March 12th, 2021

A Chairde,

I hope all are keeping well. Below is this week’s update along with a little thought on the “Lockdown” penned by Lorcán Ó Rourke.
  • The CCC are currently seeking amalgamation requests from Clubs. Closing date for submission is 6pm on Thursday 25th
  • Kildare GAA will be hosting a Virtual St Patrick’s Day Parade on 17th March – Families are asked to design your own Float in your Club colours and send in your pics/videos to kildare@gaa.ie by 16th March. Prizes on offer for the winning entry.
  • The Kildare Minor and Under 20 Hurling Training Squads on Saturday 27th March are embarking on a 12-hour virtual run from Mizen to Malin Head and back to the home of Kildare GAA in St Conleth’s Park Newbridge. The monies raised from this 840km virtual run will be shared between Barretstown Children’s Charity and the training budget for both squads.  A Go Fund Me page has been established for all personal and corporate donations. We appreciate your assistance. https://www.gofundme.com/f/mizen-to-malin-to-newbridge-minor-u20-hurlers
  • Kildare GAA Coaching and Games are seeking applications for coaching roles in hurling & football for this year’s Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps. Kellogg’s Cúl Camps will be held throughout the county during the months of July & August. Requirements: All applicants must be over the age of 18 years & have proven experience in a GAA coaching role. To request an application email: murphy.gda.kildare@gaa.ie
  • Be Ready to Play Programme Coaching and Sport Science initiative aimed at supporting players and coaches during their return to training post Covid was recently launched. You can now registration via https://learning.gaa.ie/bereadytoplay
  • Kildare GAA are currently creating a database where the aim is to connect to our Diaspora on a regular basis. If you know of anyone who is abroad and wishes to remain in touch with Kildare GAA it would be greatly appreciated if you could forward on the below form for completion: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=hrxFrNSvpUKfwz6H4bd_zqxkqPsI6NxIlBZR0jpKYHZUNlZTNUJGREpYRVNDWFIxOFFVNkhISlk0TS4u
  • The GAA Museum in Croke Park recently launched a Book Club where a GAA book a month will be up for discussion. To become a member, sign-up on crokepark.ie/bookclub – The month’s pick is “The Hurlers” by Paul Rouse.
  • The GAA is to roll out a ground-breaking Geographic Information System (GIS) to clubs in the County this year. The tool will allow Clubs to know the birth-rate and population within their catchment area and what the Club’s participation rate is compared to the overall population in those age-groups.
  • Croke Park issued a reminder that all Clubs should check their water systems to avoid bacteria.
  • The first week of the Joe Mallon Motors “MallonMovement” Challenge is upon us. Clane are currently top of the leaderboard with Moorefield and Sarsfields in 2nd and 3rd Keep up clocking up those steps!!!
The GAA created a new spirit in the country
Not even Michael Cusack, who founded the GAA on 1 November 1884, could have foreseen the speed at which Gaelic games spread throughout Ireland in the early years of the Association.

GAA historian, Marcus de Búrca writes in Michael Cusack and the GAA,

“Little more than a year after its foundation the GAA was actively involved in athletics, hurling and football in twenty counties out of the thirty-two”.

Kerry man, T. F. O’Sullivan, writing in 1916, of the 16 years of the history of the GAA either side of the year 1900, notes that by the end of 1885,

“Hurling gained a new lease of life. Football was revived. Running, jumping, weight-throwing, wrestling, bowling and handball were practised in districts where they had only become a tradition … Thousands of people gathered to witness hurling and football matches and athletic contests, and the dull monotony of Irish rural life was dispelled for ever. A new spirit had been created in the country”.

We can only wonder what O’Sullivan might have thought of the lockdown regulations over the past year when Gaelic games and many other sports fell foul of the coronavirus. Certainly, the absence of our games has had a major impact on our clubs, players, members, and supporters.

The spirit of the country was changed dramatically and the GAA was a major victim of the lockdown. It was only when training and games were prohibited that we realised how much we depend on the GAA for recreation, entertainment, and social activity.
But the Association has always looked to the future with confidence: we now need the same confidence that Cusack had when he called a meeting in Hayes’s Hotel, Thurles, on 1 November 1884 to found the Association which has reached into towns and cities all over the world to where Irish people have emigrated.

Perhaps it is fortuitous that in these times the new Uachtarán of Cumann Lúthchleas Gael is a Cork man who lived in New York for most of his adult life. The Association has lifted the spirits of generations of our people at home and abroad and will continue to do so under the leadership of a man who knows how influential the GAA has been globally for the past 137 years.

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Posted in: News

Date: 12th March 2021