Club Annual General Meeting: The 2017 Annual General Meeting was recently held in the clubhouse, with a modest attendance on the night. The meeting started with the Secretary's Report from Martin Ryan. Martin gave a full and detailed account of the year's activities for each team. The Senior Hurlers took part in the All County Hurling League and finished up with a record of four wins and three defeats. Unfortunately, these results were not enough to contest the League final. In the City Championship, Patrickswell emerged triumphant in the final against Monaleen by 2-4 to 0-18. In the Senior County Championship, we progressed from the group stages with a record of four wins and one defeat (to Na Piarsaigh). As a result of the single loss, Patrickswell qualified for the quarter-final against Ballybrown. The gap had closed since the neighbours last met in the 2016 County Final. However, Patrickswell still came out as winners after a tough replay. In the semi-final, Kilmallock proved too strong on the day and the Daly Cup was relinquished.
The Junior A hurlers had a very active season. Patrickswell scooped the City League trophy and reached the County League semi-final, where we lost to a strong Kilmallock team. In the Junior City Championship, the 'Well were superb in the group stages and contested the City final against a tough St. Patrick's team. Despite a great effort, the Rhebogue club were a step ahead. In the County Championship quarter-final, Patrickswell were pitted against Kilmallock again. In a repeat of the League, the Balbec were too strong for the 'Well.
The U-21 campaign was extremely brief as the group stages contained only three clubs. Patrickswell beat Adare, but lost in the dying minutes against Ahane. The Minor Hurlers had a difficult start to the summer as they lost three consecutive matches. Thankfully, there was a turnaround in fortunes as their remaining four matches ended with a win, two draws and one defeat.
The Secretary congratulated Cian Lynch and Aaron Gillane for winning the All-Ireland U-21 hurling championship and he saluted Aaron Gillane for winning Munster U-21 Player of the Year. Martin thanked everyone who made the Victory Dance and Golf Classic such memorable events. He was also very complimentary about the Juvenile and Camogie Club's superb "Pride of the Parish" day. Best wishes were extended to Nigel Carey in his capacity as new Juvenile Club Chairman and Ciaran Crowe as the outgoing Principal of Patrickswell National School. Martin recognised Oliver Mann's five-year tenure as County Board Chairman and offered his sincere condolences to the bereaved during the year.
Seamus O'Riordan delivered his Treasurer's Report to the members. He mentioned the ongoing need to control costs and improve revenues to put the club on an even keel. Seamus expressed his gratitude to Bernard Hayes, Tommy Reidy and the Lotto sellers for their diligent support of the Club Lotto. He was also appreciative to John McDermott for the use of his facilities and the Camogie & Juvenile clubs for their energy.
The keynote speech of the evening was Kieran Carroll's Chairman's Address. Kieran congratulated Martin Ryan for giving ten years of loyal service as Club Secretary and the vigilance that he brought to the role. There was also an acknowledgement of the great service that Oliver Mann had undertaken as the County Board Chairman. Kieran was fulsome in his praise of the Victory Dance in February and the hard work that made it a resounding success. The Chairman was naturally disappointed that the Senior Hurlers did not retain the Daly Cup, but he could not fault their effort. Undoubtedly, it was the Camogie Club that held pride of place this season. The Junior County Championship and promotion to Intermediate were the highlight of the year on the playing fields. Kieran was grateful to Louise O'Donnell, Aedin Foley and Gloria O'Donnell for their excellent stewardship of the Camogie Club. There was appreciation of the work done by Nigel Carey and the newly established Coaching Committee.
Kieran thanked Patrickswell National School (Ciaran Crowe, Paul O'Connor and David Bulfin) for their contribution to the club's development. He was certain that David Bulfin would carry the torch of Ciaran Crowe. There was sympathy offered on the death of Vice-Principal John Nestor, who passed away during the year. The Chairman flagged the "Pride of the Parish" event as a shining success and the product of great collaboration between the Camogie and Juvenile clubs. There is a need for everyone to chip in to help with the running of club affairs. The acquisition of the adjacent site is ongoing.
Kieran expressed his gratitude to the Scor organisers of Mary Shinnors, Mike Shinnors and Muirne Bennis. He offered condolences to bereaved families and best wishes to Leonard Enright. In closing, the Chairman reaffirmed the club's core value of "respect". He thanked Duggan Systems and Fitzgerald Electrical, before congratulating our Intercounty representatives.
The next segment of the Annual General Meeting were short addresses from President PJ O'Grady, County Board Chairman Oliver Mann, Munster County Representative Paul Foley, Monsignor Lane and Fr. Mike Cussen. PJ O'Grady paid tribute to Ciaran Crowe and his 25 years of service to Patrickswell National School. PJ was certain that David Bulfin would keep up the good work of the past. Sympathy was expressed to the Nestor family, upon the death of Vice-Principal John Nestor. PJ was thrilled by the Victory Dance, the "Pride of the Parish" event and the Junior Camogie Championship win.
Oliver Mann thanked Patrickswell GAA Club for giving him a grounding and knowledge of the GAA and its operation. He appreciated the support that he received over five years as County Board Chairman. He commented that progress was being made in Limerick and pointed out the supply of players from Patrickswell to Limerick's Intercounty teams. Oliver was grateful for the support that the club gives Limerick fundraisers on an annual basis. While it is tough to run a club, it is great for the community.
Paul Foley pointed out the need to celebrate volunteerism in a commercial world. He was deeply appreciative of Martin Ryan's long tenure as Chairman and Oliver Mann's spell as County Board Chairman. Paul gave his full backing to the club's development programme and wants to get the adjacent pitch. He also expressed optimism that that new Munster Championship format is an exciting opportunity for Limerick. He commended Aaron Gillane on his Munster U-21 Player of the Year award and wished the officers the best.
Monsignor Lane and Fr. Cussen were delighted by the impact that Patrickswell GAA Club has on the community. It is acknowledged as a great outlet for young people and builds immense community spirit.
Willie Leahy stepped down as Vice-Chairman and the club will search for a new Secretary. Nigel Carey, Damien Gillane and John O'Donnell were ratified as Junior A, U-21 and Minor managers respectively.
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year: Patrickswell GAA Club wishes all its members and supporters a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.