County Secretarys Report to convention

As the GAA celebrated its 125 anniversary in a way that made us all feel so proud of the Association, Kerry honoured the year as only Kerry can, winning the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship for the 36th time in our history. In all Kerry teams claimed seven All-Ireland titles during the year and we congratulate each and every one of them.
 

   The highlight of the year of course was Sunday September 20 in Croke Park when Darran O’Sullivan and his team defeated gallant Cork in a mighty tussle. Mile buichous to Jack O’Connor and his management team, to Paul for his displays that earned him Footballer of the Year, to Darragh on winning his sixth All-Ireland Medal, to Tadgh on realising his dream, to Mike Mac on coming back and igniting the fire and to all the other players, selectors and back up team. Well done you have brought glory to the Kingdom, we salute your achievement. We also claimed the National Football League going through the entire campaign without defeat while nobody who was present will forget the magical Saturday evening in Croke Park on 14th February when two South Kerry Clubs achieved the ultimate success when capturing All-Ireland titles within the space of a few hours. Well done to St Mls/F’more and to Skellig Rgs on winning All-Ireland Intermediate and Junior Titles respectively. More glory for the South was to quickly follow with Coláiste na Sceilge winning the Hogan Cup for the first time. Special mention to the O’Connor family with Jack’s success with Kerry and Col na Sceilge, his son Cian starring for St Mls/Foilmore in their All-Ireland triumph and his other son Eanna scoring the winning goal for Na Sceilge in the Colleges Final.To complete a memorial year for the Kingdom our hurlers claimed All-Ireland titles in both U-21 and Minor grades while Causeway won an All-Ireland Vocational Schools title. Yes indeed what a way to celebrate this historical year. 

Senior Hurlers

 An unusual year for our Senior Hurlers struggling to field a team for the Waterford Crystal at the beginning of the year, improving steadily during the league but not enough to avoid relegation and coming very close to reaching the final of the Christy Ring Cup losing in the Semi-Final after a replay. Pat Heffernan’s sudden departure just before the season started was a loss and we thank Pat for his efforts during last year. We were fortunate to get Mossy Carroll on board as trainer in time to pick things up for the league but is was too late to get the required momentum going and we paid the price as we struggled through the campaign.While the efforts of the team in the Christy Ring were greatly encouraging it was disappointing to see the departure yet again of the team trainer after just one year. To Mossy Carroll and his selectors DJ Leahy  and Michael Casey our thanks and appreciation for your efforts with the team. On a more optimistic note the success of our U21 team under Trainer John Myler and our Minor team under Trainer Ger McCarty is very welcome.  A Particular word of thanks to Ger McCarthy for all his efforts through out the year with the minor team who competed in the Cork inter-divisional competition and the non-exam league in Cork, excellent preparation for our successful run in the All-Ireland B. Our thanks to our neighbours Cork for facilitating our teams in their competitions.It’s also very encouraging to see a Kerry Colleges Team participating in the Harty Cup for the first time and for Kerry to be taking part in the Munster Minor Championship in 2010. This reflects the huge work being done on the ground and I wish to acknowledge our Hurling Steering Committee under the Chairmanship of Tom O’Connor, our full time coaches Maurice Leahy and John Griffin, Hurling Officer Joe Walsh and all the hurling clubs and divisions for their ongoing commitment to hurling in the County. 

Team Management

 Being involved in the team management of a County team involves huge commitment and effort. I want to thank all those people for accepting the challenge and giving your all to achieve success. This year our U21 Football Trainer and his Management Team stepped down having being in charge for two years and of course winning the All-Ireland in 2008. Mile Buíochas to Sean Geaney and his selectors Jerome Stack, John Galvin and Colm Geaney. We welcome on board John Kennedy and his selectors and wish them every success. John himself stepped down as trainer of the Minor team after being involved for four years and while All-Ireland success eluded John in his time as Minor trainer his work in developing players and producing fine teams was outstanding. Thank you John and thanks to your selectors Liam O Rochain, Brendan Donnelly, Seanie O’Leary and Paddy Creagh who was selector up to this year.We welcome our new Minor Football Trainer Pat O’Driscoll and wish him and his selectors well for next year. 

Management Teams 2009

 Senior Football:   Jack O’Connor, Ger O’Keeffe, Eamon Fitzmaurice, and Alan                                                   O’Sullivan. U21 Football:                        Sean Geaney, Jerome Stack, John Galvin, Colm Geaney. Minor Football:     John Kennedy, Liam Ó Rochaín, Brendan Donnelly, Seanie                                                 O’Leary. Junior Football:    John Dillon, Kevin Griffin, Kerry O’Sullivan. Senior Hurling:     Mossey Carroll, D. J. Leahy, Michael Casey. U21 Hurling:                         John Myler, John Hennesey, Phil Stack Minor Hurling:      Ger McCarthy, Joe Walsh, Andy O’Sullivan, Mike Leane & Joe                                                 Walsh. 
Inter County Games 2009
GAA ALL IRELAND SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP  
Munster Champ Semi-final 07-Jun Kerry 0-13 Cork 1-10
Munster Champ SF Replay 13-Jun Cork 1-17 Kerry 0-12
All-Irl Qualifier Rd 2 11-Jul Longford 0-11 Kerry 1-12
All-Irl Qualifier Rd 3 18-Jul Kerry 0-14 Sligo 1-10
All-Irl Qualifier Rd 4 26-Jul Antrim 1-10 Kerry 2-12
All-Ireland Qtr-final 03-Aug Kerry 1-24 Dublin 1-7
All-Ireland Semi-final 30-Aug Kerry 2-8 Meath 1-7
All-Ireland Final 20-Sep Kerry 0-16 Cork 1-09
ALLIANZ NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIV 1 A      
Round 1 01-Feb Kerry 2-13 Donegal 0-11
Round 2 15-Feb Tyrone 0-13 Kerry 2-10
Round 3 08-Mar Derry 0-10 Kerry 0-12
Round 4 15-Mar Kerry 0-13 Mayo 0-11
Round 5 22-Mar Kerry 1-12 Westmeath 0-6
Round 6 29-Mar Dublin 1-15 Kerry 1-15
Round 7 12-Apr Kerry 2-15 Galway 1-11
Final 26-Apr Kerry 1-15 Derry 0-15
CHRISTY RING CUP          
Round 1 09-May Kerry 3-11 Mayo 1-16
Round 2 16-May Kerry 2-10 Down 3-11
Qtr Final 23-May Kerry 4-21 Derry 2-12
Semi Final 06-Jun Carlow 1-15 Kerry 2-12
Semi Final Replay 13-Jun Kerry 2-11 Carlow 6-10
ALLIANZ NATIONAL HURLING LEAGUE DIV 2      
Round 1 08-Feb Kerry 1-10 Wexford 4-21
Round 2 14-Feb Carlow 1-13 Kerry 2-05
Round 3 01-Mar Offaly 4-20 Kerry 0-08
Round 4 22-Mar Kerry 0-12 Laois 0-17
Round 5 29-Mar Antrim 3-19 Kerry 4-14
Round 6 05-Apr Kerry 2-11 Westmeath 0-18
Round 7 19-Apr Down 1-23 Kerry 4-5
WATERFORD CRYSTAL CUP        
Round 1 04-Jun Kerry 1-7 Waterford IT 2-22
ESB MINOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP      
Munster Champ Qtr-final 15-Apr Tipperary 1-06 Kerry 1-11
Munster Champ Semi-final 13-May Kerry 2-10 Clare 1-04
Munster Champ Final 05-Jul Tipperary 0-06 Kerry 0-12
All-Ireland Qtr-final 01-Aug Kerry 3-15 Roscommon 1-17
All-Ireland Semi-final 23-Aug Armagh 2-10 Kerry 0-10
JUNIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP        
Munster Semi-final 07-Jun Kerry 0-09 Cork 3-10
CADBURYS GAA U/21 FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP    
Munster Qtr-final 14-Mar Cork 1-17 Kerry 0-09
BORD GAIS ENERGY ALL IRELAND U/21 B HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP
Semi Final 22-Aug Kerry 2-10 Kildare 0-15
Final 12-Sep Kerry 2-18 Roscommon 1-15
ESB ALL IRELAND MINOR B HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP    
Qtr Final 08-Aug Kerry 3-19 Kildare 3-13
Semi Final 15-Aug Kerry 4-23 Meath 0-10
Final 22-Aug Kerry 0-21 Westmeath 1-13
                    

Mike Frank Russell

 Hogan Cup & Sigerson Cup winner, All-Ireland winner at Club, Minor, U21, Senior, National League, County Championship and many more - the great Laune Rgs man stepped down from the county scene this year. ‘Mike Frank’ as he is known through out the length and breath of the country was one of the most graceful and naturally talented footballers ever to play for Kerry. A brilliant corner forward and an outstanding sportsman we thank you for your service to the County and look forward to see you continue to wear the blue of Laune Rgs for years to come.  

Facilities

 

Austin Stack Park

 Earlier this year planning permission was granted for proposed developments at Austin Stack Park, Currans and Ballybeggan. Unfortunately the economic downturn has severely dampened any hopes of realising our plans for a new Stadium. However the present economic climate does give us an opportunity to purchase grounds at a time when property prices are low and I feel the County Board should explore all avenues in our quest to secure a suitable site where we can develop appropriate training facilities for county teams and development squads.   

Fitzgerald Stadium

 The new development at Fitzgerald Stadium was officially opened before this years Kerry v Cork Match on June 7 by an tUachtarán Criostoir Ó Cuana. It is without our doubt a fantastic development and all credit to the people who worked so hard at seeing this through. The new dressing rooms are second only to Croke Park while the extension of the terracing provides a superb vantage point to watch a match while increasing the overall capacity of the stadium to 42826.  My thanks to the Fitzgerald Stadium Finance Committee for all their work, to the Stadium Committee, the builders and designers and all concerned. A special mention to our Leas Cathaoirleach Patrick O’Sullivan for the huge amount of work he put into the project. My thanks as well to the Munster Council and especially Chairman Jimmy O’Gorman for your support and help with the financing of the project. 

Causeway Hurling Wall

 2009 saw the completion of a ‘Hurling Wall’ in Causeway. This very welcome facility was funded by money derived from the renting of Croke Park for rugby and soccer matches. My thanks to Causeway GAA Club, Kerry VEC and Causeway Comprehensive School for their support in ensuring such a facility will be available to all hurling clubs & development squads in the County. Club Development At present Munster Council are allocating grants to clubs in the province for various development work carried out during the year. This year 35 clubs in Kerry applied for such aid which indicates the huge effort clubs are continuing to make to enhance their facilities. My thanks to our Development Officer Ger Galvin for all his work in this area 

County Strategic Plan

 Following the launch of the National and more recently the Provincial Strategic Vision and Action Plan 2009-2015 we here in Kerry are presently developing a County Plan. Leas Cathaoirleach Patrick O’Sullivan with Willie O’Connor as Runaí chairs the Sub Committee charged with bringing this plan to fruition.My thanks to both for the work you have done so far and to all the Sub Committees and Clubs who have contributed to the plan. This Plan will be of huge importance going forward; identifying the needs, structures and mechanisms for delivery of best results for our Association at County level. 

Coaching & Games

 In 2009 we had major developments in Coaching & Games through the appointment of a County Games Manager and the creation of new positions of Games Development Administrators. There is no doubt that these new appointments will from the cornerstone to the continued development of our underage games and coaching structures. It is important that Coaching policy tie in closely with our underage games programme, the needs of the Club on the ground and also continues to develop our underage county development squads.My thanks to Coaching and Games Officer Mike McCarthy, County Games Manager Donal Daly and all our coaches for their work and commitment.  My thanks to Youth Officer Maurice O’Mahony for his diligent work in processing Garda Vetting Forms, now a requirement for all personnel working with children in our clubs. Once again I would remind Clubs of the importance of having all coaches properly vetted and cooperating with Maurice in this most important area.  Scór This year Scór Chiarraí celebrated their 40 anniversary with a special night of song and dance with competition winners from former years participating. To Oifigeach Cultura Diarmuid O and his able committee and all the personnel over the years who contributed to many hours of enjoyment mile buiochas. Website  Thanks to the tremendous work of our PRO Maureen O’Shea the County boasts one of the best GAA websites in the Country. The importance of having such a facility becomes more and more important and provides huge potential for the County Board in such areas as fixtures, coverage of local games, promotion and fundraising. 

Fundraising

 In relation to fundraising the County launched a Lotto earlier this year primarily through the Kerry Website. The initiative has proved a success and has the potential to become an important means of raising the finance needed to support our County Teams. I want to acknowledge the great work done by John Joe O’Carroll, Diarmuid Lynch and Maureen in getting the Lotto off the ground and thanks to all who have supported the venture. Costs in preparing our teams continue to place a huge burden on our finances with medical expenses being a particular heavy financial burden. As a Bord we will continue to provide the best care and preparation for all our teams while endeavouring to keep expenditure down to the minimum.   

Congratulations

 q          To our seven All Star - Diarmuid Murphy, Tom O’Sullivan, Tomas O Se, Seamus Scanlon, Paul Galvin, Tadhg Kennelly, & Declan O’Sullivan. q          To our Footballer of the Year Paul Galvin q          To Tomas O’Sé on being selected Texaco Footballer of the Year. q          To Tom Murnane and Shane Brick on being selected on the Christy Ring All-Stars. q          To John Griffin on being selected to represent Ireland in Shinty International v Scotland. q          To John O’Keeffe on receiving Hall of Fame Award from Munster Council q          To Philip Galvin on being selected Young Footballer of the Year by Munster Council. Club Scene This year saw the recommendations of the Fixtures Review Committee (established late last year) being put into practice. Overall a better fixtures programme resulted. Credit must go to all the Clubs who embraced the new proposals. The days of calling off or postponing games are by and large a thing of the past and that’s a good thing. Credit as well to the management of the county teams who accepted the need for club competitions to progress and applied a realistic attitude to the release of County Players during the year.  While this time of the year we always hear the critics giving out about various aspects of the fixtures programme the reality is that simplistic solutions usually don’t work when it comes to dealing with a complex games programme like we have in this County.  In would be fair to say our Hurling Fixtures did not run as smoothly as the football fixtures did. Because of the small number of Clubs involved and the huge overlap of players involved with County Teams and different teams within the club itself there is a tendency to allow greater flexibility when dealing with hurling fixtures. I believe for next year a sharper fixtures programme with less flexibility re changing of games is needed. My thanks to Eamon O’Sullivan and all members of the CCC for their work during the year. Congratulations to all the winners on the various club competitions. To South Kerry on winning their forth SFC this decade. To Kilmoyley on winning their sixth SHC this decade. To Spa on winning Munster Intermediate Title. To our Kerry Representatives in the Munster Club Football Senior and Junior Championships – Kerins O’Rahillys and Castlegregory respectively. To our Kerry Representatives in the Munster Club Hurling Intermediate and Junior Championships – Kilmoyley and Kilgarvan. To St Kierans on winning the Minor Football Championship To Dr Crokes Club for their initiative in streaming online live coverage of some of their games including the County Final. To all the Clubs who took part La nag Club – It was a wonderful day, which showcased all that is good about the GAA.  

Tribute

 The implementation of the 5 yr Rule governing County Offices sees great personalities stepping down from the Executive this year. Teddy O’Sullivan who succeeded Gerald Whyte has served as Munster Council Delegate since 1992. He has been an outstanding delegate ensuring at all times that the interests of this County were well looked after while also ensuring the Council developed into the progressive and highly regarded body that it is today. Thank you Teddy for your service to this County, your tremendous leadership as Cathaoirleach of the Austin Stack Park Committee, your work with GPC and of course the tremendous work you did when you served on the National GAC. Gerard McKenna who is also leaving the Executive this year is without doubt one of the finest administrators ever to emerge from the Kingdom. His contribution to the GAA not alone in this County but Nationally is simply immense. In 1969 Ger became the first PRO in Kerry, indeed he was the first PRO in the country at that time. He also served as Leas-Cathaoirleach before succeeding Dr Jim Brosnan as Chairman in 1972. In 1979 he became Delegate to Central Council while he also served as Trustee of the Association and later became President of Coiste Chontae Chiarraí a position which of course he still holds. Ger on my own behalf and on behalf of all the Officers of the County Board down through the years it has been an honour to have worked with you and many thanks for your advice, help and support.  Last years convention saw the departure on another great personality from the Management Committee. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the service of John McMahon to Kerry GAA. John served as Treasurer from 1985 to 2008. He worked diligently always keeping a close eye the financial affairs of the Board. John’s gentle style was greatly admired and it great to see John still involved, helping out at big match days.  Kerry Group I wish to thank Kerry Group for its outstanding and generous sponsorship of all Kerry Teams. In particular thanks to Frank Hayes for his support of Kerry GAA and his help to me in my first year as Runaí. In these times of economic downturn we are lucky indeed to have such outstanding Sponsors as Kerry Group. I would also like to thank Chief Executive Stan McCarthy for his great support and good wishes.   

Sponsors

 This year marked AIBs 21st year of continuous Sponsorship of our County Football and Hurling Championship. Our sincere thanks to them for their loyalty and support, in particular I would like to thank John Doherty & Pat McTigue. The Credit Union continues to Sponsor our County Football and Hurling Leagues while Castleisland Mart continues support our Club Championships – Our sincere thanks to both Sponsors.  At underage level Peter Keane (Keanes Super Value) sponsor the Minor competitions while Lee Strand supports Coiste na nÓg competitions. Thank you Peter and a special word of thanks to Bill Kennedy for his long support of the GAA over the years.  This year saw a new Sponsor for the U21 Competitions. My thanks to Acorn Life and in particular to Pius Horgan for coming in board and also introducing Man of the Match awards at these games.   

Bereavements

 Since last convention we have seen the passing of great GAA men to their eternal reward.We remember in our prayers the following:Dan O’Sullivan (Currow) Gabe McKenna (Ballyduff) Timmy Griffin (Ballymac) Mike Reidy (Ballymac) Jobe and Anne O’Connell (Causeway) John ‘Thorney’ O’Shea (John Mitchels) Jimmy Falvey (Fossa).To the family and friends of all these people and the many others who suffered bereavements during the year we offer our sincerest sympathy.  

Buíochas

 As this was my first year as Runaí I depended an awful lot on my fellow Officers for their help and I want to thank them all for their great support. In particular I want to thank Cathaoirleach Jerome Conway for his great leadership and guidance, Dermot Lynch in his first Year as an Officer for his enthusiasm and ability and especially to Eamon O’Sullivan whose help and advice was greatly appreciated. I would like to thank the staff – Kate, Breda, Catherine for all their help and patience.Thanks to Vince Linnane for the incredible amount of work he does and also to Pat Egan, Moss Spillane, the Austin Stack Park Committee and Fitzgerald Stadium Committee. To all our Sub-Committees whose huge dedication and contribution to the development of the GAA in this county goes largely unnoticed by the general public - many thanks and please keep up the good work. To the media for their outstanding coverage of our games – in particular best wishes to Jim O’Sullivan (Examiner newspaper) who recently retired. To the Clubs and Divisional Boards throughout the County you are doing a great job and it’s a privilege to work with you.  To Pat Fitzgerald Runaí Munster Council and to all in Croke Park for your great help during the year in particular Teresa Rehill, Pat Doherty, Tom Ryan Ronan Murphy and Fergal McGill 

Conclusion

 Finally as the 125 celebrations come to a close we look forward to the New Year with hope and confidence. Its great to see new people getting involved with the Clubs and hopefully this trend will continue as Clubs get ready for their AGMs.   As the economic difficulties in this country continue to affect all it is important that the local club continues to provide that sense of community that makes the GAA that bit special. Is mise le meas Peadar TwissRunaí