Future stars kick on at Geraldines
Community club bedrock of local life for 125 years
It may surprise many to learn that Geraldines P Moran GAA club has one of the longest histories in the county of Dublin. A mainstay of the community in the Foxrock and Cornelscourt areas, the club celebrated its 125-year anniversary in 2011.
And, after suffering something of a downturn in fortunes at the turn of the century, Geraldines are now very much moving in the right direction.
Like all successful clubs, a thriving nursery is vital for future development. Club secretary Ted McEnery spoke to the Evening Herald about their work in that area.
"The nursery is the most important part of any club," he explained.
"If we don't have one we won't have teams in the future. We try to have about two teams leaving the nursery every year. Last year we put a club coach into the main feeder school, St Brigid's, which has proved a big success.
"We are not an elitist club and every member, young and old, is catered for. We have teams now competing at pretty much every level from U9 to adult.
"There is a stream of talent coming through so we need to harness that and it will eventually bear fruit on the field."
There is also much work taking place behind the scenes in order for Geraldines to improve their facilities: "We are working with the Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown county council at the moment with a view to getting a second pitch to go with the one we have in Cornelscourt.
"We also work closely with Foxrock/Cabinteely GAA club and we share each other's pitches. Hopefully the new pitch will be available at some point in 2012."
McEnery was also quick to stress the importance of the work done by chairman, Paul O'Connor.
"Paul took over the role a number of years ago and he has done tremendous work," said the Kerry native.
"He has been a real driving force behind the club. He has helped with getting a lot of the coaches on board. Last year was our 125th-year anniversary, which was marked by a number of activities and Paul was a huge part of that.
"Gaelic games are thriving in the area now and there is a great interest in the sport around Cabinteely and Foxrock. Paul has helped us to tap into and use that to our advantage."
Going forward, McEnery is very definite as to where he wants the club to be in the coming years.
"We want people to speak of us as a community based club," he said.
"We want to be a focal point for the whole community and not just for those who play the games. At the moment our resources are all going into getting teams on the field and having the facilities to cater for them.
"But our ultimate aim would be to give something back to the whole area and become a vibrant part of the local landscape.
"It gives the people the feeling of belonging to somewhere which we believe is vital for any successful club."