The business community in Kilkenny is never slow in coming forward to help the promotion of Gaelic games.
Be it to support county teams, clubs or other promotions, business people are never afraid, or slow, to dig deep County Board chairman, Ned Quinn, insisted.
“We in Kilkenny are blessed and very appreciative of the financial support we receive from the business community in the county,” Mr Quinn said at the launch of the Michael Lyng Motors intermediate hurling league season.
“Such support eases much of the financial burden involved in the promotion and the proliferation of Gaelic games,” he added.
He said he was delighted to welcome Michael Lyng and his team from Michael Lyng Motors, Hebron Road to Nowlan Park for the official launch of his sponsorship of the intermediate grade games.
Mr Quinn’s fellow county officers, Barry Hickey (treasurer), Jimmy Walsh (secretary) and vice-chairman, Conor Denieffe were also in attendance as were representatives of the 12 intermediate clubs in the county.
Looking bright and cheerful and ready for battle were Noel Hickey from Dunnamaggin as well as Eoin Murphy (Glenmore) and the Fenians man Jimmy Brennan.
Every intermediate club had a representative present to show their appreciation of the sponsor’s continued support.
Michael Lyng Motors ambassadors, Richie Hogan and Walter Walsh were there too, and they had plenty to chat to people about with the hectic club and inter-county action that is on the horizon.
Chairman Quinn praised those involved in sponsorship deals with the ’Board, insisting such arrangements were now a necessary part of the package to keep business ticking over.
“We have been extremely fortunate in Kilkenny that since the era of sponsorship became such an integral element of team sponsorship, major Kilkenny businesses have been front and centre with their support,” he said.
“This is yet another example of what we are about. Michael Lyng Motors have been hand and glove in the promotion of our intermediate competitions.
“Mind you, it is a relationship we couldn’t really have missed out on given the long-standing association with Kilkenny hurling by their Managing Director, Michael, who is a former All-Ireland winning Kilkenny under-21 captain, the first such player from his club, the Rower Inistioge to do so.
“It is important too that Michael Lyng Motors ambassadors, Richie Hogan and Walter Walsh have joined us. No finer exponents of the game can be found anywhere, given their achievements in their respective club colours, and the black and amber of their native county.
“Sponsorship by its very application is a two-way street, in that there is benefit accruing to both parties.
“Michael Lyng Motors has established a reputation within the motor trade that is the envy of many. It is a well-known secret that Lyng’s vast customer base has been constructed on hard work, personal loyalty, excellent after sales service, a top-class product and a first port of call syndrome.”
He said now that he had made the sales pitch, he called on people to support the sponsor and all local businesses.
In response Michael Lyng told the audience that he was delighted to be associated again with the intermediate hurling league/championship.
“We really don’t know how fortunate we are here in Kilkenny”, he said.
“In an age, particularly over the past 14 years, we have been carried on a groundswell of success that has not been paralleled by any other county or in any other sport,” he suggested.
“It has been a colossal journey, and in truth, it has not happened without the influence of many people. I am referring to Ned Quinn, the county chairman whose interest, dedication, application to duty has been nothing less than outstanding.
“Right behind him he has an officer ship that has been forefront to all the success as well. Ned would be first to admit that without the back-up of the likes of Jimmy (Walsh), Barry (Hickey), Conor (Denieffe), Seamus (Reade) and others the strike rate of the county on the hurling pitch could not have been as successful as it was.
“And then Ned would admit that we are blessed to have the greatest hurling manager the game has ever known in Brian Cody. So with that kind of success, it was a no brainer that business such as ours would not want to share in the success by financially supporting the great all county effort that makes the success what it is.
“From a Michael Lyng Motors perspective, it is a marriage made in Heaven. I always ask the question, why we should not be associated with such perfection and outstanding success?”
Neil Lyng, Dealer Principal Michael Lyng Motors Carlow, also addressed the gathering, reiterating the sentiments expressed by his dad.
Lyng's are also a major sponsor of the Carlow senior football championship from their base in Carlow Town.
Meanwhile, there will be action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the Lyng Motors intermediate hurling league this weekend.
Tullaroan v Fenians in Urlingford - The injury to Padraig Walsh has changed the entire dynamic of this game. Tullaroan will feel the loss hugely.
It is big time advantage to the Fenians now.
Glenmore v Graigue-Ballycallan in Piltown - Graig, who are giving youths its fling, need a win or strong performance at least to help pick up their season. Getting that win won't be easy against good opponents.
Tullogher-Rosbercon v Dunnamaggin in Ballyhale - Both ran up decent scores when losing in the first round. There is something there, obviously.
This contest could reveal who has most to offer.
St Lachtain's v Thomastown in Pairc Sheamuis Stiophan - Thomastown dug out a good win over All-Ireland club junior finalists, Mooncoin in the first round.
Lachtain's did well against St Pat's, but ended up losing.
A second win would set up the season nicely for the 'Town.
Mooncoin v Young Irelands in Ballyhale - A second defeat for Mooncoin wouldn't wear well after the great run of results they enjoyed up to the visit to Croke Park in Februarhy.
'Irelands won't be easy to deal with, but this is a winnable game for the Southerners.
Lisdowney v St Patrick's in Freshford - Stand back and let them at it! As derby ties go, this is one of the biggies between near neighbours.
Who are we to make the call on an affair of such passion? As diplomat might say - “the best of luck to you both”.
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