We’ll keep to schedule for 2017, says Déise chief

Waterford GAA chairman Paddy Joe Ryan plans to complete all local championships on schedule for 2017.

The Déise didn’t field representatives in the Munster club football championship at intermediate and junior grade, while the U21 A and B hurling competitions have yet to be concluded.

Speaking at last night’s county convention in Dungarvan, Ryan expressed regret at their failure to hit deadlines.

“Two championships remain unfinished in spite of the best efforts of both divisional and county board. More championship games will have to be played earlier in the year and during the summer. The County CCC has had 40 meetings during this year to ensure the running of county championships progressed. Unfortunately, we weren’t successful,” said Ryan.

“The CCC intend to set out targets in early 2017 which will be achievable with proper planning and support from clubs and board.”

Despite a €33,000 rise in gate receipts, he conveyed fears around attendances at club fixtures. “Our gates are way behind other counties. Why aren’t we getting people into our championship games?”

Ryan acknowledged the significant contribution of clubs in stabilising the county finances. “I thank the clubs sincerely for their support of the club levy, thankfully 2017 will see a restructured levy.

“Never again should the county board borrow to pay for county board finances unless for development with agreement of the board.

“Whilst many of our clubs are in a very good place, it is of extreme concern that others are finding it difficult to progress and, indeed, survive. We must, at all times, ensure that these clubs are supported by county board in ensuring not alone survival but progression.”

The board showed a €51,368 surplus in this year’s accounts. “2016 has been a year where county board finances have again improved due mainly to careful management and budgeting at management level but we cannot become complacent. Taking our eye off the ball could get us back in financial trouble. Budgets must be set and carefully monitored during 2017.”

Ryan also highlighted the criticism of board officers on social media and appealed for assistance from clubs. “I ask everybody tonight to support this incoming board, you are the county board and we are your servants. If you have a problem or request, don’t go on Facebook, Twitter, or club notes with your criticism — come into the county board meeting and air your grievances. Sometimes family feel the pain more than individuals.”

Munster Council delegate John O’Leary voiced worry over the 38 walkovers outlined by secretary Pat Flynn in his report to convention. “That sounds alarm bells.”

Nominations are open for county PRO after Owen Sauvage vacated the position.


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