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Secretary's Address to Club AGM - 14 December 2008

The end of another year in the life and times of Aodh Ruadh C.L.G. a time to reflect on the year past, and look forward to the future.

One of our first duties of the year was our Annual Dinner and Presentation awards for 2007, held in Dorrian's on Saturday 9th February 2008. Special guests were Tom Daly President of Ulster Council, and County Secretary Cróna Regan. The presentations were compered by the inimitable Sean Perry.

The first award was young hurler of the year which went to Kieran Kilgannon followed by the young footballer PJ McGee. Next up was Ladies player of the year, Seana Slevin. Followed by a special appreciation award to outgoing treasurer Patsy Kilgannon. The third team player of year went to Diarmuid McInerney with Paul Kane picking up the reserve player. Another Goalkeeper, David Greene, took the Senior Award. Brian Roper for his exploits in helping Donegal to a first National League Title was next up. Jim Kane was the recipient of Club Person of the Year. While Pauric McShea was inducted into the Aodh Ruadh Hall of Fame. Our three members of the Donegal under 21 All-Ireland winning team of 1982 Brian Tuohy (Captain), Tommy McDermott and Sylvester Maguire were honoured. Cróna Regan then presented the cup and medals to our third team winners of Division 4 League title, Captained by Gary Walsh. Cróna then presented trophy and medals to our minor hurlers, winning their second county championship title in a row. Aodh Ruadh Scor na nÓg quiz team of, Oisín O'Malley-Daly, Ronan Drummond, Eamon Maguire and Liam Devanny winners of Ulster title in Scor, were presented with their awards by Ulster president our own Tom Daly.

On The Playing Field
Our Senior footballers participated for the first time in the Ulster senior league, which got under way on February 3rd with a win against Derrygonnelly in Fr. Tierney Park. This competition was a good pipe opener for the senior panel and was a great opportunity for management to try out young players against quality opposition.

In the senior championship first round we were drawn against Dungloe. Won the first leg in the park, lost narrowly in Dungloe in the second leg, and lost the play-off in Ballybofey by a point, after some dodgy decisions.

After a slow start in the league and a spate of injuries, we finished within two points of a promotion play-off. Thanks due to Sylvester Maguire and his back room team.

Congratulations must also go to our three county players: Brian Roper and Niall McCready and Johnny Gallagher who made his debut against Monaghan.

The reserve team struggled throughout the season. Having made their championship exit to Dungloe after two games, it became increasingly difficult to get fifteen players on the field. Manager Paul Kane tried valiantly to rally the troops but it was an up hill battle, failing to field on three occasions during the season. Thanks to Paul for all his efforts throughout the year. This problem with the reserves is ongoing over the last two or three years and needs to be addressed.

Once again it was the third Team who brought home the silver ware, by retaining the Division 4 League title, when they came back from eight points down in the second half, to win by three over Saint Eunan's in Donegal Town on November 23rd. Congratulations to joint managers, Gerard McGloin and David O'Donnell, well done

Our under 13s were out in County final on the same day also in Tir Chonaill Park, again against Saint Eunan's and were edged out by a physically stronger side. Congratulations to all involved on getting to the Final. It's very late in the year to be playing a final of this age group.

There is a lot of good work going into Bord na nÓg from under 8s up by a small dedicated group of people, more are needed.

The Senior hurlers played in the Ulster League losing out at the quarter final stage. They beat Saint Eunan's in the Championship only to lose out to both Setanta and Burt.

Under age hurling is very strong in the club at the moment. Fielding teams in under 8s, 10s, 12s and 14s this all goes down to the excellent coaching being put in by john Rooney and his band of helpers: Billy Finn, Peter Horan, Dennis Daly, Kevin Loughlin and Eddie Lynch.

Highlight for the year was the visit last Saturday of young Hurler of the year and All-Star Galway Hurler Joe Canning, who took a coaching session with the under age in Father Tierney Park, and afterwards presented the underage awards.

Well done to John Rooney for arranging all this.

Ladies Football
The senior ladies competed in the intermediate championship and league, losing to Saint Michaels in the Championship Final in a hard fought game. They were in contention for a league play-off up until the last game.

At underage the ladies competed at under 12s, 14s and minor. The under 12s reached the county semi final, but were beaten by eventual winners Milford. While there is no competition for under 10s they trained in the hall during the winter. Thanks to all who helped out in any way

Once again we had success in Scor na nÓg, our Quiz team winning county and Ulster Titles and our solo singer winning a county and losing narrowly in the Ulster Final. As I write Fionnuala McCosker is due to represent Aodh Ruadh and Donegal in the Ulster Semi-Final of Scor na nÓg for this year, in Aghayaran on Saturday night 13th December

Development / Fundraising
The Centre of Excellence, Pairc Aoidh Ruadh, which will be well documented in The Park Report, is at an advanced stage.

One of our main fundraiser's this year was 'Who wants to be a Thousandaire?' which we put on in The Great Northern at the end of March. While on the night the show was very enjoyable and entertaining for the audience, the full potential as a fundraiser wasn't realised. Other fundraisers were The Hurlathon organised by John Rooney and the hurlers, pig racing run in conjunction with the show weekend, Thanks to Bord na nÓg and in particular John Hughes who put in a huge effort, Eunan Doyle and host of other volunteers. The Ladies chipped in with the Duck Race.

The annual golf classic in conjunction with Erne Gaels, took place in September, all be it on a smaller scale, due to the down turn in the economy. Not forgetting the weekly lotto the mainstay of the club, thanks to organiser Jimmy Gallagher, and his band of helpers.

Awards 2008
Because 2009 is the club centenary year it was agreed to bring forward our 2008 Dinner Presentation night by circa eight weeks. The presentation night took place in Dorrian's Hotel on Saturday 29th November 2008. So for the second time this year, Sean Perry was again prevailed on to do M.C. which again he did to perfection.

Our Junior B team or third team successfully defended their Division 4 County league title and were presented with the cup and medals by Chairman of Club Donegal, Michael McLoone. This was followed by individual awards to the Following. Young Hurler of the year, Stephen Ryan; Young Footballer, Barry Leonard; Appreciation award for the retiring Chairman Bord na nÓg, Jim Kane; Sarah Patton received Ladies player of the year; Special appreciation award to Billy Finn for his services to Hurling and Aodh Ruadh in general, picked up by his daughter Aisling. Billy is recovering in hospital from a sudden illness and is wished a speedy recovery from all in Aodh Ruadh C.L.G. The third team player of the year went to Brian Dorrian, while Barry Travers got the Reserve player award. Stephen Ward claimed the senior player of the year. The Club Person of the year went to John Rooney. While PJ Buggy was installed in The Aodh Ruadh Hall of Fame 2008

Centenary Year
October 24th 1909 was the date of birth of Aodh Ruadh C.L.G. So in the coming year we celebrate the clubs centenary, it's an important milestone in the clubs history. Already in conjunction with this a number of events are being planned. We have Ulster Convention in February, Opening of Pairc Aoidh Ruadh, County Convention in December, as well as other events in pipe line.

It's going to be a busy year on all fronts, a time when we need everyone to put their shoulder to the wheel. If everyone does a little, it makes the work load much lighter.

While it will be good to look back, the most important is the future; it's about playing games getting the structures right at under age, working with the young, get more parents involved. If that can be achieved the future should be ok.

Finally I would like to thank everybody who has helped in any way over the last year, especially our hard working Chairman Terence McShea, Treasurer Mary Grimes, and our most efficient PRO John Hughes, who has been the main man in getting this booklet together. Thanks all.

Mise le meas,

Sean Mag Aoidh

Report Filed: 15 December 2008