The North Tipperary GAA Board Convention took place on Monday, December 11th at The Thatch Cottage, Ballycommon - the convention proved uneventful as Kiladangan’s Mike Flynn succeeded Dan Kennedy as chairman and the board declared a healthy surplus of €20,815.
In the absence of treasurer Noel Maher (Borris-Ileigh) auditor Kevin O’Brien (Kevin O’Brien & Associates, 94A Silver Street, Nenagh) guided delegates through the end of year accounts. And, the accounts made for a heartening read as gate receipts increased from €81,969 (2016) by €15,849 to €97,818 in 2017 (a 19% increase).
Overall the income generated by the North Board in 2017 amounted to €143,910 (2016 €94,169). Administrative expenses in 2017 came to €123,095 meaning that the board recorded a surplus of €20,815 (the 2016 surplus was €4,579 - an increase of €16,236).
No motions were proposed to the divisional convention and no contested elections took place as Michael Flynn (Kiladangan) succeeded Dan Kennedy as board chairman and Michael Tierney (Borris-Ileigh) stepped in as vice-chairman.
Michael Flynn described it as a “great honour” to succeed Dan Kennedy and to become the first chairman of the divisional board from the Kiladangan club. Mr Flynn indicated that he was “looking forward to the challenge” and while he described the up-coming club fixtures schedule as “not ideal” he also encouraged the clubs of North Tipperary to “buy into it”.
Mike Flynn said that he wished to “compliment the clubs who put together the motion to ensure the link between the division and county championship was maintained”. Mr Flynn argued that if the link had been broken that the North division would “die a quick death”.
In his address to convention out-going chairman Dan Kennedy (Roscrea) singled out the group of Mid and North Tipperary clubs who recently “got together in a professional way to ensure the retention of the link with the divisional championships”. However, Mr Kennedy did warn that the structure of the 2018 club championships would “pose a serious challenge to organise fixtures” and that “as a dual county it may not be possible to retain the divisional link indefinitely”.
Mr Kennedy bemoaned the lack of commitment to football in the division before encouraging the board to invest in the development of a “sand-based or similar all-weather pitch with lighting at a central location” in North Tipperary. In response to the suggestion North Board vice-president Donie Nealon described the fact that there was no all-weather venue in the county as a “black mark”.
During his address Dan Kennedy thanked the gate checkers, referees and match officials, competition sponsors (especially the Hibernian Inn, Nenagh), members of the divisional competitions control committee and fellow North Board officers for all of their help and support during his three-year term.
North Board secretary Marian Minehan (Kiladangan) did not comment in detail on her comprehensive 2017 report, but did plead with delegates to encourage their respective clubs and players to treat referees with respect.
“You do need to be nice to our referees - they do get it very hard at times,” secretary Marian Minehan said.
Following Monday night's convention the North Tipperary GAA Board officers read as follows: President Matt Hassett (Toomevara), Vice-President Donie Nealon (Burgess), Chairperson Michael Flynn (Kiladangan), Vice-Chairperson Michael Tierney (Borris-Ileigh), Secretary Marian Minehan (Kiladangan), Assistant-Secretary vacant, Treasurer Noel Maher (Borris-Ileigh), Assistant-Treasurer Willie Lennox (Shannon Rovers), Public Relations Officer John Delaney (Newport), Trustee John McGrath (Ballinahinch), Registrar vacant, Children's Officer Cora Moroney (Newport), Officer for Irish Language and Culture vacant and Coaching Officer vacant.
As matters stand the North Board’s Development Officer role is filled by Jimmy Minogue (Nenagh Éire Óg), but the role may be revisited at the adjourned North Board AGM in January should Mr Minogue be elected vice-chairman of the County Board following a vote at the County Convention on Sunday, December 17th.
Out-going chairman Dan Kennedy called on the clubs of North Tipperary to support Jimmy Minogue as the Nenagh Éire Óg man campaigns this week to succeed John Devane as the vice-chairman of the County Board.
“I appeal to the North Tipperary clubs to send a full complement of delegates to the County Convention to vote Jimmy Minogue in as County Board vice-chairman,” Dan Kennedy said.
During his address to the convention in-coming North Board chairman Michael Flynn also encouraged the clubs of North Tipperary to support Jimmy Minogue’s candidacy for the position of County Board vice-chairman.
“We have just got to elect Jimmy (Minogue) to the County Board vice-chairman,” Mike Flynn said.
“I have put my name before the county for the position of vice-chairman,” Jimmy Minogue explained at the North Board convention.
“It will take 120-125 votes as the numbers go and there are just over 60 (votes) in this division. So, I know that unless every one of the votes (in this division) turn out we won’t succeed,” Jimmy Minogue explained.
“I am asking every club if they could see their way to turn out and support me next Sunday and see what we could do from there,” the Nenagh Éire Óg man added.
When invited to address the delegates Donie Nealon (Burgess) said that he felt “honoured and privileged” to be the vice-president of the North Board. Mr Nealon complimented the officers of the board on the “completion of a massive programme of games” and for a “tremendous year financially”.
Donie Nealon said that he wished to congratulate the clubs of the division on the “stance taken” to maintain the link between the divisional and the county championship - Donie Nealon described the North Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship as a “great competition”. Mr Nealon also said that the Munster Senior Hurling Championship was “under attack” and that he “would not support” the introduction of a round robin structure to the provincial hurling competition. Donie Nealon argued that the re-structuring of the competition would lead to “falling attendances” and “dead rubbers”.
“The GAA is turning more and more into an elite association and the clubs will be forgotten,” Donie Nealon said before describing the Allianz National League schedule as a “heap of nonsense”. The Burgess stalwart also suggested that the structure of the club season would lead to an “exodus to the USA” during the summer months while moving the All-Ireland final to August was an “awful mistake”.
North Board President Matt Hassett (Toomevara) complimented the officers of the board on the work carried out during the season.
Meanwhile in his address to the North Board convention out-going County Board chairman Michael Bourke (Upperchurch-Drombane) thanked Dan Kennedy for his “huge contribution” as chairman of the division while in reference to the new club competition structures Mr Bourke encouraged clubs to “work with it”.
“I would like to see more clubs playing football in North Tipperary,” Michael Bourke said before wishing the in-coming North Board chairman Michael Flynn “the best of luck in his new position”. Mr Bourke said it has been an “honour to serve” for three years as County Board chairman and he thanked the North Board clubs for their support during his term.