President’s Message 2018
Dear Friends and Fellow Bowlers
It is a great privilege and honour for me to be able to address you all as President of the Irish Bowling Association at the start of the 2018 season. I would like to thank the Bowling League of Ireland for nominating me as your President and all the IBA member clubs for accepting it. In particular, I must thank my own club Dun Laoghaire for accepting me as a member in late 2016 knowing the amount of time and effort that will be required of them in my Presidential year.
I am very much aware of the prestigious list of men who have preceded me in this role over the last 114 years and it is a very humbling experience to have one’s name added to that list. Unfortunately, three of these men have passed away in the last year, Richmond McKay, Erroll Whitten and my fellow club member Gilmour Byrne. To the best of my knowledge I never had the pleasure of meeting Richmond, but I was privileged to have personally known Erroll and Gilmour, both perfect gentlemen. May all three rest in peace.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone representing the IBA continued success in 2018 when we look forward to the XXI Commonwealth Games which will be played at Broadbeach Bowls Club in April. The B.I.B.C. Championships and Senior Internationals will be played at Leamington Spa at the end of June. Finally, the Junior Internationals will be played at Belmont Bowling Club in early September. Whilst both Broadbeach and Leamington Spa may be a bit too far for most to travel I would earnestly appeal to you all to make every effort to come along and support our Junior players who will be representing Ireland at Belmont in early September.
Also, don’t forget our own Senior Inter Association series hosted this year by the NIBA and the Junior Inter Association series hosted by the NIPBA. Our National Championships in September will be hosted by my own club Dun Laoghaire and for the first time ever will be played on a synthetic surface. I know that all my friends in Dun Laoghaire Bowling Club will give a great “Céad Míle Fáilte” to all those who travel both to play in and support the National Championships.
My best wishes to Albert Foundry, Balmoral, and Pickie who celebrate their 75th anniversaries this year and Portstewart who will be 50 years old. I hope to be able to join them all and partake in their celebrations.
I started bowling on a sunny April Sunday in 1989, and the first man to put a bowl in my hand was Brendan O’Malley who was to go on to serve as IBA president in 2005. I wonder was that some kind of omen for my future? I have greatly enjoyed my 29 years bowling and hope to continue to do so for many more years. I hope by serving as your President for the next 12 months that I can give something back to the game I love so much and to all the bowlers I have met over the intervening years. It always is a great pleasure to meet so many gallant sporting people.
Finally, I wish all of you the best for the 2018 season and hope to meet as many as possible of you throughout the year.