‘Standards of excellence are what we should aim for,’ says Ból Chumann chairman Brennan

March 6th, 2023 11:00 AM

By Southern Star Team

Ból Chumann chairman Michael Brennan.

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WORDS of wisdom from Brian Cody embellished Michael Brennan’s address to Ból Chumann’s annual convention at Bandon’s Munster Arms Hotel.

Quoting the Kilkenny maestro, Mr Brennan urged each individual, in whatever capacity, to ‘bring yourself to it, have an unbreakable spirit, hold confidence in your ability and in your gut instinct’.

‘Humility’ he said, ‘is vital. Egoism infects. Standards of excellence are what we should aim for. We are duty-bound to leave whatever we are at in a better place than we found it.’

In his wide-ranging address, the chairperson said that AGMs are key in terms of providing transparency. In thanking the volunteers who contribute so much, he quoted a recent Sport Ireland document.

‘Volunteers are the cornerstone of sporting activities in clubs and communities nationwide,’ he said. ‘Unpaid, they give freely of their time and energy and are dedicated to the development of their chosen sport. Without them, sport would not exist.’

With regard to the code of governance and rules of play have been drafted, a disputes and disciplinary committee has been put in place and the association’s child welfare officer Caroline O’Leary has organised necessary courses and instituted Garda vetting.

He said team competitions were up and running, a post-primary schools competition will be held on March 14th. Unlimited bowling is set to return at Bantry in September. Mr Brennan spoke of his pride in the achievements of the Irish teams at the European Championships in Germany in May.

He thanked the northern executive for a good working relationship, noting that interactions between the two bodies are recognised within Sport Ireland as a cross-border initiative. The chairperson also extended his good wishes to the association’s longest-serving member, president Liam O’Keefe, who is recovering from illness. 

The convention was opened by Mid-Cork chairman Martin Foley, who welcomed delegates. Following the chairperson’s address, honorary secretary Mícheál Ó Ceallacháin gave his report, highlighting the successes of the past year. He said the year began with a hangover of tribunal cases, which the association was successful in defending. He said the association had shown great resilience in the period following Covid and in ensuring a complete resumption of activities. The comprehensive report covered the European Championships, governance, domestic championships, tournaments and team events.

Treasurer James O’Driscoll presented the association’s financial review, which was for a 14-month period. The accounts were certified by Edmund Neville of Christy Naughton Accountants as complying with all regulations and were correct in detail. James thanked Cork Local Sports Partnership, the clubs, regional officers and sponsors as 2022 had been a busy year, with the European Championships a significant draw on its finances.

PRO Pat McCarthy thanked the various media outlets for their coverage. Also, the reception given at County Hall by then-County Mayor Gillian Coughlan, for the European Championship teams prior to their departure for Germany was warmly appreciated. He said the sport lost a good friend with the passing of Paudie Palmer, who always had encouraging words for bowl-players at various awards ceremonies.

Ladies’ committee chair and association child safety officer Caroline O’Leary urged regions and clubs to ensure Garda vetting was in accordance with Sport Ireland directives. She expressed delight at the turnout for the various initiatives undertaken by the ladies’ committee and concluded by asking all to continue to give support to all the talented young female bowlers we are proud to have.

Youths officer David Murphy thanked his regional counterparts for their diligence in ensuring under-age championships were completed on deadlines. He gave special mention to Dan McCarthy and Ted Hegarty for their work with youth at Skibbereen Showgrounds and at the Phale Road, Ballineen.

Registrar Billy McAuliffe also thanked regional officers for ensuring all affiliation details were with him in time for publication of the 2023 register of players in early January. He said it was gratifying to see numbers holding up despite the earlier cut-off date and was especially glad to report that ladies’ affiliation was up 12 percent, boys’ up 10 percent and an increase in girls’ youths’ grades of 23 percent.

A motion from the North-East region proposing All-Irelands for all grades was withdrawn, pending further consideration. Dominic Creedon and Co. Solicitors, on the proposal of Donal O’Mahony, seconded by Christy O’Donovan (West Cork), were unanimously nominated as the association’s legal advisors. As there were no contests for officer positions, all sitting were returned.

The 2023 officer board is as follows: president, Liam O’Keefe; chairperson, Michael Brennan; vice-chairperson, Willie Murphy; honorary secretary, Mícheál Ó Ceallacháin; treasurer, James O’Driscoll; youths officer, David Murphy; registrar, Billy McAuliffe; child protection and safety officer, Caroline Smith; fixtures secretary, Richie Fitzgerald; PRO, Pat McCarthy; safety officer, Michael Brennan.

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