Edenderry GAA become first club in Ireland to launch Strategic Plan

November 8, 2018

The brightest light of my time as President’ Christy Cooney in address to Edenderry GAA members

On Wednesday 3rd March Edenderry GAA welcomed GAA President Christy Cooney to the club to launch the Edenderry GAA Strategic Plan 2010-2015. The plan which had taken over 600 man-hours of preparation and will be used as a ‘roadmap’ for the future direction of the club. The plan outlines clearly defined goals and objectives across all vital areas of development for the club.

The evening began with an official opening ceremony for the newly refurbished pavilion. Christy Cooney cut the ribbon to declare the pavilion officially open. Fr Greg Corcoran then gave the building his blessing and recalled the memory of deceased members and friends who had worked tirelessly for the club since its humble beginnings in 1891.

When proceedings began Sean Farrell, Edenderry GAA Chairman acted as MC for the evening and invited three young club members to welcome everyone to the club. Cian Lawton addressed the audience in Irish, followed by Damian Sadowski in Polish and Jade Oglesby translated the welcome to English.

Sean Farrell then addressed the crowd and thanked Colm Cummins for his tireless work in putting the plan in place and welcomed Christy Cooney to Edenderry for the second time in six months, stating that his previous visit had given the club lots of food for thought. He hoped the visit of the President to the club twice in six months was because they were doing something right.

Fiona Brady, Chairperson, Edenderry Ladies Football Club spoke about the growth of Ladies Football in the past 10 years and the bond of friendship & co-operation that exists between all sections of the GAA family in Edenderry. She thanked the club Executive Committee and Bord na nOg for their assistance and looked forward to working closely with club to implement the plan in the months and years ahead.

Colm Cummins, Vice Chairman of Edenderry GAA and Chairman of the Strategic Plan Steering Group then gave a short presentation of the process involved of putting the plan in place. He thanked everyone that helped in the process. While Colm thanked the individuals who headed each steering group he stated that ‘the people who are Edenderry GAA have developed this plan’
Colm also stated that ‘the visit of Christy Cooney to the club last July as part of his Ag Eisteacht programme was the catalyst for the development of the plan’. However Colm stressed the importance of the club not sitting back admiring its work to date as much work remains to be done if all of the goals and targets in the plan are to be achieved. Although the club must be confident that if delivered upon the club will be in a very strong position in 2015.

Pat Teehan Chairman of Offaly County Board spoke of the honour to be in Edenderry to see the plan published. He was pleased to see so many young people in the audience and stated that improving participation levels among young people in our games was the most important aspect to be addressed. He thanked the Edenderry club for their contribution to Gaelic Games in Offaly over many years. Pat stressed the importance of planning for an organisation as large as Edenderry and he believed that an Edenderry resurgence will benefit Offaly in time.

GAA President Christy Cooney spoke of how at home he felt and not just because the red & white reminded him of his native Cork. What made him feel at home was the feeling that he was among family and he stated the GAA was one big family. He spoke of the pride he felt when elected President and the emotional homecoming at his club in Youghal. While that was his highlight in recent years he also explained ‘the brightest light of my time as President’ was when told that Edenderry GAA had planned to put in place a Strategic Plan. This was because the club had engaged with him in discussion last July and then began the process of looking closely at itself which has resulted in the publication of a document which would serve the club and the community in Edenderry by providing a strong and vibrant club structure into the future.

Mr Cooney informed the audience that the National Plan is in place since Nov 2008 and to date three provinces & thirteen counties have developed and published their own plans also. However Edenderry GAA have shown leadership among the clubs in the country and are now the first club in Ireland to have completed the process of putting their plan in place. He stated that everyone involved in the process should feel a great sense of pride in the achievement and that the fruits of the plan were already evident in the transformation of the clubhouse since his previous visit in July.

Mr Cooney concluded his speech by quoting from the address by Fiona Brady in the Strategic Plan ‘The GAA has always been at the heart of our community and by working together we can ensure a bright future for Edenderry GAA’

He went on to state that by working together the GAA Family can achieve much more in the promotion our games. He complimented Edenderry GAA and Edenderry Ladies GAA on their respective progress with an integration plan.

To conclude matters, Edenderry man, Paul O’Kelly addressed the audience. Paul, through his company O’Kelly Sutton, had been involved in drawing up the National Strategic Plan in 2008 and continues to work closely with Croke Park assisting in delivery of the provincial and county plans. He spoke of the many functions and presentations that Christy Cooney attends and how Edenderry wished to make a presentation to him that would provide a lasting memory of his visit to the town.

As Edenderry means ‘Brow of the Oak’ it had been decided to present an oak tree, which it his hoped will have pride of place in his garden in Youghal and will provide a living reminder of the occasion.

Before accepting the gift, Christy Cooney thanked the club for a wonderfully thoughtful gesture and suggested they really had done their homework as his wife is a keen gardener. The oak tree was then presented to Christy Cooney by David Maloney and Kym Furey, both underage players with the club. Paul O’Kelly then presented a bouquet of flowers to Lisa Clancy, Communications Director, Croke Park to thank her for her assistance during the entire process.

Refreshments were then served and Mr Cooney met the many members who attended on the night and posed for photos with young and old alike. The audience were then treated to traditional music and song by local group ‘Uncle Arthur’.

Copies of the Edenderry GAA Strategic Plan 2010-2015 are available in the clubhouse or by emailing The Edenderry GAA Strategic Plan 2010-2015 is also available in the ‘Download Section’ of this website.