Out-going chairman Ned Quinn told former North and South Board officers that there was still a place for them
Don't depart the scene but stay on and lend your valuable services and experience to the soon to be formed County Junior Board.
That was the parting plea from out-going Kilkenny GAA Board chairman, Ned Quinn, to officials of the now defunct North and South Boards.
The Mooncoin official made the appeal when he looked back and then forward at the changing scene of administration in the county during his parting address to annual Convention.
Reminding delegates that the new Junior County Board will have responsibility for the organisation of junior competitions as well as the under-21 and soon to be introduced under-19 games, both of which will be played on an all-county basis, he said experienced hands would be needed to steer the ship.
"To ensure that games in these competitions are played as scheduled the 'Board will be operating a no postponements policy save in the circumstances outlined in our games regulations booklet," the Mooncoin official revealed.
Following the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Boards he paid tribute to all who served as officers of both down through the years.
"It would be my wish that those who have served on both Boards recently will become involved in the administration of our new County Junior Board," he said.
Turning his attention to the motions passed at September’s Special Congress of the GAA which will see the introduction of a Round Robin system in the Leinster and Munster hurling championships next year, in which each of the participating teams will play two home and two away games, he said this would ultimately put pressure on dates for club fixtures.
How it will work
The top two teams in each championship will contest the respective provincial finals, and the teams who finish second and third in each will advance to the All-Ireland series, he said when he clarified the running format.
The teams who finish in fourth and fifth place respectively will exit the championship at that stage.
"Other changes will see Galway play in the Leinster under-21 championship, and a new Round Robin system will be in operation post the provincial under-17 finals," he continued.
"As these changes negatively affect the dates available for the playing of club championship games in May, June, July and potentially in August, a meeting of club officers was convened to discuss the future format of our club championships.
"The over-riding view at this meeting was that we should continue to organise our club championships as currently, while allowing for a minimum of one moveable date in our club fixtures programme.
"I am of the opinion that we should also rebrand our secondary senior and intermediate club leagues and provide an attractive reward for the finalists of both."
Responding to requests by clubs for additional games for 17-year-old players who are now prevented from playing at adult level, and to requests to provide competitive games for players in the 18-19 age bracket to help offset the drop out rate now being experienced at these ages, a broad ranging proposal was passed by a large majority at the November County Board meeting, he reminded.
The proposal included the introduction of an under-19 league/championship, together with changes to the existing special junior competitions.
These competitions will all now come under the authority of the new County Junior Board.
Co-operation all round would be the key to meeting the demands of the changing fixtures schedule at all level, Mr Quinn insisted.
In reflective mood, Mr Quinn recalled that 19 years ago he was first elected as county chairman; nine years later he was honoured to be elected county secretary and five years ago he was elected chairman for the second time.
“Having the opportunity to serve the ’Board in both of these positions has been a great honour for me personally, for my family and for my club Mooncoin,” he insisted.
He thanked his wife, Lucy, and family for their tremendous support and encouragement, even before he joined the County Board scene and when he was an officer with the South Board.
“The place you grow up in influences your life in a unique way,” Mr Quinn observed.
“For me I couldn’t have asked for a better place in which to grow up than the village and parish of Mooncoin. Mooncoin GAA club has been a huge part of my own and my family’s life.
“I am deeply indebted to all in the club who instilled in me the love I have for the GAA and the games of hurling and football.
“I am proud to have played for the club in both codes from under-age to senior and to have served the club both as secretary and chairman. Tonight I want to express my thanks to the current club officers and to the people of Mooncoin for their support for me at all times.
“I am fully aware of how fortunate I have been that my time as a ’Board officer has coincided with so many achievements both on and off the field of play,” he said.
The development of Nowlan Park; the night Tipp came to town in the championship a few years ago; the development of concerts at the ’Park which had benefits for the GAA and the local economy; the development of the training facilities at Dunmore - here he singled out Pat Henderson for special praise - were happenings and moments he looked back on with pride.
“Of course it is the achievements of our teams and their mentors who won 25 All-Irelands across the grades during this period that we are most proud of,” he beamed.
“We can truthfully say that during this period some of the greatest players ever to play the game of hurling represented our county and that the most successful manager of all time Brian Cody managed our senior team.
“As we bask in the reflected glory of recent successes we should also remember and pay tribute to the great teams, team managements and County Board officials of the past who contributed so much to the great legacy that we inherited,” he concluded.