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BKACK HOLE IN LILYWHITE ACCOUNTS! - KILDARE GAA

Leinster Leader 7 June 2007
Black hole in Lilywhite accounts!
by
LIAM KENNY
 
 
The coverage of sport in local newspapers such as the Leader is naturally enough concentrated on the action on the field of play. But as every hard-bitten committee activist knows there is also a great deal of behind-the-scenes administration needed to keep an organisation as complex as the County Board of the GAA at full capacity.
 
This was certainly the case in Kildare one hundred years when Lilywhite club men from all parts of the county assembled in the Town Hall, Newbridge for the Annual Convention. Some idea of the network of clubs stretching into every parish in the county can be gleaned from the listing of delegates (readers in the relevant areas may identify familiar names): from Athy: Messrs. O’Brien, Doyle, Bergin, Lawlor; from Caragh: Messrs. Malone and Harrington; Kildare: Messrs. Gogarty, Buxton, Berry and Dunne; Prosperous: Radley and Larmon; St. Conleth’s: Murphy and Walsh; Moorefield: Carroll and Drennan; Milltown: McCormack and O’Shea; Clane: Geoghegan and Dunne; Celbridge: O’Brien, Donohoe and O’Connor; Allen: Dane and Carroll; Umeras: Cullen and Power; Rathangan: Mr. Meany; Johnstown: Messrs. Hanly and Robinson; Rathmore: Traynor and Darby: Maynooth: Neary and Dolan; Hazelhatch: Byrne and Glynn; Lord Edwards: Moynihan and O’Brien; Roseberry: Murphy and Houlihan; Maddenstown: Kelly and Martin; Athgarvan: Mr. Whelan.
 
According to the Leader report in the issue of 1st June the meeting was of a harmonious nature: ‘Much enthusiasm was apparent and anyone present could easily see that the Gaelic spirit in Kildare is as much alive as it was at any period in the history of the GAA. The proceedings throughout were conducted with business-like decorum and smoothness, and not a single jarring word was heard during the evening.’
 
Or at least there was no jarring note until a very curious report from the absent treasurer Rev. Fr. Ramsbottom was read to the meeting: ‘ According to my audit you should have to credit £60 7s 11d. As a matter of fact the bank book discloses a credit balance of £48 0s 11s. Between my audit and the bank account there is a difference therefore of £12 7s 7d.’ This difference of £12 was a striking amount of money in 1907. The reverend treasurer had no doubts when it came to identifying the source of the deficiency. ‘ During the year Mr. R _____ , our late chairman, absconded with some of our very hard earned money …. All the affiliation fees paid at the last Convention were handed by Mr. Radley (the Board secretary) in my presence to Mr. R _____  . He never deposited same.’
 
While the recalcitrant chairman was identified as the cause of the hole in the County Boards accounts his involvement was not the only cause of a drop of income to the board. The treasurer rapped the knuckles of a number of clubs who had been slow in paying their fees: ‘ Naas Football Club and Naas Hurling Club paid no affiliation fees. Consequently Naas is debtor to you for £1 4s. I regret also to report that the following clubs did not pay their entrance fees for championship: Moorefield, Carbury, Ballymore, Brownstown, and Robertstown Hurling.
 
Taking all this into account Rev. Ramsbottom estimated that the County Board owed debts of £25. However in a classic case of snatching-victory-from-the-jaws-of-defeat he concluded his report by pointing out that neither the senior nor junior county championships had as yet been played. ‘ These two gates, I expect, granting fine weather, will be the largest every recorded in Kildare.’ And as if glossing over the bad news he had to report earlier he came to the extraordinary conclusion: ‘ We therefore can remember 1906 as a very successful year.!
 
As a footnote in the same page of the 1st June 1907 there was a reference a club called the ‘Naas All Whites’, perhaps another intriguing clue to the story of how Kildare came to adopt the all white colours.
 
Compiled by Liam Kenny from the rich resources of the Leinster Leader files, Local History Dept., Kildare Co. Library. Series No. 19

A report in the Leinster Leader of 1 June 1907 on the Co. Kildare GAA Board Meeeting where a discrepancy in the accounts was noted - by Liam Kenny from his regular feature 'Nothing New Under the Sun,' - Leinster Leader 7 June 2007. Our thanks to Liam


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