Blarney GAA news

Big congratulations to Mark Coleman who received the Paddy Cremin “Adult Player Of The Year Perpetual Trophy” at this years AGM. Mark put in some great performances playing his first full year with our Intermediate team this year while also representing Cork at minor level. Well done Mark!

Minister of State Dara Murphy recently called to our club grounds to view our plans for the Astro Turf facility. The Minister spoke about the great work our club volunteers do and the role the GAA play in our community. He also saw the importance of the facility to the future development of our club and community. image attached Thank You. On behalf of the club, outgoing vice chairman Michael O’Shea, presented our current Club President Michael O’Leary with the hurlers prayer recently. It was a small gesture to show the club’s appreciation for the president’s active involvement in the club this year and for the many years volunteering before becoming president at last year’s AGM.

AGM Results Thanks to all who attended our AGM on Sunday 22nd November last. The following officers were elected for 2016 with the outstanding positions to be filled in the coming weeks. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Kevin on (087) 245 1111. We would be delighted to hear from you. 2016 Club Officers Club President: Michael O’Leary Club Chairman: Kevin Kelleher Vice Chairman: Secretary: Shane Jordan Assistant Secretary: Stephen O’Brien Treasurer: Sean Mac Donnchadha Registrar: Pat Harrington PRO: Donal O’Leary Oifigeach na Gaeilge: Child Welfare Officer: John Quirke Health & Wellbeing

Dónal Ahern Memorial 5km Run/Walk. Well done to all who took part in the Dónal Ahern Memorial 5km Run/Walk that took place on the 28th of November last in aid of Build4Life/Cystic Fibrosis (CF). It was another great success with a good turnout in the mixed weather conditions. Dónal was a very active member of our club before he lost his fight with CF. It was great to see club members and the wider community supporting this great cause. Huge thanks to the volunteers who assisted on the day and to all of those who made sandwiches & cakes.

What the club means to me “For as long as I can remember, Blarney GAA has been a major part of my life. The earliest memories I have are of indoor hurling with St. John Cremen and Michael Horgan in the secondary school in Blarney on Friday nights. Coupled with this are the vague memories of the 1999 Intermediate final. Some of my fondest memories with Blarney GAA come with the Parish leagues. This is where hurling really started. All week in school in the old boy’s schools, all we could talk about was the Parish Leagues. It is also here where I have some of my best memories with the biggest influence of my career, and I’m sure my brothers would say the same, my grandfather, Joe Bradley. He never missed a night of the Parish Leagues. He may have shouted the wrong names (one time even calling Joe my sister Kate) at us when trying to encourage us on the pitch but we got the message loud and clear. I can still remember my brother Joe buying me my first hurley in New Ross, Wexford where my father is from. What you may not know, however, is that my first love is football. Unfortunately, at underage level the football was quite the opposite of the hurling, where in this case it was quite seldom we won. Over the last number of years Blarney has seen a rise in football both at underage and adult level. A major influence on this has been that of Colm O’Connor. For me personally, Tom Hallahan and Terrance Ryan must be acknowledged when it comes to the efforts they put into minor and U21 football throughout my time at these grades. Over the last number of years playing with the Junior Bs has been a pleasure. It was the first time we really got involved with the legends of the club such as Colm Sheehan, Niall Hayes, Cormac O’ Keeffe and co. Much praise has to be given to Frankie Downey, Donal O’Donovan and Denis O’Donovan who have been the main driving forces of the Junior B team, not just since I have been playing but for long before my time. “Back in August, I took up the role of Secretary in the club. It has only been over the last number of months which I have really began to understand the work that goes on behind the scenes. From hosting championship matches to hosting car boot sales, the work that goes on within the club which may not be seen is phenomenal. Blarney GAA really is the heart beat of the village and whenever the club is doing well you can feel the buzz all over the village. We are extremely lucky in Blarney to have such a close knit village, which transpires out onto the pitch. From Mairead Sheehan and Dan Dilworth with Club Beag and Club na nOg, to Michael O’ Mahony with the Intermediate team, the running of the club, on and off the field is in tremendous hands. Blarney GAA has been a major part of my life, even giving me a nickname which is now likely to stick for life, for as long as I can remember and I don’t see that coming to an end any time soon” Know Your Club Question: When was the spectator embankment at pitch 1 developed and where did it come from? Answer: When the grounds for the pitch were acquired in the 1950’s, the entire field was completely flat. The grounds remained in this condition with no spectator facilities at all during the 1960’s. In 1970 a new development of residential houses was underway in an area that was known then as “The Plots” (this was because the field had in previous years been divided into small plots of ground and leased out for the growing of vegetables). We of course now know it as Monacnappa. The green field site at “The Plots” had a steep gradient at the time. In order for roadway’s and level sites to be laid out, a great amount of soil had to be excavated and disposed of. The Club negotiated with the contractor, outlining they had a very suitable close location for all of the excess soil. The agreement made was that the soil would be transported from Monacnappa to the GAA grounds and would then be graded to form a suitable spectator viewing area all round the pitch. The officers of the club had the vision to realise that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity not to be missed and it was all done at no expense to the club. So anybody from Monacnappa watching a match from the bank, you really are on home soil.

Happy Christmas. From everyone at Blarney GAA Club, we would like to wish you and your family a very happy and safe Christmas. Thank you for all your support during 2015.

St Stephens Day Events Please visit our web site closer to the day for the start times of our annual St Stephens Day Walk and Poc Fada.