The report of the secretary of the Westmeath Co. Committee (Capt. Peadar Cowan) makes pleasant reading, and if the other counties can show such progress for the year, this will certainly be a record period in the life of the G.A.A.
Nine Senior Football teams, six Senior Hurling, thirty-three Junior Football, and sixteen junior Hurling teams took park in the year’s competitions–an increase of 12 on 1933. The gate receipts totaled £352 1s. 2d., another record, while only the Junior Football and Hurling competitions remain to be competed.
One of the chief reasons, perhaps for this happy state of affairs has been the setting up of District Boards with their more extensive organisation
Rosemount won the the Senior Football title by a narrow margin, while Castlepollard captured the Hurling honours.
The county suffered financial loss through its participation in inter-county competitions, though they showed a profit on the season’s working, and the suggestion is thrown out that the matter of future engagements in the National and Leinster Leagues should engage the attention of the Convention.
Though these competitions caused a financial loss, it may be worth while to continue losing a little money, as only by taking part in these Leagues and other inter-county competitions can experience be gained for the championships.
The county did not do too well in the Jubilee Year Championships, but the Gaels of Westmeath can find consolation in the fact that their conquerors in Senior Football (Dublin) and Junior Hurling (Kildare) reached the All-Ireland finals.
The Border problem will, without doubt cause much discussion, as in the past it has been the cause of innumerable difficulties to both Roscommon and Westmeath.
Athlone Town is, of course, the bone of contention, and if the decision of Congress is adhered to, that portion of the town west of the Shannon goes to the Connacht county.
Another Border problem has, however, been amicably settled by the Offaly Gaels deciding to cede for all G.A.A. purposes that portion of the county adjoining Horse-leap, in which a number of the Westmeath players reside.
Kinnegad is also likely to figure largely in the discussions at the Convention, as this little town has been also the cause of much worry, and its border problem has caused stormy meetings of the Westmeath Co. Board.
The outstanding achievement of the county has been the acquisition and improvement of Cusack Park at Mullingar.
The pitch is now recognised as one of the best in Leinster, or perhaps in Ireland, and the Central Council has fixed for this venue one of the most important games of the early spring–the Leinster-Connacht Football semi-final of the Railway Cup.
The County Committee will be called on to make provision for the growing attendance at matches at this very centrally situated venue, and much of their activities will be doubtless concentrated on making the Park the foremost of our many provincial venues.
The Committee must feel extremely grateful to the Westmeath Men’s Association of New York, who, through their Secretary., Mr. Christopher Murray (formerly of Raharney), sent a contribution of £60 to assist the G.A.A. in the county.
It is intended to purchase a suitable hurling trophy with this money, and in this connection a big drive is being contemplated to encourage hurling in the county.
The committee must feel quite happy in their endeavors to keep the Gaelic flag flying, and the fact that, despite the loss on inter-county games, a substantial profit has been made on the year’s working.
I could scarcely improve on the Secretary’s reference to the future:
The prospects for the future are distinctly bright and encouraging, and I am confident that 1935 will be a wonderful year not only for the Association as a while, but for Westmeath. With harmony, efficiency and common sense at our meetings, and a live-wire Committee to direct our affairs, no obstacle can impede our progress in our own Golden Jubilee Year.”
There are 26 motions all dealing with internal administration, while the large number of nominations for the different positions prove that the different areas are anxious to take a hand in the administration of the affairs of the county.
President– Rev. P. Dunne, C.C.
Chairman– M. Casey, Capt. P. Cowan, Sean Garland, N.T.; D. Leary, N.T.; Senator J.J. O’Boyle, N.T.
Treasurer– M. Casey, Capt. P. Cowan., D. Leary, N.T.; T. Manning, A. Mullen, J. Murray, J. Shanahan, B. Walsh.
Treasurer– M. Casey, P. Carey, J.M. Egan, Sean Garland, N.T.; Ben Hickey, N.T.; D. Leary, N.T.; B. Walsh.
Registrar– T. McCoy, B. Walsh
The Kilkenny Co. Convention will be held on January 27, while the Northern Division Convention takes place on December 23.
The All-Ireland Colleges’ Convention, fixed for Saturday next, has been postponed to January 19.
The Dublin-Louth National Football League tie, arranged for January 20, has been brought forward to January 13, as the Louth Convention is fixed for the former date.