The happiest group of people at last night’s low-key annual delegates meeting of the Munster Branch of the Golfing Union of Ireland in Mallow were the representatives of Ballyneety Golf Club, formerly Limerick County, who were awarded the Munster Branch Club of the Year award for 2014.
“Everyone is delighted with this award,” said Liam Lawlor, one of the original founders and now one of the prime movers behind this remarkable club’s Lazarus-like revival. Having closed its doors four years ago, it is now back up and running and looking forward to a great future.
“It was unexpected really because 2014 was our first year open with the full course in operation. We are all absolutely thrilled that the course has returned and is better than ever. The former members were despondent when it closed and now that we have reopened, it is a dream come true.”
Liam Lawlor revealed they are now working with philanthropist and former chief executive of Kentz Corporation, Hugh O’Donnell, and Limerick City and County Council to go several steps further by using part of the 183-acre site for a recreational park, including archery, astroturf pitches and handball alleys.
The outgoing officers, John Moloughney (Templemore), chairman; Jim Long (Monkstown), hon secretary; Michael J Murphy (Tramore), hon treasurer; Liam Harkin (Muskerry), hon match secretary, were all returned unopposed.
Two of the 19 candidates for the provincial council, Dave Prendergast (Cork) and Patrick Turner (Muskerry), were unsuccessful. John Carroll (Ballybunion) is the only new member.
A Thurles motion dealing with the vexed question of the handicaps of golfers in classics or similar team events and recommending reductions for each notable performance was overwhelmingly supported.
Club of the year (sponsor Crystal na Rinne), Ballyneety; Senior and junior golfers of the year (sponsor Keane’s jewellers), Gary Hurley (West Waterford), Cathal Butler (Kinsale). U 8 and U15 golfers of the year, Tommy O’Driscoll (Ring of Kerry), Jack Hearn (Tramore).
Provincial Council: G Adair (Douglas), E Brick (Dooks), John Carroll (Bandon), John Carroll (Ballybunion), P Cooney (Lee Valley), M Coote (Tralee), T Donnelly (Youghal), P Dunne (Roscrea), P English (Limerick), J Fennessy (Clonmel), K Glynn (Lahinch), B Lynch (Raffeen Creek), J Lyne (Glengarriff), M P Murphy (Newcastle West), S O’Leary (Mahon), B Punch (Castletroy), J Rouine (Adare Manor).
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