ALL-STAR AWARDS: Congratulations to Cian Lynch and Diarmaid Byrnes, who were named as 2021 Hurling All-Stars. In addition, Cian Lynch was named as Hurler of the Year for a second time. The club and community are immensely proud of your achievements.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING: The club’s Annual General Meeting took place remotely this year due to Covid-19. Secretary Aedin Foley delivered a comprehensive review of the year to date. Aedin noted that there had been high hopes to return to normal in 2021. Unfortunately, the continued threat from Covid-19 made this impossible. Despite the restrictions imposed, the club remained unified and worked together to battle through another hard year. Regrettably, there were no social events during 2021 and major fundraising opportunities had to be parked. The Secretary highlighted the remarkable growth in membership to 482 members, with 197 children included in that count.
The Club Limerick Draw continues to be a key source of income for the club. It is expertly organised by Bernard Hayes and its membership grew significantly year-on-year. Unfortunately, the weekly Club Lotto was postponed for seven months during the year and this cessation had a knock-on impact for club income. Thankfully, the Lotto returned in the summer and is efficiently organised by Maurice Fitzgerald, Tommy Reidy and Seamus O’Riordan every Monday night. There will be a major push in 2022 to grow the Lotto base. The 2021 County Final Programme was compiled in a very short timeframe, but the finished product was to a high standard. The Secretary thanked Brendan Cawley, Michael Joyce and James McCarthy. Throughout the year, there were a number of anonymous donations that are greatly appreciated by the club. As always, the continued generous sponsorship by Duggan System Limited cannot be thanked enough.
The Secretary complimented the caretaker Anne for keeping the clubhouse in good shape. A new community broadband system was grant funded and installed at Pairc Antoin O’Briain for the benefit of members and the community. It can be accessed both indoors and outdoors. The club also acquired a whiteboard and video equipment to assist management, trainers and committees alike. Maureen O’Grady was also thanked for her management of the club facilities bookings.
On the playing fields, the Senior hurlers returned to action in May and won two matches out of five in the All-County Hurling League. When the championship arrived, Patrickswell lost to Doon and beat Ahane in the group stage. Neighbours Adare were edged out in the quarter-final, before Na Piarsaigh were dispatched in the best performance of the season. The final was extremely close until the last fifteen minutes, but Kilmallock edged ahead and claimed the Daly Cup. The Junior As lost the long-delayed 2020 County final to Croagh-Kilfinny under Pa Dundon, before Tom O’Brien took over for the 2021 campaign. Despite winning three group matches out of five, the ‘Well did not reach the quarter-final. The Junior B team were resurrected and fielded a mixture of veterans and youth. The team performed admirably and reached the City Championship semi-final. The U-21 hurlers won two matches and lost two matches, before succumbing to Na Piarsaigh in the quarter-final. The Minor hurlers competed in the Premier Hurling Championship, but they did not emerge from the group.
The Secretary congratulated Cian Lynch, Diarmaid Byrnes and Aaron Gillane for their great success in 2021. She also recognised the trojan work of John Kiely, the Limerick set-up and the County Board. In addition to senior hurling, she congratulated every player that had represented Limerick on the inter-county stage. The Covid-19 pandemic took its toll on the ability of the Juvenile and Camogie clubs to run. When play resumed, the training was excellent quality and extremely well operated. The Parish League was held on a glorious November day at the University of Limerick, where dozens of children showcased their skills and development. The club wishes to thank O’Brien’s Pharmacy for their continued sponsorship of the Parish League. A winter development programme is planned for January 2022. The Secretary commended John Murphy and Shelagh Lynch for the superb contribution that the Juvenile and Camogie clubs make. She also acknowledged Patrickswell National School’s key role in player development. Scor was unable to function in 2021, so the club are looking forward to its return. There were a number of bereavements during the year and the Secretary expressed her condolences to the families. She thanked her fellow officers, the Committee and the management of every team. In closing, Aedin highlighted the immense community spirit in Patrickswell and wished everyone a merry Christmas and peaceful New Year.
Afterwards, Michael McDermott delivered his 2021 Treasurer’s Report. The club finances were in good shape, despite the limitations enforced by Covid-19. He thanked Duggan Systems Limited for their loyal support of the club. The County Final programme was also a great boost to the club. Michael expressed his appreciation to the hurlers for organising the “Last Man Standing” competition during the year.
The keynote speech was the Chairman’s Address by John McDermott. He was very enthusiastic for the year ahead and wanted to meet objectives on and off the pitch. The Chairman felt that the club’s biggest asset was its people. He wanted to get more people involved in club affairs and tap their potential skills. The recent increase in membership means that there is a wider pool of talent to draw from. If more members lend a hand and work together, it spreads the load and distributes the work evenly. A Steering Committee will be established to develop strategic plans for the coming years ahead.
The Chairman noted Patrickswell GAA Club’s place at the heart of the community. The wider community needs to become involved and feel at home within the club. To succeed with this ambition, it is important for the club and its members to give respect if they expect to get respect. Clubs will ultimately fail unless there is teamwork on and off the field. The Chairman highlighted three pillars that were vital to build structures around – 1) Leadership, 2) Control and 3) Accountability of players, management and members. Players and members must be allowed to participate in a safe and enjoyable environment. Players and coaches need to be supported to reach their full potential.
On the infrastructure front, the Chairman promised sensible and prudent development in 2022. There is no desire to saddle the club with debts that it cannot afford to service in future. The next stage is to focus on the pitch and lighting in a measured way. John thanked the anonymous donors for their support and paid tribute to John O’Meara, Sean Chaplin, Eoin Foley, James Mann and the support team for their work with the senior hurlers.
In closing, John thanked a wide range of people – the various team managements, President P.J. O’Grady, the committee, Paddy Carrig for the continued growth in membership, Gloria O’Grady for her work on the Finance committee, PRO James McCarthy, Bridget Mann, the Weekly Lotto team of Maurice Fitzgerald, Tommy Reidy, Seamus O’Riordan, Tom O’Brien for field maintenance, the County Final Programme team of Brendan Cawley, Michael Joyce and James McCarthy – and Bernard Hayes for his years of service as Assistant Secretary and Club Limerick Draw coordinator.
The Chairman also acknowledged the diligent work of his fellow Chairpersons, John Murphy of the Juvenile Club and Shelagh Lynch of the Camogie Club. He congratulated the Patrickswell contingent of Cian Lynch, Aaron Gillane, Diarmaid Byrnes and Jason Gillane for their remarkable success with the Limerick senior hurlers and every Patrickswell player that donned the green jersey of Limerick. There was warm regard for the work of club delegates Michael Joyce (County Board), Martin Ryan (City Board), Paul Foley (Central Council Delegate) and Maureen O’Grady for booking club facilities. Last but not least, John McDermott acknowledged the continued valuable sponsorship of Duggan Systems Limited.
President P.J. O’Grady was delighted with the growth in club membership to 482 people. He complimented the hard work that was required to deliver such an excellent result. P.J. regarded the Executive Committee as extremely professional in all their endeavours. While he was disappointed to lose the County Final, he was heartened to see 300 children from around Ireland attend the training camp the very next day. Winning the All-Ireland final was a great boost that took everyone’s mind off Covid-19 for a while.
Fr. Mike Cussen stated that sport could act as a light in the darkness in times of Covid-19 and he prayed for a return to normality in the New Year. Paul Foley congratulated the senior officers and John Murphy & Shelagh Lynch for their contributions to the club. He recognised Michael Joyce and Martin Ryan for their role as club delegates and thanked Bernard Hayes for his sterling service as Secretary and Assistant Secretary over the years. Paul gave a brief account of his appointment to two GAA committees and the aspirations to build a single, unified GAA to encompass camogie and ladies’ Gaelic football – with respect and diversity to the fore. In his view, Gaelic games cannot be taken for granted during the pandemic. Paul was thrilled with the superb membership numbers at Patrickswell GAA Club.
The election of officers was ratified as follows – Chairman John McDermott, Vice-Chairman Seamus O’Riordan, Secretary Aedin Foley, Assistant Secretary vacant, Treasurer Michael McDermott, Assistant Treasurer Gloria O’Grady, PRO James McCarthy, Registrar Paddy Carrig, Cultural and Irish Language Officer Muirne Bennis, Welfare Officer vacant.
CLUB LOTTO: The Club Lotto draw on Monday December 6 was not won. The numbers drawn were 1, 2, 3 and 19. The bonus number was 13. The €100 Lucky Dip was won by Julie Darcy (Senior) and the €20 prizes were claimed by Mia Carroll, Audrey Herbert, Harry Smith, Therese Hayes and Jim McNamara. This week’s jackpot is €10,600.