Castlelyons GAA Notes WE 1.6.20 2020-06-04 10:36:00

Will we see games in 2020?

It was Christy Moore who said in his famous song Lisdoonvarna that RTE are makin’ tapes, takin’ breaks and throwin’ shapes.  This is heaven, this is hell. Who cares? Who can tell? (anyone for the last few Choc Ices now?  Well Christy’s song was in the mind last Sunday. There were two cracking games down for the Munster senior hurling championship Waterford v Cork down in Walsh Park, Waterford and Clare v Limerick in Cusack Park, Ennis. Sunday was a typical sweltering hot Munster hurling day. Just imagine the hype, the crowds, the value to the local economy, the value to general mind, body, and well-being of so many for the weekend and, of course the follow up chat in the Sunday Game in RTE all gone. Incidentally, the old custom of some great characters moving about the crowd with a box of choc ices and the shout anybody else for the ices has long stopped as the children now have to queue for the goodies and the adults for the pints.

Since the lockdown we have watched RTE reports and our Government, medical leaders and frontline workers work so hard at coming to terms with a worldwide pandemic that resulted in over 1650 deaths and 24, 990 cases in our own country. The pandemic has dominated conversations and daily routines in a way that is almost unimaginable.  The restrictions have worked very well in partially suppressing the disease and well done to all including the general public. The gradual reopening the economy with huge challenges to manage and mitigate the disruption of Covid-19 has begun. The sports industry has taken a serious blow and so has the GAA.  We have all missed out on the games.

However, time moves on and there is hope again.  On the RTE Sunday Game on Sunday last Dick Clerkin ex-Monaghan midfielder and member of the Covid-19 advisory group outlined there had been a "lot of movement" in recent weeks, citing the upcoming opening of the designated walkways around club grounds and the planning work concerning the return of Cúl camps during the summer.  In fact, he outlined that a return-to-play road map would issue in the coming days.  However, he stressed that the GAA had to be cautious due to the size of the organisation and the resultant potential for negative impacts on public health. Colm O Rourke in contrast argued for a faster return to action outlining that he was more of a risk taker. The IRFU have already published their roadmap for a return to club rugby and this is a detailed cautious document and one thing for sure all clubs whether GAA or Rugby will return to a changed setting.

It was only weeks ago the Club Players Association seriously questioned the GAA planning to lift the ban, health risk permitting, on club action in July as they had carried out a survey of club players throughout the country.  The survey of 3,008 players who responded showed a refusal to return to training and games with their clubs until a Covid-19 vaccine is developed.  Only 57 players said they would return.  The Club Players have not made any comment on their stance since. Hopefully, they may reconsider if present trends continue.

Pitch maintenance, maintenance of facilities and construction work have been allowed recommence for some time now.  A county camogie spokesperson is keen to see their players allowed to get back to some form of activity, for both mental and physical benefits. This means that when the camogie, juvenile and adult return to training the pitches will be fair demand.

Professional Sport is in a different league as they have finance and the resources to test and cocoon players and then recommence playing.  However, the GAA are no different to amateur soccer or rugby in terms of reopening pitches or recommencing playing. There are differences between recreational, controlled training and full contact training and then moving to full contact playing. Surely medical advice is vital here and the GAA have a representative, Fergal McGill, on the government return to sport expert group and will be guided by them.

Overall, trust is essential at a time of crises.  There are various mixed messages about the place and time is moving on.  There is a lot of confusion and debate but one thing for sure the pandemic has shown it is blind to power, wealth, and authority and still only around the corner from us and it lurks about the country.  Nevertheless, trends are going in the right direction as deaths and cases have been decreasing.  Almost every week the news while sad is taking a downward trend in numbers and hopefully we can avoid a setback.  The government and sporting authorities plans for a return to training and eventual playing are on course. Let us be patient and be guided by science rather than whinging on a return.  Hopefully, this will be sooner rather than later, and we might yet get the last of the Choc Ices and maybe even Christy Moore himself might come back to the Páirc. Tabhair aire.

Pitch and facilities maintenance plus recommencement of construction. 

Pitch and facilities maintenance commenced on the 4th April while adhering to the guidelines and then on the 18th May construction work on our grounds was permitted and guidelines set out with advice that clubs should liaise with their County Board on this issue.  County Boards and no doubt this includes Cork are devising revised competition schedules for games and activities at all levels and grades and this information will be shared when those arrangements are finalised, and there is clarity around the government timelines.

The GAA will issue a detailed document before any return to train and / or return to play shortly.  This will outline the steps we have to take to facilitate the re-commencement of our training and games, both in terms of physical engagement and around the use of our facilities.  Therefore, it is imperative that we be ready with our pitch and facilities all in good order.  This applies particularly to dressing room sanitization and ensuring that all water systems are flushed and clean thus preventing legionella.  A special Club Risk Assessment and Club Safety Plan to outline risk and minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission will be required plus a number of other items as we are in a much-changed scene. There is a window of opportunity for us to get all in order and be ready when the green light comes, we have to cater for a lot of training for juveniles, camogie players and the adult teams as preparation time is never wasted time.

Club Lotto 

Our Club considered all measures to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 and decided to suspend all Lotto activity (sale of tickets / weekly draw, etc).  In recent times some clubs have recommenced their Club Lotto and our Club will be reviewing the situation with a view to restarting on a suitable date.  However, it may take some time yet due to travel, social distancing, the handling of cash and the fact the it is done on an intricate community contribution and collection system.  When it restarts there will be some excitement as the jackpot is €20000 and most people would like to have a cut off it so it should be exciting.

Steering Group Meetings.

Our Steering Group on development have held some virtual meetings through Zoom during lockdown.  It is accepted that Covidid-19 will effect development plans for our recently acquired lands. However, there are a number of projects that can be work on in the immediate future and certainly enough to keep the club busy.  There are many members available with good knowledge and skills to support development and had taken on group tasks before the lockdown so it is hoped that in times these groups will activate again as clubs open up.  So overall the future looks good.

Castlelyons - East Cork Under 21 Hurling Champions 2017

Our featured team this week is our U21 East Cork A Grade Hurling champions of 2017 who had a well-deserved victory over a dogged Bride Rovers side on a final score Castlelyons 4-15 Bride Rovers 3-11.  It was a great team effort as John Paul Murphy was excellent in goals with Niall O Leary and Barry Murphy ruling midfield.  Local derbies can be difficult for a referee but Cathal McAllister the middle let the game flow and while his warnings were stern he did not have to say much as both teams were committed to good hurling. Cathaoirleach, Uí Mac Coille Dick Fitzgerald presented the Cup to Captain Jack Barry amid great celebrations and it was back to the Club Bar for lovely food, beverage, and celebrations.

Team Panel and Management Outfit.: - John Paul Murphy, Michael Geary, Declan Varner, Redmond Walsh, Conor McCarthy, Shane Fenton, Keith O Leary, Jamie O Leary, Barry Murphy, Niall O Leary, Dave Morrison, Shane Moroney, Ian O Riordan, Keith O Leary, Jack Barry, Mark Spillane Subs: - Seamus Moroney, Pierse Varner, Andrew O Neill, Eoin O Neill, Mark Henley, Alex Henley, Shane O Flynn. Manager Donal Barry. Trainers: Colm Barry, Darren Tobin. Selectors Donal Barry, James Maye, Colm Barry, and Darren Tobin. Logistics: Ian Barry and James Moroney. Physio: Darren Cody.

 Votes of Sympathy

Castlelyons GAA extend sincere condolences to the wife and family of Jimmy O Donovan, Terramount, Rathcormac who passed away peacefully in his 94th year recently. Jimmy was a great Geal and while a loyal follower of Bride Rovers he regularly attended Castlelyons games and always gave us a shout.  He was a former member of the Squash club as he played the game and was most encouraging on the balcony for league games.  A man of great heart and good nature he was always great company.  We also extend sincere condolences to the family of Mrs Eileen Mullins, Ballyarra Terrace, Castlelyons who passed away peacefully at Cork University Hospital recently. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-ainmeacha dílse. 

Castlelyons Main Sponsor: ZEUS Packaging Group.

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