January 11th ‘11
After three attempts due to hazardous weather conditions in December, Monaghan Camogie Convention finally got underway on Monday evening last in the Enterprise Centre Castleblayney. The Chairperson Geraldine Clarke welcomed the delegates and Ger Gribben, Regional Development Co-ordinator For North Leinster/South Ulster, to the well attended meeting and after the general format Geraldine delivered her Chairperson’s address :
“A chairde, tá sé de phribléid agam bheith im’ Cathaoirleach (anuraidh), i mbliain stairiúil i saol Coiste Chontae Mhuineacháin.
Any annual Convention where the delegates can reflect on the county’s premier team securing an All-Ireland title, is a convention that offers much hope and promise for the future. It also offers the opportunity to send out a strong message to our under-age players, that All-Ireland glory can be theirs with quality coaching, a good support structure and hard work on the players’ part.
The opportunity to acknowledge the tireless efforts of our senior players and trainer in 2010 will be afforded us on Saturday next, but for now we should use this evening’s Convention as an opportunity to acknowledge the achievements of last year by legislating with openness and confidence to help secure a future where All-Ireland camogie titles are not a ‘once in a blue moon’ occurrences.
` While Arlene will deal with the minute details of 2010 it is my prerogative as Cathaoirleach to simply focus on some key points.
While a lot of attention may have been deservedly focused on our county seniors it is important to recall the exploits of our Under-14 players who committed to the Coillte School of Excellence under the tutelage of Marie Greenan, Brid Treanor, Roisin McKenna and Joann McSkane. This culminated in a truly memorable day in Croke Park on July 19th. The panel continued to train together and later participated in 2 Ulster competitions. Thanks to the coaches and Lorraine McKenna who co-ordinated communication with the parents.
Despite a somewhat bumpy start at the beginning of the year, an Under-16 county panel evolved under the dynamic and experienced influence of Gerry and Mary Murphy and Kate Deasy. While this panel may not, through no fault of their own, have had the opportunity to participate competitively yet, their moment will come early in 2011 when the national Under-16 league commences. It is imperative that each club has representatives present when training re-commences. Many thanks to Gerry, Mary and Kate for their hard work to date.
The fact that we were able to field 3 county panels this year is a forward-step for camogie in the county. It is the only way to secure the future of our county senior team but more importantly it is a sure-fire way of guaranteeing improvements in the standard of the game being played by our under-age players which will in turn directly benefit the clubs.
In 2010 we continued with the Beginners and Advanced blitzes, although these ceased, or perhaps ran their course, by September. Having undergone a 2 year cycle perhaps it is time to review their continuation in line with the recommendations being put forward by Croke Park for 2011, namely that the Under-12 programme shall comprise Go-Games Mini-Leagues, which shall be preceded by a minimum of 5 County Board sanctioned Go-Games cluster blitzes. “
All of this presents us with new challenges, but challenges which we must try to embrace as part of the development of our players and our game. Sometimes people fear challenges as they feel inadequately equipped to deal with them. As mentors, officers or coaches we can never be up-skilled enough and it is important to take advantage of the range of courses on offer in Cloghan via the Games Development Committee, or elsewhere, be they under the auspices of Monaghan Sports Partnership or Ulster Camogie or GAA Council. Remember knowledge is power and bestows confidence!
Contesting an All-Ireland final guaranteed the opportunity to play for Ireland in the annual International Shinty/Camogie series, for at least 2 of our senior players. Roisin Mc Kenna and Izzy Kieran had the honour of being chosen from Monaghan this year, and in addition, Paul Ward was part of the selection-management team. This proved to be another wonderfully proud day for Monaghan camogie on a national platform. However, how many here were present to watch our representatives attain national glory? Why not? Do our county players not deserve the national recognition that they earned through ‘blood, sweat and tears’? Do our club mates not deserve to be fêted in their parishes for the honour they have brought to our clubs?
Likewise with the drawn All-Ireland and final replay. Why was every club player, club officer, family member and Executive member not present in Ashbourne to witness what was arguably the greatest day in Monaghan senior camogie? I have absolutely no doubt that if that was a hurling or men’s football final, the Ashbourne venue would not have held the crowd of Monaghan supporters- so why are we reluctant to support our own players? What message are we sending out to them and to the wider public?
Public support impacts hugely on our players, at any level, as it acknowledges the serious commitment they are making to the game of camogie. Public support gives our players confidence and encourages them to become role models for the next generation of players. Public support recognises our county players as sporting equals to men. Public support lets the wider sporting community know that we value our players and are proud of our game. It is not enough to ‘talk the talk’ at home or in the street – we must also ‘walk the walk’! Serious changes in mindset must be made in each club in the coming year.
All of this I contextualise by expressing my sincere gratitude to the small, but loyal, group of supporters who consistently turned up at almost every game – not just prepared to support but often offering a helping hand as well. As I said to the players in the dressing room pre-All-Ireland final, this victory was as much for you people as it was for them and the girls truly believed and wanted it for that reason.
My gratitude too must also be conveyed to another small but loyal group of people, the ladies who comprise this County Executive – Claudine, Arlene, Kate, Catherine, Mary, Lorraine, Nicola, Maretta and Ann. First and foremost, these people are, like yourselves, all volunteers – something we must never underestimate or take for granted. Secondly, every one of them, without exception, is involved in some capacity in their own club – in some cases in a dual capacity as both players and administrators. Yet they sacrifice even more of their already precious time and energy for the development of the game, the development of policy and the future development of the under-age players in this county. They are of us and for us – without them there would be no Board, no administrative structure. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude. So the next time you find yourself forming a sentence which allocates even more responsibility to an overworked group – re-think and to misquote the words of John F Kennedy: ‘ask not what the County Executive can do for you, but what you can do for the County Executive’. Replace that ‘you’ or even ‘youse!’ with ‘we’. Can I ask you now to show your gratitude and your appreciation for the members of the outgoing Executive.
To those who were bereaved during 2010 the Board extends its prayers and sympathy. The death of Eddie Murphy in June brought to an end a wonderful chapter in Castleblayney’s camogie history, and if ever anyone whole-heartedly embraced the link between club and county it was Eddie – a gentleman to the end.
The sudden passing of Lawrence Kieran in May touched a nerve with all of us. But the subsequent commitment that Izzy and Edel gave to both their club and county was nothing short of inspirational. Seeing the pure joy on their parents’ faces after the All-Ireland victory in Ashbourne, in August, made it all so worthwhile for me personally. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anamacha dílis.
I wish to express congratulations to all who enjoyed success in any aspect of their lives during 2010. What may seem trivial to one may be life-changing for another so I wish you continued fulfilment and happiness. It would be remiss of me to let the occasion pass without congratulating our Treasurer Lorraine, and partner Kevin, on the recent birth of Baby Aloise. We wish you a journey in parenthood filled with much wonder and love.
Finally, I look forward to us working together in 2011 to implement a programme of development initiatives which will see camogie in Monaghan go from strength to strength. We have achieved much in the past year but much remains to be done!
Go raibh luach a saothair againne arís an bhliain seo chugainn! Go raib maith agaibh.
The County Secretary Arlene Mc. Geeney gave an account of proceedings of the past year and thanked the numerous contributors to the County Camogie which included the valuable sponsorship of O’Rourke Oil, Carrickmacross for the Championship and the Mc. Quaid Family, Clontibret who were our main Sponsors of the County team.
Next on the agenda was the Treasurers report where delegates got a breakdown on finances which showed that serious fundraising will have to be undertaken by the new finance committee which will be set up at the February meeting.
There were no massive changes in the election of Officers which included:
Chairperson Geraldine Clarke
Vice Chair Nominations for next meeting
Correspondence Secretary Arlene Mc. Geeney
Minutes Secretary Kate Deasy
Treasurer Nominations for next meeting
Asst. Treas. “ “ “ “
PRO. Maretta Sherry
Provincial Delegate Anne Mc. Kenna
Registrar Catherine Greenan
Children’s Officer Nominations for next meeting
A number of motions and recommendations were discussed, those that were carried included :
1. Where a Senior team has 15 or fewer players available for a league fixture, the game may be played as a 13 a-side game.
2 .In order to insure transparency, all clubs shall be furnished with a full list of players registered with Monaghan County Board, prior to the commencement of competitions.
3. That County Board Meetings do not exceed 2 hours leaving any unfinished business until the next board meeting.
The following recommendations were carried
- A transfer, Hearings and Disciplinary Committee be established.
- In the light of the proposed 2011 Master Fixtures Plan, that the Monaghan County Senior Championship structures are revised to follow the format : One Senior Championship game per month.
Date for the next convention will be 28th. November 2011-01-11
In other business, Ger Gribben informed the meeting that a Training Officers workshop will take place in St. Macartans College on Saturday next 15th Jan. starting at 10am and concluding at 3pm. also that the 2nd part of the Foundation Level course will be held on Wednesday 26th. January venue to be decided. Also a “Mum and Me” workshop will be held on a date to be confirmed.
The postponed County Draw then took place:
1st Prize 250 Euro Edel Mc. Carville, Tydavnet
2nd. Prize 150euro Niamh Myers, Truagh,
2rd Prize 100 euro Sinead Farrell, Cremartin
Sellers Prize of 50 euro went to the Castleblayney Camogie club.
The County Presentation and Dinner takes place next Saturday night in the Westenra Hotel Hotel, Monaghan. Meal will e served at 8pm. Sharp. Tickets are available from Club Secretaries @ 20 euro.