2020/21 AGM

2020/2021 AGM

AGENDA – 30th September 2021



  1. Chairman opens 51st AGM.
  2. Minutes of 2020 AGM – (Secretary, Treasurer and Chairman reports)
  3.  Secretary’s Report
  4. Treasurer’s Report
  5.  Chairman Address
  6. Motions/Proposals
  7.  Chairman Dissolves Elected Committee
  8.  Election of Officers & Committee Members
  9. A.O.B. 


Minutes from 2020 AGM. 



I would like to welcome everybody here to the 50th Annual General Meeting and my first as Honorary Secretary.

I would like to begin my report by extending my gratitude to the following members of the outgoing committee for whose work within and on behalf of Ratoath Harps has proved invaluable; Phil Doran (Chairman), Michael Connolly (Treasurer), Mark Flood, Rob Tatten, Gerry Doody and Sean Lawlor

The 2019/20 season saw us transitioning back to winter football for our NDSL teams which once again put pressure on the club’s finances. We started the season with 24 NDSL teams and 4 MGL teams with approximately 450 children participating. Our Leinster Senior League section consisted of two senior teams and an U19 team with approximately 70 registered players across the three teams. Our Academy for players of 5 to 7 years of age was reinvigorated with numbers exceeding 40 over the two sessions every week. In conjunction the FAI we have Saturday morning Football For all program coordinated by Ray Hoare & Keith Webster to cater for players with various disabilities to play football in a structured environment.

It would be customary for me at this point to congratulate the players and coaches for their successful season and many league titles won and cup campaigns. However, matters off the field with the Covid 19 pandemic saw the NDSL and MGL cut short and cancelled and the delayed LSL currently finishing their delayed season. These have been very strange times indeed with many sections in our community struggling through the pandemic and various Covid restrictions. We have all learned the importance of the small things in life that we had taken for granted. The central role that Ratoath Harps plays in the community came into focus when training finally resumed when children and adult alike finally had the opportunity to express themselves physically and mentally. A collective sigh of relief could be heard across the community as the various sports clubs returned to training and people finally had an outlet outside of their own four walls.

This season finally saw the opening in January 2020 of our long-awaited club house which is the culmination of many years of hard work of the many volunteers within the club. It is a fantastic facility and hopefully will serve the club and community for many years to come.

With the introduction of our Managers and Volunteers Handbook in 2018 the structures and procedures were put in place for the next phase of the growth of our club to happen. In February 2019 we saw the formation of a new coaching committee and a fundraising committee.

The coaching committee have guided all the managers and coaches through the grading process, team, and league formations. Several coaching workshops were held in 2019 and the plan is to have these on a continual basis. They have assigned lead coordinators for each age group as the point of contact for any footballing matters. Their continuing involvement will ultimately result in an improved quality of football and coaching within the club.

The new fundraising committee is full of passionate and driven volunteers full of ideas on how to both raise funds for the club but also increase community by-in and involvement within the club. Since their involvement there has been an air of positivity throughout the club that will no doubt be sustained. Straight out of the blocks they opened a tuck shop in the old referee’s cabin which has since moved into its permanent home in the new club house. A clothes collection was arranged which raised much needed funds. They then organized an Easter Camp in 2019 that sold out within a few days. There was a golden goal competition set up for the Champions League Final in May 2019 that created a great buzz around the club. For the adult members of the club, they organized a Music Bingo night in the Ratoath Inn in June 2019 that was a great success and will hopefully be repeated. In the winter months they organized a table quiz in October 2019 again in the Ratoath Inn and for the football fans among us they organized for November a Q&A evening with Ronnie Whelan and Dermot Gallagher in the Venue. A volunteer appreciation evening was held in the handed over section of the clubhouse in November which went on well into the night and created a great buzz around the club. However never resting on their laurels they had a big-ticket item that would dwarf everything they had done to date. The MTV video awards was unveiled in January 2020 and there was no shortage of volunteers among our members to dress up and have a great time. While all the videos have been shot and edits left on the director’s floor the big reveal of the awards night never came to be due to the Covid 19 lockdown. But never fear the videos will see the light of day and everyone will get to have a night out in the hopefully not too distant future.

In July 2019 the club hosted the FAI during the Meath Festival of Football. It was great for our junior members to meet so many stars of Irish football and the event was a great success at raising the profile of the club.

A special word of thanks is due to the ground staff regarding the upkeep and maintenance of the playing areas and training facilities. The grass does not cut itself and the pitches do not have permanent markings and this work is very much appreciated by the managers and the club.

The logistics of allocating pitches, making sure referees are allocated and contacted, insuring fixtures are fulfilled, and affiliated leagues are informed of results whether home or away are the responsibility of the individual league secretaries. I would like to thank Grainne Looney in her first season as fixture secretary for the NDSL and MGL. She has become far more than a fixture secretary and has become somewhat of a Mammy to some of our managers and coaches. A special thank you goes to Gerry Doody our LSL fixture secretary who after many years of service to Ratoath Harps has decided to take a well-deserved rest from the committee. I would also like to say thank you Damien Ward who stepped away from the committee during the season after 13 years’ service to the club. However, both Damien and Gerry will still be involved in some capacity with the club.

On behalf of Ratoath Harps a special word of thanks to all our Managers, Assistant Managers, Academy Coaches and volunteers for their time and hard work, which is all given up on a voluntary basis, without this involvement the success of our club could not be achieved and your contribution week in week out is invaluable.

Ratoath Harps has a close connection to the community spanning more than 50 years. This is your club and if you want your say in the direction the club is taking then get involved on the various committees because like any organization, we require new blood to keep us alive and move forward.

Finally, as many of our members have lost close family and friends over the course of the season, some Covid related, I would like to extend the clubs deepest sympathy to you and your family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Remember as our club moto says we are stronger together.

Yours in Sport,

Kieran Kelly

Hon. Secretary

Ratoath Harps AFC

Treasurers Report, Ratoath Harps AFC – AGM Thursday 10th September.

The financial year for Ratoath Harps AFC currently runs from 1st July to 30th June annually. The trading year was structured to run parallel with the traditional football playing season of September to May allowing the club to have a definitive end to the season for all teams and activities.

The last set of accounts for financial year July 2018 to June 2019 were audited by our accountants HSM Ashbourne and signed off by the current directors of the club, Philip Doran and Damien Ward at the end of February. The accounts for our financial year 2019 to 2020 were presented to HSM for audit in August with expectation to have the draft copies available to our membership in October.

The club is fully up to date and compliant with requirements from the Sports Capital Grant, CRO and Revenue. As treasurer, I would once again like to thank Brian, Regina and Liz from HSM Ashbourne for their services.

As mentioned in my last report, in comparison to other football clubs, Ratoath Harps does not have a benefactor injecting cash annually into our club. However, we are pleased at the increased fund- raising activities by our membership since the last AGM which adds to the income generated from membership fees.

We are delighted to show a change from an operating loss of -€39,796 in financial year 2017/18 into an operating profit of €27,282 for our financial year 2018/2019 inclusive of depreciation and amortisation.

For sake of good order and transparency, we have attached an overview of our profit and loss accounts from the past four audited seasons and estimates for the end of our last financial year 2019/2020 to give a gauge to the membership of the annual running costs.

The following are key points of note focusing on the last set of audited figures (2018/2019):

Operating costs:

  • Playing and coaching costs decreased by €5,917 from previous year. The key driver behind this decrease is the reduction in payments to 3rd party organisations Coever Coaching and EI Sports originally contracted to come on board to provide services in coaching workshops and academies as we could not get volunteers internally to run. Our coaching committee put together a panel of our own volunteers with the right skillset to oversee the academies thus eliminating the need to bring in contractors & third parties.
  • Light and Heat costs reduced by €1,613 due to our volunteers using the training mode on our flood lights. It’s positive to see we are training more on the main pitch yet also bringing out costs down due to care an attention in use of the lights.
  • Legal fees were a once off payment of €4,679 in 2017/18 due to our mortgage and sports grants application giving us an upswing of €5.574 from financial year 2017/2018.
  • Ratoath Harps hosted the Sean Cox Sixes for Sean evening in December 2018 bringing in revenues for the charity of €32,498 vs outgoings of €32,664. For correct management of the event, we allowed the charity to use our electronic platforms to manage the event with safe management of the funds.
  • Bank charges increased by €709 in our financial year 2018/2019 due to the increased use of banking facilities to collect membership fees.
  • Computer costs increased by €2570 in the financial year 2018/19 due to purchase of software and subscriptions for book a pitch and Easy Payment Plus, our membership fee site. We had an unexpected hit in costs due to issues with our domain ratoathharps.com and back payment of overdue costs not invoiced in the correct financial year.
  • In 2018/2019 we made amends and brought up to date payment of voluntary contributions for the upkeep of the Codliss grounds.
  • Overall, we decreased our day to day running costs in our financial year 2018/2019 by €11,237. (€143162.34 less charity event €32,664 = €110,498 vs €121,735)


  • Funding from the FAI for summer soccer camps remains as per previous year.
  • Income from pitch hire up €1693 vs previous year.
  • Income from fundraising was up by €25,738 vs the previous year with no significant change in fundraising expenses. The key drivers behind this uplift came from sponsorship of signs, the grounds, the golden goals competition for the champions league final in May 2019 plus several small, effective and successful fundraising events arranged by our fundraising committee.
  • Income from membership increased by €28934 vs the previous financial year boosted by the introduction of our new electronic registration fee portal and good support from the membership getting up to 98% compliance. The 2% relates to those who genuinely needed some assistance from the club due to personal circumstances.


  • Due to the nature of our facilities, under correct accountancy procedures plus the terms and conditions tagged to the Sports Capital Grant we will see heavy figures on this front in the coming ten years of annual reports.
  • It is expected that the lifespan of the current main pitch playing surface is 10-12 years hence one key reason for above. We stress the point, with due care and attention, particularly on the footwear rule combined with the correct maintenance, we will aim to pro-long the lifespan of the playing surface.


Membership fees:

All membership fees are now collected via our on-line portal in conjunction with our service provider Easy Payment Plus (Pay zone). The electronic data base allows us better management of our finances and gives our membership 24/7 access to make payments.

The change to this new system has been a success with our members becoming more familiar with the package. The days of queuing outside the portacabins with cash in hand are gone and the immense responsibility we put on volunteers to collect and lodge is lifted.

The membership was informed at our last AGM of the stance of the club going forward is that all players must be paid in full or part paid to take part in games. Anyone with financial challenges are requested to contact the treasurer and will get help. We do not want to turn anyone away from playing football.

For those who do not pay, avoid contact and will not engage, they are not allowed participate in Ratoath Harps.

The membership, coaches and volunteers continue to support our new approach and the resulting increase of collected membership fees is encouraging.

The outcome of the various negotiations on the once proposed development levy resulted in an agreement to scrap this in return for a support from the membership on fee collection and support of fundraising efforts.

We are delighted to see all parties delivered on their commitments.

Current “state of the nation”:

At our last AGM we projected the expected day to day running costs of Ratoath Harps excluding depreciation and once offs but including loan repayments (mortgage) would come in at approx. €83k per annum. Through careful management of finances, we managed to come in at €80,285 for the financial year 2018/2019.

Looking at how successful we were in managing our operating costs, we set a challenge for ourselves to achieve to keep below the €83k for financial year 2019/2020. With the audit a work in progress, our initial findings are that we will come in more around €105k mainly due to two key drivers:

  1. Fundraising expenditure increased by €10382 from €4,729 to €15,111 mainly due to up-front payments for the KR Live event which was scheduled to take place in March and is now postponed due to Covid-19. However, on income, we point out that income from fundraising in the financial year 2019/2020 is expected to rise by approximately €10k vs the previous year. The increase of income negates the additional expenditure.
  2. A hit of €13,606 from a legal bill arising from a long running case that came to close with no findings against the Harps but sadly a substantial legal bill for provision of our defence.

Parking these two exceptional items to one side, we were on course to achieve our targeted €83k on day-to-day expenditure. The positive is that our budgeting and forecasts seem to be robust.

The postponement of the KR Live event was a blow as the forecasted profit from the event was due to come in at around €27.5k. The fundraising team have done a great job in managing this project to date and as soon as circumstances permit, they are confident of a successful roll out and financial return in line with expectations hopefully in our 2020/2021 financial year.

The FAI Summer Soccer Schools increased the number of camps held in our club to three during the summer of 2019 and amazingly all three camps were fully sold out giving the club a small boost in expected income. We made a profit of approx. €5.5k on the camps in 2019 and had that figure topped up with a grant from the FAI of €4000 as part of the Festival of Football event held in July 2019.

Despite the challenges from Covid-19, we again had three camps in our club this year with a 97% attendance bringing us a return of approx. €5.3k net profit.

The efforts of our membership, committee and fundraising team in the past 18 months helped give us a soft landing when Covid-19 hit us. The club has fixed commitments on operating costs and financial commitments that continue in the background despite the lack of football activity. Prime examples are:

  • Standard charge light, heat and gas bills.
  • Insurance payments
  • Mortgage repayments
  • Payments for the Cap-Ex projects
  • Pitch maintenance
  • Software bills
  • Rates and waste collection fees

On the income side of the club the sudden shutdown impacted:

  • Loss of income from pitch rentals
  • Loss of income from club shop
  • Loss of income from academy fees
  • Loss of income from the KR Live event
  • Loss of income from planned summer tournaments and other smaller fund-raising projects

Added to this, the Leinster Senior League Season will now end and restart 3 months later that other years meaning a delay from income in their membership fees which creates a cash flow pinch which we continue micro-manage.

The Government launched a support scheme for clubs like ours through Sports Ireland and the various sports affiliates which in our case is the FAI. We have applied for funding support to help us cover the gap of lost incomes because of the pandemic. Our application has been well received and we await feedback on our eligibility and potential compensations.

The last review of our 2019/2020 books prior to submitting them for audit indicated we would have an operating profit of approximately €16.5k for the year just gone.

The realistic impact from Covid-19 will be more visible when we reach the end of this new financial year 2020/2021. Hopefully we can avoid further lockdowns and continue sporting activities.

Despite these massive challenges, through prudent management of our costs, cash flow and members support, we are pleased to advise no requirement to increase our membership fees for the season ahead.

Full copies of our annual audited accounts are available on-line through the CRO website & I circulated soft copies of the last full year audited accounts.

If you would like to individually meet to go over any aspect of the club finances, please contact me for an appointment.

Capital Expenditure Project:

We’ve come to the end to this phase of our major Capital Expenditure project which commenced back in 2016. We have plans for phase two however in the current economic climate, we are opting to take a rest for the time being and put our focus into developing what we already have to its full potential. The spend over the past 4.5 years will come in at approx. €850k. We have one more payment to make to Glascairn construction for building our clubhouse and would like to offer our thanks to Brian for his patience and understanding on the payment front. He gave us very flexible payment terms and continues to trust we will make good the final amounts owed.

Where we stand at this moment of time on the project is a total of final payments due, loans and mortgages to an amount of €187k with majority of this sum part of 10-year mortgage we have with Bank of Ireland. Whilst we received grants to the value of €395k from the Sports Capital Grant program, it was a big gap to come up with the other €455k to cover the project. It’s a credit to all involved from the outset that we’ve navigated the finances on this very well and are left with a manageable long-term loan.

Final word:

The memorandum and articles of association for the club state that the role of treasurer, secretary and chairman can only be filled by committee members who served the club in the outgoing season. I am now at the end of my term and with the members approval will pass the role onto Sean Lawlor who fulfils the criteria. Sean and the wider committee have supported me very well in my tenure as treasurer and I can assure you they robustly reviewed my financial reports regularly of which I am pleased stood up to the scrutiny. I wish Sean the very best in his new role and will continue to support him in whatever way is needed.

 I hope the decision to take a breather from major Capital Expenditure will help him in the year ahead.

A special word for our sponsors. Without you we could not have delivered on our ambitious projects. We are aware that some of the companies who supported us like City Jet are also in difficult times due to the economic downturn. I call upon all our members to try support our sponsors now more than ever to help them get back up on their feet. Our PR Team will be pushing out regular messages to our membership over the coming weeks highlighting these companies.

Many thanks for your ongoing support.


Michael Connolly. 10.09.2020.

 Chairman’s address 2020.

Welcome to our much-delayed AGM of 2020.

You will all be aware that COVID 19 has had a dramatic effect on all our lives over the last 6 months and it continues to affect all our lives today.

I would like to take a moment to reflect on all those who have passed and for us to also remember the sadness and sacrifices that many of us must endure over the last 6 months.

I would also like us as a club to appreciate all the efforts and sacrifices that our frontline heroes have made over these last 6 months.

Ratoath Harps has come a long way over the last 10 years.  

We have completed our state-of-the-art full-size all-weather playing facility, while maintaining all our grass surfaces in Steeplechase and the Codliss.

We have also finished phase one of our magnificent clubhouse.

We also have planning permission for phase 2 of our clubhouse and our new committee, will be taken up this challenge in due course.

These now completed developments have required a huge effort on all those involved in bringing these projects to conclusion.

I would especially like to thank all our members current and past, for their herculean efforts in achieving these magnificent goals.

As without these past and present members volunteering so much of their time, combined with personal sacrifice and effort, we could not have achieved these lofty goals.

These achievements cannot be underestimated.

I will be stepping down as chairman as I have completed my term, but I will be staying involved with our club going forward.

I would like to thank all our volunteers and members as without them our club just would not function or exist, it is a testament to their amazing efforts and dedication that allows this club to flourish and grow.

I take my hat off to each one of you for your commitment to our club. It has been an absolute honour to have spent time in your company and to witness your dedication first-hand.

Our club is very lucky to have such wonderful people taking part in the day-to-day activities of our club It is my fervent hope that more people will come on board to help with the continuing growth and success of our club.

With the completion of these development projects, we will hopefully have more time to focus on developing our football skills to allow our members to play at the highest levels possible in relation to their ability.

With over 550 playing members, it is beholden of our club to continue to build programmes, so that our members can grow and develop as footballers and individuals and as a club we must help them achieve their full potential and continuing enjoyment from playing our great sport.

Ratoath Harps will always aim to continue to create pathways for all our members to achieve their potential as soccer players and members of our club.

We have an amazing bunch of people who coach and manage teams every weekend hail rain or snow and I would like to thank each one of them for all their fantastic efforts over the last 18 to 20 months.

It’s is with great pride that we can as a club report to our members that our junior girls football programs are growing quickly and once again, I would like to thank the coaches and managers who are helping facilitate this fantastic development in our club.

Our senior section has returned to the Leinster senior intermediate league section 2019-2020 and it is hoped that we shall be there again next season 2030-2021, this is the level of football that our club deserves to participate in.

The club is entering into its 52nd season. Our predecessors have left us with a nice foundation to build on. When you see the players from academy right up to senior level back out on the field of play, those moments of escape for the players and onlookers is a great time out from what’s been a difficult 2020 for all. Win lose and reflecting on how the games went is all part and parcel of being in a club.

Our club logo is Laidir Le Cheile – Stronger Together. We will embrace this mindset in the season ahead.

So, I will finish by saying that I wish our new committee great success in the coming year and I hope that you get the rewards that this great club has given me over the last 16 years.

Yours sincerely, Philip Doran, Chairman.





I would like to welcome everybody here to the 51st Annual General Meeting and my second as Honorary Secretary.

I would like to begin my report by extending my gratitude to the following members of the outgoing committee for whose work within and on behalf of Ratoath Harps has proved invaluable; Michael Connolly (Chairman), Sean Lawlor (Treasurer), Grainne Looney, Phil Doran, Olivia Cannon, Janice Smyth, Paul Larkin and Mark Fagan.

The 2020/21 season started with optimism as we came out of the first Covid 19 lockdown full of hope for a successful season ahead. Little did we know that we would be back in lockdown in December which would ultimately result in the cancellation of the season. We started the season with 26 NDSL teams and 4 MGL teams with approximately 450 children participating. Our Leinster Senior League section consisted of two senior teams and an U19 team with approximately 70 registered players across the three teams. Our Academy for players of 5 to 7 years of age was reinvigorated with numbers exceeding 40 over the two sessions every week.

Our 2020/2021 season while short would not have been possible if it were not for the hard work of the Covid 19 compliance officers led by Grainne Looney. Through their hard work and time they kept our members safe and free from any Covid outbreaks. Indeed, their continued hard work for our extended 2021/22 pre-season once the lock down was lifted in April was a credit to the club and very much appreciated by all our members.

While our 2020/21 season may have been cancelled and the club grounds closed there were still many things that needed doing. The bills still needed to be paid and the vast amount of work behind the scenes to keep a club like ours running still needed to be done week in week out. The committee, like the vast majority of the work force, had to get used to the new norms. Zoom and Team meetings became the order of the day.

Our Fundraising Committee (Gillian, Jane, Liz Tina & Sandra) supported by our Volunteers coordinator Janice Smith and well promoted by our PRO Olivia Cannon helped us keep the club afloat with several initiatives over the lockdown and indeed once we had reopened. They over saw the Golden Goal, Lockdown Raffle and Last man Standing. We also saw the welcome return of the Soccerthon which involved every team within the club with 12 hours of football and fun. The success of this event has enabled the club to give a Ratoath Harps training t-shirt to every member. Their efforts did not solely revolve around raising money for the club but also building and nurturing community spirit. The swap a gift for a selection box sponsored by Sweeney’s Centra Ratoath, saw our junior members exchanging a gift for a selection box. The gifts were presented to the Silver Stream Nursing Home in December. Both staff and residents were overwhelmed by the generosity of our junior members and were invited to play in the grounds of the nursing home once Covid restrictions allowed. This happened in June as the residents enjoyed the matches in glorious sunshine. For those of you fond of a good coffee or a simple snack, the club shop has become a members favorite regularly manned by our fundraising committee and volunteers. 

We saw the reintroduction of our Hall of Fame in December with Noel Farrelly and Brian Conway being inducted for their many years of service to the club. December also saw our ex-Chairman and long-term servant of the club Damien Ward being bestowed with the honor of Honorary Vic President.

February saw leaking pipes cause major damage in the Codliss changing rooms. Mark Flood led a team of locals and friends of the club involved in the building industry bring the Codliss back to life and it is looking great for the season ahead. Many of these volunteers gave freely of their time.

April 26th finally saw the partial lifting of the lockdown and the return to limited training in pods of 15. Friendlies returned in June. The managers have done fantastic and should be praised for their commitment to their teams in training constantly since April all through the summer. During this time our Coaching Committee have provided invaluable support to the managers and more often than not, in conjunction our Covid Officer Grainne Looney, have provided cover under our obligations under the FAI Covid regulations. The Coaching Committee have also managed to hold a coaching the coaches’ session which was very well received by the participating managers. The plan is to hold more of these over the coming season.  

In May we received a request for help from our neighbours Dunshaughlin FC for much needed help. Their own pitches had been closed for works and were not ready for pre-season and indeed potentially much of the season. In keeping with our community ethos, we were able to offer three of their senior teams a home while their own grounds were out of action. Neighbours look out for each other and Ratoath Harps are only too delighted to help our neighbour.

Also, in May we saw a major objective of the club this year being realized. The Clubs new website went live and is now a fantastic resource that will prove beneficial to all members. A big thank you to our PRO/Communication Officer Olivia Cannon who with the help of Des Mc Loughlin drove this project to completion. Olivia has also been behind the resurgence of our social media accounts which have become a major source of information for our members.

As always special word of thanks is due to the ground staff led by Darragh O Neill with regard to the upkeep and maintenance of the playing areas and training facilities. The grass still needed cutting even though it was not being played on during the lockdown. The great condition the pitches are in at the start of this season are a credit to all involved.

The logistics of allocating pitches, making sure referees are allocated and contacted, ensuring fixtures are fulfilled, and affiliated leagues are informed of results whether home or away are the responsibility of the individual league fixture secretaries. I would like to thank Grainne Looney as fixture secretary for the NDSL and MGL and Phil Doran as fixture secretary for our Leinster Senior League section for their time and effort given freely.

On behalf of Ratoath Harps a special word of thanks to all our Managers, Assistant Managers, Academy Coaches and volunteers for their time and hard work, which is all given up on a voluntary basis, without this involvement the success of our club could not be achieved and your contribution week in week out is invaluable.

As we look forward to the 2021/22 season ahead with 31 teams at junior level, 4 teams at senior level and over 50 players in the academy there is much work to do. However, we start the season ahead on the front foot, full of optimism and in the knowledge that the club is in good hands with the best volunteers in the country.

The coming season sees a new sponsor in the form of CHC who will be with us for four years. CHC have committed to help develop our community spirit and involvement and we look forward to working with them.  We are also delighted to have Hannons SUPERVALU Ratoath as sponsors of our academy.  Also, if any of you have passed the clubhouse recently you will have noticed our new AED which was sponsored by the long-term friend of the club Jimmy Marr. This will not only protect our members but also the wider community in the event of an emergency.

Ratoath Harps has a close connection to the community spanning more than 53 years. This is your club and if you want your say in the direction the club is taking then get involved on the various committees because like any organization, we require new blood to keep us alive and moving forward.

Finally, as many of our members have lost close family and friends over the course of the season, some Covid related, I would like to extend the clubs deepest sympathy to you and your family. We spare a special thought for our Club President, Noel Martin who sadly passed away this year.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you.  Remember our club moto “Laidir Le Cheile” – stronger together.

Yours in Sport,

Kieran Kelly

Hon. Secretary

Ratoath Harps AFC

Treasurer report – 01 July 2020 to 30 June 2021

The club’s financial year runs in parallel with the traditional football playing season.

The accounts for the preceding year have been audited by HSM Ashbourne and signed off by the directors. Copies of the accounts are published on the Ratoath Harps website, free to view and download.

Main Points of Interest:


  • Impact of COVID pandemic seen across all major revenue streams
  • Depreciation (63k) remains in line with previous years
  • Expenses dropped by 37k, driven by lower fundraising and legal costs.

Membership Fees

  • Fees halved in the period, as the pandemic bit hard into the community, and player base of the club. While the club position is “no pay no play”, we are always aware it is a community club, and aim to assist genuine cases of difficulty.
  • The situation (for FY21/22) has now been largely retrieved, but funds to June 21 needed to be very carefully managed. We are at 100% compliance for Y/E Jun 2022.


  • The planned major event of the year was cancelled due to COVID. Despite the pandemic, the fundraising team managed to raise an impressive 17k, e.g. Last Man Standing had ca 103 people signed up.


  • FAI Camps – between camps and grants, the FAI contributed 35k to the club, and this was critical in helping keep the club going through the worst of the pandemic months.
  • Pitch Rentals dropped by 1/3 to 7.6k.
  • Soccerthon 26th June – really kick-started the return to football in the club, and generated ca 7k.
  • Academy fees were well down, as was projected club shop income.
  • Sports Management Grant was ca 7.5k
  • CHC Sponsorship €15k over 4 years.

Revenue to 30 June overall was 116, 480, down 52k from 168,575 the previous year.

 Operating Costs:


  • Due to lack of opportunities, expenses on fundraising were zero. This emphasises just how well the committee did, in raising 17k.


  • Legal fees fell from a club high in 2020 for 17k, to 0.


This to remain constant at 62.6k.


  • Generally, costs tended to match prior year. Light & Heat up slightly by 4k to 14k, and other areas saw slight declines.
  • Insurance helped cover cost of repairs to Codliss building.

CASH IN BANK as of 30 Aug 2021:


Financial Outlook for FYE June 22:

Non-Membership revenue is forecast at 46k, through Fundraising (Nov event), Pitch Hire, 2 x tournaments, and Tuck Shop.

Standard expenses are estimated at 69k, mainly electricity, loan repayments, and league fees.

Targeted Spend is estimated at 40k, mainly purchase of replacement tractor, and part-paydown of term loan. Other areas to be considered are upgrading some lighting areas, and equipment purchase/upgrades.

Targeted Capital Spend for coming year:

  • Tractor – budget 15k
  • Equipment (goals)
  • Lighting rear pitch
  • Car Park Lighting
  • Astro Maintenance



Going Forward:

Fees collection to Y/E June 2022 100% collected.

Fundraiser Event 12th Nov – expected net profit to be ca 25k

Yours sincerely,

Sean Lawlor,

Honorary Treasurer, Ratoath Harps AFC 2020/2021.

Chairman’s address

Dear members and friends,

I once again welcome you to our 51st AGM. Hopefully this is the last of our AGM’s on-line and we can get back to seeing each other in person at our superb facilities soon.

No doubt you will have absorbed the information and many positives presented by our Honorary Secretary Kieran Kelly and our Honorary Treasurer Sean Lawlor. I am honoured to have worked with these gentlemen in the past year and have first-hand witnessed their professional approach to these extremely important roles in our club. They are excellent club officers and have been a great sounding board for me throughout the year.

I would again like to thank our extended main committee of Janice, Olivia, Grainne, Paul, Mark & Phil for their support, time and dedication shown towards your club. In difficult operating circumstances, they’ve delivered many successes for our membership. Their input at our monthly meetings in invaluable. I would like to again congratulate them on their achievements.

In our last AGM we set out a structure for the club. We’ve made great strides in rolling out this structure and within that framework have created empowerment for our main committee allowing them to succeed in their roles.

Beyond the officers and committee of the club, we have our sub-committee section we refer to as Laidir le Cheile. This extended committee are a superb support to our main committee and when called upon have been a fountain of knowledge to help us in our decision-making processes. I extend a warm thank you to the group and hope we can continue to count on your support in the year ahead. You are a key part of this club.

Between the officers, main committee, Laidir le Cheile plus the extended participants in the sub-committees such as the Fund Raising and Coaching Teams, we have over 23 volunteers with every one of them making a difference to your club every day.

When it comes to the business side of the club including governance and administration, your club is in the good hands of the groups mentioned above.

I would also like to give a special thanks to our community scheme placements, Brian Mulvany and Lauren Smyth for the works they do for our club and also a special mention to Susan Ward who continues to look after our book a pitch facility which brings a solid revenue flow to our club. Your contribution to our club is valued.

We are of course a football club and would not be one without our hard-working coaches. 31 teams and a successful academy would not be possible without the dedication of the coaching panel. They put in many hours on the pitch overseeing games and training whilst off the pitch putting in significant time in preparation and updating their coaching education skillset.

We must take into consideration the calculated risks put in by all the above in keeping the club and training ticking over during the pandemic. The easy solution would have been to close the club until the situation with pandemic eased however they all recognised the importance of football activity to the well-being and health of our membership. Football was a great release for our players during difficult times. Our volunteers stepped up to the plate and delivered.

We welcomed Ronan Croke on board as our Head of Senior football last year. The pandemic delayed him getting up and running however the senior section is now getting back in the groove with our highest number of teams in that section for many a year. The average age of the players in our senior section is in the low twenties and with the structures in place across the four teams, we are optimistic about the future of our senior football section. There’s a good team of people involved in the section working well together. Ronan is in the process of going for his UEFA A licence. We wish him the very best as he strives to enhance his coaching education.

Our MGL section is going from strength to strength with further initiatives coming down the line from our coaching team to enhance this section. One example will be the introduction of an all-girls academy.

Our NDSL section are looking forward to completing a season of football having been stop start for the past two years. Your club is one of the few to grow in the number of teams during the pandemic. We are delighted that two of our players, James Higgins and Dylan Phillips made the NDSL Kennedy Cup panel this year.

As flagged previously, we have come to the end of the first phase of our Capital Expenditure project. We were busy in tidying off the last payments and sign off on delivery of your best-in-class facilities in the past year.

Our focus for the coming period is the development of football, further football education of our coaches and ensuring our players play at an intensity and standard that best suits their current abilities.

There will be more coaching workshops and as soon as Government guidelines permit, regular coaches’ meetings where guidance, information and advice will be offered on all areas related of the on-field side of our club.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our teams the best in their competitive seasons.

The committees, coaches and volunteers associated with your club always do our best to deliver. We acknowledge we are not perfect however we have a continuous improvement mentality and will constantly strive for perfection.

Good volunteers are hard to come by and we have the difficult situation where not all decision made will be popular with all our members. We must take tough decisions from time to time in the greater interest of most of our members.

Bearing this in mind, we kindly request that any members with grievances reflect before approaching our volunteers with their specific issue. We will always endeavour to explain situations in a cordial fashion and again stress, we are not paid or getting any remunerations, this is free time we all give for your club. It doesn’t have to be confrontational.

There is a shortage of key personnel in the associations we need to run our club for example the NDSL, LSL, MGL and Referees. Again, without volunteers in those associations, we won’t have football. There’s a severe shortage of referees in Ireland. Many have retired due to abuse. I am asking our membership to be mindful of this and think twice before making comments to the referees. Thankfully most times, referees have a pleasant experience when they come to our club. Some of our members are referees and would like our club to extend good etiquette at our club and give them something to be proud of compared to some the weekly abuse they get when they oversee games in the Leinster region.

I would like to thank our new headline sponsors CHC Helicopters for their support of our club, our new academy sponsors Hannon’s SuperValu Ratoath and the many other sponsors who are directly and indirectly contributing to your club. It may be a set of socks and shorts for a team or a major headline sponsor, one thing for sure, they all count.

During the pandemic our income was significantly reduced yet our operating costs remained. The financial support from our local councillor Nick Killian, the FAI/Sports Ireland Covid support fund and the grace extended to us by our creditors most notably Glascairn Construction was warmly welcomed. Thank you.

The Club continues to achieve many great things. A serious effort has been made in the past year to promote the positives and demonstrate the importance of our role in the community. A large amount of work went into ensuring we have a solid brand image and this is backed up with the launch of our new website. The driving force behind this conscious effort is our PRO Olivia Cannon. We have many good stories to tell, it’s very beneficial when they are shared as it encourages positive conversations about our club.

We achieved quite a bit in the past year despite the pandemic. In the minutes from this meeting, we will attach a copy of our key achievements for you review at your leisure. Its an impressive list that ends with the arranging of our KR Live event planned for the 12th November. Please do your utmost to support this event.

We’ve been at pains to thank our volunteers during this AGM however I would like to give a shout out to the families of our volunteers. Your patience and understanding of the work your family member puts in is much appreciated. None of our can do our jobs without our families supporting us.

 We look forward with great hope to and optimism to the year ahead for our membership participating in football activities and to all in their personal lives. We hope society has turned a corner and we strive on stronger together.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Connolly, Chairman, Ratoath Harps AFC.

Key achievements of note 2020/2021

  • Number of teams in the club has increased to 31 teams.
  • This includes our 4 teams in the senior section, our highest number in that category in many years.
  • Strong Academy with over 65 kids enrolled.
  • Girl’s football going from strength-to-strength. Four teams with the prospect of an all-girls academy in 2021.
  • Increase in the number of players requesting to join our club.
  • Harps are one of the few clubs to expand coming out of lock down.
  • Assisted our neighbouring club Dunshaughlin AFC to continue playing due to delays in their ground development.
  • Commenced serious of coaching workshops to assist our coaches with increased ideas and knowledge of the game.
  • Increase in the number of coaches participating in formal FAI education courses with Head of Senior Football currently doing the UEFA A Licence with 5 other coaches having achieved or in the process of achieving their UEFA C Licence.
  • Finances of the club remaining solid despite set back from Covid shutdown.
  • Avoided having to refinance or park loan commitments. All loan requirements paid on time.
  • Legacy payments due to contractors for completion of Capital Expenditure Program will be paid in the coming quarter.
  • Strong records and fully audited accounts assisted the club in being awarded €19k grant from Sports Ireland out of the pot set aside by the Government to support grass roots clubs.
  • 99% success rate in collection membership fees in 2021.
  • Warm compliments from our auditors HSM Ashbourne for the concise the tidy set of books presented by the club.
  • Mutual and cordial agreements between the club with our key creditors to park payments until we came out of lockdown.
  • Established the club structure as set out in our last AGM.
  • Fundraising continued despite the challenges from lock downs with Soccerthon, Last Man Standing and Lock Down Raffle three key standouts.
  • Sourced a new lead sponsor for the club, CHC Helicopters, with a four-year deal.
  • Sourced a new headline sponsor for our Academy, Hannons SuperValu Ratoath.
  • Sold additional advertising signs around the grounds.
  • Achieved a grant of €1k from Meath County Council via our local representative Nick Killian which will be spent on our new PA System.
  • Former Harps Member, Jimmy Maher sponsored our new Club Defibrillator.
  • New website designed and rolled out. Now live.
  • New club electronic identity – @ratoathharps.club.
  • Full overview of all Garda Vetting and Child Welfare.
  • A strong committee sharing the workload.
  • A much-welcomed extended committee in the “Laidir le Cheile” section offering services to help or a day-to-day basis and acting as a sound board using their extensive knowledge to help us in our decision making.
  • Welcomed two new additions to our Hall of Fame – Noel Farrelly and Brian Conway.
  • Awarded an Honorary Vice President position to Damien Ward in recognition of his many years of hard work for the club.
  • Forged a new relationship with the local nursing home, Silver Streams, arising from our Christmas Parcel project that received tremendous membership support.
  • Ran a great demonstration of football for the residents of Silver Streams. Warmly welcomed.
  • Provided football activities as much as possible under Government Covid Guidelines in a safe and enjoyable environment.
  • Hosted three FAI Summer Soccer School camps attended by 354 children during the summer.
  • More buy in from our membership on events and projects mainly due to positive canvassing and communications.
  • Supplying all players in the 31 teams with new RHAFC Adidas Training Jerseys in a spot project.
  • Major fundraiser arranged for 12th November 2021 – KR Live event. Event is almost fully sold out at this stage.