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A huge turnout at the 2011 GAA Handball Congress

posted 2 May 2011, 04:37 by Unknown user   [ updated 2 May 2011, 04:38 ]

jpegA huge turnout at the 2011 GAA Handball Congress ensured a highly productive and memorable occasion in The Headfort Arms Hotel in Kells on Sunday. Annual Congress saw Roscommon's Tony Hannon conclude his 3 year term as Uachtarán and Kells clubman, Walter O'Connor, take over the role on the day.

O'Connor spoke of his involvement in the game he loves so dearly since the age of 4 and spoke highly of the influence of his family which ultimately lead him to this historic day. The Managing Director of Envirogreen Building Services talked about the solid foundations currently enjoyed by GAA Handball and re-iterated that he had no doubt that Handball would be one of the most prominent sports in the country in years to come. He offered special thanks to a host of people who had provided the inspiration to him in his quest for the presidency and thanked outgoing presient, Tony Hannon, for his terrific contribution to the sport over the past 3 years.

Outgoing President, Tony Hannon, complimented the immense work being carried out by the thousands of volunteers throughout the country and pinpointed meeting officials, players, parents and coaches at so many venues around Ireland as being the abiding memory which he will carry forward with him. He wished Walter O'Connor well in his new role and stated he had no doubt he would bring considerable expertise and passion to his presdiency.

Uachtaraín CLG, Christy Cooney, congratulated GAA Handball on another brilliant year with a massive rise in profile attributed to The GAA Handball Show on TG4 and in turn a hugely significant rise in membership, new clubs being formed and the brilliant news of over 60 new One Wall facilities now installed around the country in the past 8 months alone. He complimented everyone involved at all levels of the association and further emphasised the undoubted support of the GAA for handball going forward.

National Manager, Chris Curran, presented his annual report and accounts for the year and was congratulated by delegates present on so many exciting new initiatives, progress made by the Association and on the impact made by The GAA Handball SHow. The National Manager's announcement that The GAA Handball Show will be extended into 2013 with TG4 and the fact that 8 extra shows will be screened in 2011, commencing end of June 2011 was received extremely well.

It was certainly a very significant day in the history of GAA Handball and augurs very well for the future of the game. Following a presentation of the proposed new Strategic Structure by Peter Hanan and a full open discussion on the plan, there was unanimous approval in the end to have this implemented. There is no doubt that this new structure in the organisation will help to see the sport grow to new heights and will provide greater clarity, transparency and involvement by all facets of GAA Handball in Ireland. There will indeed be a great deal to discuss when the first new National Forum is held in June by the newly formed National Advisory Committee.

Another motion saw the association, known previously as The Irish Handball Council, change its name to GAA Handball Ireland, following another unanimous vote of approval. 

Further details on all motions passed, interviews, etc... to follow.