Activity Galore at Clanna Gael Fontenoy

Declan Darcy, Clanns coach and Dublin selector presents Jim Gavin with a momento of his visit to the club, Photos courtesy of : Roger Mc Grath

While the club’s juvenile and adult teams have been as active as ever, activity off the field of play has been every bit as exciting over recent weeks.

As reported in the last edition of News Four the club was delighted and honoured to be the start and finishing location for the Darkness into Light walk/run in support of Pieta House. It’s been even more heartening to since learn that this event alone generated close on €90,000 for this deserving charity. Hearty congratulations and well done to all involved in any way in delivering such a brilliant result.

Dublin Football Manager visit
Large numbers of coaches, players and parents gathered at the club to hear words of wisdom from Jim Gavin, Dublin Football Manager – and they certainly were not disappointed.
He frequently referred to the importance of hard work and the need for people to challenge themselves at all times in order to get the best out of themselves. As far as he’s concerned, “you have only failed if you’ve given up”. He singled out three particular individuals whom he regards as role models: John Wooden, former American basketball player and coach, for his preparation and attention to detail, Kevin Heffernan, former Dublin player and manager, for his diligence; and Dermot Earley Snr, former Roscommon footballer and Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces, for his courage and ethics
Among the many helpful tips he had for coaches, particularly for those working with younger age groups, was that skill development is central to a team’s success and should always take priority over competition. And he stressed how important it is to “always remember that you are a role model for the players”.
It was notable that, when asked after his presentation as to which other sports managers he most admired, he singled out Mickey Whelan – former Dublin football manager and Clanns club man!

Clanns men receive Community Awards
It was standing room only in the club hall for the annual Sean Moore Community Awards. Established in honour of the former local Fianna Fáil TD, Sean Moore, the awards recognise special contributions which people make to their communities.
Councillor Dermot Lacey helpfully provided background and context for the proceedings while journalist Roisin Ingle told, with empathy, the stories that marked out each of the award recipients. Dublin’s Lord Mayor, Brendan Carr, was also on hand to congratulate the recipients and present them with their awards.
Two Clanns men featured in the awards: Paddy Troy for the 20-plus years service he has given to Clanna Gael Fontenoy and, through the club, to the wider community; and Robin Booth, Principal of St Patricks Primary School and club activist on and off the playing field over many years. The citation for Paddy Troy was particularly poignant.
“We come back to Ringsend again and to this very club for our next winner. He is actually originally from Tipperary but we won’t hold that against him. Our next recipient is a man who has been involved with Clanna Gael for over 20 years – as a full time club coach and then in various activities and roles.”
“Whatever was needed by the club was never an issue for this person. He was a coach, a mentor, a facilities supervisor, an office administrator. Currently recovering from recent surgery, he is anxious to return to the club and the activities about which he is so passionate and knowledgeable.”
“There is a sadness to this winner’s story which is that in 1993 he suffered the loss of his 17-year-old son, PJ, who was tragically killed when knocked from his bicycle on the way home. PJ had a deep association with the GAA and there is now a Dublin GAA U-13 Hurling competition in his honour every year.”
“Our next winner has given over 22 years to this club and there is enormous gratitude due to him from so many past and current club players, members and all who use the club’s facilities from the wider Ringsend, Irishtown and Sandymount community. Will you please put your hands together for another very worthy winner, Paddy Troy.”

Clanns ladies competing at highest level
Ladies football continues on an upward curve with our senior team now playing at the highest level in the county. Senior Division 1 championship football has seen some of the top players in Dublin playing in Sean Moore Park – and the Clanns team has not been found wanting either. Our league and cup positions are very healthy and we will be contesting the latter stages of each competition. With such success at club level it’s no surprise that Kate McKenna and Rebecca McDonnell are an integral part of the Dublin senior team that recently won the Leinster championship. With lots of young players coming through from juvenile ranks the future looks bright for Ladies football at the club.

by Felix O’Regan