O'Donovan Rossa GAA Club held a very successful dinner dance recently in recognition of their minor football team and their underage ladies teams who enjoyed successful seasons last year.
A large crowd of enthusiastic club officials, coaches, proud parents and the members of the various successful teams gathered in the Eldon Hotel on a celebratory night for the club. Decorated Cork GAA dual star Rena Buckley presented the medals to the successful U16 ladies footballers on the night.
The O'Donovan Rossa ladies GAA Club have enjoyed a remarkable odyssey since they were reformed in 2010. The club have enjoyed unprecedented success in the intervening seven years. The club boast a very strong membership base which augurs well for the foreseeable future.
The club recently held a very successful registration evening at the Rossa Park. A large number of young and enthusiastic footballers were present as the club seeks to build on last year's success.
The O'Donovan Rossa ladies GAA Club captured county glory for the first time in their history last year after their U16 football team defeated Mourneabbey to claim county final glory. Their U15 ladies football team were also successful.
They captured the West Cork Plate after they defeated local rivals, the Dohenys. The ladies club at the behest of a very driven committee, has a very clear and strategic vision going forward as they seek to build a strong conveyor belt designed to churn out playing talent for their various teams going forward.
The club operate a nursery scheme which introduces young players to football in a fun and safe environment, which is specifically designed to ensure they enjoy their initial Gaelic football experience.
Both their U8 and U10 football teams enjoyed productive seasons last year as they participated in a series of blitzes and friendly games against local clubs.
They worked hard on developing their core skills.
The U10 footballers concluded their playing season with a trip to the All-Ireland blitz which was held in Passage. They gained invaluable experience playing against opponents from Kerry, Limerick and Dublin.
The U12, U13, U14 and U18 teams also enjoyed strong seasons as they build for the future.
The success of the club has also resulted in a number of players being selected for inter-county action this season with the various Cork football teams. Laura O'Mahony has been selected on the Cork minor squad, while exciting duo Mallaidh O'Neill and Niamh Quinn will represent the Cork U14 team.
The club held a very successful Strictly O'Donovan Rossa event which was ran over two nights which raised very significant funds. This will enable the club to continue providing great facilities for the underage players.
The O'Donovan Rossa minor footballers captured the Rebel Og West Championship following a hard-fought win against Bantry Blues. The minor footballers enjoyed a great season. They also captured a league double, winning both the Rebel Og West and the county league.
The minor footballers were unfortunate to lose the county final when they succumbed to a four-point defeat against Kilshannig. The various young teams in the club also enjoyed strong seasons, with numbers participating continuing to rise.
The highlight of the year for the underage teams was when the U10 team won the Joe O'Regan Cup, an annual football tournament which is played in Union Hall every summer.
The dinner dance celebrations got underway with outgoing ladies chairman Mike Scannell welcoming the large crowd present to honour and celebrate the success of both the ladies and underage club. Minor football team coach Sean Carmody started proceedings with a passionate speech during which he outlined a synopsis of the dream season the minor footballers enjoyed.
Sean paid tribute to the contribution his fellow selectors played during their successful season. Sean urged the players to continue to work hard and make sure their full potential is realised. The minor footballers were presented with their three medals by senior club player Paudie Crowley.
As the players received their individual medals, minor team coach Diarmuid Lucey provided an in-depth and humorous commentary on each player.
Ladies chairperson Nora O'Regan was next to speak. Nora lavished deserved praise on all her colleagues on the ladies committee, all the coaches who helped out during the year, the parents, players and all the volunteers who each played a key role in ensuring the club continues to thrive.
Nora also paid tribute to the sponsors and local businesses whose financial assistance is vital in providing the players requirements are met.
Nora reserved special praise for the selectors who guided the U16 ladies football team to county final glory.
The victorious panel were presented with their medals by Rena Buckley, who during the course of her glittering career with both the Cork football and camogie team has captured 17 senior All-Ireland championship titles.
The dual star who has garnered nine All-Star awards, then proceeded to make an inspired speech. She regaled the crowd with stories about the impact Eamonn Ryan had on the Cork players during his successful tenure.
She revealed that their former coach always emphasised the need for players to keep honing their talents and skill-set on a regular basis. He also urged each player to keep persevering and working hard to achieve their goals.
Following the conclusion of the speeches, the guests enjoyed a sublime meal as they toasted a memorable year for the ladies and underage GAA Club in Skibbereen.