in his report to convention; “This Convention sees our Cathaoirleach Patrick O’Sullivan stepping down after completing his 5 years in the position. To Patrick, his wife Frances and children Zoe, Laura and T.J. I would like on behalf of the County Committee to thank you for the time and commitment you have given to the position.  As Cathaoirleach you achieved a huge amount and we wish you well as you take a well-earned break. No doubt your love of Kerry will see you continue to play a major role in the affairs of the GAA in this county for many more years to come”. 

Tim Murphy takes over as Chairman of Kerry GAA

The new man at the helm of Kerry GAA Tim Murphy, has been Development Officer for the past five years and during that time has overseen the major development and construction of the Kerry GAA Centre of Excellence at Currans which is due to become  operational next Spring. He has also project led the recent redevelopment of Austin Stack Park, a project that is ongoing. Prior to becoming County Development Officer in 2012 he served as Chairman of the Brosna Club for 11 years.

Murphy, an engineer by profession, takes over the reigns at what is a very challenging time for Kerry GAA. While the structures are in pretty good shape, many clubs, particularly in the rural areas of the south and north of the county, are struggling as a result dwindling playing numbers while others are feeling the financial strain caused by the increasing cost of fielding teams and maintaining their club facilities. On the playing fields the Kerry senior football team is facing a transitional period as Eamonn Fitzmaurice is tasked with blending in the undoubted talent that is coming through with the current squad of experienced but ageing players. His first task on the hurling front, even before he takes office, was to set up a committee to appoint a new senior manager in succession to Ciarán Carey who stepped down last week. He will also have to oversee the completion of the Centre of Excellence projects in both Currow and IT Tralee. These of course are but a few of the many demanding tasks that lie ahead of the Brosna native but he has served a good apprenticeship and is certainly well equipped to lead Kerry GAA into the future. We wish him well.

Secretary reports for yet another busy but successful year for Kerry GAA

County Secretary Peter Twiss, in his detailed report to Convention looks back at what has been a very busy but successful year on the playing fields. The county’s Minor footballers completed a hat-trick of All Ireland titles, the Minor hurlers went even further by achieving a 5-in-a-row of titles and the Junior footballers retained the All Ireland title with a new team.

Locally, 865 games (750 Football and 115 Hurling) were played under the auspices of the central competitions control committee and this huge figure reflects on the huge commitment of a lot of people from players to administrators to referees etc. The secretary is particularly pleased that for the first time in a long time, all competitions were completed within the calendar year; “I feel this is the standard we must now try and maintain going forward. While this throws extra pressure on clubs, particularly in relation to summer fixtures and availability of players, the notion of stopping the majority from playing games because of the absence of one or two needs to be confined to history” he remarks.

Looking at the games at a national level, the Runaí has welcomed the proposals from Croke Park aimed at improving the lot of the Club player; “ I welcome the recent efforts to improve Club fixtures by Croke Park. For intercounty activity shortening the calendar year and having more hurling and football games on the same weekend will ensure greater space for Club games” and he has also given his endorsement to plans to revise the Championship; “I welcome the new proposals on a revised format of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship. The suggestion that the current quarter final stage of the championship be replaced by a Group stage, organised on a league basis with two groups of four teams is attractive. The idea to play one home, one away and one in Croke Park is a good one” he says.

Terence Houlihan is the new Coaching and Games Officer

Terence Houlihan of Laune Rangers, who was unopposed for the position, will fill the Coaching and Games officer post following the completion of a five year term by Eamonn Whelan and this will be his first stint as an officer of the senior board. He served as secretary of Laune Rangers for five years, and has been involved in a coaching capacity both with his club, with the Kerry South U15 Development squad for two years and with the Kerry Coaching and Games Committee for the past twelve months.

Meanwhile Eamonn Whelan will take over the role of Development Officer vacated by Tim Murphy.  He served a very successful five year term as Coaching and Games Officer and prior to that he was involved in Bórd na nÓg. The North Kerry man was a selector with Jack O’Connor for the first two of the Minor 3-in-a-row and joined O’Connor at Under 21 level last year, a role he will continue with in the coming year.

Kenmare are Barrett Cup winners

Kenmare are the winners of the junior football Barrett Cup competition following a 3-9 to 1-8 victory over St Marys at Fitzgerald Stadium on Sunday last.

Lispole are through to Munster Junior B Championship Final

Kerry Novice champions Lispole are through to the Munster Junior B Championship final following a 2-15 to 2-11 semi final victory over Oola at Knockaderry on Sunday last. Unfortunately the final will not be played for some time as the other semi final involving Wolfe Tones (Clare) and  Ballyhooly (Cork)  is not pencilled in until 22nd January with the final proposed for a week later.

Kerry Referees meet to discuss the “Mark”

The new “Mark” rule in Gaelic football which comes into force from January 1st, will be the topic as Kerry referees will be coached on it’s implementation at two different venues in the county this  week. On Tuesday 13th the venue is Fossa GAA Club for East Kerry, South Kerry, Mid Kerry and Kenmare while on this Wednesday evening the venue is Kerins O’Rahillys clubhouse for referees in North Kerry, West Kerry, Tralee, Castleisland and any referees who were unable to attend the course in Fossa.. Starting time is 8pm at both venues and all referees are obliged to attend.

Munster GAA Awards

Congratulations to Paul Geaney (Dingle) and David Clifford (Fossa) on receiving the Munster GAA Awards 2016 for senior and minor football respectively at a function in the Rochestown Park Hotel on Saturday night last. These awards are recognition of their outstanding achievemrnt on the playing fields of Munster and beyond during the past season.

Kerry’s Magnificent 7 DVD is on sale

Kerry’s Magnificent 7 DVD, the follow on to the very successful “Kerry’s Golden Years” video and covering the period from 1988 to 2016 is now on sale in the Kerry GAA Store Killarney  just in time for the Christmas market. The DVD is a must have for all Kerry supporters as is the commemorative 40 page booklet, priced at €5 which is also currently on sale in the Kerry GAA Store in Killarney. The DVD may be ordered on line at www.kerrygaa.ie

Both together are perfect Christmas present for the GAA follower.


Sympathy is extended to the relatives of Dan Joe O’Sullivan who at the time of his death was President of the Kenmare Shamrocks Club. Dan Joe was a well known and respected figure in GAA circles for many years. Sympathy is also extended to well known Kerry GAA supporter Mike Allen and his family of Firies on the death of Mike’s wife Sheila. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anamacha.

Kerry GAA Supporters Club annual Social

The Kerry GAA Supporters Club Annual Social will take place on Saturday 28th January at Ballygarry House Hotel. Guests of honour: Darragh, Tomás and Marc Ó Sé, All-Ireland winning captains and team managers will also be in attendance along with 2016 All-Star, Paul Geaney. Music by Neily O Connor. Tickets are available from club members. This would be an ideal Christmas gift.

Hurling News with Tommy O’Connor of the PR & Marketing Committee

New Kerry Hurling Manager should be in place before Christmas

The process for appointing a new Senior Hurling Manager has already been put in place. A three man committee has been appointed and they have been tasked with the job of recommending a new manager to go before County Committee for ratification. It is hoped to have the new manager in place before Christmas and the process of interviewing prospective candidates is well underway. There has been a lot of interest in the position and that is hardly surprising given the fact that this year Kerry retained both their Leinster senior Championship and Division 1B Allianz League status.

Draw is made for the Munster Senior Hurling League Draw

The Munster Council G.A.A. has made the draws for the 2017 Co-Op Superstores Munster senior hurling league. Kerry will open their season away to Cork at Mallow on Sunday, 8 January.

Further games: Round 2 - Sunday, 15 January  v Clare at Austin Stack Park; Round 3 - Sunday, 22 January  v Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds; Round 4 – Wednesday, 25 January  v  Waterford at Austin Stack Park. The new sponsors, Co-Op Superstores, the retail arm of Dairygold, have 39 stores across Munster and are online at www.coopsuperstores.ie

Meanwhile, Kerry’s Tom Murnane (Kilmoyley) came on at half time for Munster last Sunday in their 3 - 21 to 0 - 15 win over Ulster in the interprovincial semi-final played at Semple Stadium last Sunday. They will now meet Leinster in the final on this Thursday evening in Semple Stadium at 7:45pm.

Munster Under 17 Hurling

From 1st January 2018, inter-county minor competitions in football and hurling will be played at Under 17 rather than at Under 18 level. These competitions will be run in the summer months and played alongside the All-Ireland Senior Hurling and Football championships (as currently). To accommodate players who will be overage for the new minor competitions in 2018 (and would therefore miss out on the opportunity to play ‘minor’ for their county), Central Council has decided to play Under 17 championships in football and hurling during 2017, alongside the inter-county Minor championships.

In the quarter-finals, scheduled for Tuesday, 11 April, Clare will host Kerry in the Munster Under 17 hurling championship while Limerick have home advantage versus Cork. In the semi-finals a week later on April 18th, Tipperary will travel to play the winner of Cork and Limerick while Waterford will travel to play the winner of Clare and Kerry. The Under 17 final is fixed for Tuesday, 25 April.


Tralee Parnell’s winter indoor hurling sessions for Under 10’s continue each Tuesday at the Tralee Sports Complex at 6.30 pm. All current and any interested new players are invited to attend.  Cost is just €2 per child to cover overheads.

Causeway G.A.A. Club will hold a Poc Fada competition on St. Stephen’s Day for adult, juvenile and camogie players. Teams of 3, staring at Causeway Cross at 10.00a.m. and finishing at the Sportsfield.

Scór na nÓg

Halla na Féile, Cashel, County Tipperary, staged the Semi Finals of Coiste Scór na nÓg na Mumhan on Sunday last December 11th  where Kerry were represented in all of the seven categories. Once again a huge crowd was in attendance with the Kingdom representatives having plenty vocal support and despite facing stiff opposition from Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford they had a most successful outing going through to the Munster finals in six of the seven disciplines.

The East Kerry Board, as they had done in the recent County Finals, took  the competition by storm with four of their five clubs who participated going forward.

So success for East Kerry with both Set and Figure Dancers from Spa going through, Cian Sheehan from Firies in the Recitation and the Ballad Group from Glenflesk making it a great day for the East Kerry Board.

Instrumental Music  experts, Ballydonoghue did North Kerry proud while Na Gaeil from the Tralee/St Brendans area impressed the adjudicators in the Leiriú (Novelty) .

However in the Solo Singing Mark O’Leary from Gneeveguilla, despite giving a marvellous performanc,  did not make it through to the finals.

The next step in the journey will be  on Sunday January 8th, 2017, at 2pm at the Community Centre, Ovens, County  Cork where this year’s Munster Finals of Scór na nÓg will be staged.

The following will participate at the finals:

Figure Dancing:  Spa, East Kerry Board, (Alice O’Donoghue, Aislinn O’Donovan, Lia Murphy, Ailbhe Gallagher,Erin Holland, Meghann Cronin, Aíne Brosnan, Katie Lawlor).

Recitation:  Cian Sheehan, Firies, East Kerry Board.

Ballad Group:  Glenflesk, East Kerry Board (Allison Cronin, Alicia Cronin, Aileen Healy, Maeve Tangney, Sinead Gleeson).

Leiriu (Novelty Act):  Na Gaeil, Tralee/St. Brendans Board (Anne O’Sullivan, Dearbhla  Ni Choirc, Barry Staunton, Joshua Roche, John Costello, Liam Óg Mac Clochaire).

Instrumental Music:  Ballydonoghue, North Kerry Football, (Alan Foley, Aoife Lynch, Ryan O’Neill, Roisin Kissane, Caoimhe Barry).

Set Dancing Spa, East Kerry Board, (Kianan O’Doherty, Liam Spillane, Gary O’Sullivan, Cian O’Sullivan, Erin Holland,Meghann Cronin, Aine Brosnan, Orlaith Spillane).