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Awards Event 2012 - address from Eddie Sullivan

Club Chairman Eddie Sullivan supplied his address for those who were not present.

Players Awards Night

Sponsored by Bank of Ireland

21st January 2012

 

Introduction

A chairde,

Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests it is a great honour for me to welcome you all here this evening to what I expect will be a very enjoyable and convivial evening.

There has been yet again a tremendous response to this year event this year and I would like to thank you all for your support.

Appreciation and gratitude

I would like to express my appreciation to our sponsors for this evening – the Bank of Ireland – and for their continued support and sponsorship. As you know this is our third annual awards – an event conceived as part of the Bank of Ireland’s sponsorship arrangement with the Club and we are delighted with this initiative which we hope will remain a feature of our Club’s sporting and social calendar.

On the subject of sponsorship I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our sponsors, some of whom are represented here tonight, for their support to St Sylvester’s Club not just this year but also over the years. Your continued support and assistance is so vital to the survival of the Club and we hope we can continue to rely on your support in the future.

Texoil and Tom Kirrane have been great supporters of our Club in particular for our senior football team for many years and I would like to thank them especially at the end of their term as sponsors.

We are very fortunate to have a new sponsor on board for our senior team for the next number of years. The Oasis group, who are already providing the Club with sponsorship, will be also sponsoring our senior football team over the next number of years. My thanks go to Dennis Barnedt, who unfortunately cannot be with us this evening, and to Ronnie Carroll. We are indeed very fortunate to have secured such a strong sponsorship at this time.

I would also like to acknowledge the kind sponsorship of Seamus McCann for our hurling time and I am delighted he could join us this evening.

It is, of course, a great honour for us to have Paul Pillar Caffrey, former Dublin football manager and his wife Yvonne with us this evening. You are both very welcome. We look forward to hearing from you later.

I would also like to welcome County Board Chairman Andy Kettle and his wife Phyllis.

Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, did not just happen. The amount of work and effort that has gone into arrangements has been phenomenal. Players, managers and many others have worked hard and I would like to thank each and every one of you for your help.

2011 has been another good year for St Sylvester’s. We have had significant success on the playing field at all levels – and of course, we will be hearing more about these achievements as the evening progresses.

I would like to acknowledge the tremendous time, effort and dedication put in by all the mentors, managers and coaches, at week-ends and during the week, week in and week out in organising teams, matches, training, pitches Without your efforts and commitment we would not have a night like tonight to celebrate.

Away from field

Away from the playing field and 2011 has been to say the least interesting. Let me mention just three things.

Club house management..

Firstly, we have taken over the direct management and operation of our Club House facilities and now have our own manager and staff. This is a significant development for us and I would like to thank the Gibney family for all their help over the last three years when it was badly needed. It is testimony to their support for the Club that an agreement to help us for two years lasted for three. We have learned much from their involvement and experience and we will continue to develop our facilities with the support of all members and friends.

Hurling…

Secondly, after many years of trials, tribulations and set-backs we made a very significant break-through with Fingal County Council in relation to our hurling wall which has been part of our development plan for a long time. Thanks to the tenacity and perseverance of Michael Stuart and Brendan Bannigan the goal of our own hurling is now much closer to being achieved.

While I am on the subject of hurling, I should say that hurling continues to go from strength to strength within the Club. The year was capped by our Minors winning the first ever Minor Hurling Championship to come to the Village. Achieving senior status for hurling has been and ought to be our goal and to this end I am delighted to say that Tommy Naughton, former Dublin hurling manager has agreed to help us. Tommy helped lay the foundations on which Dublin’s current success is built and I am sure that with his help we will be able to build our foundations for senior status

Business network…

The last of my three points relates to a very worthwhile initiative which has the potential to be of immense benefit to members. The St Sylvester's Business and Services Network (BSNSS) was set up late last year to support our members in business through a series of network events and the creation of an Online Directory. It also aims to provide support, mentoring and job opportunities to our younger members, many of whom are present here tonight. I would encourage all of you to participate in this network.

2012 aims..

Ladies and gentlemen, St Sylvester’s GAA Club has been part and parcel of the life and community of Malahide for over 100 years – a Club like so many others built around parish identity.

Today, we have a strong membership with over 1500 on our books including over 600 juveniles and a thriving nursery – a good sign that the future is bright. In all we have up to 50 teams at all levels from the youngest to the most senior across both football and hurling and including our ladies section.

As you all know this year is the year of the Olympic Games - one of the greatest spectacles in the world. It is perhaps a good time so to reflect on the motto for the Olympic movement -CitiusAltiusFortius - latin for Faster, Higher, Stronger. The GAA is one of, if not, the greater amateur sporting organisation in the world. St Sylvester’s GAA Club is the biggest and most heavily involved sporting organisation in our Malahide community. Our aim for 2012 should be similar to that of the Olympic movement – we should be aiming

  • to be stronger,

  • to reach new heights

  • to be fitter and faster

and up there with and better than the best of them.

Conclusion

Getting back to tonight and our ceremony, I would like to congratulate all the players who have been nominated for awards tonight. While only one player can achieve the award in each category I like to think of you all as winners.

Remembering friends…

Ladies and gentlemen St Sylvester’s is a club with many members. Each New Year’s eve we remember deceased members, family and friends at Mass in our local church. Since our last Mass a few short weeks ago Michaél Gaffney a great friend and major benefactor of our Club sadly passed away. I think it fitting and appropriate that we should remember him tonight.

A year ago (almost to the day) he was here with us at our Awards night and he was delighted that we honoured him with our Hall of Fame award. Those of you who were here that night will remember fondly his reminiscences and stories. He enjoyed being amongst friends and always had the welfare of our Club to the fore.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dilis

Go raibh mile maith agaibh

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