Posted November 26, 2014
Naomh Mearnóg honoured its finest at the Chairman’s dinner. All the glad rags were dusted down and everyone dressed to kill.
They paid tribute to outgoing Chairman, Conor Kavanagh after his three year term in office. Conor represented the Club on the playing field from Juvenile up to Senior level. A man of foresight, with great energy and leadership skills, Conor successfully guided the Club through a period of enormous change in every sphere of its development.
The proceedings commenced at 8.30 pm when the large attendance gave a great Naomh Mearnóg welcome as Conor accompanied the guest of honour, GAA President Elect, Aogán O Fearghaíl, his wife, Frances, and Club President, Gerry Harrington, into the function hall.
In Conor’s opening address, he welcomed everyone, with a special welcome to Aogán and Frances. Conor also greeted Siobhan O’Donnell from Dublin Airport Authority, Catherine McGowan from Donnelly’s Pharmacy, John Fahy from Smyth’s Butchers, Richard Elliott from Staffords Funeral Home, Thomas McGowan from McGowan Furnishings, Gilda Smith from Curtain World and Brendan Martin, one of the founders of Ladies Football.
Conor recollected a meeting in the Sands Hotel, where in 1975 a group of men came together with the aim of establishing a GAA Club in Portmarnock. And as a result, Naomh Mearnóg was born. As we approach our 40th anniversary, Conor said we should look back with pride on what has been achieved since then. We can now boast of having one of the finest sporting facilities in the country.
One of the great successes is our Nursery Section, where the numbers are growing every year, and Conor thanked Siobhan O’Donnell of the DAA for their support in funding the appointment of our Games Promotion Officer, Paddy Gorey.
Conor referred to the increase in numbers in our Juvenile Sections and the challenges it brings to having the right structures in place to guide all our players from Juvenile up to Adult. Conor said that promoting our national games is the main aim of our Club, but Naomh Mearnóg is more: we provide social football and hurling, catering for those with special needs, hold traditional music classes, weekly card games, chess club and Saturday morning coffee shop; and most recently when we hosted a DAA Community Family Day. He made the point that Naomh Mearnóg is, in fact, the heartbeat of Portmarnock.
After dinner, Conor and Aogán presented the following awards:
Club Person of the Year – Shane Carthy
Camogie – Siobhan and Andrew Crean Lynch
Adult Section – Richie Johnson
Ladies Football – Anthony Brennan
Juvenile Section – The late Con O’Sullivan, posthumously
In Aogán’s address, he appraised the Club under his four ‘Fs’, i.e. fixtures, family, facilities and finance. Aogán congratulated our Development Committee on the great facilities we have in Naomh Mearnóg: 4 x full-sized playing pitches, 2 x Juvenile pitches, a hurling wall, all weather pitch, gym, bar and function hall. On the games front, he said it was great for our Club to be competing at Senior League status in football, camogie, ladies football, hurling and rounders. He complimented us on providing facilities for special needs and social footballers; and commended us on the number of players proudly wearing the Dublin colours in our photo gallery. Aogán referred to our involvement in the Mary McAleese Social Initiative for Senior Men, where our group come together for social outings, information seminars and workshops. He joked that he thought our Ground Force Team had something to do with Aer Lingus.
On the financial front, Aoghán said it was great to see us engaging in the National Club Draw; and the goodwill generated towards our Club with the number of Sponsors present.
The beauty of a Club like Naomh Mearnóg goes far beyond the playing fields and Clubhouse, it is deeper, it reaches out and touches the whole community in a manner unique to the GAA.
Altogether, a great night with great memories.
P.S There are 40 photos in the photo gallery , just go into club information and scroll down to photos.