Chairman hosts reception for Trillick St Macartans Ladies GFC

26th February 2019

On Friday 22 February 2019, the Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Howard Thornton, hosted a reception for Trillick St Macartans Ladies Gaelic Football team.

Speaking at the recption, Councillor Thornton said, “As Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, I am delighted to welcome you all to the Council Offices this evening to this reception in honour of Trillick St Macartans Ladies Gaelic Football team. Ladies, you are all very welcome.

To win a county adult title is a great achievement however to follow it up with a provincial title is truly special. In winning the Ulster Ladies Junior Club Championship, you became the third ladies club from the district to do so, following on from the success of Sperrin Og and Omagh St Enda’s.

Winning the county championship is not an easy task and you really had to do it the hard way. Victories over near neighbours Fintona, in a competitive West Tyrone derby followed by a semi final victory over Edendork set up a county final with a strong Moy team on county finals day in Loughmacrory.

After a very even first half, your greater experience and a powerful second half performance saw you run out comfortable winners bringing the Brenda Logue Memorial Cup back to Trillick.

Not content with that however, you set your sights on Ulster glory and following easy wins over Derrygonnelly and Faughanvale, Cavan champions, Lavey stood in your way of a first provincial title. While the final in Killyclogher was not a classic in footballing terms, it was all about the result and I am confident that it will live long in the memory not only of the players and management but also of the large number of fans who made the short trip to support you that day.

Cork champions, Glanmire awaited you in the All Ireland semi final and certainly Donnelly Park will have seen few days like it. Sadly it was not to be and, I understand, had your first half performance matched that of the second half, it may well have been a different story.

However, that performance should not be allowed to detract from what was a tremendous season for you all. Glanmire paid you the ultimate tribute by going on to win the All Ireland title.

While Gaelic Football is a team game, from an individual perspective, it was also quite a year. Both Emma Brennan and Dearbhaile (Dervla) Gallagher were part of the victorious Tyrone Ladies squad which won the All Ireland Intermediate Football Championship. Emma also won an All Ireland Universities title with Ulster University, Jordanstown and was selected for Ulster in the Interprovincial Championships as well as being chosen as the Teamtalk Young Player of the Year.

Dearbhaile (Dervla) also had a remarkable season, captaining the Tyrone Minor Ladies team, winning an Ulster Colleges U-20 All star award and was selected on the Gaelic Life Ulster Ladies Club team of the year.

Team captain, Cathy Donnelly, was also chosen on the Gaelic Life Ulster Ladies Club Team of the Year and was the Teamtalk Junior Player of the year. I understand, Cathy, that you even found time in between the football and the awards ceremonies to get married. Quite a year all told.

2018 was truly a remarkable year for Trillick ladies. Two major titles, a string of individual awards and a wonderful mix of experience and young players coming through. The future for ladies football in Trillick looks very good indeed.

Success is never easy and comes only with tremendous dedication and hard work. I commend you for your commitment to your team and your colleagues and I think this is exemplified by your team captain, Cathy. It was an important year for you and I know that planning a wedding is a major task in itself so to fit in training, matches and your job as well, in my view encapsulates all that is good in sport.

On your behalf, can I also thank your management team of Iggy Gallagher, Bernie McCann and Don Goodwin for all the work which you put in preparing the girls for the season just past. While the ladies had to go out and perform on the field of play, the manner in which they were prepared for all the challenges, was down to you and I would like to congratulate you also on your success.

Finally, I would like to conclude by saying that you have been tremendous ambassadors not only for yourselves, your family and your club but also for your district and for that I am extremely grateful. It just remains for me to wish you every success playing intermediate football this season and I am confident that you will be more than capable of performing well at the higher level.”.