President’s Blog March 2011
All Ireland Club Finals weekend
The All Ireland club finals in Croke Park on 6th March were just brilliant. Some might have doubted holding the finals there. No need to worry.
ò It was wonderful to meet former players from Geraldines, Portglenone (Antrim) and Austin Stacks (Dublin). They played in the last All Ireland Camogie club final in Croke Park in 1973. They speculated that there was probably no more that 100 people at that game.
ò This time around, thirty eight years later, 5,000 people came to the games. Superb atmosphere, colour and noise rang around Croke Park!
Congratulations to all four teams and their supporters for such a memorable occasion. Well done of course to Killimor (Galway) and Eoghan Rua (Derry) who joined Four Roads (Roscommon) as the senior, intermediate and junior club champions of Ireland.
Well done also to the ten schools who participated in the first post-primary school Camßn and Run solo and handpass relay and especially to Celbridge and Dunshaughlin who got over the line first!
ò The Legends tournament was, well, legendary! As well as being great fun, there was loads of skill and competitiveness too. The Phillips family, Jimmy, Leonard and Sinead were on hand to present the inaugural Biddy Phillips Memorial Cup to winning Kilkenny captain Tracey Millea.
It was a busy weekend and the Media Awards and the PR workshop all happened too. The Media Awards are an important recognition of excellence in promoting Camogie at local and national level, driven by the solid and consistent work of our PROs and our national office team. You can check out the winners on the www.camogie.ie or the Camogie facebook page.
Meeting clubs and players
Recently, I spent a very enjoyable evening with St. Anne’s in Louth when, with Naomh Fionnbarra CLG, they held a joint celebration dinner. St. Anne’s were marking a Senior Camogie League title and a Minor title while the gents were marking a county football title.
The community support and solidarity across the codes was very strong. On the Camogie side it was great to see so many of the senior players also acting as administrators and underage coaches and referees within the club.
Likewise meeting young Antrim players from St. John’s, O’Donovan Rossa, Gort na M¾na and St. Enda’s in Belfast City Hall was another highlight. We gathered with the Lord Mayor of Belfast, officials of Antrim and Ulster Camogie and Club Aontraoim, Ard Sti·rth¾ir Sinead O’Connor and Brid Boylan to announce Belfast as the venue for this year’s Annual Camogie Congress on 25th/26th March.
This year, Mayo are fielding their first under 16 team in inter county competition. It’ll be fun to chat and meet with Camogie players in the Davitt Secondary School in Castlebar next week. They have worked hard to improve their skills and knowledge of the game and I’ll be delighted to mark their achievements when I meet them shortly.
Planning to make it to Donegal in April to support the wonderful effort that is giving rise to four new club start ups in the north west. There is a promising future there for Camogie.
And the Connacht Camogie Club Forum on 1st April in Claregalway will be another useful opportunity to check in on the issues affecting clubs on the ground and to hear about developments. Should be a good buzz at this with two All Ireland club titles in the Province!
The last weekend in March is a regular fixture on the Camogie calendar for the national congress. There is always extra interest in this event when there are elections! There are two elections this year.
Under our new Official Guide, for the first time Congress will directly elect two members to the Central Council (Ardchomhairle). One of these is positions is designed to bring coaching and games development knowledge and skills to the Council. The second is designed to bring public relations and communications knowledge and skills to Ardchomhairle.
Sheila O’Donoghue from Comhairle Cam¾gaÝochta Ard Oideachais is nominated, unopposed, for the coaching and games development position on Ardchomhairle.
Three people are nominated to contest the public relations and communications position – C¾ilÝn Duffy (Ulster Council), Miriam O’Callaghan (Offaly) and Gerry O’Sullivan (Dublin).
Of course the big one is the President-elect challenge. Aileen Lawlor (Westmeath) and Catherine O’Hara (Antrim) are contesting this one.
Well, make sure to drop in on All Ireland Post Primary Schools finals and games in the Irish Daily Star National League, there’s a full programme in March//April.
Siobhßn NÝ Fhloinn