Chairman hosts reception in recognition of sporting achievement by St Michael’s College, Enniskillen

23rd May 2019

On Friday 10 May 2019, Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Howard Thornton, hosted a reception for St Michael’s College, Enniskillen –  recent winners of the Hogan Cup – at the Townhall, Enniskillen.

Addressing the successful team, Councillor Howard Thornton, said,

“As Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, I am delighted to extend a warm welcome to you all to the Town Hall here in Enniskillen this afternoon. In my year as Chairman of the Council, I have had the pleasure of welcoming many successful teams across all sports throughout the district to the civic offices to honour their achievements. As my term comes to a close it is fitting that I have been accorded the opportunity of honouring the players and management of St Michael’s College Enniskillen and recognise their tremendous achievement of winning the Hogan Cup last month.

St Michael’s College has a fine tradition of sporting achievement in its long and proud history and I have no doubt that Saturday 6 April 2019 will long be etched in the minds of those who were in Croke Park to see St Michael’s captain, Brandon Horan lift the Hogan Cup for the first time in the school’s history.

I understand that the College’s win over Omagh CBS in the Macrory Cup Final on 18 March was your seventh victory in the principle Ulster Colleges Gaelic Football competition and following that success, the focus immediately switched to ending the school’s quest for an elusive first ever Hogan Cup win. I am reliably informed that the Hogan Cup is the Holy Grail of Colleges Gaelic Football.

The road to Croke Park was not an easy one and this team came through the hard way, beating a well fancied Omagh CBS team in the Macrory Cup final.

Your reward for a superb semi final win over Connacht Champions, St Colman’s, Claremorris, and was a third Hogan Cup final appearance against Naas CBS.

Many Macrory Cup winning teams seem to travel more in hope than expectation in the quest for the Hogan Cup. However, coached by Dominic Corrigan, who has a well earned reputation as a master tactician and with a strong spine of Garrett Kavanagh, Josh Largo-Ellis, Brandon Horan, Joe McDade, Micheál Glynn and Conor Love, this St Michael’s team is made of sterner stuff and while it possesses some marquee players, its strength lies in the collective determination and heart of the squad.

Saturday 6 April 2019 was to prove third time lucky for St Michael’s, having lost both previous final appearances as you secured a one point win and brought the Hogan Cup erneside for the first time ever and to the district for a second time, following Omagh CBS’ win in 2007.

Each of you should be extremely proud of the role you played throughout the entire campaign. The quality of football you produced was exceptional throughout the season and I am confident that in winning the Hogan Cup, the foundations have been laid for future success wearing the green of Fermanagh.

Football is now a squad game and each member can take great satisfaction from the role they played in the success. You gave your team managers, staff, pupils, families and supporters some wonderful memories along the way. In congratulating the players, it would be remiss of me if I did not pay tribute to the contribution of the men who, I believe, were the driving force behind your success. Dominic Corrigan, Conor Lavery and Richard Donnelly invested so much time, effort, energy and commitment in ensuring that the team was as well prepared for its shot at Colleges glory as it could be. In the past 20 years, with Dominic at the helm, St Michael’s College has claimed 5 Macrory Cup titles making the school, the most successful team of the last two decades and I am delighted that all his hard work over the years has now culminated in securing the greatest prize in All Ireland Colleges football. Gentlemen, I feel that the team owe you a tremendous debt of gratitude and, on their behalf, can I thank you most sincerely for your efforts.

I would like to thank your headmaster, Mr Henry and the senior management team for facilitating today’s reception. I know that with the football out of the way, it is now down to the serious business of studying for your exams and I realise that you are all very busy and your time is precious.

However, we as a Council, also felt it was important to pay tribute to you on your success and I am delighted that I, as Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, have been permitted to lead the tributes.

It just remains for me to wish you every success in your upcoming examinations and indeed your future career paths and to ask the team captain, Brandon Horan to accept this Belleek China Trophy on behalf of the school.”