Sports

Change at the top at North Tipperary GAA annual convention

Thursday, 14 December 2017

MICHAEL Flynn is the new Chairman of the North Tipperary GAA Board. The Kiladangan man was the only nomination for the post and he took up the role as he replaced Dan Kennedy, Roscrea who stepped down after completing his three year term at The Thatch Ballycommon last Monday night.
In a very quiet Convention Mr Flynn said he was honoured to be elected to the post of chairman and he takes over after a year in which the Board ended with a surplus of €20.815. Gates receipts were up by almost €16,000 from €81,969 to €97,818. North Board Treasurer Noel Maher, Borris-Ileigh was unable to attend due to illness and Kevin O'Brien, Accountants Silver Street Nenagh went through the accounts in Noel's absence.
Chairman's Address
Dan Kennedy completed his three year term as Chairman of the North Board and in his final address he explained the need for care in relation to the fixture headaches that lie ahead in 2018 because of the changes made by Central Council in the last twelve months. He also addressed the need to have a look at the state of Gaelic Football in the division.
“2017 has been a significant year for the GAA at national level with the introduction of the super eight at Congress in the Spring and the new round robin format for the provincial championship made in September. These changes along with additional changes to the Munster minor hurling championships - now an under 17 competition - plus the under-20 football championship in mid summer will have consequences for club championships throughout the country.
“The Central Council has produced a 2018 plan which gives five to six weeks in April/May plus nine weeks in August, September and October for club games with the remainder June July and August for inter county games. It is envisaged that counties knocked out in July may play club games in early August
“However during the past week the Central Council has re-introduced the four quarter finals in the National Hurling League and the Munster Council has taken the decision not to extend the commencing dates for Munster club championship into November thus reducing the window for club games," said Dan.
“Furthermore in view of anticipation of the round robin championships it is to be expected that inter county managers in senior hurling and football will request all the time possible to prepare for the upcoming championships which may further erode the opportunity of playing club games in the allotted window," said Dan.
Turning away from his prepared script, he said it is going to be impossible to organise the club scene while still declaring admiration for the way that clubs voted in ensuring the retention of the link between the divisional and county championships in Tipperary.
“But it all goes back to Croke Park and Central Council. I have been saying consistently that there mustn't be anybody that got passed primary maths up there or they wouldn't be doing what they are doing. I can't understand it," said Dan in relation to the new format in running the Provincial and All-Ireland championships.
“The GAA is known to be a conservative organisation where change revolves slowly. The punitive measure of these changes, inclusive of the successful motions in reducing approval of congress motions from two thirds majority 66% to 60%, is surely revolutionary but revolutionary for the wrong reasons," he added.
He went on to say that the approval of retaining the link between North and county championships will pose problems especially if Tipperary succeeds in reaching the concluding stages of the hurling and football championships. "I feel as a dual county it may not be possible to retain the link between the divisional and county championship," said Dan.
He went on to congratulate the North clubs that brought county final success to the division, Roscrea in the Minor A hurling and Borrisokane in the Minor B hurling as well as Kiladangan in the county intermediate football plus Kilruane MacDonaghs in Minor B football. He wished Kiladangan the best of luck in the re-scheduled County under-21 A hurling Final on next Saturday before suggesting that more success should be coming to the division.
“While we have seen North teams contesting the county senior hurling final over the last few years we have come up short by significant margins over the last two years but the holy grail is within our grasp with a little more dedication and upping the intensity of our play we may see a North team on the winner's podium on county final day in the near future," he declared.
Turning his attention to football Mr Kennedy said that Gaelic football is the poor relation in North Tipperary.
“Gaelic football was once again the poor relation in 2017. While four teams affiliated for the North under 21 A football, three quit the group which resulted in Moneygall/Clonakenny going forward to the county semi final but not surprisingly they subsequently suffered a heavy defeat. There were also issues in Minor A football where games were being disputed by venues not available and a team withdrawing and then coming back in again and the final being delayed due to end of season second level games. Only two teams competed in the North Intermediate championship but the North final remains unplayed due to both clubs held up in county championships.
“The junior football championship was the only one that went ahead where each competing club were guaranteed two games but the two games did not meet with the approval of some cubs. It is hoped that a serious discussion about Gaelic football will be arranged in early 2018 to see what can be done to achieve the playing of football in the division. The fault does not lie with the Board. It's the clubs who are at fault. Clubs only want to play football when it suits them. I don't know what the programme will be next year but there are five players at the moment from this division on the Tipperary senior football panel. Other than the south division that is as many and more than the other divisions," added Dan
Dan went on to mention the need for an all weather pitch because of the number of games and the inclement weather towards the end of the year. He concluded by mentioning and thanking all those who worked with him on the Board throughout his three year term as chairman.

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