Charlestown’s capital coup

You’ll recall I was a bit the worse for wear this night week. It was all the fault of Charlestown Sarsfields GAA club. Let me explain.

I got a very kind invitation to a fundraiser the club was hosting in Dublin, which took place last Friday afternoon at the Radisson Blu up here on Golden Lane, at the back of Dublin Castle. Styled as “An afternoon with Tyrone legend Mickey Harte and guests” the fundraiser was a well-attended and lively lunch (in my case a rather boozy one too), hosted in entertaining fashion by Barry Murphy of Après Match fame.

Mickey was there and did a nice speech, even managing to say a few complimentary things about the county team in the process, although the sting of his side’s latest loss to us wouldn’t have had fully subsided by then. After that, clubman John Casey hosted a lively panel discussion with Billy Joe Padden and Ciaran Whelan. Club hero and county star Tom Parsons was also at the event, mingling with the assorted guests. The food was great and there was drink taken, Your Honour.

Two things about the event impressed me. The first was the ingenuity of hosting a Mayo GAA club fundraiser in Dublin. This might seem like an obvious thing to do but I can’t recall another example offhand of a Mayo club taking such a route.

It makes eminent sense – club fundraising within the county inevitably involves pulling from the same pot on a continual basis, competing with everyone else on the same mission in the process. It can’t be an easy task. Dublin is where the people are, it’s where the money is and, crucially, it’s where the people with the money are. As John Casey remarked to me at the event, if Mohammad won’t go to the mountain then the mountain must come to Mohammad.

The second impressive thing was that this event didn’t just happen. A serious amount of careful, detailed organising went into it and the fruits of these labours were there for all to see on the day. The event’s main organisers – club chairman Liam Breheny, main club sponsor Alan Crean, Kevin Duignan (secretary), Valerie Murphy (treasurer), Donal Healy and Ronan Kenny – all deserve high praise for pulling this event together in the impressive manner that they did.

I did mention it was a fundraiser, didn’t I? Liam tells me they raised something in excess of €25,000 from the event, an amount all the sweeter I’d say, seeing as it didn’t involve tapping the usual suspects back home for the bulk of this lolly.

Other clubs take note: in the world of fundraising, there are different ways to skin the proverbial cat. Charlestown blazed an impressive trail with this initiative, others will surely profitably follow in their wake.

11 thoughts on “Charlestown’s capital coup

  1. great to see – given the number of Mayo folk living in the Capital, this is a great idea.

    Personally speaking – I”m not involved in any club here in Dublin and would rather any finances that I might have to spare to my home county.

    I’m sure I’m not alone in at least part of this thinking.

  2. Fair play to the Charlestown crew – consistently impressive and forward thinking. Great website, social media presence and now proven success in the fundraising arena. A fairly sound bunch too 😉

  3. Yes I always found Charlestown to be really sound on and off the pitch. They have quite a small pick these days but have some really ambitious young coaches.

  4. As an aside, it’s great to see we have the best organised and meanest defence in Division One. Stats in today;s Indo show we conceded only 20 points from converted free in the whole league campaign. This represents the lowest percentage concession, of 19.6 per cent, thus putting us ahead of the Dubs who conceded 24 points (28.6 p.c) and Tyrone 25 points (26.69 p.c.).

    Kerry’s defence conceded 3 goals from penalties and 47 points from frees – the division’s worst record . They were way behind everyone else – even relegated Roscommon who gave away 1-33. I doubt if Fitzmaurice will allow such prolificacy tomorrow – otherwise Dean Rock will have another field day!

  5. Well done Charlestown…I can imagine the am mount of work done to get that going.
    Have to say that being part of the Alliance Prediction league sure gives one an extra interest in the games of all the divisions… grand to see also the ability of some of these players who year after year plough away in their lone furrows.This evenings games reminded me of what great times we would have if the thing was properly organised so that these great players could be allowed to display their talents on a more appropriate platform….. in other wards scrap the county system somewhat and reorganise along more sensible lines to level up the playing field…eg Wicklow + Wex…Waterford+Tip South …Tipp North +Offaly etc. ending up with about two dozen right good teams ….a dream!
    An annoying thing about some refs is their insistence on gettin names into the book above every thing else…no matter what promise was building in play. I could think of an awful lot of other words than annoying too!

  6. Tipp North and Offaly, you mad? Rivalry in hurling would supercede all efforts to amalgamate football teams. Don’t think that will ever happen. A tiered championship like the hurling is the way to go.

  7. Ya Martin … someone told me one time that v often you have to be a bit mad to be a bit sane. But of course it ll never happen but what if? I was only saying! What stupidity was afoot to base it on the county in the first place anyway? It’s only a question. And of course what about …. was it a club in Mayo ..the Stephenites, represented the county wan time for some reason? Was it how they felt they had a better chance than the bigger area given that in those times football was probably weakish in rural areas.

  8. Was it not a case of club winners were the county team when the organisation first set up. Sure didn’t Bray emmets win the all Ireland and Dublin have that as one of their all Ireland’s in roll of honour despite bray emmets now being a Wicklow club , must of been a Dublin club back then I guess.

  9. Well done to Kerry,and congratulations game changer shows we will have to be at our best to compete in summer,also well done to Galway

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