Achievable targets and a vision for Beara GAA is key, says Joseph Blake
BY KIERAN McCARTHY
NEW Beara GAA secretary Joseph Blake is keen to start discussions about implementing a strategic plan for the division.
At a special AGM of the Beara board last Monday night in Castletownbere, three new officers were elected unopposed to the top table as Beara sought to replace four officers who had exceeded the five-year rule and had to step down earlier this month.
Adrigole clubman Blake was elected as Beara’s new secretary, replacing Finbarr Harrington; former Cork senior footballer Ciarán O’Sullivan (Urhan) is the division’s new development officer, replacing Seamus O’Shea; and Aisling O’Sullivan (Castletownbere) is the new treasurer, in place of Danny Crowley.
The position of vice-chairman remains vacant after Terence O’Shea (Glengarriff) had to step down – but this vacancy will be addressed at the new board’s next meeting.
When Beara GAA was informed by the Cork County Board recently that four Beara officers had exceeded the five-year rule and had to step down immediately, it rocked the board, but they have moved fast to fix the problem and get back on track with new people involved.
One of those new faces, Joseph Blake is adamant that Beara GAA has a bright future and has urged everyone in the division to work together.
‘What I would be looking at is hopeful putting in place a strategic plan, a five-year plan that will look to safeguard the future of Beara GAA,’ Blake said.
‘There are questions to be asked – where are we going to get players from for the next number of years? Where are our administrators going to come from? Where are our coaches going to come from? Where are our referees going to come from?
‘It’s important to look at financing for the next few years, instead of going from year to year. Let’s have a plan and have achievable targets along the road that we can tick off as we go along.
‘Plan without action is failure, action without a plan can lead to chaos, so you need a plan and you need to action that plan – and hopefully all the different bodies in Beara will be willing to input into that.’
‘There are only six clubs in Beara and they all have a part to play,’ Blake added, ‘We are all different club people and we all want the best for our clubs – but we also need to support Beara and ensure it’s the best it can be.
‘Club officers and club players need to work together to give us a strong Beara.
‘There are great people involved in Beara, there’s great passion here, you don’t have to look any further than the Beara GAA President Riobaird O’Dwyer, he embodies the passion and the spirit that Beara people and Beara GAA have always had.’
Blake feels that the new-look Beara board can come up with new ideas to help the division and ‘put structures and the right people in the right places’ so the division can help bring through players from underage up through minor, U21 to senior.
Issues such as coaching, fundraising, working with clubs and different bodies in the area (Beara Coiste na nÓg, national schools, secondary schools) and improving the division’s social media presence will also be up for discussion – and on Monday night, the Beara senior board’s first Twitter page (@BearaGAA) was created, a step in the right direction.
‘This is a fresh start, a clean slate and a new page – it’s time to drive on,’ Blake said.
‘From my own point of view I have been involved with Adrigole for the last five years. Up to last Christmas I had been secretary for four years and I am also in my third year as a county board delegate.
‘It’s all about bringing new ideas, new ways of doing things, and I am delighted to be working with the people that I will be working with on the board.
‘It’s great to see Ciarán O’Sullivan get involved, he needs no introduction to people in West Cork, and he is going to bring a fresh approach and great ideas.
‘I have been very fortunate myself in terms of my time on committees with Adrigole, I got to work with great people who had years of experience, people like Michael Joe O’Sullivan, Kevin Greene and others.
‘I also want to thank the four officers who had to step from from the Beara board for all their hard work and help.’