Club Update - Kevin O’Shaughnessy

(22 Apr 2020)

Dear Members,

I hope you are all keeping well in these difficult times. People are members of the GAA for a multiplicity of reasons – a sense of community, an opportunity to play our National games, to develop lifelong friendships and to celebrate a sense of Irish identity for both people from traditional Irish backgrounds and the new Irish.

We would normally be in full operational mode with all our teams engaged in their competitions, inter county activity dominating the national sports coverage and the various social and fundraising activities in full swing. However this year we are in a very different place so I would like to take this opportunity to inform you of how the club are meeting the opportunities and challenges that this presents.

Firstly I would like to acknowledge the outstanding work of our many front line members who daily unselfishly lead the fight against the epidemic in the health care challenges and in the other areas, e.g. retail, which allows the rest of the community cope with the current crisis. In Castleknock GAA this crisis has brought to the fore our sense of identity and our commitment to the community we live in. This commitment is amplified by a number of initiatives which members are engaged in. The club is working closely with Fingal County Council, Supervalu, other bodies and direct referrals in supporting households in difficult circumstances. Over 60 members are engaged in this community initiative with tasks ranging from shopping to dog walking. These members to date are engaged with over 33 households on a daily/weekly basis resulting in 77 visits since the outset. This resource is available to the total community not just to our members. Also our Adult Ladies are running a fundraiser to support the work of our local hospice and no doubt they will be engaging with you in this endeavour.  Finally I would like to acknowledge the work of James Sherry (Somerton Physio) in making free video consultations during the crisis for our more mature members.

We have a lot to be proud of as a club and I know I speak for all of our members in saluting those who are involved.

There are the obvious downsides to the crisis, but unfortunately where one might assume less activity means an improving financial position the opposite is true. The vast majority of the clubs expenditure is fixed and bears no relationship to activity levels, e.g. loan repayments of €111,000 pa, and as no significant fundraising is possible and may not be for the remainder of the year plus the difficulty in generating new sponsorship deals, the cash position is challenging.

Lastly and most importantly I am aware that a number of our members have been directly impacted by the virus in their own households and their extended family and wish them the best and they remain in our thoughts and prayers.

Remain safe.

Kevin O’Shaughnessy

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