CLUB ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING: The Annual General Meeting was held in the clubhouse last week. To start proceedings, Aedin Foley delivered a comprehensive Secretary’s Report. It was a busy year, with a number of fundraisers and regular events – such as annual membership, Club Lotto, the Club Limerick Draw and two Super Draws. Club membership has increased significantly to 499 persons (246 adult members, 49 lifetime members and 204 juvenile members), largely down to the stellar work of Paddy Carrig and Catherine Fitzgerald.

Bernard Hayes ran another effective Club Limerick Draw and David Quaid won €3,000 in the very first draw. Gloria O’Donnell led two successful Super Draws for a Limerick season ticket (including All-Ireland matches) and the New York Classic. Once again, the Club Lotto was a regular source of income and it was managed with diligence by Maurice Fitzgerald, Tommy Reidy, Seamus O’Riordan and Bernard Hayes. As Patrickswell reached a County Final, the programme was compiled with remarkable speed and accuracy by a sub-committee led by Brendan Cawley.

Tom O’Brien was instrumental in organising and executing a programme of works to spruce up facilities at Pairc Antoin O’Briain, ably assisted by his volunteer team. The Sports Capital Grant application received a favourable response from the Department, which was a testament to the work of Finbar O’Brien, Kevin O’Brien, Kieran Carroll, Seamus O’Riordan and Martin Ryan. On the social front, David Punch organised a memorable evening in Collins’ Bar to commemorate the 1973 and 2018 All-Ireland winners. On the same night, the Junior A hurlers received their 2018 medals, Martin Ryan was awarded a Distinguished Service Award and Brendan Cawley was named as Club Person of the Year 2018.

The County Final was the undoubted highlight of the season and the Secretary acknowledged the contribution of the players, management and backroom team. While it was disappointing to lose to Ballygunner, Patrickswell had finally reached the top of the Roll of Honour with its 20th County title. The Junior A hurlers retained their City League title and were unlucky in the City Championship final. Many thanks to Anthony Carmody for managing the team. The U-21 hurlers comfortably won all their matches in the group stages, but they were beaten in the semi-final by a resilient Na Piarsaigh team. The Minor hurlers scraped into the County semi-final when they shaded a tight match against Na Piarsaigh; however they were eliminated by eventual winners Ballybrown.

The Secretary paid tribute to the achievements of Cian Lynch, Aaron Gillane and Diarmaid Byrnes – winners of National Hurling League and Munster Championship medals. Aaron Gillane was also honoured with an All-Star award. At Minor level, Patrick and John Kirby won Munster Championship medals and Patrick Kirby was named as part of the All-Ireland Minor Team of the Year. Gratitude was extended to the coaching staff of the Juvenile and Camogie clubs, who trained the young players every Friday night without fail. She also complimented the Juvenile and Camogie officers and Patrickswell National School. The long tradition of Scor continued in 2019 at both adult and juvenile level.

In closing, the Secretary expressed gratitude to Oliver Mann and Martin Ryan for acting as County Board and City Board delegates respectively. The continued support of club sponsor, Duggan Systems Limited, was much appreciated. She also wished Paul Foley the best of luck in his campaign for Munster Council and expressed her sympathy for bereaved families during the year.

Michael McDermott outlined the financial state of affairs in his Treasurer’s Report. In short, the club had a solid financial year. He was appreciative of the support given by the various sub-committees and by the parish as a whole. Membership numbers were buoyant and fundraising events had proven very successful in 2019. There were also some extremely positive developments when the club secured a Sports Capital Grant and a Munster Council Grant.

John McDermott followed the Treasurer to deliver his keynote Chairman’s Address. It was a great season on and off the pitch. The club had achieved all the objectives laid out at the start of the year. The Chairman highlighted the importance of getting the right people on the right sub-committees and sharing the load among the community. He was complimentary to Gloria O’Donnell for operating the super draws, Tom O’Brien for improving facilities, David Punch for organising the gala evening, Paddy Carrig for revolutionising the club membership and Maurice Fitzgerald for managing the Club Lotto. The Chairman appreciated the roles played by Bridget Mann as Child Welfare Officer, PJ O’Grady as Health & Wellbeing Officer, Bernard Hayes as Club Limerick Coordinator and Brendan Cawley for producing the County Final Programme.

On the delegate front, the Chairman acknowledged the trojan work of Oliver Mann with the County Board and Martin Ryan with the City Board. The Vice Chairman Seamus O’Riordan was thanked for his support and advice, while PRO James McCarthy ensured that social media and What’s the Scor App were kept up-to-date. The club also owes a debt of gratitude to Theresa Carrig for diligently running the club’s text message service, Maureen O’Grady for managing the Facilities bookings and Damien Gillane for his grass-cutting over the season. Professor Dominic Harmon was lauded for his incredible work in 2019, becoming more than just a doctor. In addition, Patrickswell GAA Club could not operate without the help of its Juvenile and Camogie clubs. Friday night training is a joy to behold and it is critically important to entice and hold the young players. The Chairman complimented the work of the Juvenile and Camogie club, especially John Murphy, Louise O’Donnell, Marie Foley and Ann O’Doherty.

Besides the Daly Cup triumph, the big news story of the year was the acquisition of “Courtney’s Field” after years in the making. The Chairman thanked Mr. and Mrs Courtney for engaging with the club and agreeing to the sale that has been dreamt about for decades. Bernard and John Duggan were acknowledged as a great sponsor and a key employer for Patrickswell. The Sports Capital Grant was welcomed as a major boost to the future of the club, due to the outstanding work of Finbar O’Brien, Kevin O’Brien, Kieran Carroll, Seamus O’Riordan and Martin Ryan. This news was followed up with a Munster GAA grant to support the pitch acquisition.

On the pitch, the Chairman was thrilled that the Senior hurlers won the 20th Championship title and revealed that the management team were remaining in place for 2020. Anthony Carmody was thanked for his contribution to the Junior A hurlers’ success, while Des Foley and John Murphy were praised for their work with the U-21s and Minors respectively. The winter juvenile training has been a great success, with large numbers attending the sessions. Assistant Secretary Jim O’Herlihy sent his regards to the club and the Chairman offered his best wishes to Paul Foley in his bid for the Munster Council.

A number of speakers were invited to address the audience from the floor. President PJ O’Grady was impressed by the quality of the reports delivered and commented that the officers were doing a great job. It had been a marvellous year, crowned by a 20th County Championship since 1965 – finally surpassing Ahane’s record. The purchase of Courtney’s Field was a milestone for the club and great credit was due to Joe Murphy, Willie Leahy and Kieran Carroll. 2019 was potentially the best season in the history of the club. PJ hoped that the U-21 hurlers could win the County Championship in 2020 as the trophy is named for the late Gerry Bennis.

Monsignor Lane congratulated the Chairman, officers and committee for all the successes throughout the year. He commended the sheer amount of voluntary work that is performed by members and he is encouraged by it. Monsignor Lane was delighted that the 20th County title was won and thanked the panel & management. There was a sense that the Golden Age of the 1980s and 1990s could be repeated again. The club was a motivator for young people to come together and focus on positive activity. Fr. Mike Cussen lauded the community’s spirits and was confident for the future.

The meeting ended with a ratification of the same officers, except that Jim O’Herlihy has stepped down as Assistant Secretary. On the playing front, the Senior management team will continue for 2020. The Minor management team will also remain in place next season.

After the conclusion of the meeting, Finbar O’Brien delivered a detailed presentation about his future plans for Pairc Antoin O’Briain. The members were given an insight into the numerous possibilities for facilities. It will require significant funding to achieve these goals, but the club was asked to dream big.

CLUB LOTTO: Lotto results for the week ending Monday December 9 were as follows. The numbers drawn were 2, 4, 13 and 22. The Bonus was 15. The Lucky Dips were €100 for Stephen Mann, €50 for Michael Carey and €20 each for John Quaid, Darren O’Flaherty, Lena McCarthy, Robert Graham and Kay Allen. The next draw on Monday December 16 will be held in Curran’s. The jackpot is €5,600.

MAYOR’S RECEPTION: Patrickswell’s Senior Hurlers attended a mayoral reception in City Hall to recognise the club’s historic 20th County Championship title. On the same night, PJ O’Grady received a lifetime achievement award for his services to gaelic games.