Dundalk Gaels Chairman Daniel Watters
Last Tuesday, For the second year in a row Dundalk Gaels held their club AGM virtually via Zoom. The usual stories and craic that you would hear in any clubhouse before these events as friends and club mates come together to discuss the previous twelve months and plan for the next was once again happening on computers, tablets or phones before those logged in where asked to mute their devices so Chairman Daniel Watters could begin his opening address "It has been a difficult year for many in our club and in our community. I would like us all to remember those who we lost during the year" said Watters.
He Continued " I would like to thank all members, mentors, players, parents/guardians and administrators who helped with the running of the club throughout the year in particularly trying circumstances. The clubhouse was effectively out of bounds for the majority of the year, fundraising was curtailed, opportunities to gather as a club were limited, however there were many positives, particularly every Thursday and Friday night since the club re-opened the pitch was awash with girls and boys decked out in blue and white. This is thanks to our numerous underage mentors. Personally, thank you to all the Committee for their support over the last year, and no doubt I will need it all again in the coming year. Thank you to all those who do work behind the scenes that many of us aren’t even aware of, without you our club would be in a poorer place. Particular thanks to Clodagh who has now served well over double digits as Secretary, and was also heavily involved in the successful Louth GAA house draw".
Clodagh Culligan starting her twelveth campaign as Secretary "Firstly and most importantly we remember all those within our club who lost loved ones since our last AGM. 2021 has continued to be a challenging year for Ireland as a society and indeed for us all within Dundalk Gaels. We hope and pray that 2022 will be a much more positive year as we begin to try and live with Covid-19 and its impact on how we operate as a society" began Culligan.
Gaelic games like all other aspects of society were once again impacted by the
pandemic. To start with our adult men’s team – the club appointed Malcolm McDonnell as manager for the 2021 season. The team started the league fantastically but unfortunately the decision to remove promotion and relegation from the league resulted in momentum being lost and the league becoming a stop start affair which was very disappointing for the players and management team. We found ourselves in a relegation battle to retain our senior championship start and we did this by beating the O’Connells. Best wishes to the players and management in 2022".
"2021 saw an adult team of ladies return in blue and white for the first time since the mid 90's with Niall Lambert and a team of selectors taking charge. They did incredibly well to reach the junior championship final in their first year and have laid the foundations for another great campaign in 2022. Our junior mens team only finished their season last week after reaching the league semi-finals. They had a great championship campaign and were incredibly unlucky losing to the Geraldines after extra time. Huge thanks to Ciaran Murray, his team and all the players who represented us at junior level".
"At underage level there is no doubt we had an incredible year with all the work that has been done in recent years really starting to bear fruit. Our under 17 boys had a year to remember winning their championship after a fantastic final victory over the Newtown Blues in Dunleer – an incredibly proud day for those players, coaches, parents and us all as a club. Lots of those players will line out again this year at u17 which is fantastic and our u15’s also had an incredible year being bet in the semi-final of their championship so a lot of talent is no doubt making its way through the ranks. Again our girls represented the club with pride and distinction in their second year of existence. Our u14’s had a fantastic championship win and it was an incredible occasion to see the joy they experienced following their victory as well as their families – some who were new to the Gaels. Our u15 girls also deserve mention for reaching the Feile final and being so unlucky not to seal victory on the day" said Culligan