Castlecomer: They are even coming from China for Wellie Race

WHITE SMOKE - After an extensive round of interviews the white smoke has risen over Powley Vale Country. Castlecomer Wellie Race Personality 2013 is RTE’S Ear to the Ground presenter Darragh McCullough. He can be sure of a warm welcome to Comer on New Year’s Day. Darragh is deputy editor of the Farming Independent along with being the longest-serving presenter on RTE’s hugely popular rural affairs programme, Ear to the Ground. He also farms in Co Meath and operates a mobile farm unit to raise awareness among children about where their food comes from. He studied agriculture at Greenmount College, Antrim and UCD and in his ‘spare time’ competes in triathlons.

WHITE SMOKE - After an extensive round of interviews the white smoke has risen over Powley Vale Country. Castlecomer Wellie Race Personality 2013 is RTE’S Ear to the Ground presenter Darragh McCullough. He can be sure of a warm welcome to Comer on New Year’s Day. Darragh is deputy editor of the Farming Independent along with being the longest-serving presenter on RTE’s hugely popular rural affairs programme, Ear to the Ground. He also farms in Co Meath and operates a mobile farm unit to raise awareness among children about where their food comes from. He studied agriculture at Greenmount College, Antrim and UCD and in his ‘spare time’ competes in triathlons.

FROM CHINA VIA CANADA TO COMER - Originally from the heart of the Powley James O’Brien is certainly doing his bit for the Wellie Race Gathering concept. James is arranging for Tyler Chung, his sister and dad who are originally from China but nowadays living in Canada to visit the town and take in the Wellie Race on New Years Day. The trio are very 
excited about the trip and cannot wait to see Comer and Ireland.

SEAN MAGUIRE SIGNS FOR THE HAMMERS - Former Deen Celtic Schoolboy Sean Maguire has put pen to paperand signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with English Premier side West Ham Utd. Sean’s family have always been so supportive of his career which began with Deen Celtic, before moving to Ormonde Villa, Evergreen and then Waterford Utd in the Eircom First Division. His parents Paddy and Elaine brother Ryan and sister Erin of Cois Na hAbhann, Clogh accompanied 18-year-old Sean to Upton Park, London on the most important day of his career to date. The family would also like to voice their appreciation to Sean’s agent Wayne Henderson who once played in goal for Ireland for all his help and advice. This week we reflect on an interview carried out earlier in the year with Sean. 
Who were your earliest influences on the soccer field? The biggest influence was when I used to play soccer with the older lads out on the green at home in Clogh. Bill Brennan (RIP), Manager at Deen Celtic F.C. also influenced me on the soccer field because he would always encourage me to do better! 
Who were your soccer heroes when you were growing up ? Michael Owen (Liverpool, Newcastle and now Manchester United) would have been my soccer hero when I was younger as he played similar to the way I liked to play. 
What did you achieve at club level? At Ormonde Villa (Kilkenny City) I won the Kilkenny Schoolboy U-14 League. Evergreen (Kilkenny City) a further Kilkenny Schoolboy League and 2 Cups. 
What was your proudest moment with club and county? My proudest moment with Kilkenny had to be winning the Youths Inter-League in the Prince Grounds, Castlecomer beating Cork 4-2 in the final and scoring a hat-trick. Then my proudest moment with a club was playing against Liverpool during the summer with Waterford United. 
Who was the best player you worked with or played with at club and county level? The best player I played with at club level would have to be Mark Lyons as we started off together at Deen Celtic at the age of 4 and played with him at all levels for the Kilkenny & District League. Then at county level would be Ross King (Evergreen & Clover United) both us played up top together with the Kilkenny team that won the All-Ireland in April 2011.
What was your greatest disappointment? My biggest disappointment since I’ve been playing soccer when it was my second year to play in the Kennedy Cup with Kilkenny. We were one of the favourites to win it, we finished 15th. What a bad experience. 
What were the best grounds you played in? Shelbourne’s F.C. pitch, Tolka Park, Dublin. 
Did you play any other sports growing up and have you other interests? I boxed with the Sacred Heart Club in Moneenroe (nowadays Killeshin) when I was younger. I also played a small bit of hurling with Cloneen but wasn’t that great at it. 
Did you play much underage with Kilkenny? I represented Kilkenny at every age group from U-12 to Youths.
How do you find time for study at school? At the moment I train twice a week and play one match but when the first team season is back I’ll be playing twice a week. But yeah I go to study before training and everytime I don’t have a match I study!

TAKING STOCK - Officers Elected at the AGM of Erins Own GAA Club were. President – Msgr. Michael Ryan; Vice-Presidents – Edward Holland, James Dormer, Joe O’Shea; Chairman – Billy Moran; Vice-Chairman – John Buggy; Secretary – Maeve Connolly; Treasurer – Margaret Dillon; Registrar – Tarla Dunne; County Board Rep. – Dick Mullins; Northern Board Reps. – Paddy Phelan, Dan Maher; Insurance Officer – David O’Rourke. Selection Committee for Adult teams from U-21 upwards – Tommy Buggy, Eamon Brennan, Patrick Comerford, Paddy Phelan. Minor Manager – Tommy Buggy. U-16 Manager – Martin Carroll. U-14 Manager – John Buggy. Committee ;Tom Coogan, Eamon Kelly, Eamon Holland, John Buggy, Georgina Smith, Michael Owens, David Buggy, Joe Coogan, Andrew Korff.

BORD NA NOG AGM - The AGM of Erin’s Own Bord Na Nog took place in the club room’s of Ballycomey. A verygood attendance of parents and coaches attended this very important information evening and review of the year. The Chairman Colm Meagher in his last address before stepping down from his role after three years thanked all the coaches, parents and of course the players. He highlighted the enormous role the Bord Na Nog plays in the overall running of the club and all its activities. He thanked the various coaching/management teams involved with all the teams from under 6 up to Minor level. He had special praise for the players on all the teams and the disciplined way in which the carry themselves when representing the club. He felt this was because of the way they were brought up at home and he noted that it is over five years since any underage player had been sent off representing the club and that is how it should be. He thanked Sean Smyth for his help in the grounds, the numerous catering committee groups and he spoke at how well all our tournaments were run and go game blitz’s and that we are constantly complimented by participating clubs on how we run our blitz’s. He wished the club well for the next year and asked that the same effort be applied to keep the club moving in an upward way as it had been for the last number of years. The Secretary Michael Holland gave a detailed report on all the clubs activities on the field and again thanked all the coaches. There was a discussion on bringing on new coaches who would like to get involved in the coaching of the club’s juvenile players. Never has the club had so many enthusiastic volunteers willing to get involved and it is testament to the way the Bord na Nog is run in the club that there will be up to five coaches per each team for 2013. The meeting elected a new Chairman and Secretary for the coming year. John Buggy will be the new Chairman and Martina O Reilly will take on the busy role of Secretary. The club intend to organise advanced coaching courses and introductory coaching courses for anyone who would like to get involved. Chairman of the Club Mr. Billy Moran thanked all who gave of their time to look after the juvenile members of our club and assured them that the club would always be there to support this section of the club which was playing the most vital part of the clubs progress into the future. Club Kilkenny Flag. On the night of the Erin’s Own Bord Na Nog AGM the club was presented with the Club Kilkenny Two Star Flag. This new initiative was launched last February by the Games Development Committee of the County Board. It involved all the clubs in the County participating in a new scheme where clubs were encouraged to run their juvenile sections of their clubs in a structured way under a number of headings and were then marked and judged on these headings. Our club attained a two star flag and were one of only eight clubs in Kilkenny to attain this achievement. This is indeed a fantastic achievement and all in the Bord Na Nog section of the club from the administration to the coaches to especially the players can be very proud of this award. Warm tributes were extended to outgoing Chairman Colm Meagher and outgoing Secretary Michael Holland on the completion of their three year term at the helm of the Bord Na NOg Section of Erins Own GAA Club. Officers Elected. Chairman – John Buggy. Vice Chairman – Ronan Ryan. Secretary – Martina O’Reilly. County Board Rep. – Michael Holland. Coaching Co-Ordinator – John Buggy. Child Welfare Officer – Colm Meagher. Juvenile Coaches and Managers were also appointed. U-8 ; Tommy Nolan, Ken Brennan, Ronan Ryan. U-10 ; Eamon Doyle, Eamon Connery, Martin Rowe. U-12 ; Stephen Dwyer, Eamon Holland, Andrew Korff, Brendan Holden.

IT’S ALWAYS NICE TO BE APPRECIATED - Erins Own hosted a lovely function in Bollards to thank all those involved in the co-ordination and selling in the weekly lotto. Chairman Billy Moran thanked one and all for their continuous support of the club. He also presented Nellie Callinan, Castlecomer Lourdes Invalid Fund.with a cheque for €1,500 from the proceeds of the Croagh Patrick Climb. Nellie was delighted to receive the donation on behalf of the committee. “This is a most welcome and generous donation, we will consider all applications who wish to travel to Lourdes next year.”

COUNTRY MARKETS - The progressive group wish to thank all their customers for the loyal support throughout the year. The markets are back trading on Friday January 18th from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.