Secretary Attracta O’Reilly chats with Leitrim Hurling team manager Martin Cunniffe and County Board Chairman Terence Boyle before this year’s Lory Meagher Cup Final. Photo by Willie Donnellan
Leitrim GAA County Board Secretary Attracta O’Reilly delivers her report to next Monday’s Annual Convention in The Bush Hotel in Carrick-on-Shannon as the official looks back over an eventful year and looks forward to 2018.
The full text of Attracta’s report is included below:
“Fáilte go gach éinne. Tá mo dara bhliain mar Rúnaí do Choiste Contae Liatroma ag teacht chun críche agus ba mhaith liom tuairisc ar an mbliain sin a chur ós bhur gcomhair
I welcome you all to this convention. As the year 2017 is coming to its end I would like to make the following address with regard to the past year.
It was a good year for Leitrim with the rewards of All Ireland titles – for the Manorhamilton Scór Dancers and our U16 Hurlers, an All-Ireland runner-up title for the Hurlers resulting from a trip to Croke Park and a Connacht title for our Junior Team.
County Football Teams
Senior: FBD: This competition did not augur well for our team as we had one win over GMIT but were defeated heavily by Galway and also suffered a loss to Sligo
National League: This was a competition of mixed fortunes for our seniors with wins over Waterford, Carlow, Wicklow and London we finished in fifth place on the table having suffered defeats from Westmeath, Wexford and Limerick.
A step up from the previous year and hopefully in 2018 we will make more steps in the right direction
Connacht Championship: Our first outing against London in the newly developed Ruislip Park we came away with a victory by three points. Our next game saw take on Roscommon in Hyde Park but unfortunately a defeat left us in the qualifiers once more.
Next up was a trip to Carlow. While this was a favourable draw on paper, it proved to be our last involvement in the 2017 Championship as the lads were beaten by seven points.
U21: Our U21s started the year off with 4 games in the Hastings Cup. A sole win against Wicklow came with three defeats against Meath, Offaly and Longford.
Expectations were high going into the Connacht Championship; however, a stern test lay ahead in the form of Galway. A six point defeat was disappointing after a very strong second half performance.
Management: I would like to take this opportunity thank our management team of Brendan Guckian, Michael Moyles, John O’Mahony and Seamus Quinn and all the backroom team for their work in 2017 and wish them the best of luck in 2018
Juniors: Our Juniors defeated Galway in the Connacht semi-final by four points and went on to beat Mayo in the Connacht final by three points. Congratulations to them on winning this Connacht title, it was a great victory for the team. Many a Leitrim heart did a double beat when the final whistle was blown.
They met a strong Kerry team in the All Ireland semi-final having lost a number of their panel to the Senior team to be beaten in Limerick by seven points. All in all it was a good year for the Junior team and a huge Congratulations to them and the Management team of Seamus Quinn and Enda Lyons.
National League: In the National League 3B they played 4 games and only winning one against Fermanagh and losing to Longford, Warwickshire and Sligo
Lory Meagher Championship: In this championship Leitrim played five games with wins over Cavan, Lancashire and Sligo and were defeated by Fermanagh and Warwickshire which seen them into the All Ireland Final in Croke Park.
Even though they were beaten on the day by six points, it was a great experience for the team management and everyone there. Thanks to the huge number of supporters that travelled from Leitrim to support them on the day, to the management for their work and commitment with the team, a huge credit to them.
To all the sponsors that sponsored our hurlers for the occasion.
Stephen Dorrigan Tournament: The All Ireland Stephen Dorrigan tournament took place in Annaduff this year which was a very successful day in the County for Leitrim. Thanks to Thomas Keenan for organising this and congratulations to our U16 Leitrim hurlers who were victorious on the day winning the All Ireland
Club Hurling: On the Club scene congratulations to Carrick Hurlers on winning Senior County title. To Cluainin Iomáint on winning the League title.
Congratulations to Liam Moreton, Clement Cunniffe and Conor Byrne on their Lory Meagher Al Star awards - a great individual achievement to cap off what can be deemed a successful year.
I would like to mention here the sad passing of Bernard Murray RIP. Bernard was a member of the Carrick club and also donned the jersey for Leitrim, and we all have many happy memories of Bernard, sincere condolences to Johnny and all the family.
Thanks to Martin Cunniffe, Paddy Phelan and Paddy O’Connor for their continued work with our hurlers.
Wheelchair Hurling: In April of 2017 we hosted the Indoor Interprovincial Wheelchair Hurling in Leitrim; the Community School in Ballinamore afforded us the full use of their premises which was amply suited for the wheelchair users, a huge thanks to Padraig Leyden and Mary McKeon for all their assistance.
We had teams from the four provinces and the day was opened by the Kiltubrid Pipe Band and Uachtarán Tofa John Horan, it was a great honour to host this competition,
A special thanks to all medics who assisted our teams throughout the year, to Kieran Greene for looking after Páirc Sean, to Mel Gorman who has looked after our Adult County teams for the last number of years and has now decided to take a well-earned break from it all, I thank you for your contribution and commitment to Leitrim GAA and I would like to wish Aoife Wrynn best wishes as she takes on the Doctors role for Leitrim.
Our club games would not be possible but for the dedication of our Referees, Between league and championship we had over 650 clubs games so a huge thanks to all our Referees who officiated those games throughout the year and also to those who officiated at Connacht and National Level.
Without these men putting themselves out there we would have no games. Thanks to Sean McCartin and the referees committee for their commitment throughout the year.
Thanks to Vincent O’Rourke and John Keenan and their CCC committee for their diligent work throughout the year in getting our games played within the calendar year and according to the planner set out at start of year
Coiste na nÓg
Thanks to Gerry, Mary, Barbara and the Coiste na nÓg committee for the completion of their calendar of games for the year. This year saw our underage structure change to U13, U15, and U17 levels. A volume of over 400 games and nearly 30 finals shows the level of participation at underage level in the county. Well done to everyone involved.
As mentioned above the underage review saw changes at age grades as a result of the overall review held in late 2016. This year a review is taking place on the adult structure in the county – we had a club forum night and an online questionnaire for the players with the result we have motions on the Clár for this convention arising from both.
Winners and Runners Up
Congratulations to all our county title winners from underage right up to Senior in Leagues and Championship, and commiseration to the teams that lost out on final day. Some very hard fought battles took place in 2017 on the pitches of Leitrim where our players displayed their skill set to the best of their abilities.
I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you and happy retirement to Jimmy Holahan who retires from his position of GPO in the county after a lifetime of coaching in our schools, I wish Jimmy the very best in his retirement.
Jimmy was selector with our Minor County Teams in 2002 and 2003; he also had many roles in his involvement from the late 80s right into the 90 with up to 2004 with the County Seniors, U21s and Juniors.
Jimmy is replaced by Enda Lyons as the new GPO and I wish Enda the best of luck as his this up the mantle – he has big boots to fill.
I would like to say thanks to James Glancy for his tremendous work in 2017 in his role of GPO, among which his workshops were a huge success. Here I will also mention Thomas Keenan our Games Manager for his huge volume of work with our GPO’s and coaching, schools etc in the county.
Mile buíochas to Willie Donnellan, John Connolly, Philip Rooney and the Leitrim Observer, James Molloy and Therese Foy, Longford Leader, John Lynch and comrades at Shannonside Radio, PJ Leddy, Darragh Cox and Ocean FM for their continued extensive coverage of our games. I wish John Lynch best of Luck on his new road to adventure.
I would like to say a thank you to all the secretaries and other personnel in all our clubs for your continued co-operation and support with me over the year.
I would like to say thanks to all the stewards who officiated at our games in Páirc Sean and other grounds throughout the year.
Páirc Sean Mac Diarmada
A special word of appreciation to the Páirc Sean committee for their continued work and commitment to the excellent maintenance of Páirc Sean. The pitch was always in pristine condition for all games. This also includes our FÁS scheme workers in Páirc Sean both in the office and outdoors.
To the Ladies in the kitchen in Páirc Sean who is always available for match day with the tea and sandwiches for everyone I say a huge thank you. Thanks once again to St. Mary’s for the use of their facilities on match days. Thanks the Kiltubrid Pipe Band for their participation at our games in Páirc Sean. Thanks to Paul Maye for the sponsorship for our new scoreboard in Páirc Sean
To Declan our PRO who as usual came up with the goods for the programmes on County Final day, a huge amount of work goes into these programmes. Declan also looks after the twitter and Facebook feeds of scores of our games which is watched worldwide at this stage,
In October we saw the much needed relaunch of our newly re-developed Web Site which is second to none at present. The 13 year old web site got a complete makeover and re-design.
It is designed for viewing on every type of appliance from desktop computer to the Smartphone plus it has some new features not previously seen.
A huge word of praise to Brendan Doyle for the long and unending hours spent designing and working on the site. It was a mammoth task as he managed to bring all data from the old site to the new one. Mile buíochas Brendan. To James Molloy, Declan Bohan who helped Brendan.
Thanks to Claire for her work with the Scór and congratulations to all who took part in all our Scór competitions, to the winners in Leitrim and Connacht. A special Congratulations to the Dancers from Manorhamilton on winning the All Ireland Figure Dance in Belfast, a truly well-deserved title for them.
Congratulations to Laura Crossan who hosted the Scór na nÓg finals in Belfast as Bean an Tí.
Thanks to Mike Feeney of the Dublin Supporters, John Mulvey and Shay Reynolds of the Leitrim committee and to all the clubs for their endeavour to continue to sell the Leitrim Supporters club tickets. This is a very important fund raiser for the county.
With our new Treasurer Martin on board this year, I’m sure he found it a learning curve getting to grips with all the financial aspects of the county, however he was a quick learner and as you will see from the year end financial report he didn’t let us sink.
Thanks to Brian Blake and Fergal Ormsby for their assistance with Martin and setting up accounts. To Con Dolan Accountant for Auditing the accounts for Leitrim thank you.
Thanks to Brian Blake for his continued work in looking after the Centre of Excellence in Annaduff and overseeing the work on-going there.
Huge thanks to The Bush Hotel for their continued sponsorship of our County Team, John McManus, Connacht Gold Aurivo for our Senior Club, Fox Monumentals for our Intermediate club and Pyramid Bookmakers for our Junior club competitions Paul Maye Dunnes Bar for our Leagues, all the underage competition sponsors.
Congratulations to all our award winners for 2017.
To anyone who suffered losses and bereavements during the year, sincere condolences.
Here I have to mention one man who died during the year Joe Flynn, ironically on the day of the Senior Scór taking place in Belfast as Joe himself had won titles in Ballad group for St. Mary’s. Joe as an ex Chairman of Leitrim was involved in all areas of the GAA in from Leitrim to Connacht to Croke Park. My sincere condolences to Mary and all the Flynn family.
Also the GAA in general lost an ex-president in Joe McDonagh.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
As the year draws to a close once again, so too does the five year terms of some of our members of executive. I would like to wish the nominees for these positions the best of luck.
The executive committee play a very important role in the running of the affairs of the county but it is also thanks to the clubs within the county who contribute to this also, and I would like to sincerely thank them for all their help to me throughout 2017
I wish to acknowledge all the support and assistance afforded to me this year from various personnel in Croke Park (too many to individually mention) and John Prenty and staff in Connacht Council.
If I have omitted anyone or anything I apologise – at this stage one would want to start this report at the beginning of the year in order to remember everyone and everything.
Many thanks to my family for your help and support.
Finally I wish each and everyone a very Happy Christmas & New Year and Good Luck for 2018.
Mar fhocal scoir, tá súil agam go mbeidh Nollaig Shona agaibh go léir agus go n-éirí libh uile i 2018
Attracta Ni Raghailligh
Coiste Chontae Liatroma