The club AGM was held in surreal circumstances on Friday night 11th December in the Killeshin Hotel. Due to the prevailing Covid-19 circumstances only a small number could physically attend and all the guidelines were strictly adhered to.
Members who couldn’t attend in person had the option of attending via Zoom, over 20 members availed of this option.
The main news from the meeting was that a new chairperson was elected – former player and mentor Eamon Fennelly. Outgoing chairperson Jaz O’Reilly, stalwart of the club for many decades, stepped aside having served his second term in the position.
There were a number of presentations to Jaz on the night and widespread praise and acknowledgement for his tireless and selfless work on behalf of the club from all in attendance. Jaz assured all present he would continue to be involved and looks forwarded to helping move the club forward in the coming years.
Jaz opened proceedings and thanked all members, players, mentors, supporters and sponsors for their hard work and support during the strange year that was 2020. JP Cahillane was elected as County Board Delegate in the only vote of the night and there were several new names proposed to serve on committee/sub-committees for 2021.
In his secretary’s report, Malcolm Nealon, reserved special mention for those who took up Covid Supervisor roles in the club during the year – it wouldn’t have been possible without these people. He also praised the work of the grounds committee who spend so much time in Rathleague making sure the facilities and pitches are up to standard. He mentioned the on going development plans and hope that progress could be made in this regard in 2021.
Also mentioned was the One Club model – a model for the smooth integration of LGFA and Camogie Associations into the structures of the GAA and this is something the club wishes to embrace – all of our people and players under the one umbrella of PortlaoiseGAA.
Declan McEvoy also introduced his first Treasurer’s report. Income was down due to the year that was in it and the lack of opportunity to fundraise in the normal manner. Expenditure was also down in tandem with this and overall there was a surplus in the accounts of the year.
Declan spoke about the club becoming more streamlined in its financial management and also in how it approaches fundraising.
Incoming chairperson Eamon Fennelly was fulsome in his praise of club legend Jaz and said he looked forward to working closely with him as he takes up the new role. He said his primary motivation in taking up the role was to encourage more new blood to similarly get on-board and help in driving the club in a positive direction into the future. He spoke of key aspirations such as connecting more with the community, energising, and strengthening the support/membership base, aspiring to be a strong dual club – men and ladies, and working together to develop club physical facilities to modern standards. He concluded by saying that post-Covid a meeting for all Portlaoise GAA people would be held as part of shaping the future direction of the club.
Sympathies were extended to all Portlaoise people who had suffered the loss of loved ones during the year and best wishes were forwarded to those who are unwell.
Officers elected as follows:
President: Dick Sides
Vice Presidents: Jas OReilly
Chairperson: Eamon Fennelly
Secretary: Malcolm Nealon
Treasurer: Declan McEvoy
PRO: Jennifer Fitzpatrick
Registrar: Olga Loughman
Children’s Officer: KevinGorman
Health/Wellbeing & Disability Officer: Catherine Doyle
County Board Delegate: JP Cahillane
Coaching Officer: Pat Critchley
Hurling Secretary: Malcolm Nealon
Football Secretary: David Maher
Injury Claims Officer: Ken Hickey
Grounds Manager: Liam Breen
Camogie Reps: Mick Ryan, Teresa O Reilly;
Ladies Football Reps: Cyril Mulligan, Ray Hanamy
Juvenile Chairperson: David Powders
Assistant Secretary: Ken Hickey
Assistant Treasurer: Dick Finnegan
Assistant Registrar: David Maher
Committee: Brian Scully, Donal O Connor, Kieran Lillis, Niall Rigney, Aidan Fennelly, Derek Delaney, Greg Dunne, Mick O’Connell, Dermot Costelloe, Richie Downey Jnr, Tommy Fitzgerald, Mick Nerney, Noel Costelloe, Jason Lalor, David Fitzpatrick, Ollie Byrne, JoeDaly, Brian Delaney, Brendan Keogh, Paul Conroy, Paul O’Connell.