After more than two decades involvement with Esker Shooting Grounds, the time has come for me to move on to pastures new. When I started out on this journey no one could have envisaged that Esker Shooting Grounds would grow to be the venue it has become today, a clay target shooting facility second to none.

But two World Championships, a European Championships, multiple Home Countries International Tournaments plus countless National Championships and domestic competitions later, Esker Shooting Grounds has proven itself as being more than fit to become the National Shooting Grounds. So when the proposal arose of facilitating this transition, I took the opportunity to do so.

This weekend I pass on the baton to those who follow and I would like to wish them every success in the years to come. It will not be easy, as I can attest, but it will be worth the effort.

What I have achieved could not have been done alone however, and I am eternally grateful to all those individuals and groups who helped, supported and guided me and Esker Shooting Grounds as we developed and grew over the years. To list you all by name would be impossible, but you know who you are.

Even so, I would like to thank the many thousands of sportsmen and sportswomen from throughout the world who supported us through their patronage. Your outstanding shooting achievements at Esker Shooting Grounds speak for themselves and never forget, the venue was developed for you and our sport.

To the loyal band of “Eskerites” who over the years cut the grass, loaded the traps, maintained the equipment, set the targets, administered the shoots etc. etc. etc. and generally made everything happen, thank you.

For the many sponsors who supported our shoots over the years and in so doing benefitted our sport and its participants, thank you.

Thank you also to the many local representatives and state agencies who facilitated and assisted the development of Esker Shooting Grounds. Particularly I would like to thank the Parish Trust who enabled and supported the venue from the very start.

Last but not least I would like to say a very special thank you to my immediate and extended family not alone for their invaluable support and assistance, but more importantly for their patience and understanding during the years when my focus was on the development of Esker Shooting Grounds.

While I may be exiting from Esker Shooting Grounds, I will not be exiting our sport and my hope is that in the coming seasons I will get the opportunity to do more shooting and enjoy the activity that brought me to Esker in the first place; breaking clays.

Go n-éirí an bóthar leat,

Pat Donaghy