Ba mhaith liom failte a chur roimh gach duine anseo anocht, go dti an troche seachtú cruinniu bliantuil Cumann Naomh Eoin. I would like to welcome you all tonight to the 37th Annual General Meeting of Ballinteer St Johns GAA club.The Purpose of the AGM is to review the activities of the previous year to discuss motions and elect officers. As always in BSJ the AGM is your opportunity as members to express your views and ideas on all aspects of the club on and off the field and I encourage you to do so again tonight.
This has been another great year for BSJ both in our sporting and club activities. Along with the triumphs on the field the many social and charitable activities can be a source of great pride for all. Our yearbook is another success story in itself and it gives detailed reports and photos from our teams, it shows the great numbers of mentors volunteers and parents that all lend a hand to make this club the success it is. Continually throughout these reports you will read the words “thanks”, “Joy”, “sport”, “fun” and “commitment” that reflect the true ethos of this club.
For County football it was a memorable year for both Ladies and Men and for BSJ in particular we were delighted to have our own Orlagh Nolan on the winning Dublin Ladies team. Orlagh is a great role model and shared her triumph with the 440 BSJ supporters that travelled to Croke Park to see the LGFA all Ireland final when Dublin won a third successive title.
Last year I spoke of Dublin teams “drive for five” and now the campaign is “buzzin for the half dozen”. For our own BSJ senior footballers it was also a great year retaining division 1 status in a hard fought campaign meeting many of the aforementioned Dublin team on the field of play.
Our senior hurlers too, faced a tough challenge having being promoted to Division 1 last year the team have secured A status in Championship hurling for 2020.
Senior Camogie also retained division 1 status for the fifth year. Our own Senior Ladies football continues to thrive and began their season with an international win when they won the Den Haag international tournament in Holland.
These are great all proud achievements and our team reports contain many more, but probably our greatest achievement this year is the establishment of the BSJ all stars in September. This team caters for children with additional needs and has drawn players from throughout the city and County. It’s a fantastic initiative and a great addition to the clubs offering. A big thank you to all the mentors and parents who organised and volunteered to help out. The list goes on with our junior A footballers who fought a great campaign to be promoted to Intermediate. Our U16 boys won the division 2 title and completed a winning streak of 16 consecutive league games. The u15 Boys Hurling team are still involved in the chase for honours in both promotion from div 2 in the League and in the B Championship final which takes place on November 3rd. The U14 ladies are 2019 Division 2 league champions. U14 Camogie team won their Feile Championship 2019 then won the Division 2 championship and won their league !!
Hurlers Seanie Lane and Brian Smith and Footballer Nicky Devereux were nominated for Dublin Bus/ Herald 2018 Dublin teams. Nicky continued his rise to fame scaling Chimborazo peak in Ecuador at 5897 metres. David Devereaux had a well deserved selection to the Wicklow senior football team. Ben Millist, Jack Lundy and Liam Fenton were selected for the Dublin Minor Football team. Belen Swords and Grace Dent were selected on the Minor Camogie squad . Ian O Hehir was selected for Dublin under 20 hurling team and Liam Smith represented us on the Dublin minor hurling team. We also have a good number of junior boys and girls on various Dublin development squads so the future is bright.
This year our membership is over 3000 and continues to grow, we can no longer claim to be a small club. The secretary is the conduit through which all communication must pass and be responded to. Licences, registration insurance transfers discipline injuries challenge match requests and much more come through. I am happy to say that the executive committee have been fantastic in their response and support when action is needed. Everyone on the executive has a particular role and have always been available when a quick turnaround was required. I am sorry to see Dermot Nutty treasurer Sandra Seoighe child welfare and Peadar O’Shea past chairman stepping away this year as I had occasion to work closely with each of them on a number of complex issues throughout the year. However they each leave excellent people to take their place.
We have had twelve full executive meetings this year and very many individual meetings to deal with specific issues. In an executive meeting we have a regular agenda to update all members. Items such as treasurers report, correspondence, child welfare, registrations, lotto, bingo, bar, sponsorship, CCC1 CCC2 reports, player’s rep, Culture, Games committee, upcoming events such as Longitude and summer camps. At each meeting Executive members are briefed on issues that have arisen since the last meeting.
This year saw many developments for the club some such as the dressing room upgrade which was a result of a motion proposed and passed at the AGM. In addition to the dressing room upgrade the clubhouse kitchen has also been renovated and the club Gym is being updated now. The huge project on pitch 2 is progressing well and on schedule so it has been a busy but productive year overall.
This year we have joined Glór na nGael’s Joe McDonnagh Foundation a support service provided by Glór na nGael and the Gaelic Athletic Association to GAA clubs wishing to further the Irish Language in their community. We have established two disciplinary committees for our junior and adult sections. It is the intention that these two committees will offer advice and guidance on conduct in a constructive and positive manner in compliance with our club code of conduct. We have also secured access to mediation service to resolve disputes should any occur.
On events throughout the year, we had 400 children attending our 15th Christmas Party from BSJ Nursery. For the adults we had a most enjoyable Club Dinner in Stackstown which was great fun and a great success. We have the annual Parish Cup competition and a great tradition is the Annual St Stephens morning games on the AWP. The Summer Festival was a huge success thanks to Diarmuid Desmond and supporters and hoping Diarmuid continues to recover from recent illness. We had the AIG Heart Safety Roadshow taking place in our Clubhouse. The annual Lisney mini All Irelands were enjoyed by hundreds of our young juveniles. Thanks to all Club members who volunteered as community stewards again this year for the Longitude concerts in July, a vital fundraiser for the club. We have a very successful Easter School of excellence for our teenage players 12-15 year olds. Ballinteer St Johns Golf Society continues to thrive. On a weekly basis we have a very enjoyable Bingo Monday nights, Wednesday nights there is music in the bar and Club Lotto on Thursday nights.
On the cultural side many thanks to James Ahern who arranged for RTE radios Kieran Hanrahan and Céili House to come to our club for the weekend of the all Ireland. This was a fantastic showcase for the club and is still available on podcast, great performances by members and friends. We also had St Patrick’s night in Club House Oíche Cheol agus Craic, with live music from Ceoltóirí Craobh Naithi. Another cultural offering was Leaving Cert Irish Oral Classes on Sundays in Clubhouse in the lead up to the exams.
As a club we have a tradition of social responsibility and organize and contribute to many charitable events. This year we hosted a fundraiser for the hospice in memory of Frank Mooney. Our Annual Fundraiser Bingo for St Michaels House was another huge success this year. For Darkness into Light we had over 35 club members assisting with car parking stewarding, clearing up after the event and providing tea and coffee to participants. Our Annual Club Mass for deceased members takes place in Club House this Tuesday 5th Nov at 7:30 pm.
Visitors to the club this year included 5 time all star winner Joe Canning and friend of the club John Green and his team from Camile Thai. Joe took Minor Hurling team training and John from Camile Thai presented jerseys this followed by a great Q & A session. Dublin star Con O’ Callaghan attended our summer camps and gave our players some inspirational advice and tips. We had a Ladies hockey team from Queens University North Carolina learning Camogie. We also had a group from Germany for Frank Whelan’s annual Irish dancing lessons. Wishing Frank a speedy recovery.
Thanks to all who have assisted me and the club this year, Elaine Dolan stands in whenever I am away. Maurice O Connell on all aspects of the clubhouse and sub committees. To Mary Devereaux for insurance queries ,Gillian for instant responses on all registration queries. Thanks to Dennis Ward and Cian Duffy for their support on licences. To Kieran Brennan a special thanks for all his support and help throughout the year. To Mick Wren our club scribe and Pat Meegan beavering away in the background. Special thanks to Catherine Sherry for all her work on the yearbook to Trish McGrath who helped get in team reports and to all coordinators mentors and committee members that do so much for the club. And of course to Darren our chairman we have worked extremely well together throughout the year on many difficult issues requiring daily if not hourly contact.
RUNAI NAOMH EOIN BAILE AN TSAOIR