Category: Archive

NACB Convention 2009

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

For the first time since 2003, the outgoing slate of officers retained their positions with Boston born Joe Lydon being returned to office for a second year as chairman. Highlight of the convention was the attendance of several GAA officials from Ireland who travelled to Chicago as guests of both the Central divisional board and the NACB to share in the celebrations. In addition to GAA Director General Paraic Duffy, Munster Council Chairman Jimmy O’Gorman, Overseas Committee Chairman Joe McDonagh, also in attendance were Kieran Leddy and Paul O’Kelly from Croke Park and Mary O’Connor from the Camogie Association.
Following welcoming remarks by Central Divisional Chairman Gareth Fitzsimmons in opening the convention Paraic Duffy addressed the delegates. In expressing his delight in getting the opportunity to speak at a NACB convention he remarked how happy he was to see so many young delegates in attendance. He emphasized that the long term future of our games in North America was dependent on the success of our youth programs and he recognized that the board’s partnership with Munster in the twining program is making great progress in that direction. The Ard Stiurthoir said he is committed to do the best he can for overseas units and spoke of the strong relationship that has developed between him and the NACB thru its secretary Liam Moloney. In addressing the NACB for what may be the last time as Munster Council Chairman, Jimmy O’Gorman gave an inspirational speech in which he spoke of the great partnership that has grown between the Munster Council and the North American Board. He said the NACB is facing a strong challenge in promoting Gaelic games among the youth of the country but is confident that with the right people selected as Games Development Officers and Administrators in the various cities the mission can be accomplished. He went on to say that with the solid structure now in place in the NACB/Munster Council Partnership Program he believes that the NACB could become self sufficient in about 3 years. Joe McDonagh also addressed the delegates and like the speakers before him stressed the importance of the Youth Games Development Program and complimented the committees involved with the Continental Youth Championships (CYC) which he said has become a tremendous success in the promotion of our games among the youth all over the U.S. and Canada. He also complimented the newly formed National Collegiate Gaelic Athletic Association (NCGAA) for their work in promoting hurling in several universities. Mary O’Connor spoke briefly on the promotion of Camogie stressing the need to get American born girls involved with the game.
Following the speeches the various officers annual reports were presented and adopted. A comprehensive report by Secretary Liam Moloney covered in detail the successful events of the 2009 season and touched on work in progress associated with the boards long term strategic plan. His report also focused on the work accomplished by the various NACB sub-committees.
On the completion of old business chairman Joe Lydon thanked all the delegates and members of their clubs who travelled from all over the country to Chicago to attend the convention.
Former NACB officers, Chris Murray (Detroit) and John O’Brien (Cleveland) were elected convention chairman and secretary respectively to conduct the election of officers for the 2010 NACB board. After the completion of a roll call it was determined that the total vote count would be 135, 33 less than at last years convention. It was the least competitive election in several years with only 8 nominations, plus incumbents, submitted for all positions with the exception of Registrar and Central Council delegate. Of the nine board positions on the ballot, including honorary President and Central Council delegate, only two went to a vote. They were for the positions of Secretary and PRO with incumbents Liam Moloney (San Francisco) and Eamonn Kelly (Chicago) being reelected over Tim Flanagan (Buffalo) and Peter McDermott (Philadelphia) respectively. All other nominees declined their nominations.
Following is the newly elected board of officers for 2009:
Chairman, Joe Lydon (Boston); Vice-chairman, Paul McCarthy (Philadelphia); Secretary, Liam Moloney (San Francisco); Treasurer, Malachy Higgins (San Francisco); Registrar, Mary Prendiville (Chicago); PRO, Eamonn Kelly (Chicago); Youth Development Officer, Tom Dolan (Chicago); Honorary President, Bernie With O’Reilly (Boston): Central Council Delegate, Mike O’Connor (Boston).
While there were 44 motions on the agenda only 18 required a vote with 11 gaining passage and 7 being defeated. Sixteen motions were deemed out of order for various reasons. Disappointingly, 12 of these motions, which were submitted by the Pittsburgh Celtics club, were ruled out of order because there was no club delegate present to speak on the motions. The majority of the motions pertained to the NACB Registration system and the national championships playoffs structure. Most of the motions pertaining to registration were withdrawn or tabled after the delegates voted in favor of a motion from the NACB to adopt the new GAA Online Registration System in (ORS) in 2010. Likewise, playoff related motions which were looking for changes in the way playoffs were awarded to different cities every year were also withdrawn or tabled after it was agreed to deal with the issue at next years convention. It was then agreed to vote on proposals from Chicago and Seattle to host the 2010 playoffs with Chicago being selected and Gaelic Park the venue for next years playoffs. Following an agreement earlier in the year San Francisco will be the host city for the 2011 playoffs. A motion requesting that the Mid-Atlantic division host next years convention was passed with the Washington DC area being the likely venue. The motion that generated the longest discussion was submitted by the Washington DC Gaels which was seeking to reduce the number of players for ladies football from 15 to 13 failed to get the two thirds majority vote required for passage. A motion from the same club to make the temporary ladies junior “C” football shield championship a permanent competition was successful. Also passed was a motion from the new Allentown Hibernians club to include a junior “C” shield competition for hurling at next years playoffs.
With the convention going beyond the allotted time and having to vacate the premises for a wedding the board officers and delegates relocated to Gaelic Park’s outdoor patio. Unseasonable mild weather conditions and a beautiful outdoor autumn setting contributed to a fitting and historic conclusion to a most successful convention.
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The 50th anniversary of the North American County Board, 100 years of Gaelic sports in Chicago and the 125th anniversary of the Gaelic Athletic Association were celebrated in fine style at a gala dinner dance at Gaelic Park prior to last weeks NACB convention. Over 400 people, which included many of the convention delegates from around the country, attended the great event. Guests of honor were Paraic Duffy (GAA Director General), Jimmy O’Gorman (Munster Council Chairman), Joe McDonagh (GAA Overseas Committee), Mary O’Connor (Camogie Association) and John O’Brien of Cleveland (Founding Member of the NACB). All the GAA official from Ireland spoke at the event with each of them making complimentary remarks with regard to the progress being made with the Games Development Program in the promotion of hurling and football hurling around the country.
Highlight of the evening was the induction of several Gaels into the Chicago GAA Hall of Fame, one for each decade in both hurling and football since the formation of the NACB. Following is a list of the elected inductees and the clubs they were members of:

1959-1969 Will Rogers (Down) Wolfe Tones FC, John Hunt (Limerick) Limerick HC
1969-1979 Johnny Ryan (Galway) Wolfe Tones, Harry Costello (Limerick) Limerick HC
1979-1989 Joe Begley (Wicklow), St Brendan’s & Patriots FC, Eamonn Kelly (Dublin), St Vincent’s HC
1989-1999 Lisa O’Flaherty (Chicago), Erin’s Rovers & St. Jarlath’s FC, Tom Dolan (Galway), CuChulain HC
1999-2009 Mary Ruane (England), Erin’s Rovers & St. Jarlath’s FC, Colm Egan (Tipperary) Cuchulainn & St. Jarlath’s HC.

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