The 87th West Convention took place on Thursday night last December 10th in the Eire Og GAA centre in Annacarty. For the first time since 1930 there is a three officer change in the Board with a new Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer.
Vinny Ryan Chairman of the Eire Og Annacarty Donohill club opened the convention, paying tribute to his fellow club man and outgoing West Board Chairman Tom English. He stated that the West is a proud division and that when Tipperary’s famine ended in 1987 two thirds of the panel consisted of men from the West.
Outgoing Secretary Michael Long presented his fifth and final report to convention. He said it had been an experience and would like to thank the clubs and both past and current officers for their support during his term.
Outgoing Treasurer Sean Bradshaw presented the accounts for the year noting that there has been a serious fall in gate receipts for Senior Hurling since 2010. With just three teams in the West Senior championship for the forthcoming campaign there will be pressure on gate receipts. Sean too paid tribute to his fellow officers both past and present. Being responsible for the allocation of intercounty tickets to the clubs he stated that he had been going into September most years dealing with tickets due to Senior and Minor All Ireland Hurling finals and also Minor Football finals.
Tom English made his final address to convention as Chairman again thanking his fellow officers both past and present. He noted the good work that Seamus King had done for the board as PRO. He thanked the current PRO Francis Coughlan who had given great exposure for the board over the past 12 months through print and Social Media. He had made many friends over the course of his time as Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Board. He also thanked all the sponsors of the various competitions for the continued support to the board.
County Chairman Michael Bourke and County Development Officer PJ Maher were guests at the meeting. PJ Maher stated that clubs now have new officers and a new training programme was been rolled out by Munster Council in conjunction with the Games Development Officers. This would involve visits to clubs and individual officer training.
The most striking point of his speech was that a survey was carried out by Croke Park where it determined that 30% of clubs were strong clubs, 50% just surviving and 20% were in trouble. PJ also gave guidance to the clubs in relation to insurance matters, player injury scheme and the Munster Council Grants. He especially noted the 60 day time frame on player injury scheme forms and the increase in claims in the public liability insurance.
Chairman Michael Bourke addressed the meeting. He stated that there had been discussion about structures, formats and championships in the last few months but there is no plan in place to do away with the divisions. A county the size of Tipperary needs Divisions to help run its games and they were very important to the County board. He spoke about a lack of younger people to take up roles and on Croke Park making roles more definitive.
Michael stated we had the best four Games Development Officers in the Country and this was proven with a spread of hurling titles across the county which was equally matched in football.
Clubs were encouraged to continue to support the County Draw with an increased commission now going to the clubs. Michael went on to state there was no merit in doing away with the intercounty U21 Football championship while there was merit in reducing the age for intercounty Minor games. He finished by paying tribute to the outgoing and incoming officers and wished everyone the best for the year ahead.
The election of officers followed.
John O’Shea was elected 19th Chairman of the board becoming the third Clonoulty/Rossmore man to hold the position. He thanked the clubs for electing him as Chairman claiming it was a hard act to follow his predecessor. He asked clubs to submit snippets of their games to the PRO in order for a report to be compiled. This was important so our games appear on the papers. He also emphasised the importance of Garda vetting and that all clubs should have a children’s officer appointed.
There was three names put forward for the role of Vice Chairman, Michael Ryan (Solohead), Tom Hayes (Kickhams) and Richard O’Connor (Arravale Rovers). The latter withdrew his name beforehand leaving two to go forward for election. Following that election Michael Ryan (Solohead) was elected the new Vice Chairman of the Board.
Michael McCarthy from Cappawhite becomes the 10th secretary of the board and the second Cappawhite man to hold the position. Following Michael’s promotion to Secretary John Morrissey from Galtee Rovers becomes assistant secretary of the board.
There was two nominees for the role of Treasurer, Claire O’Brien (Arravale Rovers) and Michael Devlin (Eire Og Annacarty Donohill), the latter winning following an election. Michael becomes the 12th treasurer of the board and the first man from Eire Og Annacarty Donohill to hold the position.
Billy Ryan (Kickhams) becomes the new assistant treasurer following on from Willie O Grady from Rosegreen.
Francis Coughlan was re-elected PRO for a second year.
The meeting finished with all clubs paying tribute to the outgoing and incoming officers and looking forward to continued cooperation for 2016.
On my behalf, I would like to thank Tom, Michael and Sean for the support and help they have afforded me over the last 12 months and wish them well in whatever role they take up in the future. I would also like to wish all the incoming officers all the best and look forward to working with you in 2016.
West U21 Hurling Championship:
The O’Dwyer Steel West U21A Hurling Final was again postponed last weekend due to bad weather conditions. The game has now been re-fixed for this Sunday December 20th in Leahy Park in Cashel with a 12 noon throw in. Extra-time will be played in the event of a draw.
The first of this year’s Ollies Bar West U21B Hurling championship semi-finals was due to take place on Saturday December 12th between Golden/Kilfeacle and Galtee/Emly but this game was postponed due to a bereavement in Bansha. The game has been re-fixed for this Saturday in S T Park with a 2.30pm throw in. Extra-time will be played if the sides are level after 60 minutes. Golden/Kilfeacle will be looking to get through to their second final in a row and their fourth in five seasons while Galtee/Emly will be looking to make it to a first final as a combination.
The second semi-final was fixed for the following day where Lattin/Cullen Gaels overcame the challenge of Eire Og Annacarty Donohill to advance to a final meeting against either Golden/Kilfeacle or Galtee/Emly. Match Report
This will be Lattin/Cullen’s first appearance in the final since 2002.
Munster Junior B Hurling Championship:
Eire Og Annacarty Donohill will face Shanballymore (Cork) in the Munster Junior B Hurling Final following their victory over Broadford in Sundays semi-final. The final is provisionally fixed for Sunday January 31st.
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