It less than two weeks to Christmas Day and that means one thing. If it has not happened already it will in a coming days, a number of new books are about to hit the book shops. These books will prove to be of interest to many people with many interests, but sports books in particular usually are popular at this time of the year.
One book to hit the bookshelves in the last day or two was the Waterford G.A.A. Yearbook. There was a time (back in the good days), when a year book could be brought out every year and business people would gladly pay for much if not all the cost of printing the book.
In these harder times, to bring out a year book could well prove to be much more difficult, but with the year that was in it, it would have been a major oversight of the County Communications and publications committee not to have officially recorded the happenings of the year just about to end.
The committee under the chairmanship (chairwomanship may not be a proper word, no doubt someone will tell me) of County Board PRO Emer Barry, have not only recorded the years activities, but they have done so with some considerable style.
The year book as in previous years under other PRO’s is once again a top class publication with almost every aspect of the GAA within the county covered.
Former Irish Examiner Journalist Jim O’Sullivan looks back on Waterford’s mixed look in hurling over the past fifty years or so, while he also pays a glowing tribute to his colleague with the Irish Examiner Johnny Murphy who died during the course of the year. Johnny reported for many papers most notably the Dungarvan Observer and the Waterford News and Star. Johnny as everyone knows was a real character and is missed by all who had the pleasure of sharing his company over the years.
The GAA in Waterford also lost Tony Mansfield and Seamus O’Brien also during the course of the year and tributes are also paid to the two men.
Every year on All-Ireland Final Day, a team from the past that won an All-Ireland Final are honoured by the GAA and are introduced to the 80,000 plus that are in Croke Park on the day. This year, the GAA did something different and honoured men who played inter county hurling in the past twenty-five plus years that never won an All-Ireland. Three Waterford men were picked in the final selection, John Galvin, Jim Greene and Mossie Walsh, and an interesting article on the selected team is also included.
Twenty-one years after Waterford won the Under 21 All-Ireland Final, beating Offaly after a replay, the Waterford News and Star’s Phil Fanning who was involved with the team looks back on the win. Phil also has an article on Frankie Walsh, Waterford’s Captain in 1959 included in the publication.
In another connection with the under 21 win, for those that were unable to be in Nolan Park for the games against Offaly, Kieran O’Connor relayed the action into the homes of Waterford supports that had their Radio tuned into one of WLR’s frequencies. Twenty-one years on, Kieran is still the stations number one commentator and an article on him compiled by The Munster Express’s Dermot Keyes.
Divisional PRO’s (for 2013) John Sheehan and Richard Tobin looks back on what was a successful year for both divisions, Tomás McCarthy and Irial Mac Murchú looks back at An Rinn’s successful hosting of the Cómortas Peile na Gaeltachta over the past June Bank Holiday weekend, while Gavin Whelan looks back on activities within Bord na nÓg, Liam Cheasty looks back at the City Leagues, and Eoin Breathnach reports on the activities within the Coaching and Games Development Committee. Reports from the Handball, Cumann na mBunscoil, Town and Country Leagues, the Tony Forristal and Handball Boards are also included.
The Ladies are thankfully not forgotten about. Tim McEnery, the PRO of the County Camogie Board gives a detailed account on what happened within the county over the past twelve months, Lismore’s hat-trick of Munster Titles is also reported on, while Waterford’s memorable year in Ladies Football is also reported upon.
The sports editor of the Waterford News and Star Ger Lawton looks back on how Passage won a first ever County Senior Hurling Final. Passage Club PRO Fintan Walsh also looks back on the events that happened after that famous win, while RTE’s Damien Tiernan tells us what it was like in Passage on the big day.
The Munster Express’ Dermot Keyes and Brian Flannery report on Waterford’s hurling Championship year, while TG4 and the Dungarvan Leader’s Mac Dara Mac Donnacha reports on the league, while senior Managers in 2013 Michael Ryan and Niall Carew also have articles included.
Of Course 2013 could not be recorded without mention of the Minor Hurling team. Sean Power, Tomás McCarthy and Michael Drislane have comprehensive coverage on how Waterford won the All-Ireland this year.
If the Minor Hurling All-Ireland win was the highlight of the year for many, the performances of Dungarvan CBS, Saint Augustine’s College and Dungarvan College’s are up there with it and are just as important to the County as the Minor’s fantastic win. How Dungarvan CBS, Saint Augustine’s and both combined won three Munster and All-Ireland Finals are also recorded.
John Jackson pays tribute to Jimmy O’Gorman, the WLR/Grandville Hotel winners are previewed and the activities within Scor are also reported on in the Yearbook.
The above is just some of what is included in this year’s Yearbook. Hopefully, it with wet the appetite of readers here and that they will spread the word.
Great credit has to go to County PRO Emer Barry and her Committee for their efforts. To put together such a publication is not an easy task. Lots of time and effort goes into it. Hopefully their efforts will be well received. While money is tight with everyone, priced at €10 the publication is very reasonable. we could do worse with the money we have than to exchange it for the book, and in doing so, remember what we have heard many times down through our years, that a book is one of the best things you can give to anyone (even yourself).
Waterford GAA Yearbook currently available at the following outlets.O'Gorman's Newsagents - Lismore
An Siopa Nua - Clashmore
Hurley's - Aglish
Johnny McGrath's - Beary's Cross Touraneena
David Walsh's - Dungarvan.
The Book Centre - Waterford City
Other Venues to be added as they become known