MESSAGE FROM CROKE PARK: Seán Ó hÓráin, Uachtarán and Tomás Ó Riain, Árd Stiúrthóir
have issued a statement to all Clubs throughout the country acknowledging the incredible efforts of so many clubs and members in community assistance projects with as many as 90% confirming in their Club Survey that they have been active in one way or another over the last eight weeks in helping those who need it most. On the games front, they have confirmed that no official on-field activity will resume before July 20 and facilities will remain closed until that date at least. They also do not expect any inter-county championship games to take place before October 1. The GAA will issue detailed advice before any return to play, outlining the steps to be taken to facilitate the re-commencement of our training and games, both in terms of physical engagement and around the use of our facilities.
In the weeks ahead County Committees will be devising revised competition schedules for each county for games and activities at all levels and grades and that information will be shared when those arrangements are finalised. They also remind us that the maintenance of facilities can continue while adhering to the guidelines and as of May 18 construction work on our grounds is also permitted and clubs should liaise with their County Committees on this issue. They finally again thank all club members for playing such an important role in their efforts against this pandemic.
STACKS 100: Let us continue to remind all club members that our Award Winning Stacks 100 website is now available to view – check out club memories, matches & podcasts – a great way to spend an enjoyable few minutes or hours and hours and hours . . . www.stacks100.ie.
AUSTIN STACKS RUN4PIETA: On behalf of the Club our Chairman, Billy Ryle extends sincere thanks to our Club’s dynamic Vice-Chairman, Eamonn O Reilly and his dedicated team who did a brilliant job of organising the Austin Stacks Run4Pieta over the weekend. From 7.30pm on Friday, 8th May to 7.30pm on Saturday, 9th May, Club members ran, walked and crawled a 4k journey for a deserving cause while adhering to public health guidelines. Since the fundraiser was launched on our Club website early last week our members, supporters and friend’s have being generously donating to the Pieta charity. People can continue to donate on our website and we are encouraging those who have not yet done so, to dig deep and be a part of this worthy fundraiser. Every cent collected goes directly to Pieta to help finance their invaluable work. Pieta House provides free counselling for people suffering from suicidal ideation, engaging in self-harm and those who have been bereaved by suicide. Donations can still be made on the following link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/austin-stacks-gaa
COMMUNITY COVID 19 RESPONSE: Club Chairman, Billy Ryle has also issued the following statement with regard to Covid 19 – ‘’May I also acknowledge the extraordinary generosity of our young members who are providing a wonderful service for people in our catchment area who are housebound, living alone or unwell. Our Club Community Response was launched at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic by our super-efficient Secretary, Elma Nix, our energetic Senior Team Manager, Wayne Quillinan and our youthful information technology expert, Ciara Nix. Our community response has since amalgamated with Kerry County Council’s ‘Co-ordinated COVID-19 Response’, which is supported by Kerry GAA. Because of this wonderful initiative by Elma, Wayne, Ciara and their fellow humanitarians, no person in need is left unaided, alone or isolated as our young team members willingly help out with the tasks that the housebound can’t do for themselves at this difficult time. By their good work, our response team is living proof of our conviction that Austin Stacks is more than a Club. It’s also a caring Community’’.
VIDEO LINKS: Billy also informs us that, by way of video links, our Executive Committee is keeping in touch with all matters off the field. He continues ‘’we will have everything ready to go as soon as the health experts give us the all clear to resume activities. The Club is in the safe hands of our various administrative committees even though all is quiet in Connolly Park. So, get out and enjoy exercise in according with the health guidelines. Practice the skills in the back garden. Keep in touch with each other to keep moral high. I am confident that there is a lot of football to be played this year. Austin Stacks, from U-6 level to Senior level is ready, willing and able to answer the call of competition and to pursue further success on the field’’.
OUR LADY AND ST, BRENDANS CHURCH: While the actual anniversary doesn’t take place until later in the year (21st October) the 50th anniversary of the dedication of Our Lady & St Brendans Church, Tralee was referenced at last Sunday’s Mass, which was live streamed on Radio Kerry, with our own Fr Padraig Walsh reciting Ned Drummond’s famous poem “The Boys from The Top Of The Rock”. It was truly heartwarming. We send our advanced congratulations on the anniversary and thank in particular Fr Pádraig for the fantastic contribution he makes to our club & community.
HURLING: Up to last week the following ten players had been selected on the Co. Championship team of the last 30 years – Peter Doyle (Bella), Kevin O’Leary, Peter O’Regan, Brian Shanahan, Andrew Foley, Martin McKivergan, Andrew Morrissey, Padraig Teahan, Kieran McCaughley and Daithí O’Regan. Now during the past week the remaining five positions from centre forward to top of the left have been filled as follows – Ronan Gilsenan, Paul Daly, Ger Scollard, Brian Neenan and Francie McLoughlin. Thanks against to Ger Scollard for organizing the event and to all our many supporters and enthusiasts who continued to cast their votes and give their comments during the fourteen consecutive days of voting.
THE LATE DES HURLEY: Another of the Club Stalwarts of the nineteen fifties passed away at the weekend after a short illness. Des Hurley was only 16 when he played with the Rock MF team in 1951. He was a member of our Senior team then right through that decade. On one occasion, during the mid fifties the Rock played South Kerry and Des’ direct opponent on that particular day was none other than the great Mick O’Connell. Emigration cut short his playing career, as it did many others at that time, but when he returned home from London in the early seventies he got involved again, this time in the administrative side of the Club and remained a club member and an enthusiastic supporter thereafter, rarely missing a game in Connolly Park or elsewhere. We extend sincere sympathy to Des’ family and friends, including Siobhán, Karen, Dessie, Nessa and Leonie. Go to Page 60 of our Centenary Book where Des’ career and that of his playing colleagues is admirably covered by Tadgh McMahon, Kerry O’Shea and Billy Ryle.
SYMPATHY: Sincere sympathy is also offered to the families of the following who died recently – Kathleen Brandon (nee Collins), Cloon Glebe, Ardfert (Aunt of Lyn Curtin of our Card Players); Shane Walsh, Ardee (brother-in-law of Dolores O’Connor, The Greyhound Bar; Betty Walsh (nee Tobin), Ballinorig South and formerly Mitchel’s Avenue; John Joe O’Donnell, The Kerries West; Susan Cole (nee Raitt), Cúl Doire, Killeen Road and formerly The Spa; Rev. Fr. Canon Michael Fleming, Parish Priest of Killorglin and formerly Curate at St. Brendan’s Parish, Tralee (during his time in Tralee 1983-86 Fr. Michael was involved with our Juvenile Section); and Thomas Ashe, Cloonbeg Terrace and formerly Ardshanavooley, Killarney.