Football the winner as the new year kicked off in style
CORN NA MILAOISE
Full House signs went up as boys from 3rd and 4th classes from all over Wicklow descended on Arklow Leisure Centre, an Tochar Hall and Loughlinstown Leisure Centre on Wednesday 30th January. Such was the interest that some schools expressed an interest in bringing two teams but due to venue and time constraints this was not possible.
Nevertheless twenty-six teams took part: twelve in Loughlinstown, ten in An Tochar and four in Arklow. Bhain na buachaillí sult agus taitneamh as an gComórtas. Bhí siad saor ón scoil agus bhí siad ag imirt peil gaelach istigh i halla te compordach. Ní raibh aon brú orthu. Bhí gach duine ag imirt agus bhí an craic go maith. Corn na Milaoíse promotes full participation - Every player gets to play in the match and nobody remains as a substitute. The rules are modified and the boys are also afforded an opportunity to play in different positions. It was great to see the enthusiasm and eagerness on the young faces, proud to be wearing their school jersey for the first time in a Cumann n amBunscol competition and thrilled to have been selected for their school. Football was certainly a winner.
Cumann na mBunscol acknowledges the assistance of all who made this, our first event of 2008 a success. Go raibh maith agaibh go léir.
FEBRUARY The AGM of Cumann na mBunscol Náisiúnta took place in Adare County Limerick last Saturday. Wicklow was represented by An Cathaoirleach Jim O’Riordan. The national organisation’s revised constitution was passed by the meeting. Although the original constitution had served Cumann na mBunscol well, some minor alterations had to be made to it to reflect the Ireland of the early twenty-first century in keeping with the direction of our Strategic Plan, “To have Gaelic Games the games of choice of the primary school children of Ireland.” As the month progressed schools participated in three divisions of the Allianz Football Leagues.
MARCH Nineteen teams from all across the county descended on the fantastic facilities of the Brockagh Resource Centre in Laragh on Friday 7th March for the annual Tráth na gCeist for the Allianz Shield. Once again it proved to be a close contest with a double tie-break needed to separate St. Pat’s of Wicklow and the home school Scoil Chaoimhín Naofa.
However at the cutting edge it was the holders Rathcoyle who once again proved when it comes to the annual GAA quiz that the small schools have the upper hand. The schools that contested this year’s quiz were St. Brigid’s Kilcoole, St. Anthony’s Kilcoole, St. Joseph’s Baltinglass, Rathcoyle, Rathdrum BNS, Scoil Chualann, Scoil Chaoimhín Naofa A and B, Talbotstown, Kilmac, St. Kevin’s Greystones, St. Pat’s A and B, Ashford, Valleymount, St. Cronan’s and St. Mary’s Blessington A and B. There were eight rounds of ten questions and at the half way mark Rathcoyle were on 37 points, St. Cronan’s on 35, one ahead of Laragh A who were two ahead of Kilmac. St. Pat’s A and St. Anthony’s were level on 31 while St. Mary’s Blessington A were on 30 points. However, the second half of the quiz changed the situation with former winners Valleymount coming into the fray. Following the final round Rathcoyle were the outright winners on 72, four points ahead of Valleymount. St. Pat’s A and Laragh A were tied on 67. A tie break was needed to separate these two teams, but this did not work as they were both level after the tie break round. It then went to a sudden death with the home school just pipping the boys from the county town. On the night Máistir na gCeist was East Coast FM’s Michael Sargent who was once again performing the honours for Cumann na mBunscol. Bord na nÓg’s Pat Mitchell, a Laragh man, spoke to the boys and girls and presented the home school with their medals. County Administrator Michael Murphy presented the Valleymount with their medals and Wicklow GAA President Peter Keogh performed the honours for the winning Rathcoyle team. Thanks to Cumann na mBunscol’s Jim O’Riordan, Sinéad Ní Chreán Loinsigh, Dave Barry, Geraldine Kelly and Anne Marie MacKenna who ensured that everything went smoothly. Thanks also to hurley maker David Moran and the county board who provided some spot prizes. Because each club donated spot prizes on the night very many children went home with something regardless of how their team performed.
Although the result from the Wicklow Offaly match may not have brought much happiness to the Gaels of the Garden County, nevertheless for four pupils of Newtown Primary School the occasion will be fondly remembered! Michael Doyle, Ross Davis, Kenneth Turner and Adam Heffernan were selected to be the official Cumann na mBunscol Ball Boys for the Allianz fixture. The Ball Boy initiative was introduced last year and was deemed to be a success, so this year through the good offices of County Administrator Michael Murphy it was decided to invite pupils from a school in the county to participate. The four boys and their families were guests of the County Board and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, even though the result was not favourable. Other schools that participated in this scheme were Ashford and Barndarrig. It is hoped to continue this initiative in 2009.
The Garden County was the centre of much interest at the INTO Annual Congress that was held in Kilkenny last week. The county sent a full delegation to the annual conference of the national teachers of Ireland, but this year, thanks to the good office of County Administrator, Michael Murphy, the Tommy Murphy Cup was present at the Cumann na mBunscol Náisiúnta stand. The cup generated much interest and was accompanied by the Liam MacCarthy trophy for the three days of the conference. Distinguished visitors to the stand included GAA President Nickey Brennan, retired Director General Liam Mulvihill, General Treasurer of INTO Sheila Nunan and Minister for Education in Northern Ireland Caitríona Ruane. Also assisting at the stand were Selina O’Regan from the GAA Museum and Mary O’Connor, Director of Camogie Development with Cumann Camógaíocht na nGael. Indeed if you would like information on the GAA Museum Selina can be contacted at email@example.com. Mary will assist any school that wishes to promote camogie. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Rathcoyle, winners of annual Tráth na gCeist in March, with Wicklow G.A.A. President Peter Keogh.
INTO General Treasurer Sheila Nunan with Tommy Murphy Cup.