Following a meeting of the Chairperson and Secretaries of Offaly GAA clubs and the management committee of Offaly GAA in Tullamore on Monday night (July 31st) it was agreed that a statement in response to recent media reports on the Offaly Hurling Development plan, and the resignation of members of the Offaly Implementation Committee, be issued.
The meeting recognised the importance of The Hurling Pathway Plan in moving Offaly hurling forward and a detailed update on all aspects implemented to-date and on the future roll out of the plan will be presented to Chairperson and Secretaries of all clubs within two weeks. Thereafter at three monthly intervals. A steering committee comprising of five club Chairpersons, Coaching & Games Officer and Head of Operations will oversee the plan.
The contribution of those who recently resigned was praised and there was agreement that Offaly hurling needs their involvement going forward. In this regard The Chairman gave a commitment to contact the individuals with a view to asking them to re-consider their positions.
A wide ranging discussion took place among the 65 people present and clarification was given on a number of issues. An outline of various activities undertaken by Coaching & Games staff in the year to-date was also discussed.
Hurling Development Funding (HDF) – €40,000
Leinster Council GAA, confirmed that Offaly GAA, has complied fully throughout the term of this funding with both the planning and reporting processes set down to access the funding.
The HDF was first introduced in 2015 by Árd Comhairle, for the purpose of improving the competitiveness and performances of four designated counties – Offaly being one.
In this regard funding was allocated under the following sports science related headings:
* Strength & Conditioning
* Sports Psychology / Performance Coaching
* Nutrition Hydration
* Performance Analysis
Since its inception in late 2015, each county has been required to submit an annual plan to Leinster Council GAA, detailing how the funding is to be spent for the provision the above areas at Senior (€30,000) and Under 21/Minor (€10,000). Funding is only released on receipt of invoices and compliance with submitted plan as we must provide evidence to Árd Comhairle, the funders.
In a review context Offaly GAA, are met during the season in both formal and informal settings and at the end of season to evaluate and plan for the next year. At all times Offaly GAA, has participated fully in this process and commitment to achieving the aims of the HDF.
Leinster Council GAA, carried out a review of the HDF in 2016 and made recommendations to Árd Comhairle expressing the need to allocate some of the funding to underage development. In 2017 we earmarked €3,000 of the overall budget in each county towards the appointment of a sports science intern to support development squads. No other funding now or previously has been designated for development squads as has been communicated.
Leinster GAA will shortly be reviewing the year gone by and devising a plan for 2018 and 2019. This may involve us designating more of existing monies to underage
Strength & Conditioning
The facts are that Emmett Egan has been employed by Leinster Council GAA since September 2016, in a dual role, teaching in IT Carlow and acting as a Performance Coach supporting all counties across the province. He hasn’t worked with AIT during this period.
Emmett has had a role since 2015 with the Offaly senior hurlers – also supporting the Under 21 team. He has no direct role with any other team. He was retained in this role after Eamonn Kelly’s departure, in recognition of the progress made in the area of physical fitness with the teams.
In his capacity with Leinster Council GAA, Emmett has supported the delivery of programmes for both hurling and football in the county and in particular training staff for the purpose of building self-sufficiency.
He has also recruited, as in other counties, a sports science student/intern to work with development squads in Offaly.
It is extremely disappointing that recent comments have completely misrepresented the actual role and involvement that Emmet has had with Offaly GAA and there was no attempt made to ascertain the full facts prior to the circulation of an account of a meeting in the county.
In Conclusion we wish to quote from the final paragraph of The Hurling Pathway Document and hope that everyone can draw a line in the sand and move on together in the interest of Offaly Hurling.
“During the course of its investigations and deliberations, this committee has experienced a huge amount of goodwill and positivity from the GAA folk of Offaly, both hurling and football. Offaly GAA people are very conscious of the fact that Offaly hurling is dogged by problems from grassroots level at the way to the very top, even to administrative level, and they have openly expressed those views to the members of the Review Committee. However, the overwhelming view coming from Offaly GAA people is that nothing will be achieved if our efforts are focused on apportioning blame for the current state of Offaly Hurling, and that our time will be much better spent focussing on implementing a plan that will lift Offaly Hurling, a plan that will bring Offaly Hurling back to the top table of hurling’s elite once more. The Hurling Review Committee firmly believe that this plan, if implemented properly, will achieve that purpose, but only if it is supported by everyone associated with Offaly Hurling. For this plan to succeed it must become a living breathing plan which is reviewed and amended at regular intervals, which sets realistic achievable targets, which focuses on the DEVELOPMENT of our young hurlers, but which above all, is supported and implemented by the hurling clubs of Offaly because without their total support, this plan just will not succeed. We believe that this plan will lift Offaly Hurling if it is fully and properly implemented and we thank the Offaly County Board for having faith in us to produce this plan and for the support they have given us over the past eight months.”