Ballinrobe reflect on 2010 season

Billy Horan

MEMBERS of Ballinrobe GAA Club cast a reflective eye on the activities of 2010 at the annual meeting in The Valkenburg on November 19, 2010.
In his address, chairman Dermot Keane said the year would be remembered as one when a determined effort was made at all levels to improve the quality of teams and the quality of Flanagan Park, despite the difficult economic times. He said the absence of job opportunities for players and difficulties in raising finance would be the greatest challenges for clubs like Ballinrobe in the future.
The Bord na nÓg structures were very solid and many members were providing an excellent coaching programme from U-8 to U-18. The recent annual meeting of Bord na nÓg identified a number of initiatives which will continue to improve the quality of coaching at this level. The chairman congratulated the minor team on its success at county level, and said the club could look forward to the next five years, with good quality players from U-14 to U-18 levels.
Lady Luck deserted the U-21 side in the county final against Garrymore, but four consecutive years of success in this grade should be the basis for strong junior and senior teams in the future. Personal commitment will determine if that materialises, he said.
The senior squad again put in a tremendous effort and 2011 can be faced with confidence. The chairman congratulated Donal Vaughan and Kenneth O’Malley on their selection on the county senior team, and former player Maurice Horan on being appointed Limerick manager.
Flanagan Park has benefited from a regular concentration of sanding and spiking over the past two years, and the chairman advocated the putting together of a long-term plan to improve facilities. He conveyed his thanks to everybody helping to better the club’s interests, including main sponsors Vaughan Shoes, Mayo County Council and local councillors for providing funding for the fence from the Lakeside Sport and Fitness Centre to Flanagan Park.
Secretary Gerry O’Malley dealt comprehensively with the year’s happenings on and off the field, stating that the club’s underage teams were going from strength to strength, as evidenced by the impressive victory of the minors in the county C final against Mayo Gaels. Great credit was due to Tom Carney, Tony O’Toole and Kevin Gilrane for their working at Bord na nÓg level. Team managers and coaches were of critical importance in the younger age groups, he said, and the significance of having players or former players involved cannot be overestimated. The secretary had no doubt that Ray McGreal’s association with U-16 and minor teams was a contributory factor in the success of the minors. The club had 291 registered members this year, 144 of whom were youth members.
Treasurer Alan Flannery gave details of the club’s financial situation, and observed that the weekly lotto was a major source of income. He thanked all of the club’s sponsors and assured the members that a very keen eye would be kept on expenditure in the coming difficult years.
Senior team manager Norman O’Brien reported that 2010 was another step forward for the team, with each player striving hard to enhance team performance. Stating that Ballinrobe had one of the smallest senior panels in the county, he stressed they must develop it, and that entails working harder and longer than they had ever done, to achieve goals.
Dermot Keane, the club’s highly efficient chairman for two years, retired, and his replacement is Tom Carney, who has been a driving force in Bord na nÓg for some time. Michael Coyne, President, also stepped down, and the new occupant of the position is Ballina native, Tony Walkin.
Officers : Patron, Canon Conal Eustace, PP; President, Tony Walkin; Chairman, Tom Carney; Vice-Chairman, Position to be filled later; Secretary, Gerry O’Malley; Assistant Secretary, Adrian Flannery; Treasurer, Alan Flannery; Assistant Treasurer, Position to be filled later; PRO, Billy Horan; Oifigeach na Gaeilge, Dermot Keane; County Board Delegate, Alan Flannery; South Board Delegates, Billy Horan and Johnny Buckley; Coaching Officer, Declan Corcoran; Scór Officer, Dympna Culhane.
Details of a novel fund-raising venture were announced, a testing sponsored climb of Croagh Patrick by ten teams on Sunday, January 2, at 11am. Among the intrepid participants will be a media team, a lotto team, an U-21 team and a ladies’ team, and it is hoped the exercise will be financially rewarding for the club’s coffers.

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