At the Killeentierna Community Centre Currow on Sun 23th January, Mass 2 30pm, Meeting at 3 pm.
Mr President Ger Galvin, Vice Presidents, Delegates, Currow Club Officers and Relatives of Humphrey Murphy on behalf of the Board Officers and myself it gives me great pleasure to say a Cade Mile Failte to all of you this evening to my home parish of Killeentierna or better known as Currow /Currans and to this lovely Community Centre which along with the GAA grounds is the main hub of the parish.
I want to sincerely thank Mary Philpot and Liam Brosnan and their Committee for giving us the Centre for this Historic occasion as we were unable to use the Club premises do to covid resections I am quite sure there are a few Delegates with us this evening that has never been to visit Currow.
You are now in the most beautiful Hinterland of the River brown Flesk a renowned salmon river that rises on the hills of Glounthaune near the Cork Border to the east and flows gently along through the famous Sliabh Luachra parishes of Scartaglin and Currow It gently ripples its way beside the runaway of the Kerry Airport to join the river Maine at Marshalls Bridge, Currans beside the Killarney /Tralee road and together they flow into the sea at Castlemaine Bay on the shadow of Slive Mish Mountain If that river could talk it would tell us that football was played with a pigs bladder on top of Currow hill in the eighteen hundreds and it would also tell us that it flows through the farm where the man we are Honouring today with this AGM and last Sunday week when we laid a wreath on his grave was born and reared the late Humphrey Murphy A Currow and Kerry Football legend and founder member of this Board.
Ironically, Daniel O Shea our excellent Currow Chairman, who welcomed us here this evening, was born and reared in the same house as Humphrey and his mom and dad now own that historic farm, I will give you a short insight into Humphreys life later.
We are also very proud of having in the Parish, the Kerry GAA Centre of Excellence just 2 kilometres west of here.
Just to let you know that if you fly out or fly into Farranfore Airport from the east your only about 600 ft straight above this Centre as the runaway is just across the road so if you hear a terrible noise the centre is not falling down but it is a plane on a flight.
Last year we had the convention on the 22nd of January on ZOOM but I am like most people not a fan of Zoom especially for meetings. To tell the truth I missed all those lovely faces who are in front of me right now So with covid restrictions after 8 pm we decided to have it this evening to all new Officers and Delegates who are joining us this evening for the very first time it is my pleasure to welcome you and that you will have a long and enjoyable time with the board for many years to come. Last year a Iot of GAA families lost their loved ones who went to their eternal homes. I am deeply sorry that I was unable to sympathise with most of them in person due to Covid Restrictions. So on behalf of the board, I want to sincerely sympathise with those families this evening.
I again want to sincerely thank Fr Paddy O Donoghue for coming to Currow this evening and offering up mass for all deceased members of the GAA who went to their eternal homes especially those who went in 2021 and a Sincere thanks to Fr John Buckley our own parish Priest who assisted fr Paddy in the Mass and gave permission for him. I also want to sincerely thank you Tadghie Fleming for bringing all the altar items for the Mass.
We lost three Board Personal in 2021 who gave their lives to the GAA Childrens officer Noreen Cronin Gneeveguilla, Vice Presidents Donie Sheehan Dr Crokes, and Tom Brosnan Glenflesk. May they all rest in peace.
Our long time Dr Crokes Delegate Pa O Brian lost his beloved Wife Catherine So Sincere sympathy to you Pa and all your family.
Sympathy also to Donie O Leary Rathmore Chairman of the Kerry Supporters club who lost his beloved sister and brother.
A few great Gaa stalwarts that I knew passed away in 2021.
Noel Lucey Glenflesk former All-Ireland winner.
Jimmy O Brien our great sponsor of the Dr. O Donoghue cup final man of the match.
Tony Moynihan Rathmore a wonderful friend of the Board and Peggy O Callaghan Kilcummin, a wonderful Gaa and Scor person all will be sorely missed by their Clubs and Board. Two great friends and Gaa colleagues of mine Johnny Scanlon and Tadgh Walsh two true Gaa Gales and former Chairmen of my own Currow Club who passed away last year and would definitely love to be with us this evening.
I must also mention two of my best friends and Gaa colleagues who went to their eternal homes a few years ago, are Dan O Sullivan who was an intercounty referee who refereed many Dr ODonoghue Cup finals and two Co Senior championship finals and Bob Walsh who was principal School Teacher here in the parish. Both were the pillars of the Currow Gaa club and of this community centre And I know they are looking down on us this evening and are over the moon that this historic meeting is taking place in the centre they helped to build and loved so much.
There are lots more great Gaa People from all Clubs that went to their eternal homes in 2021. May they all rest in the hands of the lord.
As you can see from all Officer Reports 2021 was another difficult year but unlike 2020, we got some Competitions played.
The 2020 Dr O Donoghue cup got completed along with the Minor League and Championships and Junior Leagues.
I must pay tribute and sincerely thank chairman Mike Pigott and his CCC for getting those Competitions Played and I am delighted to say that Mike will continue his great work as Chairman in 2022 hopefully with a full fixture list.
It was great to see that Coiste Na Nog was up and running in 2021. I want to say a sincere thanks to our Chairman Sean O Keeffe and Secretary Tadghie Fleming and Officers for their outstanding work and to all Club Coiste Na Nog personnel for their great work in difficult times.
The East Kerry Minors made history in 2021 when they won the minor Co Championship for the 6th time in a row, I must sincerely thank the team and their Manager Dan Mc Kenna fossa and his great Management team of Willie Buckley Fossa Eamon Bowler Glenflesk DJ Fleming Kilcummin and a special word of thanks to John O Neill spa their covid officer who did a splendid job in keeping everyone safe from Covid and a sincere thanks to East Kerry Minor Sponsor Tom Tobin of Killarney Medals and trophies.
I must sincerely thank the Manager of the East Kerry senior Team Jerry O Sullivan and his management for doing the best they could in the most difficult circumstances for last years Co Championship. My heart went out to them because of Covid they got no fair play at all to get their team ready.
Great credit must go to Jerry for staying with the team because his beloved wife Suzanne was in a horrific accident while out for a cycle when knocked off her bicycle by a car last September but the good news is that she’s recovering well so on behalf of the board and all here this evening We wish Suzanne a speedy recovery and I look forward to having Jerry and his Management team back with us in happier times later this year. I must sincerely thank our great sponsor of the East Kerry Senior Team Ollie Flavier of the Shire bar and Cafe,who left no stone unturned when always looking after the team. Thanks Ollie.
I must not forget to give a special thanks to my Vice Chairman and referees secretary and coordinator John Dineen who had the most difficult time trying to Organise Referees as he explains in his report to the AGM. You did wonderful work John and you are always there by my side when needed. Many Thanks, John.
I must thank our wonderful panel of Referees who refereed all our East Kerry games and who refereed games throughout the County.
My Heartfelt thanks must also go to the men whom I could not do without. They are our brilliant Secretary Noel Kennedy his assistant Dermot O Connor and our brilliant Treasurer Donald O Sullivan they are usually in the front line for all battles but like all great soldiers, they sort most battles before a shot is fired. My sincere thanks to you Noel, Dermot and Donald O Sullivan.
What can I say about my next officer a man that puts in extraordinary work in promoting the board and I must thank him from the bottom of my heart that is our brilliant PRO Michael O Mahony and his Communications Committee of Photographers and Match reporters? What wonderful work they do in promoting the East Kerry GAA activities and culture.
At the end of last year, the board said goodbye to a person who was a fantastic PRO with us for many years and who was the person that put the Communications Committee together the first day. We lost one of the most gifted officers you could ever wish to meet. She always kept us on line and always gave us great advice that of course Aine Ni Shuilleabhain.
Aine you are an inspiration to all of us and Heartiest congratulations on being nominated and elected to take over the Roll of Childrens Officer with the Kerry County Board. I have no doubt that you will do a marvellous job.
Aine is taking over from another East Kerry person who stepped down from that office and I want to thank her for the brilliant work she did during her time with the County Board which was 17 years and that is Bernie Reen. Many thanks, Bernie enjoy the break.
Our Scor officer Anne Holland was disappointed that all Scor competitions were cancelled in 2021. But the great news for Anne and all club Scor officers is that all Scor Competitions will hopefully go ahead this year.
I must sincerely thank you Anne for your great photographic work covering many games for Mike and the Communications Committee in 2021.
My heartful thanks must also go to Nora Feeley Cordal, who took a break from our communications committee last year. Nora did wonderful work for the board over many years and we hope she will be back again very soon.
I am delighted to see that St Patricks Hurling club under the Chairmanship of John Kelly is going great guns, and I want to sincerely thank John and his committee for the great work you are doing for hurling in Kerry, and the County. I must also thank Dr Crokes who are also doing great work for hurling and congratulate their senior team for putting up a great performance in their first year in the County Senior Championship.
Of course, I am not forgetting Kilgarvan and Kenmare, who are always putting in tremendous work to keep hurling alive and thriving in South East Kerry.
Last Saturday was another wonderful day for East Kerry. When Gneeveguilla went out and gave a brilliant performance to win the Munster Junior Championship final. So on behalf of the board our warmest Congratulations to the team, Management and all of Gneeveguilla for achieving such a great Win and our best wishes go with you to the Semi Final and then to Croke Park to see Patrick O Riordan lift the All-Ireland Junior Cup next month.
I want to sincerely thank all our loyal Sponsors who have stayed with us throughout these difficult times and to our brilliant treasurer Donald O Sullivan for keeping in contact with them.
I can not forget our wonderful gatemen who through rain hail or snow stand to collect a few bob for us at all games. They also double up as community therapists because they are the first to get a scolding if a spectator is in a bad mood as they enter the grounds My heartful thanks must go to those great men Gate organiser Dermot Coffey and his men Dan Flavier Anthony Flavier and Dan Joe Lynch
I want to pay a tribute and a huge thanks from the bottom of my heart to all my officers and to all those club personnel that contacted and stood 100% behind me at the most difficult times as I have said many times in the past without their help and advice, I would find it very difficult to fulfil my role as Chairman.
I want to congratulate and send my best wishes to Patrick O Sullivan Dr Crokes on becoming Chairman of the County Board for the second time, and I am delighted for him and I know that he is going to study the ship when in stormy waters and I want to sincerely thank his dad Eddie and himself for their great sponsorship to the board over many years.
Also, Congratulations and best wishes to our former County Board Chairman Tim Murphy who was elected as Vice Chairman of the Munster Council last week I want to pass on my profound thanks to Tim for the great support he gave to the board during his time as Co Chairman.
As I said at the start, I will give you a brief insight into the life of Kerrys foremost soldier and dynamic Currow GAA legend Humphrey Murphy.
Humphrey was elected Vice Chairman at the inaugural meeting of this board on May 17th 1925 in which his great friend Dick Fitzgerald of Dr Crokes was elected Chairman.
Humphrey played a vital role on the Kerry junior team that won the All-Ireland junior final beating Wexford.
He was a member of the Kerry senior team that won the Munster Final in 1914 in which the great Dick Fitzgerald was Captain and Kerry went on to win the All-Ireland final in a Replay beating Wexford but Humphrey was unable to be with them. He Was back in 1915 and played a prominent Roll to take Kerry to the All-Ireland Final but lost to Wexford. He Qualified as a Teacher and his first post was in Duagh. Then the war of independence started in which He played a Major role becoming commander of the Kerry no 2 Brigade in South Kerry and then became Commander of the Kerry no 1 brigade in North Kerry. He was involved in most of the major Ambushes in Kerry during the war of Independence. During the civil war, He was interned in the Curragh Camp prison Kildare but was released in July 1924. He took up a post as a Teacher in Kilsarcon national school where he taught for 3 years he also bought a farm near his own home in Ballybeg and was described at that time as a successful farmer and a significant supplier to Dicksgrove Creamery.
He now renewed his links with the Currow Club which he had always kept a keen interest in no matter where he went Of course he was at the inaugural meeting of the Club in 1911.
Humphrey was a brilliant scholar and administrator. He was appointed a selector for the Kerry senior team which would go on to enjoy considerable success at the end of the 20s and early 30s. When the Dicksgrove Estate was been divided in the thirties, Humphrey spent a lot of time influencing the head office of the land Commission in Dublin to give the parish of Killeentierna a Sports field for the youth. His influence paid off and the parish got their Sports field which is now the Currow GAA grounds.
Humphrey accepted in 1934 the Taoiseach Eamon DeValeras invitation to be a member of the Military Pensions Advisory Board, which was set up to established a pensions Commission which would give veterans of the 1916-1923 period a military pension irrespective of which side they had declared for in the Civic war so in 1934 he moved with his wife and young family to Dublin.
On November 13th 1935 having just arrived home after a walk with his friend, Humphrey died suddenly. When the News broke the whole country was in deep shock.
His remains were transferred to Farranfore by train, and one of the largest funerals ever seen in Kerry took place three days later on Sunday, November 16th at Killeentierna Parish Church.
The Daily Newspapers at the time reported that it was the biggest funeral ever seen in Kerry with over 10 thousand people attending the removal from the Currow Church to Killeentierna graveyard. Special Trains brought people from all over Ireland, including Taoiseach Eamon DeValera and his Ministers and all GAA officials and players from all over the 32 counties.
Humphrey Murphy of Currow was one of the most influential men along with his great friend Dick Fitzgerald of Dr Crokes who formed this board on the 17th May 1925 Humphrey was elected Vice Chairman and Dick was elected Chairman.
93 years after in 2018 I was honoured and humbled to follow in Humphreys footsteps and a sincere thanks to you the Clubs I became Chairman of this great Board I said that night in my few words to you that I would hope to honour Humphrey Murphy during my 5-year term, and this evening I am fulfilling that promise.
I must sincerely thank my board officers who were in full agreement when I proposed that we should honour Humphrey this year, and that is what we did last Sunday week when we laid a wreath on his grave, at old Killeentierna graveyard, and having this AGM in his native Parish this evening.
I am quite sure Humphrey is looking down on us this evening from his heavenly home with all his GAA colleagues and is overjoyed to see after 97 years that the AGM of this great board which he was a founder member of and first vice Chairman is taking place in the parish and County he fought for and he loved so well.
Rest in Peace Humphrey Murphy.
So just before I finish a small word of advice to all of you this evening, we must all remember that we are only caretakers in this great organisation and we must all work together to keep this great board and all district boards around the county in existence well into the future.
I know if we do not keep our eye on the Ball Some people will keep chipping away until District Boards are extinct. For example, they are trying their best to get rid of the Parish Rule. They are trying to split successful Districts instead of finding ways to help the districts that are struggling. The district senior championship which was always played in the early Summer is now been played in the depts of Winter.
One of the great honours of winning a County Minor Championship was having a player from the district Captain the County Minor team for the following year That is now gone and I can bet the seniors are next. It now looks that the district boards will have very little revenue from our District gates in the coming years because the county board pass will now allow a person into all District Games.
I wonder how do they expect district boards to function. The Clubs are under enough pressure themselves besides expecting them to fully support the board and at the moment getting sponsorship is very very difficult You might think I am talking foolishly this evening but this time next year I will be going away off into the Sunset but the most of you will still be there to deal with what is coming down the line. All I can say to you this evening is keep your eyes wide open, do not say you were not warned. I rest my case.
To conclude I want to say to all of you to keep up the great work you are doing for your Clubs, Families, Community and Parish in these dark times. The wonderful news is there is light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully, we will have our monthly meetings back in the Killarney Heights Hotel at the end of February.
Until then I wish you all a very happy and enjoyable New Year.
And always remember the GAA is a brilliant organisation and the Glue that keeps us all together.
God bless you and keep safe.
Go raibh mile maith agaibh go leir