Chairman's Address to Club AGM - 2 December 2006
Having completed three years as Club Chairman under Club rule I must vacate the chair. It was an honour to hold the position, but really it is a good rule for a number of reasons
Setting out to compile this report, events over the last three years spring to mind. The disappoinments - the successes, the frustrations - the elations, but especially the tremendous strides of Hurling the three hugely successful Dinner Dances come to mind.
Aodh Ruadh CLG is a well-organised and structured club with sub-committees in place for the various activities, holding monthly meetings with reports from all sub-commitees and adult teams
While underage membership has increased by 43% from 2005 adult membership has dropped from 199 in 2004 in 138 in 2006. A membership application/renewal form might buck this trend
At the 2005 AGM the Park Committee unveiled plans for major development work for 2006, In early 2006 concerns were raised as to the sequence of these developments. As a recent Park Committee highlighted, much useful research and investigative work was carried out in 2006. I sincerely hope that the resultant development plan presented here today will be enthusiastically received by all, and that whatever fundraising is embarked upon, that it is assisted and supported by the membership of the club.
Bord na nOg continue to make great strides. A concern would be the number of management teams that stepped down at their recent AGM. I hope these individuals hand in there, as former glory days are not that far away. The appointment of Sylvester Maguire as Director of Coaching will be of enormous benefitto the development of our underage teams and adult teams of the future. Good to hear that he will continue in that role.
A difficult task throughout 2006 was co-ordinating fixtures for our four adult teams with a sometimes very inflexible and at times stroke-pulling fixtures committee in a start-stop season. Fielding all four adult teams on the same evening is not on, insisting on fulfilling fixtures while players are sitting exams is not on and to cap it all the refixing of the replay of the Junior B Final - All strokes pulled.
Our senior championship exit was disappointing and a shock to the system, but I hope we have learned from it. The transformation of our league form is progress and a platform to regain top spot in the county. To the few party animals I would say - you are fooling nobody but yourselves, and it is only a matterof time before your fellow players drop you.
Our reserve team are to be commended for their efforts this year with many availing of training with the senior team. The reserves are vital to the club, not alone providing competitive football, but also providing back up to the seniors, and experience for our u21 and minor players
The exploits of our Thirds continues with their mixture of deft touches from former stars to the courage and determination of up and coming stars, and is always a pleasure to watch.
To the management of all teams I pay tribute. PJ McGowan came in and had manage without assistance until Peter Gallagher came on board. They worked well together and put in a tremendous effort with the team, introducing gym-work among other things. PJ has indicated that it is just not possible to stay on as manager. We must respect his decision and thank him for his efforts and wish him well. Peter Gallagher was the find of 2006 and we can ill-afford to loose him after one year.
Barry Travers, Maurice McLaughlin and and John Travers took on a task to put together and manage a reserve team. They have built a solid foundation for themselves for 2007.
Paddy Kelly, Colman Kerr and Gerry McManus continue to manage and play and contest County Finals. Hopefully Dicey will fill that cup in 2007.
The Ladies Committee continue to make strides on the field. they have great numbers at underage level and are also progressing at adult level with a very young team. Barry Ward and Teddy Kane are helping with management and administration, but the girls need more help.
Camogie made a comeback under the leadership of Emma Gaughan and Donna Ferguson, and helped by member of our senior hurling team. A major honour ws Donna Ferguson's selection on the All-Ireland u21 Shinty Team. Great to see the game back in the club. They also will require assistance in 2007.
Peter Campbell had an active year and successful year with Scor, highlights including County and Provincial Titles by our quiz team and County Quiz Title in Scor Sinsear, hosting Scor na mBunscoil in Colaiste Colmcille and Aodh Ruadh named Club of the Year for non Gaeltach clubs.
Our PRO was a busy man. On top of all his work commitments, holidays, etc., he landed the County PRO job and won the Ulster Sports Writers Award. Well done Sean - back to base, we need you here.
The support of our sponsors is vital to the club and in turn we need to maximise publicity of that sponsorship. We all have a role to play in Public Relations and as with getting space in local publications, there are methods and skills to be learned.
I am so proud of the exploits of our Hurlers. They have excelled at Senior and Minor level across Ulster and are well recognised and respected for their commitment to fulfil fixtures, skills and sportsmanship. The Ulster Leagues couldn't have come at a better time for us.
At county level we are making steady progress at senior level finishing second in the League, one point behind Setanta. County Championships at Minor and u16 A is jsut reward fro the great work by Billy Finn and the Hurling Committee down through the years. They had a full house at their recent AGM and have management teams from u10s up to Senior. Best wishes to Dennis Doherty the new Chairman of that committee.
To the Club Committee I thank you for the support and work over the past three years. The monthly meetings were always well attended and voluntees always available for Lotto in Shopping Centre and all other club activities.
An odd face might change in the Lotto Committee and the Bingo Committee, but we have the same groups working 51 weeks of every year for the club.
The Golf Classic in association with our neighbours Erne Gaels CLG was again successful and thanks to all that helped. Club Cisteoir Patsy Kilgannon has plans to expand this classic in 2007.
In wish to thank Club Officers, Terence McShea, Alan Sweeny, Patsy Kilgannon and Mary Matthews for their co-operation and help. Terrence has served his apprenticeship as Vice-Chairman and I wish him every success. Alan has served the club well as Runai over the last three years. He had quite a bit to learn and his expertise will be invaluable to the incoming Runai, particualarly in relation to injury claims for players. Thankfully Patsy has indicated to me that he will stay on as Cisteoir if elected. While being a safe pair of hands, Patsy understands the needs of players and teams having played both Hurling and Football. Mary Matthews played a major role in getting membership up to the high of 2004, and was an excellent Cisteoir in 2005 despite a health setback.
I consider myself fortunate to have had such excellent fellow officers during my term as Club Cathaoirleach
Finally Im ust refer to an enormous occasion coming up in 2007 when the Cahaoirleach of our Park Committee, Tom Daly, will be elected President of Comhairle Uladh CLG, a major honour for Tom and a major honour for Aodh Ruadh
So to our incoming committee, to all our teams and to our developments every good wish and success in 2007.
Conal O Gallachoir
Report Filed: 29 January 2007