by Pat Brosnan


GAA Managers Dilemma


During the past year a highly controversial and divisive subject has arisen within the GAA, that is the question of payment to the managers of County teams in both hurling and football. It would appear that up to now most County Boards anyhow have been doing their own thing with regard to the matter, but it looks as if this slipshod approach by individual counties cannot be allowed to continue any longer and that a decision will have to be reached one way or another. The whole issue arises because of the amateur status of the GAA, something which even if it is not exactly set in stone nevertheless has a long tradition as such since the early foundation of the organisation.

While it is possible that the status of payment and appointment of managers can, by decision of the democratic membership of the association, be upgraded to the category of professionals that is unlikely to happen for the present anyway as the general consensus throughout the counties appears to be that the amateur status will still have to be maintained. But then when one looks at all the radical changes that have come about in the GAA even in our own time anything is possible and the payment in whatever form for managers is only a trivial matter when it is compared to the more fundamental and momentous changes that have come about in the GAA in our time. Who would have thought 60 years ago that the ban on proscribed games (rugby, soccer, hockey and cricket) for GAA players, officials and members would finally be lifted. Who would have thought that the ranks of the GAA would be opened to the Six County police and members of the British Army. Who would have thought that the time would come when International soccer and rugby games would be played in Croke Park or that the Queen of England and Prince Phillip would visit and be welcomed here.

These changes and decisions have all come about because of the democratic will of the Association’s membership and while it is obvious there are thousands of members within the organisation who disagree with these changes it is nevertheless imperative for everybody to respect democratic decisions, there can be no doubt about that. Everything with regard to financial compensation for managers will also have to be decided by the membership and while it is obvious that high profile people such as these who have given the best years of their lives to the playing and promotion of Gaelic Games thoroughly deserve reasonable expenses for the time and travelling as well as the dedication and commitment that they put into the job.  Nobody should begrudge them this and this should also apply to club managers and trainers as well provided the expenses paid are within reason and comparable with the amateur status of the game and not for financial motives.  It is to be hoped that there will soon be a satisfactory resolution to the present and indeed needless dispute and unease about payment to managers which is causing such a lot of bickering coming within the Association.  May God be with the old days when there never was a question of money or expenses being paid to those who promoted the games and trained and coached young teams.

We were reminded of those past times recently when Sister Elizabeth Starken, who grew up in Lyreacrompane, wrote an article in the current issue of the Lyreacrompane District Journal in which among other interesting paragraphs about the past in Lyre she gave a mention and paid tribute to those of us who promoted football and trained teams back in the 1950’s there. It is nice to be remembered in our native Lyre after all the years even if only for our contribution to the game of Gaelic football there.

Sister Elizabeth also mentions in her article about an address given by C. S. (Todd) Andrews the then Managing Director of Bord na Mona in 1954. Todd was a grandfather to my son-in law Chris Andrews and it was a rather unusual coincidence that we were both mentioned in the same article for very different reasons of course. Sister Elizabeth is a member of the Starken family whose father was a German engineer that came with his wife and family to Lyre when the first German turf-cutting machine was brought there at the time in 1938 that Bord na Mona first started development of Lyreacrompane Bog and which gave such valuable employment to local people for several years. The Starken family integrated well into the local community in Lyre and became very popular.  Sister Elizabeth’s late brother Frank, who worked with Bord na Mona in the Midlands at one stage, played for the Offaly football team.


Well Done Lisa

Congratulations to Lisa Shine of Kinconlea Upper who was the winner of the Reed Competition U-17 in Ceol an Geimhridh which was held in Hospital on Sunday February 19.  Lisa, who is a member of Templeglantine CCE, has been a regular performer with Ceol Luimnigh in recent years. She has won several prizes in various Comhaltas competitions including All-Ireland Prizes.



Congratulations to Conor Fennell, Glenagragra who recently graduated from Limerick University with a Masters (1st Class Honours) degree in Information and Security Networks.


Recent Deaths

The death occurred during the week in Listowel Hospital of Mary Ellen Buckley (nee Barrettt) of Tarmons, Tarbert. Deceased, who was a native of Lower Dirreen , Athea, was a well liked member of the local community in her adopted parish where she had lived for several years and where she was pre-deceased by her late husband Pat. A large number of people called to pay their respects at the removal to Tarbert Parish Church and there was also a big attendance at the Requiem Mass and the funeral afterwards to the local cemetery. Sympathy is extended to her sister-in-law Mary Barrett, Lower Direen, her nieces, nephews and other relatives. ‘May her soul rest in peace’.

The death occurred during the week in Dublin of Margaret Scollard who was a native of Knocknagorna, Athea but who lived in Raheny, Dublin for the past several years where her sister Phil Kerin and members of her family took care of her. Margaret was a member of a well known and highly regarded Knocknagorna family  none of whom lives there anymore. She was a daughter of the late John and Mary Bridget Scollard and she was also predeceased by her brother John and sisters Anne and Mary. Sympathy is extended to her sisters Phil in Dublin, Josephine in England, her brothers- in-law Robert and Tony in England, her nephews and nieces in Dublin, England , United States and North Kerry as well as her other relatives in Limerick, Dublin, Kerry and further field. ‘May her soul rest in peace’.

Interesting Exhibition

According to a recent article in the Limerick Post by Rebekah Commane there is going to be a very interesting exhibition this weekend at Pery’s Hotel, Glentworth Street, Limerick City featuring key items from the War of Independence and the time leading up to it from 1913 to its aftermath in the Civil War up to 1923.

The exhibition is on Saturday and Sunday March 3 and 4 from 10am to 6pm each day. There will be a wide range of items belonging to those who participated in the war including medals, letters, photographs, clothes and so forth. Tom Toomey author of “The War of Independence in Limerick” will give a lecture on the Civil War and how it is relevant to local history. It will take place at 2pm on both days.