Westmeath GAA News

April 12, 2021


The Lake County Movathon Fundraising initiative officially ended on 5 April but the Go FundMe page set up to receive donations is still active to facilitate  those who wish to make late contributions.

The initiative was an unbelievable financial success,  the €100,000 target was reached and contributions have now passed the €140,000 mark. As is normal with month-long ventures, the Movathon began slowly but the momentum of the final two weeks sealed the success. The magnificent contribution of €20,000 by the MooreCorporation provided huge impetus.   

Success has many measurements and the venture succeeded on many levels. The intention was also to encourage physical exercise in the 'wicked month' of March and this challenge was faced with enthusiasm as clubs and individuals engaged in a variety of  cyclathons, rowathons, skiathons, sliotar striking, dawn-to-dusk walking relays and some individual journeys that can only be described as epic.   It was essential that the initiative succeeded  as  the Westmeath GAA community was on trial with this challenge. If our playing and development ambitions are to be realised serious amounts of finance will be needed and as  was outlined at the recent County Committee meeting, in the region of €1.3 million is required to upgrade TEG Cusack Park. On this occasion the Westmeath GAA community was not found wanting.  

As a PR exercise the Movathon also succeeded admirably and those in charge of the social media campaign Donie Malone, Tom  Browne and Mark Casserly are to be complimented on their efforts; the traditional local newspaper media were also generous in  their coverage of the event. The positivity created by the campaign for the world of the Westmeath GAA will leave a lasting impact. The County Executive has often been the subject of criticism for not being proactive in generating funds; on this occasion the members and especially the sub-committee responsible for the planning and managing the Movathon are to be commended for putting necks on the line. 

This committee was made up of Frank Mescall, Pat Doherty, Karen Hegarty, Tom Hunt, Aoife Boyle, Des  Maguire, Aisling Claffey, Donie Malone, Alan Leech, Mark Casserly, Tom Browne, Noeleen McCarthy and Caroline Carton. The Movathon was a tremendous success as  a mould breaking initiative. The unique collaborative fundraising event with the Westmeath GAA, Westmeath Ladies Gaelic Football and Westmeath Camogie combining their efforts to raise the finance essential to allow their respective teams compete at the highest level was truly historic. Overall, the Movathon was a great success on many levels and in particular for the great engagement from all the interested parties of the Westmeath GAA community at home and abroad. The support for Frank Mescall in his first major undertaking since he became County Chairman points towards a very positive future for Westmeath GAA.     

The Late Ned Flynn 

The Westmeath GAA community lost one of its great soldiers when Ned Flynn departed to his Heavenly reward last week and all at Westmeath GAA would like to send our sincerest condolences to all his family, relatives and  friends.

The word legend is used in many circumstances but in the case of Ned Flynn its use is entirely appropriate. Ned was a  legendary GAA figure, a unique character,  a great Westmeath Gael, a  fountain of knowledge and a man of fantastic wit. Ned's outstanding contribution to GAA in Castlepollard, Castletown-Finea/Coole/Whitehall and  Westmeath will never be forgotten.  A former Westmeath Minor Board Chairman, he gave outstanding service to his county and just loved everything associated with Gaelic games. In recent weeks he was on the phone seeking information on why the GAA had lost its elite status and what the association intended to do about it. That was Ned, concerned about the GAA and its place in Irish society to the last.  

As a County Board Delegate he was unique, a competent debater who could mix humour with genius. Ned also spent many years commentating and analysing Westmeath inter-county and  club games on Midlands 103. For his outstanding service to GAA, Ned received the GAA's President Award at Croke Park in 2016 


Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. 


Marie Lynagh: New Westmeath PRO

At the recent County Committee meeting Marie Lynagh of the Kilbeggan Shamrocks club  was confirmed as the PRO of Westmeath GAA.

We wish Marie the best of luck in this challenging post, a position that has been transformed over the past decade or so. Marie is a member of a family that has made significant contribution to the GAA as her father Pat is the current holder of the PRO office in Leinster Council and prior to that held the post of treasurer in the province and of course Pat is also a former secretary of the Westmeath County Committee. The Lynagh family are now unique in GAA circles with Pat a provincial PRO and Marie the holder of the equivalent office at county level. Marie Lynagh becomes the fourth female member of the Westmeath GAA executive and joins Deirdre Orme (Crookedwood Hurling Club), Aoife Boyle (Raharney Camogie Club) and Karen Hegarty (Mullingar Shamrocks) in the team responsible for managing the affairs of the GAA in the county. 

Return to Play 

With senior inter-county teams returning to collective  training on 19 April, it signals the start of the preparation for return to competitive action.

In brief this means that Westmeath senior hurling team will return on the weekend of 8-9 May when the Allianz National Hurling League resumes. The league divisions remain unchanged from those previously announced and Westmeath in Division IA will have outings against Waterford, Limerick, Galway, Cork and Tipperary to look forward to. In football Westmeath feature in  Division 2 North with Meath, Down and Mayo. The geographic breakdown was a bit unkind to Westmeath as Meath and Mayo were the two teams relegated from Division 1.

The Allianz National Football League begins a week later than the hurling competition on 15/16 May weekend and concludes with a possible final on the weekend of 19/20 June.  The revised calendar guarantees each county a minimum of five matches in each code. The  hurling League Relegation play off is scheduled to be played as curtain raiser to the All-Ireland  Senior Hurling Semi Final in August, a date that may have implications for the club season should Westmeath be involved. The McDonagh Cup will be played on a round robin system with the six competing counties divided into two groups of three and the top two in each group contesting the final; there is also a relegation play-off in this competition. The winners of the McDonagh Cup will be promoted to the 2022 Leinster Championships but will not compete in the 2021 All-Ireland series. The final of the McDonagh Cup will be played as a curtain raiser to the 2021 Leinster hurling final scheduled for Saturday 17 July.   

The proposed calendar proposes that  club competitions with county players can take place as county teams exit the championships (in football, teams start exiting from the end of June; in Hurling July 10. From 1 August all Counties except All Ireland Semi-Finalists in Football and Hurling, and the teams in the Div 1 Hurling Relegation play off, will be free to stage club competitions with county players. The resumption of club competitions is of course subject to restrictions permitting same to resume.

Most Read Stories