Rapparees/Starlights GAA Club held their annual Dinner Dance at the Riverside Park Hotel on Saturday last 26th January and it would be fair to say that the large crowd who attended enjoyed a great night.
Club Secretary Maria Nolan kicked the proceedings off by thanking all for coming to support the club and the players she had a special welcome for Club President Larry Byrne, Club Chairman Podge Hall, Club Sponsor Sam McCauley and Waterford hurler and All Star John Mullane.
Maria also welcomed Eddid Nangle home from America for the occasion and read out messages from Garry Brilly, Michael Doyle and Michael Walsh.
Podge Hall Chairman of the Club spoke about the victorious teams Minor hurlers, Junior Footballers and Intermediate Footballers and said how happy everyone was to be back in the Senior ranks in football again. He welcomed John Mullane and paid tribute to him for taking time out to attend.
Maria then called on Sam McCauley for a few words and thanked him for all his generosity to the club over the years – she said Sam was a dedicated Clubman and a true Gael. She asked those present to be mindful of the family of Tomas Kinsella and keep them in their prayers at this difficult time – Tomas she said had been a most generous underage Sponsor for years and she wanted to publicly thank him for his support.
In introducing John Mullane she gave an account of his achievements including 4 Munster titles, I National League Medal and 5 All Star awards but more importantly she said he holds the hearts and minds of all in Waterford and indeed the GAA fraternity as a whole. She said that it was impossible not to be amazed by the talent and ability of this exciting hurler even when he was playing against you and you couldnt but admire his unadulterated passion for the game, his Club and his County. In truth she said he could be called Cuchulainn`s Son.
John spoke at length to the 200 strong crowd about what playing for your county means and the commitment and dedication need but he said it was the Club where we all begin and where we all end – and it is the club that hold the key to the GAA heart. There is something really special about belonging to a club and feeling a part of its community and family.
John went on to make the Presentation of Medals to the 3 teams and then Podge Hall made a presentation of a Starlights jersey to John before wrapping up the formalites and wishing all a good night.
It was a great club night and our sincere thanks once again to all who came and supported in these trying times and a specia word of thanks to Kevin Foley and Seanie O`Gorman for selling so many tickets – you did good guys.
By Maria Nolan
Photo – right to left – Podge Hall Chairman, John Mullane, Maria Nolan Secretary, Larry Byrne President, Fiacre Ryan Vce Chairman