TUARISC AN RUNAI 2015
Sean O Pronntaigh
Ar dtús ba mhaith liom mo fhíor buíochas a ghabhail do gach duine a chabhraigh le gníomhaiochtaí Comhairle Chonnacht i rith na bliana. Bhí bhlain an mhaith againn í 2015.
Ba mhaith liom freisin comhgairdeas a gabhail do na foirne a bhuaidh craoibh na hEireann I 2015.
While we cannot boast of the same number of All Ireland titles as in 2014 we had a reasonable amount of success on the field of play.
All Ireland titles came to
- Corofin All Ireland Club Senior Football Champions
- Gaillimh All Ireland Minor Hurling Champions
- Gaillimh All Ireland Intermediate Hurling Champions
- Ros Comain Allianz League Division 2 Football Champions
- Ros Comain Nickey Rackard Cup Hurling Champions
Unsuccessful in All Ireland Finals were;
- Sligeach Lory Meagher Cup Final
- St Croans All Ireland Club Intermediate Football Final
In Ladies Football 19 Finals were contested with 10 titles coming to the Province Between our Clubs, Post Primary Schools, Colleges, Province
- Connacht Interprovincial Post Primary Champions
- Sligo National League Ladies Division 3 Champions
- Glenamaddy CS All Ireland Senior A Ladies Football Schools Champions
Other titles came to
- Kilkerrin/Clonberne of Galway won the Division 1 Elite Feile Peil na nOg All Ireland Final
- Clann na nGael of Roscommon won the Division 3 Feile Peil na nOg All Ireland Final
- Mayo won the All Ireland U-17 Development Academy Cup Blitz
- Glenamaddy/Williamstown of Galway won the Intermediate Championship Shield All Ireland 7’s club final beating Milltown
- Maigh Cuilinn of Galway won the Tesco Junior Cup Championship All Ireland 7’s club final
- Kilkerrin/Clonberne of Galway won the Kilmacud Crokes All Ireland Club
- Roscommon were runners up in the U-16 C All Ireland Final.
- Galway were runners up in the Minor A All Ireland Final.
- Kilkeerin/Clonberne were runners up in the Senior Cup All Ireland 7’s
Off the field Lee Keegan and Aidan O Shea (Mayo) won All Star Football Awards with Diarmuid O Connor (Mayo) taking the Young Footballer of the Year Award.
Hurling All Stars went to Galway’s Colm Callanan, Daithi Burke, David Burke and Cathal Mannion
Christy Ring Awards went to Kenny Feeney (Mayo). Rackard Cup Awards went to Micheal Kelly, Liam Kilcline, Ronan O Meara and Peter Kellehan (Roscommon) while Lory Meagher Awards went to Leitrim’s Paul Earley and Clement Cunniffe and Sligo’s Keith Raymond, Jamie Kenny, Gerard O Kelly Lynch and Gary Cadden
Connacht was represented on the Irish International Rules team with, Lee Keegan, Aidan O Shea, making outstanding contributions to the team. Connacht was also honoured that Padraic Joyce (Galway) was a selector.
Overall 2015 was a good year for the Province. Our Championships continued to draw good crowds and the teams that progressed from Connacht did much to keep the reputation of the games from the province to the fore.
Our Connacht GAA Centre had a very busy and successful year.
Senior Football Championship
Galway travelled to Gaelic Park, New York and easily disposed of the locals by 2.18 to 0.8.
This set up a clash with Leitrim at Pairc Sheain in Carrick on Shannon where the Tribesmen continued their good form when defeating the home team by 1.13 to 0.8. Roscommon travelled to Ruislip where London put up a brave performance before going down by 1.14 to 0.10.
In the Semi Finals Galway, with two Championship wins under their belt, welcomed Mayo to Pearse Stadium. However the Mayo men continued their recent dominance over the Tribesmen to qualify for the Connacht Final on a 1.15 to 2.8 scoreline. Galway, however exposed frailties in the Mayo defence, which would prove fatal later on in the year, by opening them up for two goals.
Roscommon travelled to Markievicz Park as raging favourites to defeat Sligo. However, on the evening they never reached the heights expected by them and Sligo ran out deserving 1.14 to 0.13 victors.
The final, which was played at Hyde Park, Roscommon proved to be a damp squib with the more powerful Mayo side running out facile 6.25 to 2.11 victors to take the Connacht title for an unprecedented fifth time in a row.
In the All Ireland Championship Qualifiers London were defeated in the first round at home to Cavan by 0.11 to 2.22. Leitrim travelled to Drogheda but were unable to improve on their dismal qualifier record when defeated by Louth by 1.17 to 0.11.
Roscommon entered the competition in the second round where they had a good 3.17 to 1.6 victory over Cavan at Breffni Park. Galway travelled to the Athletic Grounds, Armagh where they also had an impressive 1.12 to 0.12 victory.
In round three, Roscommon travelled to Brewster Park, Enniskillen to play Fermanagh. They failed to hold on to the lead they had built up and a late Fermanagh rally saw the home side win by the narrowest of margins 1.14 to 0.16. Galway had home advantage at Pearse Stadium v Derry and they had a deserved 1.11 to 0.8 victory.
In Round 4 Sligo and Galway faced Northern opposition at Croke Park, when meeting Tyrone and Donegal respectively. Unfortunately neither side were victorious with Sligo losing by 0.21 to 0.14 and Donegal easily disposing of Galway by 3.12 to 0.11.
In the All Ireland Quarter Final, Mayo were pitted against Donegal and an Aidan O’ Shea goal before half time turned the game in their favour and an excellent second half performance saw them win by 2.13 to 0.11.
The All Ireland Semi Finals set up the intriguing pairings of Kerry and Tyrone and Mayo and Dublin. Kerry disposed of Tyrone in the first Semi Final.
Mayo and Dublin took two days to solve the matter with Mayo staging a great comeback to force a 1.15 to 2.12 draw.
In the replay, Mayo again leaked goals at vital stages and despite having a four point lead in the second half they were unable to force the issue and Dublin hit two goals in two minutes in the final quarter to deservedly win by 3.15 to 1.14.
In the All Ireland Final, played in terrible conditions, Dublin took the Sam Maguire on a scoreline, Dublin 0.12, Kerry 0.9.
The 2016 season is now upon us with players, managers and supporters looking forward to what lies ahead. New York, London, Roscommon and Mayo are all under new management with Sligo, Leitrim and Galway retaining their managers.
Roscommon under Kevin McStay and Fergal O Donnell travel to Gaelic Park where they are expected to win. A win would see them travel to Carrick On Shannon to play Shane Ward’s Leitrim side. Leitrim will have no fear of the Rossies who will be anxious to make up for last years defeat by Sligo.
Mayo under new manager, Stephen Rochford travel to Ruislip mindful of the fright that then manager, James Horan suffered there five years ago. It would be a surprise if Mayo were defeated.
Sligo await the winners of Roscommon/New York/Leitrim and will be anxious, under Niall Carew to build on this year’s Connacht Final appearance.
The other Semi Final should again pit Mayo with Kevin Walsh’s Galway. Mayo have been dominant in recent years but the Tribesmen know that this does not last forever and I am sure that the Corofin players in particular will be anxious to get one over on their former manager Stephen Rochford.
We look forward with great anticipation to the upcoming championship.
Senior Hurling Championship
Galway entered the Leinster Hurling Championship at the Quarter Final stage where they were pitted against Dublin at Croke Park. After an enthralling game neither side could be separated with the result being a well deserved draw, Galway 1.17, Dublin 0.20. In the replay played at O’Connor Park, Tullamore, Galway proved far superior when winning by 5.19 to 1.18. In the Semi Final, again played at Tullamore, Galway proved too good for Laois on a 3.28 to 1.14 scoreline. This set up another Leinster final with Kilkenny who took the title when winning by 1.25 to 2.15.
In the Quarter Final Galway defeated Cork by 2.28 to 0.22 to set up a Semi Final meeting with Tipperary. Galway who were introducing young exciting players in every game won a wonderful game by 0.26 to 3.16.
Kilkenny who defeated Waterford by 1.21 to 0.18 qualified for the final when winning the other Semi Final.
The Final proved to be a game of two halves. At half time Galway held all the aces when leading by three points and dominating Kilkenny in all sectors. However the second half proved to be a different affair with Kilkenny taking over and out-fighting, out-thinking and out scoring the Galway team to take the title by 1.22 to 1.18.
The end of the All Ireland Football and Hurling Championships had unfortunate circumstances for the team managements of Pat Holmes/Noel Connelly (Mayo) and Anthony Cunningham (Galway). Both squads of players voted No Confidence in the Team Managers, with no room for discussion or negotiation,. It was a simple ultimatum they go or we won’t play and ultimately both sets of managers stepped down from their position. Senior Inter County Football and Hurling is a serious time consuming business with players, managers and County Boards expending huge time and effort in striving to achieve ultimate All Ireland success. It demands mutual respect for the efforts of all sides and there is a need to have consideration for the efforts of our volunteers who have lives and jobs and families outside the games. One of the most laudable initiatives by our Association has been the ‘Give Respect, Get Respect Initiative – We should keep it in mind. Otherwise we are in danger of creating a monster
Christy Ring Cup
Mayo competed in the Christy Ring Cup without success and were relegated to the Nickey Rackard Cup following defeats by Derry, Kildare and Wicklow in the competition proper and by Roscommon in the promotion/relegation play off on a 2.14 to 0.13 scoreline. This game doubled up as the Connacht Intermediate Hurling Final.
Nickey Rackard Cup
Pride of place in this competition goes to Roscommon who took the title by virtue of a last minute goal to defeat Armagh by 2.12 to 1.14. They had earlier victories over Fingal, Monaghan and Tyrone.
Lory Meagher Cup
Sligo and Leitrim competed in this competition. In Round 1 Sligo travelled to Ballinamore to defeat the home side 4.16 to 2.12.
In Round 2 Warwickshire were defeated by Leitrim by 1.18 to 1.15 in Birmingham. Round 3 saw Warwickshire travel to Sligo and win by 3.12 to 1.15. Round 3 saw victories for Leitrim 1.16 , Lancashire 1.14 while Sligo beat Lancashire 3.21 to 0.13 in Round 4 with Fermanagh defeating Leitrim by 2.14 to 1.14.
In the Final, played at Croke Park, Fermanagh took the title by defeating Sligo 3.16 to 1.17
Pride of place on the Hurling fields went to Galway Minor Hurlers who took the title when defeating Tipperary by 4.13 to 1.16 in the Final. They earlier defeated Kilkenny in the Semi Final after a replay.
Galway also took the Intermediate Hurling title when defeating Cork by 0.23 to 0.14 in the Final.
Roscommon and Mayo qualified for the U-21 C Hurling Championship semi finals while Roscommon were defeated by Kerry in the Minor B Final having earlier defeated Meath and Wicklow to qualify.
Under 21 Football Championship
In the Preliminary Round Mayo defeated Leitrim by 4.7 to 0.8 at MacHale Park. Roscommon scored goals for fun by defeating Sligo in the Semi Final on an 6.18 to 0.12 scoreline. In the other Semi Final Galway defeated Mayo by 1.12 to 0.11.
In the Final, at Tuam Stadium, Roscommon had a good victory over Galway by 3.14 to 3.11 after a very good game.
In the All Ireland Semi Final at Markievicz Park, Roscommon were defeated by eventual All Ireland Champions, Tyrone by 0.17 to 0.12.
Minor Football Championship
2014 Minor League Champions Leitrim and 2015 League Champions Sligo met in the Preliminary Round at Carrick on Shannon with the Yeats County prevailing by 4.9 to 0.12. In the Semi Finals Sligo travelled to Kiltoom and defeated Roscommon by 1.14 to 3.5 while Galway travelled to MacHale Park and hammered Mayo by 3.12 to 1.3.
The Final played at Hyde Park was a tense affair with neither Sligo nor Galway playing to their potential on the day. Sligo could have snatched the title late on but a 1.4 to Galway 0.7 draw was a fair result.
In the replay, at Tuam Stadium, Galway easily took the title by 4.12 to 1.8.
The All Ireland Quarter Finals were disappointing affairs with eventual All Ireland Champions Kerry defeating Sligo by 2.12 to 1.6 while All Ireland Runners Up Tipperary defeated Galway by 1.10 to 0.6.
Junior Football Championship
Again Roscommon did not enter this year with Mayo and Galway qualifying for the Final with victories over Sligo and Leitrim respectively.
In the Final played at Carrick On Shannon, Mayo took the title on a 1.12 to 0.13 scoreline. In the All Ireland Semi Final Mayo defeated Kilkenny by 1.12 to 0.8 but Kerry proved far superior in the Final, which was played at Croke Park, to take the title 2.18 to 0.10.
FBD Insurance League
Roscommon took the Title when defeating Galway at Kiltoom on a 4.8 to 1.12 scoreline. I would like to thank FBD for their continued support for the competition. I especially want to thank Tommy Kelly for his help and cooperation during the year.
Minor Football League
Sligo took the Title with victories over Leitrim, Galway, Mayo and Longford and a defeat by Roscommon.
Ted Webb Cup
All Games were played at the Connacht GAA Centre, under a new Blitz Format. This format allowed for the competition to remain alive until the second days play. Galway CW defeated Mayo EW to take the Cup while Roscommon defeated Mayo NS to take the Shield.
In recent years several efforts have been made to find a suitable date on the calendar to play these competitions. The weekend of the 5th/6th December was chosen to play the Hurling in Galway and the Football in Armagh. The Council appointed John Tobin, Martin Carney and Ja Fallon to take charge of the Football Team and Roscommon Manager Justin Campbell in charge of the Hurling Team. The mantra out there is that the players like this competition. Maybe they do but if our experience in getting a team together is anything to go by, they may like it but they don’t like to play in it.
Anyway the Gods contrived to send storm Desmond to wash out the Country and scupper the Inter-Provincials. Maybe its time to take heed of the Gods.
Junior Club Football Championship
Only 4 Counties had teams eligible to play in this competition. Consequently, Mayo Champions, Ardnaree Sarsfields qualified for the Final. In the Preliminary Round, Clifden defeated Sligo Champions Owenmore Gaels by 0.16 to 0.9. In the Semi Final Clifden defeated Roscommon Champions Shannon Gaels by 2.9 to 0.9. The Galway champions however were not strong enough for Ardnaree who took the title by 1.11 to 1.7. Ardnaree are wished well in the All Ireland series when they play Rockcorry, (Monaghan) in the Semi Final.
Intermediate Club Football Championship
Hollymount-Carramore (Mayo), Michael Glaveys, (Roscommon), Moycullen (Galway), Melvin Gaels (Leitrim) and Easkey (Sligo) won their respective County Championships.
Melvin Gaels defeated Easkey by 3.9 to 0.9 in the Preliminary Round to set up a Semi Final with Hollyount Carramore and following an enthralling game which went to extra time the Mayo Champions held out to win by 2.13 to 1.14.
In the other Semi Final Moycullen defeated Michael Glaveys by 2.16 to 2.7. In the Final, played at Pearse Stadium, Hollymount Carramore took the title by the narrowest margins 0.9 to 0.8.
They too are wished well in the upcoming All Ireland series,. They play Loughanisland (Down) in the All Ireland Semi Final.
Senior Club Football Championship
All Ireland Club Champions Corofin, retained their Galway title and were joined by new County Champions Mohill (Leitrim) St Mary’s (Sligo), Clan na Gael (Roscommon) and Castlebar Mitchels (Mayo) in the Connacht series.
In the preliminary round Corofin defeated a gallant Mohill side by 1.17 to 0.4 and travelled to Markievicz Park to defeat St Mary’s by 4.14 to 2.6. In the other Semi Final Castlebar Mitchels held on to defeat Clan na Gael by 3.8 to 0.13.
The Club Final, played at Tuam Stadium was an outstanding game of football with the Mitchels dethroning the All Ireland Champions Corofin to take the title by 2.10 to 0.11.
Castlebar now play Crossmaglen Rangers in the All Ireland Semi Final in February and we wish them well in their efforts to keep the title in the Province.
It is a tremendous testimony to the work being done at club level that arguably the best games of football seen in 2015 were the 4 Provincial Club Finals.
Club Hurling Championship
Sarsfields took the Galway Hurling Championship, following a replay and will represent the Province in the All Ireland series when they play Cushendall in the Semi Final.
An unfortunate Consequence of the drawn Galway Hurling Final saw the Replay fixed as a direct clash with the Connacht Senior Club Football Final at venues only 20 miles apart. Unfortunately the Galway Hurling Board were inflexible in the matter and insisted on the replay clashing with the Connacht Final. Its amazing that a committee, which is not supposed to exist, can exert such influence.
In the Intermediate Championship, Ballyhaunis and Four Roads retained the Mayo and Roscommon Championships with Four Roads gaining revenge for last year by winning by 3.9 to 1.12. In the Final the Roscommon Champions were unfortunate to lose to Galway Champions Abbeyknockmoy by 1.11 to 0.11. In the All Ireland quarter Final Abbeyknockmoy travelled to Ruislip and defeated British Champions Robert Emmets by 0.10 to 0.5.
The now play Creggan (Antrim) in the All Ireland Semi Final and are wished well.
At Junior level Calry St Josephs defeated Ballinamore by 2.11 to 1.3 in the Semi Final but were defeated by Sylane on a 1.18 to 2.7 scoreline in the Final. Sylane now play Ulster Champions Creggan (Antrim) in the All Ireland Semi Final and are wished well.
Easkey took the U16 Hurling title when defeating Ballinasloe in the Final.
Leo Kenny Cup
Mountbellew Moylough took the title for the first time by defeating Corofin in the Final.
Minor Club Competition
The inaugural Minor Club A and B competitions were held this year. Despite some teething problems the competition proved to be an outstanding success.
In the A competition, Salthill Knocknacarra, Claremorris, St Mary’s, St Monachans and Clan na Gael competed, with Salthill Knocknacarra defeating Clan na Gael in the Final to take the Fr Oliver Hughes Memorial Cup.
In the B Competition, Knockmore, Oranmore Maree, Calry St Josephs, Melvin Gaels and Oran took part. Knockmore took the title by defeating Oranmore Maree in the Final.
This competition is a fitting memorial to Fr Oliver Hughes and I wish to thank the Hughes family for donating the Cup in his honour for the competition.
TAIN LEAGUES/COISDE IOMANA
The Tain Leagues were very successful for the teams which participated. Tooreen and Michael Breathnachs took the Division 1 and 2 titles with victories over Athleague and Sylane.
The Tain Under Age Leagues and the Suck Valley League were also well contested and gave our underage clubs an opportunity to sample competition early in the year.
I wish to pay tribute to Coisde Iomana under Stephen Cahalan and Damian Coleman for their work on behalf of the Council during the year.
As well as the Tain Leagues, the Connacht Poc Fada also came under their remit and a very successful and competitive evening was had in the Centre in July for the Provincial Finals.
The coming year will be a busy one for the Coisde, as they monitor, in conjunction with our Provincial Coaching and Development Committee the three actions of the National Hurling Development Plan:
- U17 Development Programme
- Tain/Cross County Leagues
- Talent Academy Hurling Monitor Programme
If future expenditure for Hurling development in the Province is to be continued, it is imperative that all stakeholders in the Province buy into this initiative.
FIXTURES , PLAYER OVERTRAINING AND BURNOUT
Ard Stiurthoir Paraic O Dufaigh recently produced a Discussion Paper on the issue of Player Training and Burnout and the GAA Fixtures Calendar. In it he highlights that eight reports, published between 2004 and 2015, identified two persistent problems that are directly caused by the way we organise our fixtures throughout the year
- A surfeit of games and training with multiple teams and managers at certain times of the year
- The unfair treatment of club players with regards to fixtures.
The Ard Stiurthoir continues in his Paper to offer a number of proposals to help solve this problem. In the interim a number of the Proposals have been modified. He Proposes
- That from 2018 at Inter County Level Minor Hurling and Football Competitions be regraded as Minor U 17 and played alongside the senior competition.
This will have the major benefit of reducing clashes between State Examinations and existing minor competitions. It will reduce the number of players doing the Examinations by about 30%. In recent times we have several examples of Minor panel numbers being cut in the run to the championship with no consideration of the psychological strain it puts on the student at this most important time of his live. The change to U 17 will help alleviate some of this.
- Replace the U 21 Football Championship with an U 20 Football Championship The revised proposal envisages a new U-20 football championship to be played midweek in June and July from 2018. Under the rules, all games would finish on the day – there will be no replays. Extra time, if inconclusive, would be followed by a ‘sudden death’ free-taking competition. Eligibility would be restricted to those players who are over-age for U-18 and eligible for U-20; players who have featured on a team list submitted to a referee for an inter-county senior championship game in the current year will be ineligible to participate.
- From 2018 complete All Ireland U 21 Hurling Championship before All Ireland Hurling Final
- Have more two code weekends in Allianz Leagues
- Discontinue Division 1 Football semi Finals
- Make players not on match day panel 0f 26 available to clubs
- Bring forward All Ireland Senior Finals by two weeks
- From 2017 play extra time in drawn games except Provincial finals and All Ireland Finals.
- Review All Ireland Junior Football and Intermediate hurling championships
- Introduce a calendar year fixtures schedule.
The Proposals hit the nail on the head. There is no doubt that the Ard Stiurthoir is concerned at the impact that the Club v County issue is having on our clubs. In our Official Guide the club is described as
“The Club is the basic unit of the association”
It is an undeniable fact that without our clubs we would have no players, officers, members or indeed an Association.
The unsung heroes of our Association are the hundreds of people who give freely of their time to coach and mentor Underage players from U-6 to Minor. They take great pride when one of their players make a county minor,U-21 or Senior team and see this as a reward for their endeavours with their club.
However once those Elite Players make a County panel the problems for the club arises.
- Club games at Adult level play second fiddle to all types of County Activity
- Club Fixture Schedule is put into disarray
- Clubs might be given their players for the odd League match but you can be guaranteed that a heavy County Training session or Challenge game will take place the day before.
- A number of League games will be arranged, without county players, causing major problems for clubs with small panels or a number of players on county panel.
- Club Championship will be arranged around the demands of the County Team Manager.
- Many County panellists never get a chance to train with their clubs
- As highlighted in Paraic Duffys paper An Inter County draw can cause havoc with a club championship . It is now time to eliminate replays from Inter County schedules.
- Large County panels means that up to 10 players get no game time for County or Club in summer time
- Uncertainty of when a county enters the Qualifiers causes chaos with fixture planning.
I have seen at first hand all of the above issues and also the frustrations of our club players in trying to understand the fixtures calendar and all of the variables that lead to a fragmented season.
The Adoption of the most recent report should lead to;
- The implementation of co-ordinated fixture planning/scheduling
- The provision of a meaningful calendar of match activity and a defined closed season for all players
How many times have we heard of these aspirations with no follow on results.
If we don’t shout stop the players will stop playing . Let us rebrand our club activity as the cornerstone of our Association . The county game is quickly becoming financially unsustainable with County Team Administration costs in Connacht being almost 5 times the gate receipts for the Connacht championship. Can this continue ? Will there be a time when we can only afford Club activity?
Coaching & Games Development.
Our Provincial Coaching and Games Development Committee, under the chairmanship of Brian Henry has again led from the front to ensure that the standard of Gaelic Games in the Province continues to improve.
Our Coaching and Games Development Committee oversees a significant number of games and projects in the Province
Our Spring and Autumn Coaching Programme , Transition Year Courses, Primary Teachers Courses and Our Coach Education Courses, Small games Centres (SGC’s), Primary Schools activity days, Supertouch Programme, Provincial Feiles, Skill Challenges, Sceimoiliuna have brought coaching to every corner of the Province in 2015.
Our Primary schools coaching programme, of 2 x 10 week blocks, saw coaching delivered to 560 Primary Schools. In addition the relaunch of the Ceim ar Aghaidh and online resources has proved to be of major benefit to teachers.
Our part time and full time coaches provide coaching to the Primary and Secondary schools and it is essential that the local clubs provide assistance where required. The cultivation of this relationship is imperative and will bear fruit in the medium/long term. It is a practice that is gaining momentum among the clubs.
The Council is well prepared for the introduction and delivery of the Mandatory Coaching Standards for 2016
For Inter-County Management Teams
- By the start of the 2016 season, all Inter-County Management teams will contain an Award 2 coach.
- By the start of the 2018 season, all Inter-County ‘Head Coaches’ will be qualified at Award 2 level.
For Club Management Teams
- By the start of the 2016 season, all Club Management teams will contain an Award 1 coach.
- By the start of the 2018 season, all Club ‘Head Coaches’ will be qualified at Award 1 level.
In support of the above Standards a GAA Assimilation Scheme has been devised by the Association to acknowledge the prior learning and experience of a number of top class coaches and fast track them to meet the Mandatory Standards. Our Connacht Coach Education Committee are presently drawing up a list of those being considered for Assimilation. Hopefully it well be weighed heavily in favour of experience in the fields rather than in the classroom.
One of the most important initiatives of our Coaching Committee has been the Club Mentoring Support Programme developed by John Tobin.
Club- Tutor Mentor Programme
We now have 57 Tutors actively engaged in the delivery of the Coach Education programmes. All of these have undertaken extensive training in the various different areas of coaching and have been responsible for the delivery of the Foundation Level, Award 1 and Award 2 GAA Coach Education courses throughout the Province. They have an intimate understanding of all aspects of coaching and as such are an invaluable resource for the Association.
It was with this in mind that the Club/Tutor Liaison project was set up and was delivered to clubs in 2015.
The first visit consisted of a review of what is ‘Best Practise’ in coaching, in areas such as club coaching structure and systems. It is envisaged that the tutor will act as a facilitator for all the club coaches at this initial meeting. The second and third visits to the club may be of a practical nature where the Tutor will deliver a coaching session or mentor a session. It is probably more beneficial if the club and the tutor decide the agenda for the follow up visits.
The following is a list of some of the clubs that have engaged in the programme:
- Cill Chomain
To apply, the Club Secretary or Coaching Officer must contact the Chairman of their County Coach Education Committee and identify whatever tutor they wish to invite. Further information is available from John Tobin, Provincial Games Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Play and Stay Day in Croke Park, again proved to be an outstanding success with our Gaeltacht Clubs having the opportunity to participate.
Our Summer Camps attracted over 15,000 participants Considerable investment has been made to ensure that the quality of the camps is maintained to the highest standard. All coaching personnel are provided with special training and are Garda Vetted and in these difficult times it is a major seasonal employer.
Of particular importance to the Coaching field has been the work under taken by Cathal Cregg in offering a range of services available to schools, clubs & counties in the areas of
- fitness testing
- movement screening
- conditioning programme design
- match analysis
Cathal has continued to work with the county games managers and coaching staff within the counties to prepare our academy squads There has been a large increase in the number of teams within each county using the national monitoring system, Smartabase. The system allow us to easily store data gathered on players such as testing results, injuries, illnesses and monitoring of training loads.
During the year Cathal developed a Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Education Course which is the first of its kind in the GAA. This course was designed to give coaches a solid foundation in the area of Strength and Conditioning (S&C) so that they can carry out training in a safe and effective manner in their own particular club setting. In December an online pilot of this course was ran with a group of 25 academy coaches from each of the 5 counties in both hurling and football. This course will now be offered to club coaches and a new course will commence in early February 2016. The idea behind such a course is to build a volunteer lead module for clubs so that they can put an effective S&C program in place within their own club.
We have recently appointed six undergraduates to work in the Counties with trained S & C Coaches, under the guidance of Cathal Cregg. Their primary role is to drive and oversee the Smartbase system that will monitor the training load of each individual player and the Development Squads. The system is structured so that if the accumulated efforts of a player are in breach of the accepted level then the system’s inbuilt warning mechanism will become immediately apparent. This will in many ways alleviate the Burn Out issues highlighted in Paraic Duffys report.
The past year has been a very busy year for our committee dealing with Games for All .
I wish to pay tribute to all involved with the various initiatives; Denis O’Boyle (Chairman), Mattie Kilroy ( Secretary), Christy Tyrell (Galway), Enda Tiernan (Leitrim), John Hopkins (Mayo), Cyril Feehily (Rounders ), Barry Lowe (Roscommon), Tim Hynes (Sligo) , Sean Kilbride (National Games for All Committee) .
Denis O Boyle gives a comprehensive breakdown on all of the activities undertaken under their remit in 2015. I wish to acknowledge all of their initiatives and achievements during the year and to particularly mention the Connacht Wheelchair Hurling team that made huge strides over the year
On behalf of the Council I wish to thank the following;
- Our Coaching Committee under the Chairmanship of Brian Henry and our County Coaching Officers, Padraic Carolan (Mayo), Michael geraghty (Galway), Pat Compton (Roscommon), Padraic Clancy (Sligo) and Padraig McGourty (Leitrim). Pat Compton and Padraig McGourty have come to the end of their term of office and we thank them for their contribution and interest in all things related to Coaching. Pat is being replaced as Roscommon Coaching Officer by Sean Kilbride while Padraig is being replaced in Leitrim by Hughie Clinton
- To our Games Managers, Tom Mc Manus, Thomas Keenan, Willie Hegarty, Billy Mc Nicholas and Liam Og Gormley. Special thanks is also due to Padraic O Conaire for his work under Sceimoiliuna.
- Also to our Third Level Officers, Michael Harte (S.I.T), Damien Curley (G.M.I.T) Michael O’Connor (N.U.I G) for all of their efforts throughout the year.
- Cathal Cregg and Seamus Burns and their student trainees Aine Lenighan and Edel Hastings for their work during the year.
Finally I wish to pay tribute to our Provincial Games Manager John Tobin and our Hurling Director Damien Coleman for their continued commitment to the promotion of our games within the Province, Also the National Coaching and Games Development Committee, under the chairmanship of Frank Burke and the guidance and direction of Pat Daly, Jimmy Darcy and Peter Horgan and Caoimhe Ni Neill.
SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES
2015 saw our Colleges and Vocational Schools competitions undergo a very busy year under the Connacht Second Level Schools Committee
On the playing fields Roscommon CBS took the Senior A football title when beating Summerhill College in the Final. Unfortunately they were beaten in the All Ireland Final by eventual champions Pobalscoil Chorcu Dhuibhne, Kerry, who retained their title
Holy Rosary Mountbellew retained the B football title, when defeating Presentation Headford, but were defeated in All Ireland Semi Final by St Marys Academy Carlow, after extra time..
At ‘ C’ Level Our Ladys Belmullet defeated Colaiste Iognaid take the title. They too were defeated in the All Ireland semi Final.
Sancta Maria, Louisdburgh took the D Title before losing the All Ireland Semi Final to Ballymahon VS.
Presentation Athenry were worthy Connacht Senior ‘A’ Hurling Champions, beating St. Brigids, Loughrea in the final. Both teams were narrowly beaten in the All-Ireland series .
The Senior ‘B’ Hurling title went to Calasanctius College,Oranmore while at Senior ‘C’ Hurling Ballyhaunis CS took the Connacht title for the first time. Oranmore and Ballyhaunis were defeated by Mountrath CS and Cistercian College Roscrea respectively in the All Ireland semi Finals.,
NUI Galway continued their valuable Sponsorship of our competitions during the year. We thank them and especially Development Officer Michael O Connor for their sponsorship and also for their sponsorship of the Man of the Match awards in all our senior and junior competitions.
Currently the Council is providing equipment to all schools involved in school competition.
There were also a number of Blitz Days scheduled at the Connacht Centre. To date a significant number of schools have participated and the feedback is very positive. The six pitches available at Bekan, gives us an opportunity to play multiple games at the same time.
I wish to thank our Second Level Schools Committee, under the Chairmanship of Kieran Byrne, for their great cooperation during the year. Hugh Rudden has done tremendous work to ensure that Second Level games are organised and played on time.
At Third Level the games continue to be strong.
NUIG, GMIT, Sligo IT, Letterfrack Furniture College and GMIT Castlebar Galway/Roscommon ETB and Westport College of Further Education competed in the various third level competitions.
Our Third Level Committee, under the Chairmanship of Enda Fallon, continue to do trojan work at this sector and had the unenviable task of overseeing the distribution of the 45 bursaries in a most transparent and fair manner.
I wish to thank our Third Level Development Officers, Damien Curley (GMIT), Michael Harte (Sligo IT) and Michael O’ Connor, (NUIG) for their co-operation and dedication to promoting Gaelic games in their colleges.
Padraic Duffys Discussion paper on Player Overtraining and Burnout outlines the difficulties which scheduling Third Level Competitions in December and January causes due to the semesterisation of examinations during this period. There is no doubt that the demands placed on players, in this sector, by multiple managers ,in the first quarter of the year is placing huge pressure on the players and ultimately will lead to a shorter playing career for them
At Primary schools level our Cumann na mBunscol committee are a very enthusiastic group who work closely in the promotion of Gaelic Games in conjunction with our games managers, coaches and GPO’s. After some debate Go Games and modified games are the norm in all counties up to U 12 while for over 12s games are modified to suit the needs of each county
Coaching and Games Development initiatives were well organised and supported with Coaching personnel being provided ,on a regular basis.visiting schools .
The exhibition games during our senior football championship were again very successful with 160 Boys and Girls participating. Young Whistlers from Leitrim,Sligo and Galway were used as Referees.
I wish to thank the officers of Connacht Cumann na mBunscol for their cooperation during the year
Finally wish to pay tribute to the representatives of the Educational Sector on the Council, Enda Fallon (Third Level), Hugh Rudden (Secondary Schools), Sean Wynne (Vocational Schools) and Danny Charlton (Cumann na mBunscol) for their contribution to their respective sectors and also to the overall work of the Council.
2015 saw a significant increase in the numbers of former players becoming involved in Schools teams at all levels. This is a tremerndous boost for the promiotion of the games and those teachers are tremendous ambassadors for the promotion of school games
On behalf of the Council I wish to thank all of those who promote Gaelic games in each sector and I look forward to working with them in the future.
Connacht GAA Centre
2015 has been a very busy year at the Connacht GAA Centre at Cloonacurry, Bekan, Claremorris, Co Mayo.
Our facilities continue to be utilised , by county teams, club teams, schools, Third Level Colleges and academies and Development Squads for some or all of the following;
- Fitness Testing
- Program design
- Functional Screening
- Video Analysis and performance analysis
- Recording of games
- Conditioning Education course
- Tutoring on award two courses
- Workshops on different fitness component such as physical fitness, injury prevention etc
- GPS Monitoring
- Referee Education and Training
- Coach Education and Player welfare
- Club Development seminars.
- 5 All weather Grass Pitches
- 1 3G Astroturf Pitch
- Perimeter Walking/Running Track
Throughout the year an average of 90 games per month have been played which reiterates the importance of developing the centre in the first place.
After three years there is now a better realisation of the reasons behind building the facility initially. All units in the province are becoming to realise that the financial burden associated with training and preparation of teams can be alleviated through engaging with the services provided at the Centre . Our Coaching and Games Development Committee through John Tobin and Cathal Cregg realise the importance of ensuring that adequate and well monitored Coaching , Strength and Conditioning and Training techniques are available to all units in the Province. They realise that the resources available to our counties, in particular , are limited and have designed programmes to alleviate the costs involved in these areas While the most recent appointments of elite performance personnel in some areas may well be in the best interests of the respective counties, it is disconcerting that these appointments are not within the National and Provincial structures. There is an immediate concern that many Counties may rush to make similar appointments without informed consideration on the vagaries of this situation. We believe that, like what Connacht has done, there are existing models and structures currently within the G.A.A. that can be amended to facilitate the provision of all of these services to all counties and it is imperative that a full discussion takes place nationally to ensure that the availability of Financial resources does not mean that those less well-off are left behind.
The Centre has also been extensively used by the wider Community. The Blood Transfusion Board has set up regular quarterly clinics.
All Counties organised their County Club Go Games Day for their U10, U12 teams in the Centre. Large numbers attended with over 700 participants attending for the Roscommon Go Games day alone. We look forward to all counties increasing their numbers in 2016
The “Festival of GAA Days’ for National Schools was another huge initiative started in 2014 and expanded upon in 2015. Each County was allocated days where a selected number of primary schools were invited to participate in a Day of GAA Activities in the Centre. During that day the children were given the opportunity to play,Football, Hurling, Camogie, Rounders and various Skills Challenge Games. The feedback from teachers and pupils was very positive and no doubt the demand will grow.
Presently the facilities for Players and Spectators are being inproved upon with Dug outs/Spectator shelters being erected on all pitches which should alleviate the hardship being experienced by those attending our games. Also a new Toilet Block is being erected for our patrons.
I look forward to 2016 and a further increase in activity at the Centre and in particular our Club Officers and Club Players Forum on Saturday 13th February and our Provincial Coaching Conference on Saturday 5th March 2016
Insurance, Infrastructure, Health & Safety and Club Development.
Over the past number of years I have highlighted the Laissez faire attitude of our units in all matters of usage, safety and the consequential Insurance liabilities which follow in areas such as .
- Leases and licences
- Making facilities available for non GAA Associated use.
- Record keeping for Injuries and accident reporting
- Safety statements and Risk assessments. Every Club in the Province has been provided with a Safety Statement drawn up by the Council. This is a living document which must be continuously monitored and updated.
Due to this laissez faire attitude of our units to such issues there will be a significant increase in Property Insurance Premia for 2016. It is no use whinging about it now, it has been flagged for a good while.
The National Facilities Health & Safety Committee under the Chairmanship of Pat Teehan are currently devising a strategic plan for all Counties in relation to Infrastructure development to cater for i) Infrastructure ii) Health & Safety and iii) Training.
As part of the plan a further Audit will be carried out on all County Grounds in 2016, this will involve such issues as revised capacity, media facilities, and gathering a wide array of information in relation to all County Grounds. In the past year the Council has worked with the major county grounds to ensure that all aspects highlighted under the Slattery Report of all the major county grounds in the province have been adhered to. The new Strategic Plan will help augment this work.
There is a need to cater for our secondary county grounds as well and I think that the new plan should consider ways of helping our counties keep those grounds up to standard. They are on standby for a lot of Allianz League games and I think that Ard Chomhairle should reconsider the grant aid that was available to the Provinces to cater for secondary county grounds.
The past year has seen The National Event Controllers Course delivered in Connacht which saw twenty people from the province graduating as Event Controllers. These people are valuable assets to the Province and counties in assisting us in staging our games.
37 Mayo stewards undertook The National Steward Training course last year The other 4 counties must now move to run the course in their jurisdiction in order to qualify all our stewards that assist at our games
On behalf of the Council I wish to thank all our County Grounds Committees, Event Controllers and Match Day Stewards for their contributions throughout the year.
In Connacht a lot of progress has been made on the development front.
In Sligo the county training centre at Scarden is up and running and is a major asset .
In Leitrim Annaduff is coming closer to completion.
In Galway the remedial work undertaken at Pearse Stadium left the pitch in pristine condition while further major work has been undertaken at Loughgeorge.
Roscommon County Committee has submitted a development plan for Hyde Park. The Development of the pitch in the Hyde is a priority.
MacHale Park continues to be updated with the necessary remedial works.
Over the past number of years the Council and Ard Chomhairle has provided grant aid towards club development. In the past year over €300,000 has been awarded to clubs in the province to supplement the great works they are undertaking in very difficult times.
Our Grounds improvement scheme was again a great success with Kilglass Gaels , Roscommon taking the overall prize for Connacht. I wish to congratulate each of the clubs that took part and the 5 County winners were;
- Caherlistrane, Galway
- Fenagh St Caillins, Leitrim
- Breaffy, Mayo
- Kilglass Gaels, Roscommon
- Enniscrone Kilglass, Sligo
I would like to thank all our major grounds for hosting championship games throughout the year, a special word of thanks to the Event Controllers and their diligent staff for their cooperation and help throughout the year.
Every year the clubs in the province have made their facilities available to us for our games programme, especially for schools and colleges matches, I would like to thank them for this.
While there is always an emphasis on physical development by our units the major need for help and support is in club officer support. To this end the National Officer Development Committee has rolled out a Club Officer Training Programme. This programme is aimed at Club Chairpersons, Secretaries, Treasurers and PRO’s. It will deal with the needs for each position and will also have online modules on Player Injury Scheme; Capital Projects; Club property IT and the Disciplinary Process. This will be of major benefit to our club officers and in 2016 will be rolled out in Galway and Roscommon.
On Saturday 13th February the Council is holding a Club Officers and Players Forum at the Connacht GAA Centre. This Forum is unique in so far as we have a separate Forum for Club Players which will give them an opportunity to voice their opinions on the issues that affect the ordinary club player. I look forward to their views.
The Forum will consist of presentations and workshops on some or all of the following topics
- Club Property & Trustees
- Club Identity & Amalgamations
- Fundraising ideas for your club
- A Keynote Speaker
- Feedback Plenary Session
The Club Players Forum will include such issues as ;
- Strength & Conditioning
- The Playing Season
- Player Injury Benefit Fund
- Player Welfare
- Lifestyle & Balance
- Feedback Plenary Session-
It is hoped that it will be a valuable day for our clubs .
Finally I wish to thank our Council Development Committee, in particular, for their help and co-operation during the year.
COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA
During the past year Comhairle Chonnacht has endeavoured, at all times, to communicate our message clearly to all our members and the media
Our PRO Padraic Duffy has had a very busy year and worked with all media partners to ensure that our activities get maximum publicity. Our PR Committee under the chairmanship of Padraig has ensured that Comhairle Chonnacht is perceived as an up to date, modern organization.
The promotion of our championship was central to our activities and ensured that our games were promoted fully and led to an increase in attendances.
Twitter, Facebook , Email, snapshots; Websites, Photo Galleries;, Face painting; Big Screen on match days were all used to communicate our message and to increase the Match Day experience of our patrons.
Our PR committee has been involved in the organization of our Man of the Match Awards and the presentations were incorporated into our Annual Function. This function, which was held in The TF Royal Hotel Castlebar was well attended and culminated in Cora Staunton being named as the Connacht GAA Writers Personality of the Year. It is an accolade which Cora richly deserves having picked up her 10th All Star Award in 2015.
The Council is examining the whole concept of our Awards Function at the moment and will make a decision as to its future early in the New Year.
During the year our website was reconstructed and while there are teething problems it is a major improvement on what we had.
Photographer James Molloy has kept our Photo Gallery, supplied with interesting photographs.
The promotion of our championship in the coming year will again be vital to keep our numbers up and hopefully to grow from 2015.
Tickets.ie our ticketing provider has streamlined the distribution and sale of tickets and has proved most beneficial to our County Secretaries and Treasurers for the recording and printing of tickets and also has brought greater security to the management of the whole ticket system during the summer. The sale of tickets through Centra and Supervalu has been an outstanding success and almost 70% of our tickets are now sold directly to the public through their outlets It is also important to acknowledge the efforts of our own office staff in selling tickets directly to the public.
The installation of Boscas into all of our major grounds has been a huge benefit for match day sales.
I wish to thank Tickets.ie and especially Willie Casey for their help during the year. I especially want to thank the staff in the Croke Park Ticket Office, Emma Tormey and David Morrissey in particular for their assistance and cooperation , their contribution has been immense.
Live television coverage again enhanced the availability of our games to the general public and with the advent of live games on Setanta, TG4, SKY and RTE most weeks throughout the year sees some type of game shown on television.
The advent of Sky and GAA GO has had a huge affect on the promotion of our games overseas. A number of ticket enquires to the office were from people abroad who had never had seen Gaelic games until the advent of Sky. In the Connacht Championship we had three games televised live; Sligo v Roscommon was televised live by Sky, while RTE covered the Mayo v Galway game and the Connacht Final. All three games reflected positively on the standard of the games in the province. I wish to thank all of the TV stations and their staff for their co-operation during the year.
On behalf of the Council I wish to thank the media for their support in 2015. The local radios, newspapers Radio na Gaeltachta, TG4, SKY ,Setanta and RTE Sport have been most cooperative.
“Into the West” magazine has been a most important communications tool for the Province. It has showcased our clubs, schools, counties and volunteers in a most effective way. All clubs receive both hard and soft copies of the magazine and I appeal to them to make its distribution as wide as possible
Our County PRO’s are a vital part of the Council PR Committee and their expertise is most valuable in producing match programmes and promotional material. I wish outgoing County PRO’s Aidan McLaughlin and Colm Beirne well in the future and thank them for their work. I look forward to working with new PRO’s Paul Cunnane and Hugh Lynn
I wish to thank DBA for the production of our Senior Championship Programmes.
2015 saw the Council produce our own programmes for all games except the Senior Championship and it proved to be an outstanding success. I wish to thank our producer Padraig Corcoran for producing top quality programmes often under severe time pressure. Also thanks to John Fallon and Media West for editing the programmes.
On behalf of the Council, I wish to thank our communications committee for their endeavours during the year .I also wish to thank Lisa Clancy, Alan Milton and Siobhan Brady from the Communications Department in Croke Park for their help. Lisa has moved on from her position in Croke Park and I wish to pay tribute to her for her help, cooperation and advice during her term in office.
Finally I wish to thank PRO Padraig Duffy for his huge commitment and look forward to the Council being promoted positively in the years ahead.
Changes on Council.
John Hopkins comes to the end of his term of Office as Treasurer this year. John has had a tremendous innings as Treasurer at a time when our gate receipts continue to increase. He set up a group of dedicated gatemen who were prepared to act at all times with him on behalf of the Council. I wish to pay tribute to John for his help and advice over the years and wish him and his family well in the future.
John is being replaced as Treasurer by Mattie Kilroy (Galway). Mattie is no stranger to the Council having served as Galway Delegate for 5 years up to last years Convention. He brings a wealth of experience with him to the role and we look forward to working with him.
This Convention sees a number of delegates also come to the end of their term on the Council.
Both Roscommon delegates John Corcoran and Brian Stenson have come to the end of their term. Brian has served as Council Delegate and Roscommon Referees Administrator over the past year and has, at all times, been of tremendous benefit to the Council. John Corcoran has completed 5 years on the Council and has served on the CCC and Development Committees. He is now moving on to higher things having been elected as Roscommon’s Ard Chomhairle representative.
On behalf of the Council I wish to thank the retiring delegates and wish them well in the future and look forward to their continued help and cooperation.
During the year many GAA families in the Province suffered bereavements.
In Sligo former county player Mick Galvin went to his eternal reward In Roscommon former All Ireland Medallist John Joe Nerney passed away and in recent days former great Gerry O Malley died.
In Galway former player Billie O Neill passed on as did noted administrators Fr Richie Higgins; Sylvie Donohue, Michael O Neill and Gerry O Mahony.
Mayo was rocked by the untimely deaths of recent All Ireland Minor winner Darragh Doherty (Kilmaine) and Junior Player Peter Cosgrove (The Neale).
Well known Under Age administrator Anselm Reynolds passed away in Leitrim
On behalf of the Council I wish to extend deepest sympathy to all of the families of the bereaved. Go ndeara Dia Trocaire ar a n-ainmneacha.
On my own behalf and on behalf of Chomhairle Connacht it is a pleasure to record our gratitude to the many groups and individuals who have ensured the smooth running of the Council over the past year;
- To the members and representatives on the Council and its various subcommittees, CCC, Coisde Iomana, Development, Coaching and Games Development, Scor, Games for All Communications, Marketing and our Schools bodies.
- Our Referees Co-ordinator, Sean Martin, and his committee and to his Tutors and Assessors.
- To the members from the Province who are representing us on National committees.
- To the five County Secretaries, for their assistance and help, and to all of the County Board officers and members. Roscommon County Chairman Michael Fahey has come to the end of his term of office as County Chairman and I thank him for his help and advice. Roscommon Treasurer Joe Gilligan has also left his post and I wish to thank for his cooperation during his term of Office. Michael and Joe are replaced by Seamus Sweeney and Seamus Maher, respectively and I look forward to working with them. In Roscommon also County Administrator Liam Martin has retired and has been replaced by Stephen Ormsby. I wish both well and thank Liam for his help over the years and look forward to working with Stephen.
- In Mayo long serving Treasurer JP Lambe has retired. JP has been a tremendous servant of Mayo County Board and also a tremendous help to the Council. I pay tribute to him and wish him well in the future. JP is replaced by Kevin O Toole and I look forward to working with Kevin.
- To the members of the various Park Committees and in particular to our Event Controllers for their assistance at the many major games we have hosted this year. To our voluntary workers, ticket collectors, stewards, stiles men and medical personnel.
- To Brendan Gilmore Security for their assistance, at all of our major games.
- To the Gardai and Services for their co-operation, at all times.
- To the media in its various forms for the continued excellent reporting and previewing of our games.
- To our sponsors Eircom, AIB, Supervalu, Ethiad, Centra, Liberty Insurance, GAA GO,. FBD Insurance, Galway Crystal, for their immense contribution to our affairs.
- To the many players, referees and officials who have given many hours of pleasure and enjoyment a special word of gratitude is due.
- I want to thank Auditor Michael McHugh for his advice and professional assistance during the year.
- I want to record our sincere thanks to Ard Stiurthoir Paraic O Dufaigh and all of the staff at Pairc an Chrocaigh for their continued valued advice, courtesy and assistance.
- To Uachtaran Aogain O Feraghail I say mile buiochas for his advice,support and help during his first term in office
- I wish to thank Coaching and Games Manager, John Tobin for his tremendous work in the area of Coaching and Games Development.
- I also wish to thank our Operations Manager, Adrian Hassett for his work and cooperation
- I pay tribute to Cathal Cregg , Strength and Conditioning Officer ,for his Trojan work in the Connacht GAA Centre.I also wish to pay tribute to his assistant Seamus Burns
- A special word of thanks is due to Amanda Diskin, and Attracta Hunt in the office for the way that they have undertaken their duties.
Finally I want to thank my fellow Officers, Mick Rock, John Hopkins and Padraig Duffy, for their major and unselfish contribution to the workings of Chomhairle Connacht in 2015
In conclusion I look forward to 2016 and hopefully it will be a successful one for the Province.
Rath De oraibh go leir.
Sean O Pronntaigh, Runai.