Council Chair hosts reception for Christian Brothers School, Omagh MacRory Cup and Hogan Cup Champions

5th April 2023

Christian Brothers School Omagh MacRory and Hogan Cup Champions 2023

Recently the Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Barry McElduff, hosted a reception for Christian Brothers School Omagh in recognition of winning the MacRory Cup and Hogan Cup.  The following is the speech which was delivered by the Chair at the reception:

As Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, I would like to welcome you all to The Grange, Omagh this afternoon for this reception in honour of Omagh Christian Brothers School MacRory Cup and Hogan Cup Champions.

The first match of your MacRory Cup journey was an all District contest against St Michael’s College, Enniskillen which you won 0-15 to 0-7, booking your place in the quarter finals.

Your quarter final opponents were St Colman’s, Newry and this proved to be a highly contested match.  At the end of the first quarter, Newry had the lead, however, Golkeeper Conor McAneney, made some fine saves to prevent them extending their lead.

Points from Ruairí McCullagh brought the score level again, however, St Colman’s edged the lead at half time.  They came out strong in the second half, however, points from Eoin McElholm, Ruairí McCullagh and Conor Owens with just six minutes to go was enough to claim victory.

The semi final was another tightly contested match with many nerves being experienced by your supporters.  This match was against Patrician High School, Carrickmacross.  Carrickmacross led by three points after the 36th minute, however, with a score from Conor Owens by the 43rd minute it was all level and Patrician High School didn’t score after that.  Their defence remained strong and with three wides in a row, the pressure was building but you kept your cool and a score from Conor Owens in injury time was the decisive winner.

The MacRory Cup Final took place on Sunday 12 February 2023 at O’Neill’s Healy Park, Omagh against Holy Trinity from Cookstown and I was fortunate to be at the match.

This was the first all Tyrone match in the MacRory Cup for 14 years and Holy Trinity were narrowly beaten in 2022 by St Mary’s, Magherafelt.

Inside the first six minutes, Holy Trinity had a 1-1 to nil lead, however, with scores from Tomas Haigney, Conor Owens, Ruairí McCullagh and Colm McElholm, you got back on track.

At half time, the score was 0-9 to 1-3, and despite periods of pressure from Holy Trinity, your determination to win prevailed and you emerged victorious with a 0-16 to 1-6 winning scoreline.

As Ulster Champions you progressed to the semi finals of the All Ireland Hogan Cup.  Your opponents in this match were Naas CBS, however, you had a convincing win of 4-14 to 0-8 to earn your well deserved place in the final.

All roads led to Croke Park for the final on St Patrick’s Day against Summerhill College, Sligo and I again was delighted to be at the match.  Your confidence was high following your semi final win and this was clear as you dominated the match from the outset with goals from Ruairí McCullagh, Tomas Haigney and Liam Óg Mossey by 24 minutes.

At half time you led 3-6 to 0-4. Ruairí McCullagh added a third, however, Summerhill College fought back and netted two goals.  It was your Captain, Eoin McElholm, who stepped up to score a double and bring the All Ireland title back to Omagh for the first time in 16 years.

Being part of a sports team requires a good level of fitness, however, it also requires commitment to attend training, good listening and communication skills to communicate with your team mates and coaching staff, determination to be the best you can be and achieve success and resilience to overcome disappointment in one match to go out and play again.

Each of you demonstrated that you have these skills throughout your MacRory Cup and Hogan Cup journey.  These are key qualities which will also be beneficial when you are working.

On behalf of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, and on my own behalf, I would like to commend your Coach Diarmuid McNulty for equipping you with the skills to achieve success and for the ongoing support and guidance, both on and off the pitch.  I would also like to commend Captain Eoin McElholm who led by example and provided much needed inspiration and leadership on the field.

Finally I would like to congratulate each and every player for the part you played in this momentous achievement.  It is every player’s dream to one day play at Croke Park and you can now say you have and brought back the trophy and medals to prove it.

You have all done yourselves, your school, your Clubs, your County and your District proud and I wish you continued success for the future in both your sporting and academic endeavours.

Thank you.