Costigan leaves Chair in healthy state

Tuesday December 23 2008

John Costigan stood down from his role as County Chairman on Sunday afternoon expressing that the last three years has been "a wonderful experience".

In his final address before vacating the Chair, he said the GAA within the county was in a healthy state in terms of improving playing standards on the field and the physical developments of it.

He applauded the efforts of the senior hurling team over the past year in winning three titles and despite losing the All Ireland semi-final to Waterford, "2008 was a huge success."

Refering to the Under 21’s Munster success, he complemented the officers and management within the banner county for the manner in which they handled themselves following the volatile Munster Final in Ennis. He added that if the boot had been on the other foot that Tipp officials would have been as understanding.

"A year full for promise" is how the JK Brackens clubman reflected on the exploits of the footballers with the minor and under 21’s reaching Munster Final while the seniors achieved promotion to division three under the guise of Kerry man John Evans.

"His arrival marked the retirement of some of the best Tipp players of the last decade, so from the outset his task was not an easy one. The Kerryman was not a bit overawed by the task on hand and he brought a very positive, pro-active approach to the job and within a short time he had a young, energetic and enthusiastic group of thirty young men training hard for the tasks ahead," said John Costigan.

Three acres were purchased in 2008 to expand the training facilities at Dr. Morris Park and it is hoped to, in time, include an all-weather pitch, which would benefit schools games in particular.

Commenting on the completion of the phase two refurbishment work at Semple Stadium, John Costigan re-iterated the appeal to the Munster Council to fix the provincial hurling final for the Thurles venue in
2009 as part of the Associations 125th Anniversary celebrations.

The outgoing chairman made a special plea to former players in their parishes to "forego the lure of the Golf Course and other leisurely pursuits" and invest more time in promoting the games in their own communities.

Speaking of the GAA at local level, he said there was general satisfaction with the new senior hurling championship format, particularly at the divisional stage where huge crowds attended the games but the same cannot be said of the county series where attendances were well down.

He expressed his disappointment that a number of competitions at underage, minor and under 21 level were only completed late in the year with the summer months still be squandered for the earlier completion of games.

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