A crowd over 300 Roscommon GAA supporters from throughout the country descended on the Hodson Bay Hotel last Friday night for the annual Club Rossie Banquet, which featured the presentation of Medals to the Connacht Senior Football Championship winning team.
Those present were first addressed by Tim Hayes, the General Manager of the Hodson Bay Hotel, who spoke warmly about the Hotel’s close relationship with Gaelic Games in the county. Mr Hayes said that people from all over Roscommon visit the venue for various functions and the Hotel like to think they are giving something back to the community by supporting Roscommon GAA through it’s sponsorship of the Senior Football Championship and other activities.
Club Rossie Chairperson David O’Connor welcomed the attendees and thanked them for turning out in such big numbers. He also thanked the management and staff of the Hodson Bay Hotel for hosting the Banquet and everyone who assisted in the organising of the event.
Speaking after the meal Roscommon GAA Chairperson Seamus Sweeney thanked the supporters and the Roscommon players and the management teams across all codes and grades for their efforts through the year. He also thanked the Clubs for their support, the sponsors for their financial backing and Club Rossie for all their fundraising activities. He told those in attendance that Croke Park officials informed him recently that the income generated through sponsorship and fundraising activities of Club Rossie was amongst the top five in Ireland, adding that it was a terrific achievement for such a small County.
The next stage of the event was the presentation of Medals. Connacht GAA President Michael Rock spoke with pride about his presentation of the JJ Nestor Cup to his fellow Roscommon man in Pearse Stadium last July. That man, Ciarain Murtagh, then spoke excellently about the honour of leading this current group of players and thanked Team Manager Kevin McStay for giving him the opportunity to captain the team. He also thanked the supporters, his Club St Faithleachs, and the County Board for backing the team and all those who attended the Banquet. In concluding he thanked Special Guest Colm O’Rourke for taking time to attend the event and he wished Colm and the team he manages, Simonstown Gaels, all the best in their Leinster Club Championship match on Sunday.
Next up was Kevin McStay, who spoke with pride on what the team had achieved in the face of huge adversity following their disappointing League campaign. Looking ahead to next season he said that there will be increased competition for places on the panel and that everyone was working hard. He thanked the County Executive for their support through difficult times and Club Rossie for their support and for organising Friday’s event – “a very classy event for the players and the team management and their families”. He added that it was much appreciated and the players deserved to be honoured in this manner for what they had achieved. He also concluded by thanking Colm O’Rourke for coming to the event despite, his busy schedule, and the players were honoured to receive their medals from such a high profile GAA personality.
MC for the evening Brian Carroll then called on each panel to receive their Medal from Colm O’Rourke, giving them all a unique introduction. After the presentation Colm O’Rourke addressed the crowd and he didn’t disappoint. He gave a very interesting insight into his Footballing career, the current state of the GAA, as he sees it, and his opinion on how the GAA could address certain issues. The two-time All-Ireland winner commented on the age profile of the Roscommon panel and encouraged the group to stay united and achieve further honours. He added that he didn’t attend many of these type of functions but felt that this panel had won their Connacht title against all the odds and he was delighted to be asked to present the medals to them.
We wish to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended the Banquet, those who became a member of Club Rossie and all who supported any of the fundraising activities throughout 2017. Your continued support next year will help bring further success to the county.