Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sligo Handball Board AGM

The Annual General Meeting of the Sligo Handball Board took place in the St. Mary’s G.A.A Club meetings rooms in Kent Park on Wednesday evening last. And in a big attendance outgoing Secretary Michael McGee in his report to Convention recalled a successful and busy year in Sligo Handball.  Outgoing Chairman Peter Chambers welcomed everyone to the AGM and in particular to Cyril Feehily Sligo G.A.A Chairman who was attending his second AGM of the Handball Board.

Cyril Feehily addressed the meeting and was very happy to receive the invitation to attend the AGM.  In his speech the Co. Board chairman said that handball is a very important member of the G.A.A. family.  The Chairman is appointed to the new Croke Park integration Committee.  He stated that G.A.A President Liam O’Neill wants to bring all the committees together.  The second phase of the Centre of Excellence will be starting and the Chairman said that we should look for 1 wall court to be put in place in the new centre.  He congratulated all the Connacht handball winners and wished the new Committee well in the coming year.

Secretary’s Report:

In a comprehensive and detailed report Michael McGee read out the report for 2012 which ran to 23 pages in length. In his report he congratulated all provincial winners 15 in total.


 He praised the Juvenile coaches in clubs the likes of Martin Golden, Francis McCann, John Cawley, Oisin Quinn, Tom Foody, Shane Bruen, Stanley Harte, Paddy Walsh, Mick Kelly whom he described as the unsung heroes in Sligo Handball for their dedication throughout the year coaching their young members in Clubs. The Juvenile sections continue to make progress with Aoife Quinn Castleconnor getting to 2 All-Ireland Girls U-15 singles final in the year. Jason Earlis also from the Castleconnor club won a Connacht title and is making steady progress. A new club has started in Tubbercurry with John Cawley a teacher in the Holy Family N.S. to the fore.  In May he brought a group of 21 pupils and teachers to Biecz in southern Poland for a schools exchange and demonstrated the one-wall game. John is assisted by Padraig Maye and All-Ireland handball champion and also a Masters champion in athletics.

Collooney new development

The turning of the sod in the Collooney club was one of the highlights of the year in which TG4 also attended.   Eight members from Sligo took part in the World Handball championships with Oisin Quinn reaching the semi finals of the Golden Masters Doubles one-wall event. Oisin’s son Odhran played in 2 quarter finals and Ballymote’s Francis McCann also played in the quarter finals of the Golden Masters 1 wall category.


 Prior to playing in the world handball championships the team was kitted out with new jerseys sponsored by the Radisson Hotel in Sligo. Chairman Peter Chambers thanked Fergus O’ Donovan for the generous sponsorship of Sligo handball. It is the first time Sligo handball received sponsorship and Peter Chambers was also instrumental in this.

St. Mary’s won the team league title their second in three years with a final defeat of Castleconnor in the closest league in years. Castleconnor organised the Gerard Jones Tournament where 12 doubles team took part.  Young players like Stanley Harte Jnr, Patrick Fox & Barry McLoughlin all fared well.  As it turned out Patrick Fox teamed up with Leitrim’s Martin Raftery who win the Cup.

The Secretary thanked all the Officers for their diligent & hard work throughout the year.

Finance Report:

Peter Chambers read out the Treasurers report showing a healthy balance sheet at the end of the year.  The All-Ireland tickets draw brought in over €2000 in funding. Peter thanked all the ticket sellers, contributors who made it a success. 

Juvenile Report

Francis Mc Cann Juvenile Officer thanked all the Clubs that take part in County, provincial and All-Ireland competitions. And he thanked the parents for bringing the children to games.  He congratulated all the various winners.  The Juvenile Officer looks forward to seeing the likes of Jason Earlis representing the County at minor & at U-21 level where for many years Sligo had no representatives at all. Mc Cann complimented Aoife Quinn on her progress to two All-Ireland finals at U-15 level and to her coach and Dad Oisin who has worked hard in getting Aoife prepared for the All-Ireland championships. Mary Foody also congratulated on winning the U-13 B title. The Castleconnor club as McCann stated “is a club we really depend on for representation.”  The Juvenile B championships wasn’t well supported by some county’s but it was great for Ballymote with Jonathon Devanney & Padraig O’ Dowd all recording provincial titles in their home court. Vincent & Diarmuid Harte, Rachel Foody & Catrionia Swift also won Connacht titles.

P.R.O. Report

Michael McGee thanked all the media Sligo Champion, Sligo Weekender, Hoganstand, Into the West, Sligo News today, Ocean Fm and to Sligo G.A.A for the use of its website.  The PRO thanked Gerry O’ Connor Sligo G.A.A PRO for the many articles he published in the league match programmes throughout the year especially a 2 page article in  the Football final programme on the world handball championships.  Michael also thanked all the people who text, rang in results to him for the press/radio.

Chairman’s Address

Peter Chambers in his address welcomed Cyril Feehily Sligo G.A.A Chairman to the meeting.  He asked that the Sligo G.A.A. take an even greater interest in the sport and give us some financial support and also integrate us into the bigger G.A.A family.

We had great success this year especially at underage level collecting 10 Connacht titles. “This is testimony to the great work done throughout the county by our coaches.”  He asked for more support for the Tubbercurry club and thanked John Cawley and Padraig Maye for their great work in promoting handball in Tubbercurry.  The sod turning in Collooney was one of the highlights of the year and he spoke for many present ”we won’t rest until that facility is completed.”  Our facilities need to be improved in order to make them suitable for major tournaments and inter county fixtures.  Castleconnor were congratulated in completing phase 1 of their development plans as was Collooney with work already completed in its playing court.

Peter thanked the Radisson Hotel namely Fergus O’Donovan for the generous sponsorship. 

Hugh McGarry Collooney Club Chairman spoke about Collooney Handball Club. “The Collooney site belongs to the Collooney club but the facility belongs to the County. In reality we could do with more help he said. The facility will cost in the region of €180,000 to build.  We have to finance it 90% ourselves.  The €25 million lottery funding will go to the bigger cities he felt and there was a huge volume from Sligo that also applied including 3 handball clubs. The most he was expecting was €10,000 anything more would be a miracle.  The Collooney club are relying on members who put in €5 euro a week and there is the weekly bingo on Thursday evenings.” He asked if any handball members that would be free to come and help out the Bingo they would be very welcome.  “The centre will be for the young generation and children not born yet. The Club chairman pointed out it will a facility for not just Collooney, but for the County and would be seen as a centre of excellence within the county, where all County handball players will be able to use the new court.”

Various other topics was discussed player included registrations came up with the new fees being announced from Croke Park . Tubbercurry’s John Cawley along with other delegates was not happy with registrations fee’s applying to Juveniles for the first time. Already the handball players are members of the local G.A.A Club stated John and it is not fair to have to ask the parents for registration fees for them to play handball as well and not to mention to having to pay for the use of the St. Brigid’s Hall, purchase of gloves, goggles, insurance etc.

Any clubs wishing to organise a tournament must fill in a request form and return it to Croke Park for insurance purposes. The Co. Board G.A.A Chairman asked that the handball board arrange a meeting with the new finance committee and he offered his “unconditional support” to the handball board in its request for funding.

Election of Officers took place

Chairman: Shane Bruen  (Collooney)

Proposed by: Peter Chambers

Seconded by: Tom Foody

Fixtures Secretary: Mark Murphy (Castleconnor)

Secretary:  Connell Cannon (St. Mary’s)

Proposed by: Peter Chambers

Seconded by: Oisin Quinn

Treasurer: Oisin Quinn (Castleconnor)

Proposed by:  Peter Chambers

Seconded by: Hugh McGarry

P.R.O. Michael McGee (Collooney)

Proposed by: Micheal Jones

Seconded by: Tom Foody

Juvenile Officer: Francis McCann (Ballymote)

Proposed by:   Micheal Jones

Seconded by: Tom Foody

Handball Delegate to G.A.A Board meetings:  Peter Chambers (St. Mary’s)

Proposed by: Shane Bruen

Seconded by Connell Cannon

Connacht Handball Council Representative: Aoife McDonagh Sligo I.T.

Proposed by:  Connell Cannon

Seconded by Tom Foody

Connacht Convention: Shane Bruen & Peter Chambers

Delegates to National Congress:  Shane Bruen, Hugh McGarry & Connell Cannon
Cyril Feehily Sligo G.A.A Chairman receiving handball Calendar from Shane Bruen Co. Handball Board Chairman
Sligo Handball Board Committee for 2013 back row left to right: Francis McCann, Aoife McDonagh, Peter Chambers & Michael McGee. Front row: Oisin Quinn, Shane Bruen Co. Chairman and Connell Cannon

Ballymote delegates Martin Golden, Francis McCann & John Cawley
 Joe Gorman, Aoife McDonagh & Micheal Jones
 Shane Bruen & Hugh McGarry Collooney
 Peter Chambers on right outgoing Chairman congratulating Shane Bruen the new Chairman of the Sligo Handball Board
Tom Foody, Micheal Jones, Joe Gorman & Oisin Quinn all Castleconnor delegates
 Co. Executive for 2013 Oisin Quinn Treasurer. Shane Bruen Co. Chairman and Connell Cannon Co. Secretary


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