BY KIERAN McCARTHY
IT’S the dawn of a new era for Beara GAA, says chairman Jim Hanley.
The division might be late to the website party – but what they’re brought with them will be the envy of the other seven GAA divisions in the county.
The new website – bearagaa.ie – was launched by Cork GAA Chairperson Tracey Kennedy at the Berehaven Lodge, Castletownbere, in front of a packed room with representatives from all six clubs.
It was a special occasion for the division, and a step in the right direction, insists chairman Jim Hanley from Bere Island.
‘This is very important, this will help keep people informed so that people know what is going on in the division, not just for our adult board because our ladies board and Coiste na nÓg are also part of this new website,’ Hanley said.
‘People in and around Beara, and those living away, will be able to see what’s going on here at home, see what games are on, what fixtures we have, our news, and keep that connection with Beara.’
Fostering that sense of unity in Beara has been one of the new board’s objectives since it was elected earlier this year, and judging by the positivity and turn-out at the launch, they are making strides forward.
‘It’s about bringing the six clubs together and ensuring that we go forward as one unit rather than six individual units. Yes, of course we have our competitions and there is a great rivalry here, but we also need to go forward as Beara and take on the challenges together,’ Hanley explained.
‘Beara has unique challenges that wouldn’t even enter the minds of any other division – there’s the sheer remoteness of where we are, the geography of where we are and the demographics, they are all challenges that we have to overcome.
‘We do that, we get on with it, and I think we need to be that bit better organised than everyone else so we can push on.
‘There is a strong history, tradition and culture in Beara GAA, that’s engrained here, and we need to nurture that and make sure the future generations will benefit.’
The history of Beara GAA and its clubs feature on the impressive new website that Hanley and Beara PRO Joseph Blake spent countless hours on in recent weeks and months ahead of its big launch.
‘It just goes to show when different clubs work closely together what can be achieved,’ Blake added.
‘The idea of the website was first discussed a few years ago and I got great ideas back then from Anne Marie Cronin (Castletownbere), John Galvin (Glengarriff) and Brian McCarthy (Urhan). It was only when I became the PRO was I able to start working on the website and I was able to use those ideas when getting the website developed.’
Cork chairperson Kennedy was full of praise for what she called an ‘up-to-date vibrant website’.
‘This website is your shop window, it’s the repository of all information relation to this division,’ she explained.
‘I’m delighted to see so much detail relating to the proud history of your division available on the website. It is a valuable resource for the whole population of the area and for anyone with an interest in Beara GAA.’