For Skryne GFC 2012 will go down as a year in which we did not have any adult men success. The Keegan cup, A League, B Leagues Feis cup or even the under 21 championship were well outside our grasp. For a club like Skryne this would normally represent a major disappointment. Yet as we approach Christmas we can look back on the year as one of the most successful years ever in the history of our club. As with any GAA club Skryne is the heart and soul of the parish and community it is based in. Any Irish person will tell you that it is the Gaelic football/hurling club that is the main focal point of most sporting and social aspects of their community and in Skryne this is shown to be the case year after year. However 2012 was a very special year for the Skryne club.
This was the year we celebrated the 125th year of the playing of football in our parish and the 75th consecutive year of playing senior football. Not only is this unique in Meath but extensive enquiries have shown that only four other clubs in Ireland ever achieved this record and one of these has already been relegated.
Celebration of the year started in March with the launch of the club history in Killeen Castle. This history was written by Dave Carty and titled “The Blue Kings or Tara”. So extensive and detailed is the publication that it had to be printed in two volumes. Davy has already picked up one award for this book and it is well deserved. The greatest accolade however, came from the most recent former President of the GAA Christy Cooney, when he stated that he would recommend the format as the blue print for all future club histories. All the former greats who played football with Skryne and who represented Meath were there on the night and were interviewed by the well known RTE personality Michael Ó Muircheartaigh.
Not content with one fabulous night of celebrations, the club organised a banquet to celebrate the momentous year that 2012 represented to the club. This banquet was held in Knightsbrook hotel in Trim and over 300 guests attended. This night has again been commended as a marvellous celebration.
There were a number of very successful fund-raisers held and were enjoyed by all the participants. We had the usual Golf Classic which this year was run as a “three ball” and which saw increased participation from keen golfers both from inside and outside the club. In June we held our first cycling event and this promises to be a very good event for the future. The underage section held a “Mr & Mrs” competition”, which saw a good crowd in Swans Pub to support our younger members. In Early October we were approached by our neighbours in Duleek/Bellewstown to have a “White Collar Boxing” competition. It was hearting to see the level of commitment from our adult players which included a number of our ladies. Also some members who have ceased to play football came back for this event and contributed handsomely to the success of the night.
The club also conducted a fundraiser for one of our members who was seriously injured in an unfortunate incident in New York where she in living at the moment. This fundraiser was spearheaded by the Ladies section in conjunction with Meath Ladies County Board. This was generously supported by Skryne members and supporters.
I already mentioned the lack of success at adult level. But that does not mean we had no success on the field. Our under 14 were brilliantly managed to win the league and as a result went on to represent Meath in the Feile competition. We can expect much more from these lads in the future as they have that winning way about them. The under 16s similarly won their competition and quite a few of the under 14s were represented on that team. The team that took most plaudits for the club this year has to be our minors. This team won a league decider against a much vaunted Jenkinstown Gaels side which is an amalgamation of two senior clubs. The win is a credit to the lads and their managers. Of course anyone who has been watching these players since they first started playing football would know that they are a special bunch of lads. But as we know over the years, having talent will not bring success without that talent being properly developed and nurtured. The culture in Skryne has always been to attract as many young players as possible to Gaelic football with a view to training them in the skills of the game and handing on a bunch of players to whatever manager would be in charge of them the next year. This can be seen at work any Saturday morning as six year olds are put through their paces by the dedicated managers who give of their time selflessly. Hopefully in the years to come we will see all these young people, both boys and girls, represent our club and achieve even more success for themselves and Skryne. This is why we won the Keegan cup in 2010 and why we had success at under 14, 16 and Minor in 2012. Great credit must be given to all these selfless members who do such valuable work with all our young people.
Skryne GFC also caters for the ladies and girls of our community and what a year they had. There were wins for the under 11s, 13s, 14s, 15s & 16s. The under 12 reached the final but were beaten on the day. At adult level the U19 reached the semi-final of the league and the seniors reached the final of the league and semi-final of the championship.
As I said at the outset this has been a fabulous year for the club and it will I am sure be added to in the years to come. I want to wish all our members and supporters a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.
Joseph O’ Brien