The Village: James Stephens AGM

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - The club’s annual general meeting took place in the clubrooms on Saturday night last,before a large gathering of the club’s membership.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - The club’s annual general meeting took place in the clubrooms on Saturday night last,before a large gathering of the club’s membership.

Chairman, Tom Lanigan opened the meeting with a minute’s silence in memory of deceased members, remembering especially the late Billy Walton and Adrian Harkin. Juvenile officer, Nioclas O’Carroll gave a detailed report on all the activity at under-age level confirming that over 180 games were played across all age groups from U-6 to U-12 in a very active year. Nioclas stated that the juvenile management undertook a policy of limiting the number of club teams entering tournaments, prefering challenge games, instead, where teams of “mixed ability” were selected to encourage wider participation and give youngsters of all abilities an opportunity to represent the club.Nioclas also acknowledged the support of parents who “rowed in” to provide transport to games and provide refreshments for the tournaments during the season. The club was also, only one of eight clubs in the county to be awarded the “Club Cill Chainnigh Flag” award in recognition of the tremendous work being done from U-6 to minor. Runai, Aodan O’Ruairc, in his final report as secretary after three in the “hot seat”, delivered an indepth summary of all the administrative work that goes on, largely, behind the scene to keep a strong and vibrant club viable throughout a busy year. Aodan, went on to acknowledge that the heavy debt burden of Eu 2.2 million associated with the purchase of the Kells Road continues to weight down, with no resolution in sight, despite ongoing negotiations with all relevant parties. Aodan thanked club members and his fellow officers for the fulsome support he has received, as runai, in the daily task to managing the sizeable operations of a club with over twenty five teams in league and championship competitions. In recognition of his service over the last three years, Aodan received a warm round of applause from the attendance. Later in the proceedings, Aodan’s successor, Seamus Daly was elected as runai.

Treasurer, Tom Keane’s financial report, independently audited by John Campion, highlighted the high costs associated with the day to day running costs of the club, with the “bread and butter” items such as hurleys and sliothars costing almost Eu 23,000, alone. Tom thanked the promoters of the weekly lotto, the Kells Road draw, the golf classic and the recent, “Night with the Stars” for their untiring fundraising campaigns which keep the club’s finances above the water line. Tom also acknowledged the invaluable financial input of our main sponsor,Taxback Ltd., and the juvenile club sponsors, Hotel Kilkenny over the years. In his review, chairman Tom Lanigan completing his first year in office, which happily for him, coincided with a very busy 125 anniversary year for the club,outlined the successful events, starting with the mayoral reception given by parish resident, Mayor David Fitzgerald, which set the tone for the year’s celebrations. On the St. Patrick’s weekend in March, there followed the hugely successful “125” dinner in Hotel Kilkenny at which over 500 guests attended, and later in November the memorable “Night With The Stars” evening took place, in Cillin Hill, where an audience of over 700 enjoyed the “chat” with a host of national and international sports stars. To bring the year to a successful conclusion, in December, the launch of the revised club history, “From The Arch To The Pump”, a personal triumph for himself, as author, took place in company of 400 guests in Hotel Kilkenny. On the playing side, the chairman thanked the 75 selectors across all ages and grades who unselfishly give their time to the youth of the club, which resulted in championship successes at U-16 and, a long overdue minor county title, last achieved in 2003.

The U-14’s also helped to fill the trophy cabinet, with their county Feile title win in June.

On the national stage, Tom acknowledged that club members drew great satisfaction from Kilkenny’s national league and ninth All-Ireland triumph under club man, Brian Cody’s management which followed the historic All-Ireland replay - the first in 53 years - against Galway in September. Adding to the pleasure of the occasion was the imput of star defender, Jackie Tyrrell, and substitute, Matt Ruth capped off by star forward and team captain, Eoin Larkin’s well received acceptance speech. Tom went on to state that sadness hit the club during the year with the untimely deaths of club stalward Billy Walton, Adrian Harkin and former player, Michael “Muggers”Larkin. Details of the selection teams for 2013 and the officer board will be provided in next week’s notes.

KELLS ROAD DRAW - The January draw takes place on Wednesday, 30th January in the clubrooms. The support for the draw, within the parish and further afield has been phenominal and is much appreciated as it is funding the ongoing development on the Kells Road, without which, the development committee could not even contemplate the possibility of constructing dressingrooms over the next 6/9 months. At present, goalposts are being erected on field 2 in preparation for the opening of the facility to the under-age structures in the club from April.

“FROM THE ARCH TO THE PUMP” - The much acclaimed, and recently published updated club history, by club chairman, Tom Lanigan, “From The Arch To The Pump” may be purchased from any committee member or from the staff at the club’s social centre, in Larchfield. Costing, a very reasonable Eu 20.00, the book is not only a history of the club and it’s achievements over 125 years of it’s existance, but an insight into the development of the parish, from the early years of the ninetheenth century, family names, the trades transacted in the parish, profiles of the founders of the G.A.A. within the parish, and names and interesting snippets on personalities and events associated with the years leading up to the birth of the state. This is a great reference book and well worth the Eu 20.00 investment.

Juvenile REGISTRATION - The Under-age committee will be holding a registration night for aspiring young Village hurlers from the U- 5 to 12 age group, in the clubrooms on Friday evening, 1st. February,from 6.30p.m.. The committee hopes to commence coaching sessions for the U-6, U-7 and U-8’s early in the month of March. Meanwhile, the club shop will also be open, on the night, to facilitate the purchase of club gear for the new season ahead. New members are welcome to come along and sign up to “have a go” at our national sport.

CAMOGIE FINAL - The long drawn out saga in relation to the Kilkenny Junior camogie final has, at last, been settled with the date for the game with Glenmore confirmed for Saturday, 2nd February. The delay was due to a dispute with the defeated semi-finalists, Young Ireland which went to Leinster Council for adjudication..The time and venue for the final has yet to be announced.

CLEANEST CITY - At the first management meeting of the year, club stalward, Michael Slattery, popularly known as, “Sla”, a member of the Kilkenny Borough Council’s environment staff was congratulated on playing his part in the city’s recent nomination as the cleanest city/town in Ireland.

BIRTHDAY BOY - Congratulations to social club manager, Willie O’Shea, Cypress Ave., who quietly reached “the watershed” -- the big 50-- in the last few days. Now you know !!!!!

FIRST ARTS DEGREE - Mary Butler, Manager, First Arts degree course, NUI Maynooth, based at the St. Kieran’s College campus issues an invite to 6th Year students, FETAC and mature students (23+) contemplating studying for an Arts Degree to consider taking the first year of the three year course at the Kilkenny campus. Subjects on offer include, English, Anthropology OR Nua Ghaelge, history, geography,sociology,economics,philosophy. theology OR Celtic studies and medieval Irish. From the students perspective, there is a considerable saving to be made in travel and accomodation costs by undertaking the first year of the course close to home, in Kilkenny.For further information contact Mary at 087-9756255 or log on to www.nuim.ie/kilkenny

LOTTO - Tuesday night’s draw produced the following combination: 15 :29 : 32. There was no winning ticket. Next week’s jackpot increases to Eu 2,400. The consolation winners were: Val Malone, kate Millea, John Leahy, Shell O’Brien and John Lawlor