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Oct- Dec 2022

Message from the Chairman Neil Cooney

Welcome Back to all Members and Supporters

At this time of year we reflect on the year that was 2022 as well as look forward to 2023. Whilst our Adult Men’s Seniors relinquished their champions title in exceptional circumstances in the semi final, our Juniors  were successful in winning a Championship and League double and our U21s fell at the final hurdle in the A Championship Final versus Roche Emmets.  Our Ladies Adult Intermediate and Minors lost out in their respective semi-finals

Ultimately a lot of our focus and attention is on the playing fields and achievements there,  though we have been equally as busy off the field with regards to ongoing facilities maintenance, development and wider Community support.

A show of appreciation to all the team management and efforts in the past year and in particular regarding our senior men’s team. Again we express our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Fergal Reel along with Eddie Martin, Barry Murtagh, JD McRenra, Noel Healy and all supporting personnel. This management team have delivered our first two senior championships and will be a hard act to follow, though for 2023 we will have a new senior men’s management team lead by Declan McCoy and Donal O’Hare with selector support of Hugh Lyons and Niall Martin with Daryl Lynch stepping up to assist with match stats. Also sincere thanks and appreciation also to our 2 Junior Management Teams of Aidan Berrill, John McGrane, Daryl Lynch, Colm Winters and Frank Keenan together with the Junior Teams coach in 2022 Graham Leech. These teams and management delivered a double league and championship as well as an U21 Final appearance.

Our ongoing challenge and goal is to ensure that the standards set by our winning Teams are emulated consistently in the years ahead. At the start of the year we held a football review at adult and youth strand/juvenile levels and recommendations coming from this working group saw all of our youth strand teams challenge themselves against the very best in the county at their respective age grades in division 1 league and A championship competitions. At Adult level we entered three Teams as well as the Ladies competing on their own without any amalgamation and getting to a semi final in their Intermediate Championship campaign.  We also decided on additional coaching resources to be brought in outside of Senior level until we are in a position for suitably qualified club personnel to take on these roles. This foresight, agreed actions and commitment to invest in overall football development I believe has pushed our club’s playing capacity further forward and despite the negative commentary from local media about our aspirations in this regard I believe that we are improving footballing abilities across the board for our Club.

I wish also to commend and thank the Juvenile section under Juvenile chairperson Stuart McDonnell’s stewardship which continues to prosper and develop positively. From Nursery up to Minor grades are being coached by significant numbers of trained club coaches who’s commitment and support is vital in continuing the club’s aspirations to provide coaching and games to these Teams. However whilst all teams at juvenile level had a successful and enjoyable year in 2022 a special place and mention needs to go to our U13 Boys group who won their A League and Championship and topped off a memorable year with the Colm Cooper invitational tournament win on a memorable weekend in Killarney.

Indeed the homecoming scenes at McBride train station with hoards of supporters in full club colours is a memory to treasure for the players, coaches and all of us in the club. Similarly our Girls U-13s stole the show on the Ladies side with a tremendous and memorable Championship Final win for 1st time.

Off the pitch we also continued to achieve success within our SCOR teams involvement whereby they were crowned Leinster SCOR Rince champions and went on to represent our club, county and province in a memorable weekend in May down in All Ireland SCOR Finals.  This weekend coincided with our clubs Dinner Dance in the Fairways Hotel and on this night it was fitting that we celebrated the double Senior Championship winning squad and management in conjunction with recognising the Junior Championship winning Team of 1972. A tremendous night was provided and many accolades and fond memories shared by the large numbers in attendance. Special thanks to Paul McDonnell and Fra McCullough for running the show on the night in my absence.

Our healthy club activities continue to be a highlight and significant additional aspect to our club and I thank Linda and sub-committee for continued work in this area. Sincere thanks to Maeve McDonnell and those that man the club shop throughout the year, together with the core committee members who assist with the weekly draw, pitch and clubhouse maintenance along with matchday stewarding – Eddie Lambe , Tony Lynn, Paul Carrie, Martin Morgan, Paul Clutterbuck. Along with these I also sincerely thank key functional role holders of Joe Walsh, Stephen Murphy, Paul McDonnell, Ciara Bellew and Fra McCullough for supporting myself and our senior club’s ongoing working roles together with the full senior committee who’s guidance, debate and support are vital to the ongoing running of the club. We had 10 formal monthly meetings and also numerous ad-hoc sub-committee meetings during 2022.

Off the pitch there has also been numerous other activities and events taking place such as our Newsletter production on a quarterly basis, Club Naomh Mairtin sponsorship development group , drug awareness talk, girls participation in sport talk, All Stars weekly coaching and Croke Park trip, G4MO group forming, replacement defibrillator, CPR and First aid training, GAA Green Club support to local tidy towns and tourism group, no doubt I’ve forgotten or left out some other events that took place so apologies if I have.  We also are close to seeing the conclusion of our All Weather Pitch development in coming weeks, commencement of our Floodlighting and Energy Retrofit project along with completion of our Community Space and Kitchen upgrade works that will also include ancillary works to hopefully relocate spectator toilets, etc. with the grant funding sourced  for these in the last 12 months. Particular thanks in this regard to Joe Walsh and Jenny Murtagh. Also thanks to the Grants award together with Susan Murphy and others involved in particular from Ladies section with regards to funding towards the defib replacement along with supporting Ladies section expenses in 2022.

The development projects to date have also been significantly aided by the voluntary efforts and professional expertise of club personnel and supporters Noel Healy, Graham Mulroy, Liam Ryan, Thomas Murphy, James Flood, Peter Ryan, Carl Courtney, John Campbell, Jenny Murtagh, Brian O’Rourke and Emmett Finegan with regards to provision of their professional expertise and man hours in to these various projects to date. Again apologies if I have omitted anyone.

To date on these projects we have spent approximately €100k and are in process of drawing down approximately €150k in total grants towards this and expect for all three projects to be completed by mid 2023 to further enhance the facilities for our members and players to enjoy. We will also continue to assess and plan for further developments required for ongoing Club improvements. The funds previously raised and set aside along with the ongoing 3 year development draw funds and secured grants are by and large covering these project development costs.

Aside from the infrastructure development projects detailed previously we also further invested in our club during 2022 regarding security cameras upgrade, main pitch maintenance, scoreboard replacement, bank area pitch goals which were funded from our working capital resources to the tune of approximately €20k. Given increased utility costs in particular ESB that saw a trebling of costs in this area in 2022,  there is increased pressures on our operating working finances, these are being supported through our business sponsors support together with membership and draw finances,  though upon reflection of these together with assessment of membership participation the Executive Committee have put forward the Membership amendments to more evenly spread the load amongst those participating within the club activities which I am sure all will appreciate are required to allow us to provide top class facilities and capacity for members and teams.

So as you can see there has been a lot of activity on and off the pitch in the Club in the last 12 months and we continue with our progressive plans to further develop facilities and standards for our club teams and members. I also want to wish the best for incoming committees, teams and coaches in 2023. We look forward to more success and memorable days in 2023 for all our teams, participating players and members.

Healthy Club Activities

In November Naomh Mairtin G4MO welcomed Newtown Blues to Monasterboice for their last match of 2022.  Such great display of skills from both teams.  Great laughs and new skills displayed over the last few months.  Training and matches will commence in 2023, new members always welcome. 

 Athe end of Nov the Healthy Club team contacted St Vincent de Paul (St Colmcille Branch) and offered our help with organising a collection from our members and community in the club rooms.  Thanks to all who donated so generously to our SVP Christmas appeal, a special mention to Tots&Co for their gifts.  SVP were so appreciative, these donations were distributed in the local area. 

Our Annual Remembrance walk took place in the club grounds on Sat 17th December.  It was a beautiful morning to remember our loved ones, followed by prayers by Fr Rushe around our Remembrance Tree.  Refreshments were served afterwards.  

New Years morning we organised a walk/jog for the community on the walking track, lovely to start the year off with some exercise, cuppa and a chat with neighbours and friends.  We raised 636euros for Irish Heart Foundation. 

Ireland Lights Up started on Wed Jan 11th.  Lights will be on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday every evening from 7-8pm.  This amenity is open to all community members.  RSA High Vis are available also on the track. Naomh Mairtin have signed up for the Irish Life Every Step Count Challenge, all we have to do is download the app, and get tracking our steps.  Naomh Mairtin could be in a with a chance of winning O’Neills Vouchers if we are successful.


Scór practice continues every Tuesday evening at 5.30pm for our ceili and seit dancing teams.

We are also in rehearsals for our novelty act “Behind the teachers back”, with lots of practice going on on Tuesday afternoons in Tots & Co. This event is due to take place at the end of February in Darver.

Also in the coming weeks we are looking to recruit dancers for Scór Sinsir which is due to take place in the Autumn. Anyone interested please contact Patricia.

Update from our Ladies Committee

Naomh Mairtin Ladies held their AGM was held on December 1st in our clubrooms. At this meeting it was agreed that the ladies committee would now become part of the overall Naomh Mairtin CPG committee, with a chairpersons, secretary, registrar and PRO roles to be fulfilled in the coming weeks.

On December 28th our ladies players organised a table quiz in The Monasterboice Inn. A wonderful night was had by all with over 50 tables entering on the night. Thanks to all businesses who sponsored prizes. In total we raised €2,900 on the night. Well done ladies for organising such a successful event.


Thank you to Stuart McDonnell who recently stepped down as our juvenile chairperson, having been in the chair for the past 4 years. Well done on all your hard work and dedication throughout unprecendented times, especially over the last 3 years, enabling all our juvenile players to continue playing football in a healthy and safe environment. No doubt we will see you around the club coaching many of the teams.

Congratulations to Ollie Ginty who will be stepping into the role of chairperson for the coming year.

The Juvenille committee plan to carry out a number of activities in the coming months including:

  • Meeting with coaches of juvenile teams to discuss plans for 2023.
  • Continue to develop the Juvenile Player Policy of the club following feedback from the Player/Parent/Coaches workshop last month.
  • Coaching workshops.
  • Organising fundraising events to help fund club development and facilities.
  • Adam Winters will also be rolling out the strength and conditioning programme for u13 – u17 teams both boys and girls following meeting with parents and coaches on the 11th January.

Up the Jocks!