GAA - high achievers on and off the field

There was good news on the financial front when Kilkenny GAA Board took stock at the end of the year.

After a busy financial year that involved a turnover in excess of €3 million, the ’Board showed a profit in excess of €260,800, delegates to annual Convention were told.

On top of that, the net assets of the ’Board are currently valued at €12 million, an increase of over €3.5 million over the past five years.

In his annual address to clubs, Ned Quinn (chairman) insisted that unity of purpose in the county contributed hugely to Kilkenny’s success on the national stage.

He said the 2015 All-Ireland success was one of the greatest ever, bearing in mind five class players had retired at the end of the 2014 season and the county suffered a glut of injuries in the run up to the final against Galway.

In his address, Jimmy Walsh (secretary) reminded burnout wasn’t something that was confined to players. It could affect over-working officials too, and he warned clubs to be careful not to over burden officers.

Mr Walsh also said it was time for Kilkenny to start planning for the future long term, reminding that a number of senior officials at County Board level were in what he described as the ‘retirement years’.

Bennettsbridge continued their great run of success. They won the Leinster club intermediate championship final by beating Kiltale (Meath) by 1-14 to 0-13. Nicky Cleere shot 0-9.

Defender Robert Lennon was sent off in the dying stages when shown a straight red card. This was later rescinded.

Clare Grace, Callan boxing club, won her fifth national senior Elite title (69kgs).

She is now hoping to make the Irish team for the World Championships which will be held in the middle of the year.

O’Loughlin Gaels won the North and county under-21 Roinn A hurling titles.

They beat Lisdowney and Glenmore in the respective finals. The score in the county final was 2-13 to 2-9.

KCH athletes, Peter Lynch and Aoibhe Richardson competed on the Irish team at the European junior championships. They did well, finishing 52nd and 60th respectively.

St Kieran’s College picked up another Leinster senior hurling league title, beating Dublin North in the final (4-12 to 1-13).

Darren O’Neill (Paulstown BC) won his second Elite heavyweight national boxing title. He now hopes to make it to the Rio Olympic Games.

Local horse trainer, Willie Mullins, won the National Hunt award at the 2015 Horse Racing Ireland awards.

Kilkenny sent a clear ‘hands off’ message to the Boundary Review Committee that it wasn’t prepared to concede an inch of land to Waterford in South Kilkenny.

Petitions saying ‘no’ and addressed to the ’Committee were counted at the annual GAA Convention and they amounted to a staggering 12,500. The Slieverue parish alone, which would be part of the land grab, contributed a staggering 1,200 ‘no’ votes.

This year’s vote out stripped the one in 2010 when the matter was last on the agenda.