Chairperson Report (Unsaid)

This piece is the emotional report I wrote for the Club I had both founded and chaired since its formal existence in 2020 and before.

Due to unfortunate discordant circumstances within the club, I reformed the report and excluded all vulnerability.

Evening everyone and thank you for attending the second AGM for Na Gaeil Aeracha. I will begin my report with thanking everyone in the various forms for the work we have all put into Na Gaeil Aeracha. A strength of mine has always been observation – so note that I appreciate the effort and commitment from our players, committee members and management alike. It hasn’t gone unnoticed.

I believe the greatest movement this year was witnessing, and for those participating – in the glory provided by our LGFA team. From a take-off year of low numbers, our LGFA have shown us that their commitment and drive could never be questioned, and through the hard work and resolve of this year accomplished multiple wins, brilliant gameplay and unfathomable endurance. Their passion for improvement is something we should all massively applaud, as it draws nothing but inspiration and excitement as they continue moving up the ranks. Well done to all involved.

Our mission this year was to set up the GAA, and we accomplished that. I’ve been part of the team from since when it was ‘kickabouts’ in Phoenix Park and I am so proud of the first competitive year. While we didn’t ascertain any wins, the improvement is undeniable. And next year you will have your first win, and then your second and so on. It’s all on the cards. Keep that passion up, be relentless and go for it even if you doubt yourself. Nothing breaks that we cannot fix.

Emma had a statement at our last AGM of wanting Hurling and Camogie to be set up within NGA and we’ve had a lot of interest. Emma set up the pucabouts off her own back, and allowed the space to be created for those who wanted it, and for that we thank Emma on top of all of her duties. Now, coming into 2023 we have the official space for it be to ran. I’d like to thank those involved, particularly James Hayes for helping me help you. And of course, all those involved behind the scenes, too much to name. I wish you all the best for luck next year.

I think reflection is important and I’m sure we’re all sick of hearing that “it all started with a tweet.” The truth is this is it didn’t start with a tweet, but started a long, long time ago.

Regardless of its origins, there is an undeniable sense of content in knowing that there will never come a time where Na Gaeil Aeracha, in some shape or form will cease to exist. Because it’s within all of us and we are all of us, part of its story. Raising, teaching and learning. Na Gaeil Aeracha exists with its members who have travelled abroad and couldn’t play this year. They’re still part of the club. Na Gaeil Aeracha is still prominent, undoubtedly, in the spirit of those who plan to travel, or cannot commit to the team for a variety of reasons – they embody it, and it embodies them. It’s in the thoughts, in the support, it’s in the heart.

We’re all aware that a lot of us founding members are leaving at a committee level. I believe that with us as founders, we have a deep understanding of the club’s missions and values, and we have done all we set out to – we brought together our community and created a safe space for queer people in Irish sports, through LGFA, Gaeil Football, Hurling and Camogie.

To Emma, Caoimhe, Se and Luke, my fellow founders of this life-changing plan, I am sad to see us – all of us – move away from it. But we have put much more than two years work into this, and we certainly deserve the break.

Luke, the earliest associate, I wish you the best in your travels and career, and I hope you hang onto the memories of us discussing in The Globe the aesthetic and mission of the club. I speak for both of us when I say our vision was cute, but nothing to what NGA has become. We are both capable and resourceful.

Se, you have kept me calm a lot more than you’ll know as we navigated forward – you have always been easy to follow and have an innate ability to allow your expertise to be expressed in simple format so as to be concise. Your assurance has allowed me to be more confident in my role and in my life, to stop doubting and overthinking. That’s something I get to take with me. Thank you.

Emma and Caoimhe – you are both indescribable credits to this club and to me – I can’t even begin to describe what you’ve done for everyone in this room and beyond. You both have my undying respect and admiration and I look forward to journeying on and spending time with you outside the pressures of our common commitment.

Our second year was to ensure the running of the GAA alongside the LGFA, and we have accomplished that. The seeds have grown into standing plants, and it isn’t something we talk about, how much work goes on behind the scenes because we want to provide the best quality of a club we can, and we have been its first line of defense. I can acknowledge the shortcomings of the club, hopes and ambitions – gifts we wanted to give to you all to show our love for you. Which didn’t come into fruition. I hope you all know that nobody holds those failures with more pain than I do. Not because I can see the stress my committee have been under, but because I know across the board all we have wanted is to gift you all the best possible experience because I think the world of you all, and feel protective over my members. I hope my mindset of solutions over problems carries on, and we find continued strength in resolution and adaptability.

I spoke earlier that Na Gaeil Aeracha is in the heart and spirit of those here today, and beyond, all over the world. I hope that really registers with us all. And more on that – I hope we understand that NGA is in the hearts of people who are tucked into corners of the country which are isolated and may not have access to resources which they need to understand who they are. It’s in the hidden hearts of people who are scared to express themselves and remain cloaked, which is an element of humanity we can all identify with here. Na Gaeil Aeracha is a beacon to the youth, as they grow and perhaps find themselves in a world they are made to feel like they don’t belong to. It’s in the elderly, who see with smiles that something like this exists – finally. And it’s in our families, those of us fortunate enough to be able to relay ourselves to them.

And for those of us who can’t or have struggled to. Na Gaeil Aeracha is that family. And we support you.

There is one last thing I’d like to say, from a personal standpoint. I’ve never been proud of myself, because I’ve never had anybody proud of me. You get lost in that. I know I was. But through the strength of my many friends I’ve created, I gathered some support and some strength and through Na Gaeil Aeracha I was able to have conversations I never thought would come with my family. And just this year had my da told me he was proud of me. All thanks to Na Gaeil Aeracha, and the spirit you’s have all mustered in me. Thanks to you, I finally get to start working on a relationship which didn’t exist before. I look forward to a year of free time that I can spend working on a bond that I have always craved.

Thank you, everyone.

Edward Norton

I heard from a red-breasted small bird
“Home is where your home is.”
As he perched on my fingers,
This tiny beast of dirt.
When trees were tipped with leaves
Of burning scarlet
From the oxygen of Autumn

I could’ve broken his neck
Had he not just said
“Home is where your home is”, right then.
So I made a home in my head
Decided to settle within
With the Robin, who never questioned it.

As the years progressed,
My home too stone for a Robin Red-Breast,
I tore from my sanctuary,
Thought it best.

But when there’s a salt in the breeze,
Fires within the fields,
A red-breasted small bird appears to me.
Whisperedly;
“Home is – where your home is?”

“A place where I can see the stars.
Instead of guilt tripping on the stones,
That I kick up at the stars.
The stones that I kick up at the stars.
Stones that I kick up at the stars –
– stones that I kick up at the stars –
– trip over the stones, that I kick up at the –
– stones that I kick over the stars –
– kick over stones, and I trip over the stars.”



Testing God

We should have let Sean burn down Brackenstown
Because then the priests would be petrified
Of a twelve year old brat child
Who refused the body of Christ


When we’re done with the men
We’re coming for the gods
The saints and evangelicals will be found and then lost


I want to see,
Where do they go when they’re bowed in prayer
Bloody cotton mouths and infrared radars
I need to know
How do you glow out all other flares
The invitation to madness turns crosses square


In the black of the night only greasy glades in my sight
Battery powered words and a badly loaded gun to lead up anything that bites
Scent of the wine
Stenches my mind


When we’re done with the men
We’re coming for the gods
The saints and evangelicals will be killed and then tossed


I want to see,
Where do they go when they’re bowed in prayer
Bloody cotton mouths and infrared radars
I need to know
How do you glow out all other flares
The invitation to madness turns crosses square


Infrared radars pools of blood that we devour
Holes in the moon and comet showers
Pace of something insane
Target on God and barrel on brain

Bastard Blood

Jesus has denied me as my father
Just like my da did when I was thirteen
In my twenties I’m already better
Than what they both could ever possibly be

It hurts them to see me fuck men sideways
Their disappointment drives me deeper into my wild ways
Dirty fights in a war they pledged with me

The bastard blood stains my skin
As I light up the family trees with kerosene
They all look like crucifixes to me

Diabolically against everything they stand for
I grin with our blood staining my teeth
I am everything you’re afraid to be

Ours The Faces (The End Of The World)

I miss my brothers
I haven’t seen them since the end of the world
We survived the diseases, breathed the burning breezes
Now we deal with the end of the world

I miss them dearly, isolated fearing
I hope to see them before the end of the world
Each one a beacon, On my knees, pleading
Can I see them before the end of the world

One final embrace, ours are the faces
The faces of the end of the world
Our lives the last, our eyes the last
All hand in hand, for the end of the world

Marko and Ciaran, it hurts to speak on
I’ll see you at the end of the world
Ellie and Amy, I’ll be waiting
I’ll see you at the end of the world
Paul and Tracey, the ones who made me
I’ll see you at the end of the world
Tilly and Niall, I’m right behind
Together at the end of the world

I’m at the sunset
I’ll see you at the end of the world
Harmonic disturbance, we achieved nothing
I’ll see you at the end, of the world
No god showed, there’s nothing above, nothing below
I’ll see you at the end of the world

I wish for my brothers,
I’ll see you at the end of the world
We had it coming, couldn’t outrun it
I’ll see you at the end of the world
All this for nothing
I’ll see you at the end of the world
We’ll be together, goodbye forever
I’ll see you at the end of the world

Generation carbon
We knew we would be the end of the world
Political freezes, money and underground leeches
I give you the end of the world

Cement will burn, from the heat of the new sun
Misjudged, it’s the end of the world
Suits tried to run, if you breathe, you will burn
Welcome to the end of the world

To my father, and my father’s father
I’ll forgive you at the end of the world
What happens thereafter
We’re at the mercy of the end of the world

Rob and Nicky, love is that tricky
I’ll see you at the end of the world
Cyro and Ness, you hit me the best
I’ll see you at the end of the world
Nadz and Katz, my favourite brats
I’ll see you at the end of the world
Jack and Jay, I’d do anything to save
I’ll see you at the end of the world

I’m at the sunset
I’ll see you at the end of the world
Harmonic disturbance, we achieved nothing
I’ll see you at the end, of the world
No god showed, there’s nothing above, nothing below
I’ll see you at the end of the world

I wish for my brothers
I’ll see you at the end of the world
We had it coming, couldn’t outrun it
I’ll see you at the end of the world
All this for nothing
I’ll see you at the end of the world
We’ll be together, goodbye forever
I’ll see you at the end of the world

Watching the world burn, I see flames in the eyes of Ciaran
Too dry to cry,
When we were younger, I wiped them so many times
Anna’s in shock, still acting strong
Rob’s got my shoulder, we never grew older
Cyro so defeated, a fighter I never thought could be beaten
All of my friends
Skin glowing red
I see them and it’s the end of the world

I’m at the sunset
Cliffside to nothing
Ours are the faces
The faces of the end of the world

Seventeen

I left a lot of nights to blue
Exactly what happened, I’ve never had a clue
See,
Nobody ever really cared about me
Despite how far I went, how dangerously
Into the streets
Myself and me

And all along the roads I never believed in
I came across some nodes, their tips beating
A gang of them, didn’t know their names or meanings
But still said I’d go to lose the evening
Closed all the doors

My pupils wide,
Top me up all night
And would you believe?
I’m only seventeen

We went skipping on train tracks, my nameless friends that
Gave me my youth by removing the child from me
See,
Nobody ever really listened to me,
So I sinned and snuggled into an inner duality
Became two different boys, just for the company
To contrast my crooked reality

All along those roads, he was all I had to know, to believe in
I came across no more than what he was thinking
He countered all of my hopes, so we could pretend we’re dreaming
Went up and low, just to feel it
Closed all the doors

My pupils riot,
Pill poppin’ high
Would you believe?
I’m only seventeen

Seventeen

He says to me
“You’re the greatest you’ll ever be, at seventeen”
His hands are on me,
Because I’m only seventeen
Is it life or a dream?
I’m only seventeen

I’m only seventeen

Instruments for Burial

I think about it often
The tools I will bring
All of my instruments
When I’ve taken my medicine

The last time my skin will feel the sun again
Boxed in for my burial
The close I spent so much hurrying
Love that I kept narrowing

There’ll be lashes of poetry on my skin
To decompose
The paintwork green and thin
Just like Lar’s did
I think about it if and when

What’s left of my innocence
Pages of paper, only my favourites
My within purgatorial
Instruments for burial

Some family pictures, there’s one in particular
The one with my dad always made me so sad, which is familiar
The teddy I held close when I missed Ellie the most, when I was a prisoner
The laugh lines, from Alex and Ciarán, my dearest builders

My treasured green pen, if only to flick
As I walk the endless walk
Which inspires me to think
I’ll need no compass, friend, not even some ink
Just a single bright moment
One to illuminate the brink

These are the tools I will bring
My instruments
And either way
I’ll need to keep my inner child safe
I didn’t get to before the grave
All of his little yesterdays

Better bring with me my faith
Lessons from millions of mistakes
And many miles of shame
Memories so pictorial
These are my Instruments for Burial

The Runner

Everytime I go to figure it out,
I can't help but fuck it up,
When I was a boy, and my da was my da
I learned when to run, and could run, so fast

I had to grow up, never look back
If you rap on my wall, I'd always tap back
But lost are those days, if I could get them back
I'd grab with my hands, one summer to have back

Over the stones that remind me of home

They can't hurt you, not if they can't catch you
Oh I wish that was true, I wish that were true
But I ran away, I'll do it again
Cuts on my leg, creak in my neck

Over the stones that remind me of home

I kept up some skills, maybe its there my mind is
Still just a kid, older, that child is
Still a song writer, still starting fires
Still hyperbad, I guess still a fighter
Still going mad, I've lost and I've tired
Still sprint over sand, over snow, over briar

Over the stones, that remind me of home,
Go

Over the embers of bonfires, over the streets stained with spits of blood
Way in and far, past the way back
Over the rivers that once ran so fast
Over the kid-bones, the dead from my past
Over and over, the lies that last
Over and over
Forever,
- The Runner

Gemini Loyalty

“I could shapeshift around the slick of a sleeve
And I will be whatever it takes to make you bleed
For within me,
You have a thousand enemies.”

Ultimately single rooted,
Loyalty of Gemini is to be disputed
Until the rivers run red, and the relentless are soothed

A slice of information lost but to the lunatic;
The precision of trust is seldom innocent
Must never, be ever-present

Fundamentally imbruted,
We dispel shadows and dilute them
In our everlasting game of parry, and distribution

Breaking, rules of trick and confusion,
Buried beneath grounds of intrusion
But a plum, among bruises

Constructing spared from the abusive,
A secret sanctuary stashed where truth isn’t
But a proudly swelling plum, among bruises

Mind will brain and tongue will ruin
Any famine, thirst or unwanted pursuing
Our precious plum, among bruises

Leans and writhes between the moving and renewing
Its song a call, battle cry music
Summons the strewing of a cruel undoing
To keep our plum safe, among bruises.