Southern Star Ltd. logo
Premium Exclusives

BOWLING AGM: Willie Murphy excited to lead Ból Chumann

March 4th, 2024 9:00 AM

By Southern Star Team

BOWLING AGM: Willie Murphy excited to lead Ból Chumann Image
Elected to officership roles at the Ból Chumann Convention were, from left, Mick Hurley (vice chair), Susan Greene (president) and Willie Murphy (chairman, Ból Chumann). (Photo: Gretta Cormican)

Share this article

DONOUGHMORE native Willie Murphy was elected chairman of Ból Chumann for 2024 at the AGM held at The Munster Arms Hotel in Bandon.

Having acted as interim chair since Michael Brennan’s departure last September, Willie – proposed by Mid, North and West Cork divisions – was the unanimous choice of delegates. He became the seventh to hold the position as the association heads for the 70th anniversary of its founding.

He is also the first from his home division where he currently fills the roles of treasurer and PRO. Indeed, Willie’s involvement in North Cork as a player and in all administrative roles spans almost five decades. He hails from a close-knit family steeped in the traditions and history of bowling.

For generations the Murphy name has been at the forefront of North Cork bowling, whether garnering honours on the road or involved in administrative roles. Willie’s brother Mick won the junior A All-Ireland championship of 1984 and was part of Ból Chumann teams at international events in the 1970s and ’80s; his niece, Cork football great Juliet, won the All-Ireland intermediate crown in 2007; brother Tade, veteran (1996 and 2004) and vintage championship (2010), and nephew Oliver the novice 2 title in 2019. He has the good wishes of all as he leads the association through a busy 12 months that will include a European Championship visit to Germany in May.

Willie expressed his thanks to all who endorsed his nomination and looked forward to liaising with his counterparts in Ból Chumann Uladh and those within the International Bowlplaying Association who organise events in Europe. He expressed his hope that all those selected to compete in Germany in May will train hard and utilise the facilities put at their disposal. He expects a return on a par with what was achieved in Meldorf 2022.

Murphy’s elevation left the position of association vice-chair open and here too there was unanimous support for the nomination of Mick Hurley, Conna and East Cork, who had regions South-West, West and East as his proposers. Mick is another with a long history of involvement, both as a player, administrator and organiser of the highest calibre.

A native of Togher Cross in West Cork, he is currently chair of the East Cork division where his organisational skills have been to the fore at All-Ireland hostings (2022/2023) and annually at the King and Queen of the Roads festivals. In 2022 he received Ból Chumann’s Personality of the Year Award in acknowledgement of the effort he contributed to the smooth running of these events. On the road, Mick famously won a thrilling All-Ireland junior B championship at The Marsh Road in 2008 when coming from two bowls of odds down to defeat a formidable Ulster champion, Cormac Garvey, with an explosive finish.

Liam O’Keefe’s much-mourned passing in April of last year left the honorary position of Association President vacant and there was satisfaction within all ranks when Susan Green’s nomination was accepted without reservation. Niece of the late Liam, Susan needs no introduction to the bowling community having led the association with diligence and distinction over a 19-year period (2001-2019). Her continued involvement both with the ladies committee and now as Ból Chumann president is welcomed by all.

The AGM was a well-attended gathering that had regional and club representation from across the county. It was a busy night for honorary secretary Micheal Ó Ceallacháin who, in his address, welcomed the fact that membership of the association increased. He said: ‘The influx of so many from the younger generation was most welcome’. Ó Ceallacháin added the association must move with the times and urged the game’s youth to ‘grasp that nettle’ and take administrative roles as many have done to great effect.

Treasurer James O’Driscoll presented an expansive report on the association’s finances. Ahead of a year when heavy expenses will be incurred in relation to preparation and participation in the European Championships, his report – prepared and audited by Christy Naughton & Co. Ltd  – showed the association in good standing financially. He was particularly thankful to Sport Ireland for their grant aided support, without which the association would not be in good stead. He praised clubs and regions for their diligence in returning championship levies and he thanked Kilumney, Castletownbere and Curraheen bowling clubs for magnanimous contributions to the association.

Caroline Smith said in her presentation as chair of the ladies committee that it was important ladies participate at every level, and she said that those that did helped break down barriers. She urged all to complete Garda Vetting and Child Welfare courses. PRO Pat McCarthy thanked the various media outlets for publishing reports and all those within regions who supplied information on scores via WhatsApp and Facebook forums. He said all who choose to be members were valued within the Association but, with it came a responsibility to accept its rules and constitution and promote the sport in a positive manner.

Officers elected to serve Ból Chumann for 2024 were: president, Susan Greene; chairman, Willie Murphy; vice chair, Mick Hurley; honorary secretary, Michéal O’Ceallacháin; treasurer, James O’Driscoll; registrar, Billy McAuliffe; fixtures secretary, Richie Fitzgerald; youths officer, David Murphy; child protection officer, Caroline Smith; PRO, Pat McCarthy; safety officer, Michael Brennan; legal advisor, Dominic Creedon & Co; Auditors, Christy Naughton & Co. Ltd.

Tags used in this article

Share this article

Related content