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Chairman Eddie Sullivans address at Awards Night

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’s event and I would like to thank you all for your support.

Speaking notes

Eddie Sullivan, 

Chairman,

St Sylvester’s GAA Club

at

Players Awards Night

Sponsored by

Bank of Ireland

2 February 2013


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’s event and I would like to thank you all for your support.


I really cannot go any further without acknowledging the great win this afternoon by our Senior football team in the St Vincent de Paul Cup final replay. Not only did Gabriel’s charges do the business but did so with syle and panache against the Leinster Champions. And not only that, but the manner of the win, with everyone on tenter hooks to snatch victory in such a dramatic way is great credit to all the players, managers and supporters. Well done lads – a

sign of greater things to come. I am sure Gabriel will have something to say about this ….

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. This is our fourth annual awards – an event conceived as part of the Bank of Ireland’s sponsorship arrangement with the Club.


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 not just this year but also over the years. Your continued support and assistance is so vital to the survival of the Club. We hope we can continue to rely on your support in the future.


We are very fortunate to have the continued generous support of The Oasis group. My thanks to Dennis Barnedt who unfortunately cannot be with us this evening and to Ronnie Carroll. We are indeed very fortunate to have such a strong sponsorship at this time.

 


It is, of course, a great honour for us to have Darragh O’Sé, former Kerry football great and we will be hearing from him later.


Unfortunately, because of events elsewhere representatives from the County Board cannot be with us.


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 everyone of you for your help.


Thank you all so much.


2012 was another great year for St Sylvester’s. There has been plenty of activity on and off the field. Many match-day battle encounters and some silverware and titles hard won. We have had some disappointments, some misfortunes, some set-backs but always enjoyment, enthusiasm, eagerness and passion. And of course, we will be hearing more about these achievements as the evening progresses. I should mention the success of the Intermediate Hurling team who went from strength to strength during the year under the careful and watchful

eye of Tommy Naughton and I am delighted that he and his wife could be here with us this evening.


I should also mention the Ladies section which is storming ahead, making great strides and a real impression on Ladies football in Dublin and beyond. Definitely, our ladies are a major force to be contended with in the coming season.


And I have mentioned the Senior Football success already but no harm to mention it again as it is so fresh.


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 2012 has been to say the least, interesting and a lot of work going on. This is not the place to go into detail but let me mention a couple of things.


Our direct management and operation of our Church rd Club House facilities has gone well and great credit due to Gary Pensorse and his team for their efforts. We have continued to get great support from the Gibney family which I would like to acknowledge.


Your continued use and support of this facility is of huge importance to the Club. It is important financially but also important in the social sense and in giving a cohesiveness for our Club. We believe that our facilities here are ‘good to excellent’ combining a central location in the heart of our beloved Malahide village with good value. What we need now is to attract more people to better use these facilities to help us pay our bills but, more importantly, to generate a much needed income stream for the development of our sporting facilities generally. Anything you can do to help in this regard would be marvellous.


Secondly, we are still working away on our plans for the development of the ball wall at Broomfield and we are finding our way through the labyrinth that goes with legal leases, land registration, capitation grant requirements to mention a few to bore you. Yes it has been much slower than we had hoped but

we are doing all we can to get over the various hurdles as quickly as possible. I am a bit slow to make any further predictions in relation to timing but it is my hope that we will be able to make some ‘visible’ progress shortly.


Thanks to the tenacity and perseverance of Michael Stuart and Brendan Bannigan the goal of our own ball wall is closer.


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– a good sign that the future is bright. In all we have 40 - 50 teams at all levels from the youngest to the most senior across both football and hurling and including our ladies section.


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.


Last month saw the passing of one of Dublin’s GAA greats, Kevin Heffernan. A hero to many people but also a gifted and talented player and manager. On an occasion like this I think it appropriate that we might reflect on his philosophy that saw great success.


He believed that a successful player had to have three basic requirements


  • Brains

  • Courage, and

  • Skill.


All are important but Heffo believed in them and in that order of importance. It is hard to disagree.


I like to think that all our players have an abundance of brains, an abundance of courage and plenty of skill and that we do not neglect one or the other. We don’t just wake up one morning and become great players. We discover ourselves through our training, our personal development and lots of practice.


While success depends on having these fundamental requirements, success at the highest levels derives from the use we make of our talents, our brains, our courage and our skill.


Thank you for listening.


Enjoy the rest of your evening


Go raibh mile maith agaibh


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