Delegates to Monday evening’s North Tipperary GAA Convention were warmly welcomed to Killoscully by Ballinahinch GAA club and entertained by the wit of North Board chairman John ‘Rocky’ McGrath.
The annual convention passed off smoothly. No elections took place on the night with the following returned en masse - president Matt Hassett (Toomevara), vice-president Donie Nealon (Burgess), chairman John ‘Rocky’ McGrath (Ballinahinch), vice-chairman Dan Kennedy (Roscrea), secretary Eugene Ryan (Moneygall), assistant-secretary Gerard McKeogh (Ballina), treasurer Willie Lennox (Shannon Rovers), PRO Liam Hogan (Shannon
Rovers), trustee Dan Kennedy (Roscrea), registrar Joe Hanrahan (Nenagh Éire Óg), children’s officer Cora Moroney (Newport), coaching officer John Sheedy (Portroe) and development officer Jackie Meagher (Toomevara). Martin Ryan (Ballinahinch), citing personal reasons, stepped down as officer for the Irish language & culture while assistant treasurer Catherine Gleeson is nominated for the assistant treasurer role with the County Board. Therefore clubs are invited to nominate replacement candidates for both roles.
A motion related to the structure of the 2014 north Tipperary senior hurling championship proposed by Portroe will be discussed at a special fixtures meeting in January while two other motions moved by the Shannon Rovers club went forward as recommendations - the first relates to linesmen wearing distinguishable clothing and the second to progressing divisional football championships to the quarter-final stage by March 31st.
Addressing the convention North Board chairman John McGrath insisted that GAA volunteers in the division should “take great pride in the amount of work you have done” while he also appealed for a bit more respect between rival teams.
“We all like to see a hard match, but no one wants to see anyone insulted,” chairman McGrath said.
North secretary Eugene Ryan highlighted the work of the twenty-four referees in the division while he also praised the work of the Competitions Control Committee. Eugene Ryan made the point that six clubs in north Tipperary had no player sent off during 2013. Mr Ryan suggested that every club in the division should target a similar disciplinary record.
Treasurer Willie Lennox was very happy to declare a surplus of €12,346 (income €149,637 & expenditure €137,291). Gate receipts jumped to €132,529 from €128, 782 in 2012 - an entertaining championship and a novel north final pairing was cited as a contributing factor to this significant increase.
North Board vice-president Donie Nealon regaled all present with stories of yesteryear while County Board PRO Ger Ryan thanked the clubs of the north division for their assistance during his five-year term as county PRO - Ger Ryan’s term as PRO comes to an end this year. Mr Ryan also thanked North Board secretary Eugene Ryan and former secretary Gerard McKeogh in particular for their assistance in what was a demanding role for the Templederry man.
Ger Ryan was accompanied to the meeting by County Board officers Seán Nugent (chairman - Kilsheelan-Kilcash), Michael Bourke (vice-chairman - Upperchurch-Drombane) and Timmy Floyd (secretary - Newport). Introducing Seán Nugent to the delegates North Board chairman John McGrath said that he would “follow him under any flag”. With specific relation to the fortunes of the county senior hurling team Seán Nugent said that he was “looking forward in a confident way and a positive way” to the 2014 inter-county campaign.
The North Board convention also featured a speech by County Football Board chairman Joe Hannigan (Shannon Rovers) who declared that Gaelic football was making progress. Joe Hannigan explained that the Football Board had adopted a “if you don’t have calves you won’t have cows” policy and that there was a “great crop” of footballers coming. Indeed, Mr Hannigan insisted that he expected the Tipperary senior football team to be “competitive by 2020”. Joe Hannigan, however, said that the clubs of north Tipperary “could be doing a bit more for football”.