New Tipp GAA sponsor to be announced in the coming weeks

The Annual Tipperary GAA Convention was held in the Dome in Thurles last night with financial figures revealing that the County Board financial year for 2021 is showing a surplus of €303,145.

A new sponsor for Tipperary GAA teams is set to be announced over the coming weeks and this deal is close to completion.

During his address to Convention the Chairman Joe Kennedy announced a newly formed partnership with Setanta College, who will now deliver strength and conditioning from the academies up to adult level for Tipperary GAA teams.

Killenaule woman Elanor Lahart was elected to the position of Assistant Treasurer on 103 votes against John O Donovan who registered 82 votes.

Convention observed a moments silence in memory of the late Kieran Delaney of Toomevara who served Tipperary at Divisional and County Board level with distinction.

Medals for the various county competitions of 2020 and 2021 were presented to clubs on the night by County Vice Chairman Jimmy Minogue.

Regarding motions on the night, Motion 11 from the Carrick Swan club will now go to Croke Park and motion 12, in relation to the passing of motion 13 at the 2021 GAA Congress, is also being put to convention.

Also on the night County Secretary Tim Floyd informed convention that 2022 will be his final year in the role.

Speaking afterwards Tim said that he was pleased that 2021 shows a surplus for Tipperary GAA.

“I suppose we were fortunate in that our commercial income was very much up simply because I suppose we underestimated last year during lockdown when the likes of royalties and stuff from our partnerships with O’Neills and Elverys – we didn’t think that during lockdown they would be as productive so we gained this year where I suppose where we lost last year. That was a big one.

“Gate receipts I suppose have held their own. Even though our books closed on the 30th of September we still have a nice healthy balance to carry forward into next years books. All the gates that we’ve had since the 1st of October.

“So we’re in a good position – probably the best position we’ve been in a few years.”


Chairman Joe Kennedy’s address to convention:
On behalf of Tipperary GAA, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you all here tonight to our 2021 Convention. Thankfully regulations allow us to have this meeting in person rather than on zoom. This time last year we entered a period of prolonged Covid restrictions that lasted until the 1st of May. It is a great testament to all sections of the GAA that once these restrictions were lifted, we resumed all our activities very quickly and efficiently. Even during lockdown, there was a lot of planning and training done via Teams and Zoom. All our players, club and county, deserve great credit for the work they did during lockdown which allowed all to play matches almost immediately after lockdown. Despite predictions of massive injuries due to lack of training this never materialised.

Due to Covid, our County season was played in a more condensed time frame. Our Senior Hurlers had mixed fortunes in the league whilst experimenting with some new players. A championship win over Clare qualified us for a Munster Final where a game of two halves saw us loose to Limerick. Defeat to Waterford after a great 2nd half comeback ended our championship. Liam Sheedy and his management stepped down following the completion of their 3 year term. We thank Liam and all his backroom team for their service to Tipperary Hurling.

Colm Bonnar was appointed manager and he along with Johnny Enright, Tommy Dunne and Paul Curran will lead us in 2022. This management team brings a wealth of experience and I have no doubt they will prepare our Senior Hurlers for the challenges ahead. We may now be entering a transition and a rebuilding period for Tipperary as Colm will try to add new players to the panel and team. I would urge all our supporters to have patience and come out and support our hurlers during the coming leagues and championships.

The Minor and under 20 also failed to capture honours but both were hampered by trying to pick panels in a very short time frame. Brendan Cummins and James Woodlock have been very busy during the Club championship picking players for their panel for the 2022 championship.

After the highs of the 2020 football championship, we had a disappointing year. While it is a set back to be in Division 4, it will allow us reorganise and rebuild in the coming year. David Power and the Management team that won

the 2020 Munster Final are still in charge and they have the knowledge to lead us to better things in 2022. The u20 footballers provided Tipperary football with a much needed boost in reaching a Munster Final. The style of football they played and the spirit they displayed were a joy to watch and some of these players will definitely play Senior Football for Tipperary.

In the aftermath of the conclusion of the intercounty seasons, we reviewed some of our structures. The officers saw the need to overhaul our strength and conditioning programs. In the past, every team had its own strength and conditioning coach all working independently of one another. Our academy program was greatly disrupted during Covid.

As mentioned in the secretary’s report, we have now formed a partnership with Setanta College to deliver all our strength and conditioning from the academies up to our adult team. This is a new approach that will have a co-ordinated structure and will prepare all our players in both codes to develop and transition from youth to adult level. Setanta College is a world leader in the delivery of athletic development programs and led by Des Ryan, this partnership will have major benefits for all Tipperary teams in the future.

I also feel there is a need to review our coaching structures for the development of county teams. This is not a criticism of existing structures but as in any walk of life we should examine what we do to see if it is still fit for purpose. To that end, we are in the process of putting a new committee in place to examine all our coaching and underage structures to make recommendations as to how we can improve our structures for the future.
Club Championship

The only silver lining to our early exit at County Level was 16 weeks of Club Championship action. Club players and team management could have total focus on their championship campaigns. The return of full attendance and favourable weather added to the quality of the championship.

The structure used this year of playing divisional first, followed by County is an ideal structure as each weekend there is an incremental increase in tempo and excitement as the championship progresses. The groups of 4 within the 16 team format gives every team an equal chance of progressing at their own

level. All our groups in hurling were very competitive. With this structure, not alone does every result matter but also the margin of victory or even the total amount scored. The same applies to the Senior Football competition and it was pleasing to see very competitive quarter, semi-finals and finals.

The Tom Cusack Competition was a well contested competition this year and if clubs give it the same commitment every year it has a real future. The intermediate football championship isn’t as competitive but hopefully in the next few years will improve.

Congratulations to all clubs who won County Finals. I want to give a special mention to Loughmore Castleiney who completed the double for the second time. They deserve all the plaudits and accolades they have received. It is a great achievement and well done to all involved.

Just two observations, Many people and clubs have commended their commitment to both codes – how many will use this as a blueprint for the future and try to emulate them.

Loughmore Castleiney won both County Finals using coaches from their own club. If you look at the Management Teams across all grades and codes not alone do we have managers from not just outside the club but outside the county. I pose the question – Have clubs no faith in coaches within their own club or have we a shortage of qualified coaches within the county. Is there a need for a major coach education program?

The split season has allowed the club competitions to be played in a proper fashion but the split season model still poses challenges for clubs.

The focus for the first part of the year is intercounty so the big challenge for the county and divisions is to provide games for clubs who must play without County Players. In short there needs to be competitions for clubs when they are without county players and obviously championship when they have.

Historically in Tipperary our commitment to league competitions has been poor. I would urge clubs to take all leagues very seriously in the coming year to provide games for their players during the county season. If clubs don’t buy into the leagues they run the risk of losing players.

I want to thank all our referees for their efforts during the year. We have now reached the stage where matches are being called off due to a shortage of refs. There is a lot of debate on our structures and competitions but we cannot play games without referees. Clubs really need to focus on identifying new referees for the coming year.

Thankfully we have recorded a surplus in our accounts this year. We have seen an improvement in income across many sectors this year. The return of full attendance to matches saw a big increase on last years games receipts. I would also like to thank the Government for its commitment to sport and especially the GAA and thank them for the various schemes in providing revenue to help fund the organisation during the pandemic. It is also recognition of how important the GAA is to society in general.

The move to online ticket sales through Future Ticketing is the way forward. It reduces the handling of cash and allows patrons to buy tickets in advance of the games.

In any organisation, good governance is a key requirement. Earlier this year, the County Executive appointed a Risk and Audit committee. They are in the process of examining all financial structures within the County Board. When this is completed they will proceed to divisional accounts and all other sub committees. This is vital to ensure all our financial procedures stand up to scrutiny.

Another area we must focus on for the coming year is Planning for the future. Our last strategic plan is out of date and I have asked Mark McLoughlin our Development Officer to start work in the New Year on a new strategic plan. This will examine the last plan and set new targets and plans for all our committees into the future.

Our Games Manager Dinny Maher is retiring at the end of the month. When a new manager is appointed, it will give us the perfect opportunity to sit down with all coaching and games staff to plan for the future in this area. The work that is done in this area will reap rewards for the future. I would like to thank Dinny for all his work and wish him well in retirement.

I would like to thank Tim for all his hard work, his enthusiasm for the job is as strong as every. I would especially like to thank him for all his help and advice during the year.

Jimmy Minogue , as vice-chairman, has been a great support during the year and I would like to compliment himself and Tom Maher on their great work on C.C.C. and on getting all our games played.

Our P.R.O. Jonathan has kept up the high standards set down by previous holders of the office and has done a wonderful job all year.

I would complement our Treasurer Michael Power for all his work with our finance during the year. His professional advice during the pandemic has been a great benefit to the board.

We look forward to 2022 with renewed optimism and hope that we have a Covid free year. I wish all a very Happy Christmas and New Year.
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