Clare Camogie held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Treaceys West County Hotel last night and a host of items were discussed at the gathering including the acknowledgement of the work done by local media in promoting the sport.
The meeting opened with a minutes silence in honour of Mary-Anne McInerney, Mike Griffin and Winnifred Kennedy. Chairperson Joe Robbins welcomed all those present to the meeting and this was followed by the minutes of the 2013 AGM and a report from Treasurer Michael Maher.
Outgoing secretary Marie-Louise Kaiser gave a detailed account of the various team reports from all of the County camogie teams of 2014. Ms Kaiser highlighted the achievements of Marie Mc Grath and Deirdre Murphy who received an All-Star and Player of the Decade respectively. She thanked all various management teams and players for their commitment during the year aswell as the clubs who allowed their facilities be used by County teams.
Ms Kaiser was also gracious towards the club secretaries for their assistance and all the referees in Clare for their dedication and congratulated Clarecastle’s John Dolan on getting selected to referee the Senior All-Ireland camogie final. Various committee members, fellow officers, sponsors, Clare GAA HQ at Clareabbey and the local media were also thanked by the outgoing secretary. In her conclusion, Marie-Louise announced that she will be stepping down as secretary but remaining on as fixtures secretary.
During her report, Ms Kaiser also stressed that the game of camogie is not all about winning. “As not every team can win I would like to think that the girls get enjoyment from the game by participating, noting the individual improvement of their skills and gaining lasting friendships. It’s not all about success on the field of play, it’s about team spirit, people skills and it’s about enjoying life through sport”.
PRO, Bríd MacNamara heaped praise on the local media outlets of Clare for their promotion of camogie right through 2014. “Throughout this past year our local print media excelled with the coverage in the local papers. The Clare Champion, Clare People, County Express, Clare Courier and North Clare Post provided many, many pages of coverage once again throughout the year, while the internet paper The Clare Herald certainly gave us an online presence. My sincere thanks to you all for all those pages, both the editors and photographers. In particular I would like to acknowledge Seamus Hayes, Clare Champion, Eoin Brennan Clare People, Páraic McMahon Clare Herald and Michael O’Connor Clare Courier who continue to promote our game”.
Ms MacNamara also hailed the coverage provided by Clare’s leading radio station, Clare FM. She picked out the live commentary of the National League Final as an example of the great work being done. The PRO also thanked former Clare FM Sports Editor; Lisa Lawlor for her contributions but praised Derrick Lynch for slotting into the role seamlessly and General Manager Susan Murphy for the continued support. She reserved praise for all the photographers, club members providing reports and updates, Sean O’Halloran (Clare GAA PRO), fellow officers and those who donned the saffron and blue.
Various team reports were consequently read out including a report on the campaign of the Senior Campaign of 2014. The report drafted together by manager, Colm Honan contained details of the panel’s first gathering prior to Christmas 2013. Honan declared “There was a great appreciation in the group of the excellent work done by the previous management. All were agreed that this gave a tremendous base from which to further develop the skills and ambitions of their young and talented squad”.
Most of the pre-season work carried out was done at the grounds of Tulla United. “Carefully planned training schedule was established” noted the Clonlara man. The report also gave Honan’s honest view of the various matches throughout the year. “The beginning of the League saw the team in optimistic form. They were enjoying their hurling and performed well in matches. Performance was a little patchy in the beginning and it took a few games to establish a winning habit. However, by the end of the league we had qualified for a three-way playoff along with Limerick and Galway. After a tremendous win over Galway, we were drawn against Cork in the League semi-final. We won well and were now facing Kilkenny in what was for Clare their first ever National League Final”.
A former hurler with Clare in the 1970s, Colm felt the hype of the League Final got to his team. “The occasion got to us and we simply didn’t perform. Yet we took a lot from the experience and re-established our good form in the championship. Our only loss in the following round-robin was against Kilkenny in a very competitive game in Cusack Park”.
Looking forward to 2015, Honan is confident that Clare will build on past campaigns. “A year on there is quiet confidence at the very clear progress of the Clare Senior Camogie Team. Feedback from the squad has indicated a desire for a strength and conditioning coach and this will be addressed in the coming year. The huge support given us by the County Board in all our efforts must be acknowledged. We look forward to the coming season with optimism.”
An assortment of reports followed Colm Honan’s including contributions from the development squads, schools, THDC, camogie go games and a report from the referees committee who are optimistic of recruiting a minimum of two referees per club within Clare in the next three years.
Chairperson Joe Robbins pulled out all the stops in his address as he quoted the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Nikos Kazantzakis and Sarah Dessen in a philosophical approach. Robbins began by thanking all those involved on the Clare Camogie Executive and admitted that he felt “honoured and privileged to be part of a great set up and am humbled to be in this position”.
The Sixmilebridge man outlined his disillusionment with the lack of funding given to the development of Fr McNamara Park. “We finally learned in April 2014 after a protracted appeals process that the Leader Grant of c 250k would not be forthcoming. Additionally we were turned down for the Sports Capital grant in 2014 due to a ‘technicality’.”
Chairperson Robbins is confident nonetheless that funding will be received for the project. “I am even more determined to find creative ways to raise monies to complete the project. We recently received a promise of 14K from Muster GAA, 10K from the Camogie Association in Croke Park and we will be applying for the next Sports Capital Grant”.
A host of motions were put forward to those present with the majority focused on competition structure and these were referred to the grading and fixtures committees. A wide range of motions in relation to bye-laws were passed such as clubs having to pay a levy to the Camogie Board, the drawing up of a master fixtures plan for the whole year.
Martin Kaiser is among the few new faces at the top table of Clare Camogie as he succeeds Eileen Gleeson as registrar. Denise Brookes of Sixmilebridge comes in as a delegate to Munster Council and Congress. Marie-Louise Kaiser is stepping down as secretary but remaining on as fixtures secretary which lessens the role of the incoming secretary. Long-serving member of the Clare Camogie Board, Mary Hogan has stepped down from her various roles. The positions of secretary and assistant PRO will be filled at the first executive meeting in January.
Clare Camogie Executive 2015
Joint Presidents:Kitty McNicholas,Éire Óg & Michael O’Halloran Corofin
Chairperson: Joe Robbins Sixmilebridge
Vice Chair: Joe O’Donnell, Cratloe
Asst. Secretary: Bernie Warren, Éire Óg
Treasurer: Michael Maher, Kilmaley
Asst. Treasurer 1: Michelle McMahon, Éire Óg
Asst.Treasurer 2: Catherine O’Loughlin, Inagh-Kilnamona
PRO: Brid MacNamara, Ruan
Registrar: Martin Kaiser, Newmarket-on-Fergus
Child Officer: Bridie O’Looney, Newmarket-on-Fergus
Munster Delegate 1: Denise Brookes, Sixmilebridge
Munster Delegate 2: Bridie O’Looney, Newmarket-on-Fergus
Delegate to Congress 1: Denise Brookes, Sixmilebridge
Delegate to Congress 2: Bridie O’Looney, Newmarket-on-Fergus
Substance Abuse Officer: Clare McMahon, Kilmaley
Development Officer: Orla Considine, Clooney-Quin
Delegate to Munster Convention: Denise Brookes, Sixmilebridge
Delegate to Munster Convention: Bridie O’Looney Newmarket-on-Fergus
Secondary Schools Servicing Officer: Orla Considine,Clooney-Quin
Clare Camogie Committees 2015:
Mary Griffey (Kilmaley).
John Fennessy (Truagh/Clonlara).
Kieran O’Shea (Ballyea).
Pat Loughnane (Kilkishen).
Orla Considine (Clooney/Quin).
Denise Brookes (Sixmilebridge).
Marie-Louise Kaiser (Newmarket-on-Fergus)
Michael Maher (Kilmaley).
Brid MacNamara (Ruan).
Marie McDonnell (Clarecastle).
Michelle McMahon (Éire Óg).
Catherine O’Loughlin (Inagh/Kilnamona).
Mary McMahon (Éire Óg).
John Mellet (Sixmilebridge).
Field & Maintenance:
Michael Maher (Kilmaley).
Joe Robbins (Sixmilebridge).
Kathleen McNamara (Kilanena).
Bernie Warren (Éire Óg).
Colm McEldowney (Clarecastle).
Christina Solon (Whitegate).
Aisling Collins (Corofin).
Carmel McGrath (Feakle).
Eileen Donnellan (Sixmilebridge).
Mary Griffey (Kilmaley).
Ger Hoey (Kilanena).
Ann-Marie McGann (St Josephs Doora Barefield).
David Carroll (Sixmilebridge).
Aaron Hogg (Truagh/Clonlara).
Joe O’Donnell (Cratloe).
Alan Hehir (Ballyea).
Mary McMahon (Éire Óg).
Caroline O’Connell (Broadford).
Declan Fahey (Truagh/Clonlara).
Mary Dinan (Tulla).
Richard McArthur (Kilanena).
Anne Marsh McMahon (Broadford).
Mary Griffey (Kilmaley).
Siobhán Maher (Kilmaley).
Kevin Phelan (Sixmilebridge).
Aidan Hickey (Whitegate).