Congratulations to Liam O’Neill of Laois on his election unopposed as President elect of the GAA at the Association’s recent annual Congress in Mullingar. Liam is a former Chairman of the Leinster Council and is currently Chairman of the GAA’s Games Development Committee. A very experienced and able official, Liam gave a very thoughtful and thought provoking acceptance speech at Congress on his involvement with the GAA and the importance of his family and club in enabling him to make a contribution to the Association. The full text of his speech is available on www.gaa.ie


 Holycross Ballycahill GAA club will host a senior hurling tournament on Sunday May 8 between Tipperary and Waterford to mark the official opening of the fantastic John Doyle Centre in St Michael’s GAA Grounds. The fabulous centre, which includes four dressing rooms, referee, officials and board meeting rooms, catering suite, upper viewing area, gymnasium and sauna, handball/ hurlball alley, outdoor astro-turf hurling wall and a 1 km outdoor walkway, significantly enhances the clubs already impressive range of facilities and provides a whole new impetus to the emerging enthusiasm of camogie players and ladies football, alongside hurling and gaelic football. The game gets underway at 7pm with the official opening by GAA President Christy Cooney and blessing by Rev Fr Tom Breen taking place at 6.30pm.  There is also a special evening for parishioners on Friday May 6 – the people who helped make the dream become a reality and who supported the many fundraising ventures over the last four years. Congratulations to the Holycross Ballycahill club on this very fine development. It required foresight, hard work and great loyalty from so many people to make this ambitious project a reality. It is a fitting tribute to the great John Doyle and it will add poignancy to the occasion that his passing occurred so recently. His name will never be forgotten wherever hurling people congregate but this centre will be a permanent reminder of the pride his own parish took in his achievements. 


 Following the launch of the new Tipperary jersey with the announcement of Skoda as the new sponsors of the Tipperary teams, the new jersey is now on sale at the Tipperary GAA shop at Lar na Pairce in Thurles.


 The final draft of the Tipperary GAA Strategic Plan for the development of the GAA in the county over the next 5 years was presented at the April County Board meeting. The plan will be launched officially in early June. A copy of the plan has been published on the Tipperary GAA website, www.tipperary.gaa.ie. Anybody wishing to comment on the plan should email County Secretary, Tim Floyd on secretary.tipperary@gaa.ie within the next 2 weeks. Thanks are due to all those who put so much work into the plan over the last 6 months and in particular to Denis Floyd, who co-ordinated the production of the final draft in recent months.


 We remind supporters that renowned entertainer, Tommy Fleming, is live in concert at the Park Hotel Clonmel on Saturday May 7 2011 at 8pm. All proceeds from the concert will go towards the preparation of Tipperary County teams for this year’s hurling and football championships. Tickets cost €30 and are available from the Park Hotel (052-6188700) or the GAA Office Thurles (0504 22702). Seats are strictly limited so early booking is essential. Tommy Fleming is one of Ireland’s most popular entertainers so don’t miss this great opportunity to see him live and to support our hurlers and footballers for the season ahead


 The annual Tipperary Supporters Golf Classic to raise funds for the training and preparation of the senior hurling team will take place at Co. Tipperary golf club, Dundrum on Thursday May 12th and Friday May 13th. Teams of 4 cost €600 per team for golf and 4 course dinner. As usual there will be excellent prizes on offer. There are still some tee times remaining. Tee sponsorships from €100 are also available. Please contact Supporters Club Chairman, John Tierney at jpt@eircom.net or on 087 6821398 for further details.


 Registration has opened for this year’s VHI GAA Cúl Camps in which over 80,000 children from all round the country are expected to participate this summer. With over 1,000 camps taking place in Ireland and overseas, and over 80,000 children aged 6 – 13 years participating, the VHI GAA Cúl Camps are the most popular children’s sporting camps in the country. This is the sixth year of the massively popular VHI GAA Cúl Camps. Now in its sixth year, the Vhi GAA Cúl Camps is a nationally co-ordinated programme which aims to encourage primary school children between the ages of 6 and 13, to develop sporting skills irrespective of their skill level or ability and also to develop a sense of sporting fair play and personal achievement by participating in various Gaelic games, in a fun, non competitive environment. This year the VHI and GAA decided to lower the age that children could register to six years old as the skills picked up in the camps including healthy living, exercise, a respect for others and a sense of fair play can be accessed and applied by the youngest members of our communities across the country. The 2011 camps are expected to be extremely popular with huge demand already coming through and parents are advised to book early to ensure they get a place at the camp of their choice. Online booking is now open at www.gaa.ie or www.vhiculcamps.gaa.ie.


 In schools throughout Munster, boys and girls are eagerly awaiting the advent of the Munster hurling and football Championships for it also heralds the start of the Primary Go Games series. The Irish Daily Star Primary Go Games will once again follow the Go Games format. Championship day in Munster, hurling or football, would not be complete without the exhibition games provided by boys and girls from the competing counties. Two games with eleven players per team, one for boys and one for girls will take place on the day of each Munster Senior Championship clash. Games will be played at half-time during the senior match. This year’s  Irish Daily Star Primary Go Games will see over 400 boys and girls from all the counties of Munster line out in their county colours at Semple Stadium, Páirc Uí  Chaoimh and other venues throughout the province. The Irish Daily Star Primary Go Games give sports-mad boys and girls the opportunity to wear their county jersey on Big Match Day, sharing the spotlight with their heroes on their “Field of Dreams” in front of huge crowds of supporters. Many children who made their inter-county debut in the Primary Game have gone on to greater things, representing their counties at underage and adult level and winning national and provincial titles. The launch of the 2011 The Irish Daily Star Sunday Primary Go Games takes place at Ballykisteen Hotel, Limerick Junction on Wednesday May 4 at 6 pm.  Recently elected Uachtarán Tofa,  Liam O Neill, will formally launch the 2011 series.


 This year is the 50th anniversary of the first national Poc Fada competition organised by the GAA. The national Poc Fada finals will take place at its usual venue, Annaverna Mountain near Dundalk on Saturday July 30 and will include a men’s, ladies and under 16 boys final.  The Munster finals for men and under 16 boys will take place at Thurels Racecourse on Saturday July 9th.  County finals will take placed during May and clubs will be notified in the coming weeks about the Tipperary final. Thanks are due to Martin Donnelly for his continued sponsorship of the event. Brendan Cummins, who has won the competition 4 times, is the only Tipperary winner of the men’s competition. Donie Nealon, former Munster Council Secretary, is Chairman of the National Poc Fada Committee. 


 Information concerning all areas in the GAA will appear in this section in the future. If you wish to include any item of interest in future articles, please contact the County Public Relations Officer Ger Ryan at 086-8149146 or via e-mail at pro.tipperary@gaa.ie on or before 3:00pm on Monday. Visit the Tipperary GAA web site at http://tipperary.gaa.ie to keep up to date with all the latest news in Tipperary GAA circles.

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