Finance, fixtures and the Seanie Johnston ‘fall out’

TUESDAY evening last and the grassroots of the Kildare GAA were in situ at the Birds’ Nest at St. Conleth’s Park, Newbridge, for the July meeting of Kildare County Board, writes Tommy Callaghan.

TUESDAY evening last and the grassroots of the Kildare GAA were in situ at the Birds’ Nest at St. Conleth’s Park, Newbridge, for the July meeting of Kildare County Board, writes Tommy Callaghan.

Treasurer, Martin Whyte, informed delegates that the fall out from Kildare’s defeat by Meath, from a financial point of view, would be considerable and again appealed, as did County Board Chairman, John McMahon, along with Club Kildare committee member, Joe Fox, for clubs and individuals to support the annual Club Kildare Raffle which takes place this week, along with new upcoming initiatives.

Mr. Whyte said that a sum in the region of E48,000 was expected from Croke Park ‘in the next few days’ from the Allianz Football and Hurling Leagues which would be slightly up on last year’s allocation.

Patsy Power reminded one and all that the Annual Golf outing for the Michael Osborne Memorial Trophy takes place at The Curragh on Monday, July 23 and urged all clubs (and individuals) to support it.

John McMahon said the Siopa Cill Dara continues to be a big success and said the County Board, in conjunction with Club Kildare are looking at various other fund raising activities including a possible Breakfast Morning, a County Board lotto, a church gate collection, a night at the dogs and possibly a ‘Mock Wedding’ evening.

Eadestown delegate, Pat Doyle, asked for a detailed report on the financial state of the board and Martin Whyte confirmed that that would be available at the August meeting.

The draw for the Senior Reserve Football Championships were made but not before Raheens delegate, Patsy Power said he was unhappy with the placing of certain clubs in some grades of the championships.

Following a brief discussion, Ger Donnelly, Vice Chairman and boss over the fixtures admitted that the grading of each club may not be perfect but that it was nearly impossible to please everyone and he proposed that the draw go ahead as planned, which it did.

Central Council delegate, Marty McEvoy confirmed that attendances at the various provincial championships were up and said that Croke Park had worked hard at this and are very happy with the way things are progressing at the moment.

He informed delegates of a new venture entitled ‘The Gathering’ which is an initiative to host a World nine-a-side competition, the finals of which would be held in Croke Park and would involve players and officials who have emigrated throughout the world qualifying for the finals which would be held in Croke Park in 2013.

Hurling Board Chairman, Eddie Lawlor, expressed his disappointment that the senior hurling championship was used to qualify Seanie Johnston to play county football for Kildare. He expressed his annoyance that the Coill Dubh Club had been put “under enormous pressure” to play Johnston (albeit for less than a minute) and said the entire episode did nothing for hurling in the county and it should not have happened.

PJ Doyle (Grangenolvan) also expressed his disappointment and said he fundamentally disagreed with what had occurred.

Chairman John McMahon, admitted that there was a major divergence of views on the entire episode but reminded delegates that Kildare had adhered to all regualtions, had broken no rules at any stage of this entire process.

Paddy Murphy (St. Laurences) was having none of that “we are a show around the country.”

Marty McEvoy reminded the gathering that it was not Kildare that granted the transfer but a committee in Croke Park but added that from the human side of things what Seanie Johnston was put through was above and beyond what any other player had been subjected to, adding that while many people in Kildare disagreed with what had gone on, it was not a good day for Croke Park the way the entire process had been handled.

Sarsfields delegate, Camillus Walsh (aka Camillus Breathnach) asked that in keeping with the ethos of the GAA that all delegates would ‘sign in’ to the monthly meeting as gaelige!