Chairman's Address to Club AGM - 21 November 2021
As we look back on 2021, it has been a very positive year with a huge amount of on the pitch activity. Even though it was somewhat later in the year when club activity commenced, players old and young embraced the more compact season. Parents, coaches and mentors enjoyed getting back to all the freedom that our club activities bring.
Thanks to Tom /David and all at the park committee in managing this compact season, with the added pressures of only one pitch later in the year.
Thanks also to Maeve Fenton and all the workers on both Schemes for their hard work in maintenance and the continued development of the club grounds. The club is indebted to the wealth of experience and skill set that both schemes bring to the maintenance and more importantly the development of the club grounds.
Thanks to Peter and Johnnie for all their help on match days.
Also, thanks to our gate/shop crew for always making themselves available, John Magee, Patricia Bradshaw, Trish Hill and Linda Clyne.
A special word of thanks to Brian Drummond for the time spent especially this year on capturing so many great club moments. He seemed to be everywhere you looked both home and away and gave so much of his time to all the games. Capturing these moments now will be treasured memories for the club in years to come.
As a dual club underage hurling continues to develop and strive in greater numbers. Congratulations to John Larkin and Orla Bannon for all their hard work this year in gaining greater numbers on the pitch. John has certainly hit the ground running in his new role as Chairperson and his enthusiasm and passion for hurling really shines through.
A couple of standout moments for me this year was the huge run of success the U13`s had both with Tain Og and County, the U17 County final in Convoy several weeks ago. (Double County Champions). None of this success would be possible without the hard work and commitment given by all the coaches and mentors involved in hurling.
The coaching on a Sunday morning of underage boys and girls always created a great atmosphere enhanced by many minor boys coaching the younger kids. It`s brilliant to see these lads giving back some of their time and passing on the skills they learned.
It's great also to see our Senior team compete at this year's Junior Hurling final. It wasn't to be on the day but they have achieved at this level in the recent past and I've no doubt in the not too distant future they will compete at Senior Championship level. Thanks for all the hard work, dedication and commitment from all the players and management.
Having spoken to John over the past year, it is the club's ambition to bring back underage camogie. We feel that it is possible and achievable to allow young girls to participate in camogie and carve a pathway for underage camogie at u10/12 into the future.
I was a doubting Thomas on whether Sarah Daly could get two ladies' senior teams to field, but Paul, Sylvie and Sarah worked hard to do so and fulfil all fixtures. We as a club should be extremely proud of the huge number of girls playing football. This is down to the push and energy of the Ladies committee and all the coaches and mentors involved.
However, as a club we must push the LGFA on the huge cost disparity between male and female players is not acceptable, it goes against what the LGFA was set up to do, cost should not be a barrier to playing. Not all clubs encourage ladies' football due to the cost. Other clubs do not have the same numbers as Aodh Ruadh, and our county delegates need to push this with the LGFA county board and also with Uachtaran Michael Naughton.
Thanks to Sarah Daly, Louise Larkin and all the Ladies committee for a very strong year in fundraising. The Lidl campaign brought much needed funds into the club this year alongside other fundraising activities. Thank you for all your hard work in this area. Also congrats to Louise on the birth recently of baby John…
Bord na nÓg
After seven years and I'm sure he'll say himself seven long but enjoyable years, David O Donnell stepped down this year as Chairman of Bord na nOg. David has put a huge amount of time and effort into the underage structure over that time, a huge thanks to him. He has especially been very supportive of me since I came on board and always willing to listen and give advice. The esteem and respect he is held in by that crop of players from under 13s to our current minors is testimony to the way he coaches and how he gets the best out of players and teams. Thank you, David! Congrats to Lisa taking over the Chair for this year coming and Brian Gillispie in his role as Bord na nOg secretary. Big shoes to fill!
Thanks to Packie McGrath for his great work with "Oige Aoidh Ruaidh" to increase all the skill levels in underage football especially in the coaching of mentors.
Club activity at every level would not happen without the time, commitment and dedication given by all our parents, coaches and mentors. These people are the backbone of our club and give so much of their time for the development of our youth, creating a strong and vibrant club for the future. Thank you so much to each and every one of these people.
Thanks to Barry Ward and his management team (Aaron, John, Greg, Ronan) on another successful year. Getting out of Division 2 and into Division 1 will see us playing against the best teams of the county. It was great achievement for the management and players to win out Division 2 after winning the Intermediate Championship in 2020. Making a quarter final this year against St Michaels was a great success for the first year back in the Senior Championship. Many clubs would have thought we would have been in the relegation battle, but we proved them wrong. Certainly, for many people the highlight this year was the 9-point turnaround against Naomh Conall in Pairc Aodh Ruadh. A draw game that day shows what we can achieve into the future.
Nearly three years ago myself and Lisa met with Barry Ward and Philip O'Reilly and they outlined their ambitions for the Senior team over the next couple of years. Over those three years Barry and his management teams have shown that hard work and dedication and attention to detail to the small things can achieve these goals and they have certainly done this.
Philip Mc Loone - Health and well Being
As Philip McLoone steps down this year as Health and wellbeing officer, I would like to thank him for his hard work and commitment to the role. Many of his initiatives brought so much positivity and energy to the club members and the wider community especially at a time that was much needed. The Operation Transformation walks and most recently the virtual Coast to Coast challenge kept us all moving and improved the wellbeing of us all. We have worked closely together to bring the partnership of the club and Connect/Mental Health onto the jerseys of our Senior/Reserve team this year. Thank you Philip and I'm sure we will welcome you back to a role in the club soon.
PRO - John Hughes
I would like to extend a huge thank you on behalf of the club to our hard working and dedicated PRO John Hughes. John works tirelessly every week to deliver detailed club notes that other club are envious of. He continues to work behind the scenes keeping our website up to date and bringing new material to the website on a weekly basis. He has put a huge amount of effort into our coaching corners uploading drill and coaching material. His extensive work on Klubfunder has brought a huge amount of revenue to the club.
- Thanks to the Lotto team of Catherine, Gerard, Lisa and Sabrina each week.
- To Gerard and Diarmaid Keon how the increased Caride membership
- To all our new sponsors Connect Mental Health, Northern Refrigeration (Daikin), Silver Tree and each and everyone gives every year. Please support our sponsors.
- All who helped with Golf Classic. Diarmaid Keon, Diarmaid McInerney, Philip, Lisa, Eva and Sabrina.
- Those who give without asking Thomas McGann to thank you.
- Coast to Coast. Philip McLoone and team.
- Chris Kelly with the club gear, a one man fundraiser €2,766.
The club finds itself it a very positive financial position, as club members we all should be very proud of fundraising over the last number of years. We have fundraised close to 150 k, in the last number of years through National Draws, Golf Classics, Oskars and most recently Sponsor the Sod. This is in excess of normal fundraising for year-to-year costs.
A huge thanks to all involved in the recent, but not finished Sponsor a Sod campaign. This along with some of the Oskars monies, three National Draws and Sports capital grants will leave a completed pitch project with no more debt burdened on the Club.
A massive amount of work has been done on this project by Tom, David and the Park Committee, a huge thanks to them on their untiring resolve on this massive under-taking. Thanks also to Michael Daly on his promotion of the Sponsor a Sod Campaign through his far-reaching Daly's Donegal Facebook page.
Sabrina, Lisa and I have over the last three years tightly controlled finances. This sometimes causes friction, but it's only done to clear the way for the club to be debt free, and the monies spent on interest on bank loans could be used for other aspects of the club into the future.
It is our aim to have the pitch completed debt free, and the historical debt for Pairc Aoidh Ruaidh cleared by the end of 2024. Every year we take of the 59k still owed saves the club 3k in interest.
What can I say about Lisa and Sabrina that I haven't said in the past? My job is made so much easier with these two hard working, dedicated and passionate club people always steering me in the right direction. We don't always sing off the same hymn sheet, but we can always debate the topics out and they haven't killed me yet. On a serious note, the club is very lucky to have them at the helm.
Last modified: Wednesday, 24 November 2021 at 10:34pm