We have experienced many unforeseen changes in 2020, and it is a year that will be remembered in history for a long time to come.  A further significant change in the life of Ballyboden St. Endas will occur when our club General Manager of 17 years, Noel Sheridan, will retire at the end of October.  Noel has been a constant figure of kindness and consistency in the club for as long as most of us can remember; he has been the foundational rock on which much of the good things that have happened in the club have been based; Noel always has time for club members, and, no matter how much his patience was tested, he never spoke a bad word about anybody.  Noel’s wisdom and sound judgement have been of great help to me in my time as chairman as it has been to those who went before me.  Whenever we needed to test an idea or a suggestion, we could be sure that Noel would give a considered response based on his unique insight and years of experience.  No job was too big or too small for Noel to take on, and he has been the glue that held the administration of the club together since he took on the role of General Manager in 2003.

Of course Noel’s contribution to Ballyboden St. Endas long predates his taking on the role of GM.  Kathleen O’Sullivan identified a Kilkenny man with daughters as a prospective camogie coach in the Hermitage in 1982, and what foresight she displayed in her choice!  He managed camogie teams that won Junior and Intermediate championships as well as being a selector on Junior, Intermediate and Senior hurling teams with championship success at Junior and Intermediate.  Noel served as Secretary of both the Camogie and Hurling sections and was Chairman of the Social Committee, in which role he was instrumental in organising the famed St. Patrick’s weekend trips around the country.  Noel has served on the club Executive under at least four chairpersons,  where his calm, organised, facilitative manner has exerted a huge influence over Ballyboden St. Endas during all of those years.  It was my privilege and honour to recognise Noel’s singular contribution to the club through the presentation of a Gradam an Chathaoirligh at the Gala event last year as part of our 50th anniversary celebrations.

Thankfully, this is not the end of a road but simply a turn and a change of direction as Noel has committed to continue his immense contribution a volunteer once Covid restrictions and his health allow, and we look forward to seeing him back on the Firhouse road before long. In the meantime, Noel is always available at the end of the phone to provide advice, information or simply for a chat.

We would like to thank Noel for his enormous contribution to ‘Boden, and, of course, we thank his wife Rose both for her own work in the club and for her support to Noel and for lending him to us over the past 17 years.  Thanks also to Noel’s family, and especially his daughter Aideen who regularly lent her expertise in formatting and submitting monthly accounts.  Once current restrictions are lifted, we will find a way for club members to acknowledge Noel’s unique contribution to Ballyboden, but for now we wish him all the best as he steps down as club General Manager.