Limerick hoping to get back on even keel


After a year in which they won the National Hurling League title and lost their team manager, Tom Ryan, in somewhat controversial circumstances, Limerick will be hoping to get things back on an even keel when they hold their annual convention on Friday. The reason for the change in the traditional Sunday date for this event is that the county hurling champions, Patrickswell, are meeting Clarecastle from Clare in the Munster club championship in Thurles.

The traumatic events which followed winning the National League are not referred to directly in the report of the county secretary, Jimmy Hartigan, in his comprehensive annual report.

He does, however, thank the manager, Tom Ryan and his selectors and congratulated them on their efforts over a four-year period during which Limerick won the league title and two Munster championships.

The county is in a reasonably healthy financial state with a surplus in the treasurer's report of £18,770 just £2,000 less than the previous year. The county secretary, Jimmy Hartigan, however has expressed concern about the fact that a sum of £125,000 was spent on under-age coaching, games promotion and development in primary and secondary schools during the year.

Hartigan's comment on this reads: "This spending is an investment in our future, but it will not achieve its aims or fulfil its potential unless clubs develop their own coaching structures at under-age level and take and interest in their local schools.

"It is only through the time, commitment and positive attitude of club officials that our young players can receive the skills and coaching necessary for our games. Our county effort can only complement the club effort, it cannot replace them." Hartigan also refers to the development of clubs and grounds within the county and points out that the Gaelic Grounds on the Ennis Road, on which a considerable amount of money has already been spent, will require further development.

He also points out that a development costing £300,000 has been carried out at Rathkeale where three new playing pitches have been laid out. It is hoped that this will be used for training by county teams.

The county board will get a new chairman on Friday. The outgoing chairman, Brendan Danagher, has stepped down after a three-year term. It is thought that three names will be put forward at the convention, namely Liam Lenihan, John Carrig and Donal Fitzgibbon.