Volunteering is vital to the GAA and is one of the traits that underpin the special ethos that the Association is renowned for. All over the country every day of the week, thousands of volunteers ensure that the Association continues to go from strength to strength. There is a section on the homepage of the website www.gaa.ie “Communication to Clubs” under “Popular Links” that enables you to read all emails sent to clubs to date. Remember to circulate this newsletter to your officers and members to provide them with an update. We would also be grateful if you could post the newsletter on your club websites and noticeboards in an effort to enhance communication between Croke Park and our members. Lisa Clancy GAA Director of Communications
Lá na gClub – May 10
A huge thank you to the clubs who took part and made this day such a memorable one. Events took place across the country and the excellent weather enjoyed in many parts of the country added to the celebrations. Masses, football and hurling blitzes, traditional music sessions and numerous other forms of th entertainment were organised by clubs to celebrate the Association‟s 125 Anniversary in a way that reflected the positive contribution that clubs have made to their host communities. A number of clubs have already emailed their photos from the day to Croke Park and we hope to post a collection of the best images on the GAA website in the coming weeks. Pictures from your club‟s big day should be sent to email@example.com Clubs who fundraised for GOAL on this day should send funds collected back directly to the charity.
Club Wall - Platinum Range
As part of our GAA 125th Year celebrations, we are erecting a Club Wall outside the entrance to the GAA Museum in Croke Park. The role of the club forms a central part of the GAA and in recognition of this every GAA club will have their club crest represented on this wall. The County Development Officers, together with O‟Neills are currently collecting all club crests. The co-operation of every club both in Ireland and overseas is key to ensuring that the „Falla na gClubanna‟ truly represents all GAA clubs, and in this regard I would ask clubs to work with your County Development Officer to ensure your club crest is included. The deadline for the collection of crests is June 30 2009. The project is being financed through the sale of specially commissioned 125 Platinum Range Polo Shirts which can be ordered through a special link on the homepage of the GAA's website at www.gaa.ie. It is hoped that every club will purchase four of these shirts.
Club Spotlight – St Mary’s Faughanvale GAA Co. Derry
June 7 will mark a big day in the calendar of St Mary‟s Faughanvale County Derry when Ulster Council President Tom Daly officially re-dedicates John McLoughlin Park after its recent refurbishment. The facility in the outskirts of the village of Greysteel now includes two new full size pitches, one of which will have match standard floodlights, a new Go Games training area and new car parking facilities. This completes the first phase of the clubs overall refurbishment project with work commencing on a new club house in the Autumn. While Sport NI provided some funding for the project the majority of expenditure was raised by the club members who paid into a monthly direct debt fund for four years under the banner of Club Faughanvale. Director General Páraic Duffy will be the special guest at the Club Faughanvale Members‟ Dinner which will be held on Thursday June 4 at the Club Grounds.
Launch of the 2009 Championships
The 2009 GAA Football and Hurling Championships are up and running after the recent launches at Kilkenny Castle and Croke Park. Members are urged to contact their respective Provincial Councils for updates on family tickets and group passes.
New GAA Email System - Update
As you are aware the new GAA Email System went live on Saturday, April 4 2009. Currently, both the old and new email systems are running simultaneously. As a result, service is winding down on the old email server. From June 30, spam filtering on the old email system will cease. This is an expensive add-on service of the old email system. However, spam filtering is being provided for free on the new email system. As of July 31, users will no longer be able to send emails from the old email system. The old email server and system will cease to exist on December 31. It is being kept alive until this date to facilitate those clubs who have published their old email addresses on calendars, business cards etc and wish to forward incoming emails from their old email address to their new email address. From January 1st 2010 onwards, the new email system will be the only email system in operation. Consequently, with the new email system in operation, the association would encourage users to move across to this system as soon as possible. If you have any questions or wish to register your club, please contact our GAA email helpdesk at: • firstname.lastname@example.org • A telephone helpdesk is available on: (+353) (0) 766154932 and (01)6384821
Ticketing – New Ticket Shop in Lower Dorset Street
The championship season is once again upon us and members and supporters are reminded that a new GAA Ticket Shop is now operational. Tickets for all Croke Park matches can be purchased from 53 Lower Dorset St near the end of Whitworth Road and beside the Red Parrot Pub. Members in Dublin are reminded that all tickets distributed by the Dublin County Board will now be available at this facility and Parnell Park will no longer be used for this purpose. Tickets are also available from: - The official GAA website at www.gaa.ie - Other County Boards - Ticketmaster outlets
Croke Park Match Day Travel
On match days parking is extremely limited in the Croke Park area and residents have the right to expect to have priority in this regard. Alternatives modes of transport are available to supporters traveling to Croke Park and we would encourage fans to consider them. These include: bus, rail, DART and LUAS all of which leave supporters 15 minutes from the ground. Another way of beating the traffic is to avail of the Park & Ride facilities provided by Bus Éireann. Fingallians GAA Club (Swords, Co Dublin) and Naas GAA Club (Co. Kildare) will host this arrangement. Prices are as follows: Fingallians GAA Club, Swords Adult €7 Return Family Return €14 (2 Adults, 3 Children) Child €5 Return Services depart from the club one hour before the first match Naas GAA Club Adult €9 Return Family Return €18 (2 Adults, 3 Children) Child €7 Return Services depart from the club 90 minutes before the first match. Pick up from Mountjoy Square one hour after finish of the Senior game. City Car Parking is available for match goers for a special rate of €7 at the Clerys Car Park (Marlborough Street), Ushers Quay Car Park and the Parnell Street Car Park. To avail of the offer, show your match ticket on entry to the car park and pre-pay at the customer service desk.
The 125 Legends Tour Series continues in June with Colm O‟Rourke and Cyril Farrell. These behind-the-scenes tours offer a unique opportunity to hear first-hand the memories and anecdotes of your GAA legends and heroes. Museum Match Madness on June 7 and 28 means the museum will be a hive of activity on these match days with county colour „Art Attacks‟, workshops, hurling competitions and exclusively for hurling matches, hurley making demonstrations with John Torpey. The GAA Museum will be offering GAA Clubs an exclusive 25% discount for visits between July and December 2009, so get booking now! Celebrate your club success with a trip to the hallowed turf, a must for all GAA fans. By prior arrangement, clubs can hold their trophy and medal presentations in the Croke Park either in a dressing room or at the presentation stand where the trophies are lifted high every September. For more information on any of the above, please log on to http://museum.gaa.ie/ or contact the museum staff directly at email@example.com or on 01 8192375.
Ag Éisteacht update
Three clubs have been visited since Congress as part of the Ag Éisteacht Programme with the Uáchtarán visiting Fingallians (Dublin) and Eadestown (Kildare) and the Ard Stiúrthóir visiting Scariff (Clare). A schedule of future club visits is currently being compiled and it hoped that as many as 40 clubs will be visited before now and April 2010, including a number overseas. A quarterly review of the programme will take place and a circular will be sent to clubs at this point outlining some of the main suggestions, concerns and observations shared by clubs. A conscious effort is being made to select clubs from varying backgrounds but if you think your club might benefit from involvement in the exercise, email Communications Manager Alan Milton at firstname.lastname@example.org outlining the reasons and providing some background information on your club.
Féile Season Arrives
Clubs across the country have been preparing for involvement in the Association‟s Féile competitions. Thanks to all clubs who will host players in these competition and to those who will be participating in the games. Laois and Offaly take centre stage on the weekend of June 19-21 with Féile na nGael and Kildare host Féile Peile na nGael on the weekend of July 3-5. Offaly club Clara hosted the GAA Rounders Féile competition last weekend and the event was used to select participants for the Rounders Exhibition which will take place at Croke Park on the August Bank Holiday weekend.
Masita – New GAA Licensee
We are delighted to announce that Masita Ireland Ltd have recently been appointed to supply official GAA playing kit & leisurewear to GAA Clubs, schools and colleges. Masita Ireland has a manufacturing facility in Kells Co. Meath and the new appointment is supporting the employment of 11 Irish jobs. Masita Ireland, together with the four other official GAA kit and leisurewear suppliers are the only companies permitted to use the GAA mark on playing kit and leisurewear being supplied to GAA Clubs, Schools and Colleges. Contact details for the Official GAA kit & leisurewear manufacturers are as follows: Azzurri 051 850066; Gaelic Gear 028 90626250; Intosport 056 4441652; Masita 046 9241595; O' Neills 01 4293500.
The Association is currently working on a new initiative called „Respect‟ which it is hoped will be rolled out in the coming months. The programme is being devised with the aim of promoting a new sense of fair play and respect for all involved in our games, most notably match officials. The scheme will firstly concentrate on juvenile players; the intention is to oversee an improvement across the board in how our players interact with each other and our match officials. It will also promote a greater sense of enjoyment for everyone taking part in our games. It is hoped that improvement in this area will also enhance the presentation of our games.
National Famine Memorial Day
A minute‟s silence was observed at our games on the weekend of May 17 as a mark of respect to all those who lost their lives and were forced to leave our shores during the Great Famine. This was a government initiative organised as part of the National Famine Memorial Day and respects were paid at events across the country. This memorial day will be organised on an annual basis.
Congress Rule Change
One of the rule changes made at Congress that will have a direct bearing on clubs was to rule 136 which will now preserve the playing status of players who are used as temporary substitutes in Championship matches. This change means players will be permitted to enter the action as blood substitutes at a grade higher than their own without losing eligibility for their normal grade of play. This motion was proposed by Youghal GAA Club, Co Cork.
The GAA and Camogie Association Support Africa Day Events
On May 17th, the GAA and Camogie Association gave support to „Africa Day @ Limerick' in the form of introducing African children to the Fundamentals of hurling and camogie. „Africa Day @ Limerick' was one of two free flagship Africa Day celebrations organised by Irish Aid in 2009 which took place in the grounds of Limerick City Hall. Dublin then hosted „Africa Day @ Dublin‟ and it too proved to be a big hit with the large crowd that attended. Thanks to everyone involved in organising these event.