A new beginning for Garda

by Stephen Findlater

GARDA Westmanstown Gaels marked an historic moment in their history last Monday evening with the launch of their new Strategic Plan for 2015-2018 entitled Pursuit of Success.

In attendance at the launch were GAA President Liam O’Neill, Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, Dublin county board secretary John Costello and Dublin senior football manager Jim Gavin – the club’s former manager at intermediate level – among other high profile figures.

The plan marks the formal amalgamation of the Garda GAA club with the Westmanstown Gaels which has now been running for 10 years with its first players starting to filter through to the adult section.

In addition, the club will feature their first hurling side this year while handball and rounders will also be organised and promoted under the GAA’s “one-club model” that provides one over-arching entity to promote the different codes of Gaelic games.

Speaking about the launch, chairman John Kissane told GazetteSport: “It is an exciting time to be around the club. We have a very strong team coming from all sides of the club – the adult side and the underage side. There is great unity and vibrancy all over the place in relation to this and everyone has come together.”

He says that there will be challenges ahead with the increased size of the operation but that the community around Westmanstown and the links already established with local schools has been a huge boon in establishing the club

“We still have our problems and you need volunteers every day of the week. We are lucky to be able to fill most positions but you can never have enough people helping out.

“There’s great life and excitement and it is great to see how we have progressed since 10 years ago when Westmanstown Gaels began, now being the one club with the first bunch of young lads coming through into the adult teams. The ladies are already well supplemented by underage players making them stronger.”

The plan itself has the mission statement of ensuring “our continued growth and development as a leading GAA club in Dublin and taking into consideration the uniqueness of our club, the mix of police and civilian members along with the changing demographics of our population.

“Our philosophy is simple; we are inclusive in supporting every member at team and club level in creating an environment where they can be the best that they can be. The development of the plan comprises ambitious, realistic and achievable goals.”

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