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Three Galway Clubs feature in AIB’s new book: The Toughest Season – A Year like no other in Gaelic Games

Proceeds from the sale of the book will go to AIB’s partner charities, Age NI, Alone, FoodCloud, Soar & PietaAIB The Toughest Season Cover

Link to GALWAY Images: https://we.tl/t-VJll8bv7pL

AIB launched today alongside Glenbeigh/Glencar and former All-Ireland winning Kerry footballer Darran O’Sullivan and former Dublin footballer and current Tipperary selector Paddy Christie, The Toughest Season photobook, a pictorial account of how hurling, football and camogie communities came together to support one another throughout one of the toughest years in history.

 

Inspired by the strength of spirit within Gaelic Games communities, AIB has partnered with Sportsfile, the GAA and the Camogie Association, to publish The Toughest Season, which captures in 120 images the resilience of clubs, fans, and communities before, during and after the COVID 19 lockdown. All proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the AIB Together Fund supporting Age NI, Alone, Food Cloud, Soar and Pieta House.  

Featuring in The Toughest Season are photos submitted by Thomas Finneran, Declan Kelly & Veronica Quinn of St. Brendan’s GAA and Emma Corbett of Ardrahan GAA. The pictures included feature Jonathan Corbett giving his son Rían a big hug after winning the County Final with Ardrahan Under 12s, while the joyous scenes of the homecoming for St. Brendan’s GAA after their county final win are also included. All-Ireland Club Football Champions Corofin also feature prominently throughout the book.

 

2020 saw club gates close and games cease yet club chairpersons, players and volunteers were never busier. The tougher the year was, the stronger we became. In the first few weeks of the first lockdown, 9,000 GAA club members provided support for almost 35,000 people. It is this spirit that AIB has been proud to champion through three decades of sponsoring the AIB GAA Club Championships across football, hurling and camogie.

 

Earlier this autumn, AIB called on those across the country to take part by submitting their own images that depict their experience of ‘The Toughest Season’. Along with Sportsfile imagery, the book is comprised of photographs from individuals across Ireland who have visually shared their own stories.

AIB CEO, Colin Hunt, said: “The Toughest Season is a vivid celebration of all that is great about Gaelic Games and the communities in which they live and thrive. This book captures not just remarkable athletic skills in adverse conditions but also how GAA clubs reacted during the pandemic to support those in need in their communities.’’  

“You will see in this book the emotion generated within communities by on-field victory and defeat. But, off the pitch, you will also see club members getting together to ensure meals were delivered to homes during lockdown. This community spirit and resilience is the embodiment of the GAA and what makes it such an immense organisation by any standards”, he added.

AIB is delighted to partner with the GAA, the Camogie Association, Sportsfile and communities nationwide to tell this story of a season unlike any other, and when we needed each other more than ever, as a Gaelic Games community we rallied like never before.”

The powerful Irish proverb, Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine - people live in the shelter of others - expresses the spirit of this collective response to the pandemic and the foundation that Gaelic Games provides in community sustainability across the island of Ireland.

In addition to supporting hurling, football and camogie at club level, AIB is one of the main sponsors of the Senior Football Championship, with the semi-finals taking place on December 5th and 6th and the All-Ireland Final on December 19th.

The book can be bought at all good bookstores and online at https://www.sportsfile.com/id/TheToughestSeason/

A Huge thank you  to all the companies and individuals who supported us this year 

ACORN LIFE

AEROGEN 

AIDEN DEVANEY

BANK OF IRELAND 

BLACKLOUGH CONSTRUCTION LTD

BRIDGE BAR

BROOKS

CENTRA TUAM 

CHADWICKS

CLS RECRUITMENT GROUP LTD

CONNOLLY MOTOR GROUP  

COOLSIVNA CONSTRUCTION

COSHLA QUARRIES 

DAVY

DHKN

DONOHUE GROUP 

EVENTUS LTD MARQUEE HIRE

FLANNERY PLANT HIRE (OVAL) LTD

FVG CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE LTD

GALCOM SECURITY ELECTRONICS LTD

GATEWAY TRANSPORT

GERRY KILCOMMINS

GK HIRE 

GOGGINS TRANSPORT CO. LTD

IDEAL STANDARD 

JJ RHATIGAN & CO. 

KAVANAGH CRANE HIRE 

KIRBY GROUP ENGINEERING 

LORRAINE HIGGINS

MCGRATH'S LIMESTONE (CONG) LTD 

MCHUGH PROPERTY HOLDINGS LTD

MEDTRONIC

MEENAGHAN & CO. ACCOUNTANTS 

MIDWEST FORMWORK (UK) LTD

MJ FLOOD LTD

MONAGHAN & SONS

MONTANE DEVELOPMENTS 

OCC CONSTRUCTION 

PAM OIL CO. LTD 

PERMANENT TSB

PETER CURRAN ELECTRIC LTD

PJ PERSONNEL 

PURCELL CONSTRUCTION LTD

ROADSTONE 

SHERIDAN'S BAR & RESTAURANT

SIG 

SONAS BATHROOMS

STAPLETON & SONS ELECTRICAL LTD

SUPERMAC'S

TAAFFES BAR

WESTERN POSTFORM LTD 

WESTSIDE FORMWORK LTD 

The Galway 2020 Club was set up to support Galway football with the huge cost of training, travelling and competing,

for more information please contact galway2020club @gmail.com Thank youPaul Byrne

 

By Cian O'Connell

"There was an element of inevitability about it, in a way," Galway manager Shane O'Neill laughs about the fact that a Championship match against his native Limerick is imminent.

Sunday's All Ireland SHC semi-final at Croke Park is loaded with importance.

"You always felt it was going to happen because we are two of the top teams in the competition, so it was going to happen at some stage," O'Neill adds.

Contact, though, with a raft of his former Na Piarsaigh players and colleagues has been curtailed.

"Obviously, I know the boys very well, particularly the Na Piarsaigh lads and there are seven of them on the squad," O'Neill says.

"I'd be in regular contact, being my own club, we decided that we'd stop after the provincial finals, that there wouldn't be any contact. We haven't had contact for a while."

O'Neill hurled at Under 21 level for Limerick alongside John Kiely and both also featured for the green and white senior team.

"John and I, we were on the Limerick squad in the 90s and we hurled Under 21, lost the Munster final to Cork by a goal," O'Neill recalls.

"I know John well and I know personally. He is an absolute gentleman and has done a great job with Limerick."

In the west O'Neill wants to ensure Galway remain relevant too and is satisfied with the three displays delivered against Wexford, Kilkenny, and Tipperary.

 

Galway manager Shane O'Neill pictured at the LIT Gaelic Grounds last Saturday.
Galway manager Shane O'Neill pictured at the LIT Gaelic Grounds last Saturday.

 

Galway did suffer a Leinster final loss to the Cats sandwiched either side of two victories, but O'Neill is encouraged by the performances.

"Yeah, which is a huge credit to the players to be honest," O'Neill replies.

"They’ve only had a few weeks since the county finals in October, so we had a very short window.

"Sometimes that can help, just that little bit of freshness and not getting bogged down in any particular type of game plan and letting the boys just hurl.

"In fairness, they have hurled very well over the three games but to overcome Limerick we’ll have to go to a different level altogether."

Does the fact that O'Neill holds an in depth knowledge of the Limerick club scene and players carry relevance?

"We would know the players, but that maybe a hindrance in that you might have preconceived ideas about players, and that is like any management going into a particular set-up, as well, having that element of freshness and seeing something different," O'Neill replies.

"I am not too sure if it will make much of a difference. All the teams are playing at an extremely top-class level, all the players are at a top-class level, they are extremely good hurlers.

"The pace of hurling, the skill of hurling, across the board is phenomenal, and Limerick seem to be leading that at the moment."

That Galway summoned an instant response when beating Tipperary following the Kilkenny setback was a real positive according to O'Neill.

"I suppose the biggest one is the fact that we won," O'Neill remarks. "Secondly, it was a different type of game than Kilkenny. I felt that we played better hurling against Kilkenny, we knew it was going to be a tough and tight affair with Tipperary as it always is.

"The positive of it actually showed a bit of true grit to actually come out to win it."

Microsoft Teams & Forms Webinar

Many thanks to those who tuned into the webinar on Microsoft Teams and Forms in the context of running an online Club AGM.

As mentioned during the webinar, the recording and presentation slides will be made available to all Clubs.

  1. To access the recorded version of the webinar please click HERE

  2. To access the PowerPoint slides from the webinar please click ​pptx icon HERE

  3. To access the sample forms used during the webinar please click HERE and HERE

Please note previously recorded webinars can be viewed from the GAA Learning YouTube channel which can be accessed here – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCulyy46ph45l9t573fa2Aww

Or alternatively there are also webinars available to view here – https://learning.gaa.ie/administratorwebinars

Please feel free to share these resources amongst your Club.

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