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Chairman hosts reception for Tattyreagh St Patrick’s GAC

5th February 2019

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On Friday 01 February 2019, Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Howard Thornton, hosted a reception in recognition of Tattyreagh St Patrick’s Gaelic Athletic Club.

Speaking at the reception, Councillor Thornton said, ‘As Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council I am delighted to welcome you to the Council Offices in Omagh this evening to this reception in honour of the players, management and committee of Tattyreagh St Patrick’s GAC.

Championship success for the club has been a bit like waiting for a bus.  You wait a long time for one and then two come along together.

That has certainly been the case for Tattyreagh St Patrick’s. I understand that the club was founded in 1917 and celebrated it’s centenary by landing a first ever adult championship title when you brought home the Tyrone Junior Championship to Tattyreagh. It is I suppose quite appropriate that the trophy which you claimed in 2017 has just this season been renamed the Pat Darcy Memorial Cup in honour of a proud Tattyreagh man and former Chairman of the Tyrone County GAA board, who passed away just a few short months before your 2017 triumph. Pat, I understand, was heavily involved in all aspects of club life and I am certain he would be immensely proud of his club’s successes over the past two years.

While 2016 was undoubtedly a very disappointing year for the club, when with a potential double looming, you lost both the Junior Championship final and being pipped for the league in the space of a couple of weeks, it may well have been the catalyst for the success over the next two years. In 2017, your centenary year, you rectified the mistakes of the previous year by winning your first ever county championship with a 7 point win over Clogher in the Junior Championship final.  Unfortunately, success in the Ulster Club championship was to evade you when you were beaten by the minimum score by the eventual champions, Naomh Colmcille.

However, intermediate football beckoned and you started your 2018 campaign very strongly, effectively securing your goal of intermediate status for the next season after the first five games of the league campaign. Just up from junior football, you set about the intermediate championship with great determination earning a place in the Intermediate championship final against Augher. Having disposed of their Clogher Valley neighbours 12 months previously in the Junior final, a much fancied Augher team were no match for you and a three point win not only secured the Intermediate title but more importantly earned the club a place in senior football in Tyrone for the first time in 50 years. I understand that Tattyreagh are only the second club in Tyrone ever to have won promotion from junior football to senior football in successive years. What makes your achievement all the more remarkable is that Tattyreagh is one of three clubs serving the Drumragh parish and I am confident that the first parish derby with the “town” club, St Enda’s will certainly be an interesting affair.

There is no doubt that Tattyreagh St Patrick’s is a club with a deep sense of community. On the field of play, you field teams from U-8 through to adult in the men’s section and in all youth grades in ladies football.  You have regularly upgraded your facilities at Darcy Park over the years and they are now among the best in the county. This is down to the hard work of countless volunteers within the club who put in a huge amount of hours providing coaching, transport to games, grounds management, making teas, washing kits, fund-raising and many other cogs which ensure the club runs smoothly.  That strong volunteer ethos is one of the great strengths of the GAA and Tattyreagh is the embodiment of that ethos.

Can I on behalf of the Council, once again, congratulate you on your historic achievements and wish you continued success for 2019.’.