Ballinrobe GAA Club reflects on an eventful year

November 7, 2018

WINNING the county minor B football championship title and the floodlighting of Flanagan Park were the noteworthy achievements in Ballinrobe GAA circles in 2006.

Peter Walkin, Chairman, addressed the well-attended annual meeting in the Parish Centre last Sunday week, and said the work at underage level was bearing fruit, as evidenced by the success of the minor team. He congratulated the manager Kevin Gilrane and his selectors Tommy O’Malley and Tom Finnerty. He also cited the performances of the under-17 side, beaten in the league final; the under-16 team, beaten divisional finalists; and the under-12 side, eliminated by a single point in the league.

The senior team, going through a transitional phase, did succeed in retaining senior championship status. He commended the club’s Kenneth O’Malley on winning an All-Ireland under-21 medal (as Mayo’s goalkeeper), and he also noted that Sean Burke and Donal Vaughan wore the county minor jersey.

“Flanagan Park underwent significant development in 2006 and our new floodlight system should be a source of pride to every club member,” observed Mike Finnerty, Secretary, in a comprehensive report.

“We are now one of just two GAA clubs in Mayo with floodlights of match-playing standard, and great credit must go to John Gilrane, Michael Coyne, Martin Flannery and Brian Golden, for their painstaking research and hard work in ensuring that the job was done. The floodlights will allow all our teams to train whenever best suits and will also facilitate night-time football. They are an investment in the club’s future and the short-term financial cost will be more than compensated for by the long-term gains,” continued the Secretary.

It was a year of mixed emotions for the club’s flagship team, the senior footballers, and unless the county leagues are restructured, the team will be playing in Division Two next year. The Secretary thanked Jimmy Lyons (manager) and John Hegarty (trainer), neither of whom will be involved in the club in 2007, for their great efforts. He noted in particular Jimmy’s willingness to immerse himself in all facets of the club’s life.

Three of the club’s most memorable and successful off-the-field activities were the annual dinner-dance (attended by the Mayo manager Mickey Moran), the O’Mara Cup reunion and the trip to Barcelona. Huge credit is due to club treasurer Emma Nestor, the highly efficient organiser of the Barcelona trip and the dinner-dance. She was ably assisted by hard-working committees in both cases, but without her attention to detail and meticulous planning, neither event would have run as smoothly.

The O’Mara Cup reunion, celebrating the club’s first winning of the magnificent trophy, was also a resounding success thanks to the able organiser Michael Coyne. It was a pleasure to meet and hear some of the true legends of Ballinrobe GAA Club reliving the memories of former glories and past games. It served as a reminder that we must never forget our club’s rich and storied past.

The Secretary expressed his appreciation of the support rendered to the club by Corrib Oil, its main sponsor since 1994, and he also thanked Martin Jennings, The Mayo News, Ryder’s Pharmacy, Marina’s Restaurant, The Valk and Healy’s Service Station for their backing. He welcomed the club’s new main sponsor, Mulholland Bookmakers, who will be on board until 2010, and thanked them for their generous offer.

Emma Nestor, Treasurer, presented a detailed report of the club’s financial circumstances. She identified the County Board Draw and the weekly Lotto as the primary sources of revenue and she thanked the Macken family, Main Street, for placing their home at the disposal of Lotto sellers every Saturday night.

Catering for 12 teams imposes a severe financial strain on the club and the floodlighting of Flanagan Park will lead to a significant increase in overheads for 2007. An extra means of fundraising was essential and Club Ballinrobe, a patron’s scheme, was being proposed. Club Ballinrobe would entail 50 people contributing €40 per month, via direct debit to Ballinrobe GAA Club, and this would raise €24,000 in 12 months. Patrons wold receive certain concessions, including a free €100 County Draw ticket. Members gave a positive reaction to the scheme and further information will be provided shortly.

Reports were submitted by the various team managers. Padraig Costello, manager of the junior side, said it was a really positive year, with the B team in the divisional final against Davitts, which still remains to be played. 

Officers – Patron: Monsignor Thomas Shannon, PP; President: Michael Coyne; Chairman: Peter Walkin; Secretary: Mike Finnerty; Assistant Secretary: Adrian Flannery; Treasurer: Emma Nestor; Assistant Treasurer: Ruaidhri Keane; PRO: Billy Horan; Membership Officers: Martin and Adrian Flannery; Youth Liaison Officer: Sean Murphy; County Board Delegate: Tony Walkin; South Board Delegates: Johnny Buckley and Billy Horan.

Underage Committees – Under-8: Gerry O’Malley, Dermot Keane, Elaine Macken; Under-10: Joe Daly, Dr Kieran O’Reilly; Under-12: John Gilrane, Tom Carney, Michael Feeney; Under-14: Pat Kennedy, Eugene O’Malley; Under-15: Adrian Flannery; Under-16: Michael Jennings, Padraig Horan, Brendan Vahey; Under-17: Kevin Gilrane, Michael Jennings; Under-18: Kevin Gilrane, Tom O’Malley, Tom Finnerty; Junior Manager: Padraig Costello.

It was decided to form a Bord na nÓg and the officers are Gerry O’Malley (Chairman) and Tom Carney (Secretary). Anybody interested in becoming involved in coaching is invited to contact Tom Carney at 086 3216992.

Noel Galvin, Adrian Flannery and Vincent Cummins were appointed to organise the annual AM-AM.