Vice Chair hosts reception for victorious Tyrone U-14 Ladies Gaelic football team

28th March 2022

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The Vice Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Chris McCaffrey, recently hosted a reception for the Tyrone Under 14 Ladies Gaelic Football team and management who were successful in the Ulster Ladies Gold U-14 final in 2021. See below, the full text of Councillor McCaffrey’s speech at the event.

“Distinguished guests, fellow Councillors

As Vice Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, I am delighted to welcome you all to the Council Offices here in Omagh this evening.

I would like to extend a particularly warm welcome to the players and management of the Tyrone U-14 Ladies Gaelic Football Team in whose honour this evening’s reception is being hosted.

I understand that last year brought you great success when you won the Ulster U-14 Ladies Gaelic Football Gold Final at O’Neills Healy Park in September beating Derry by of 6-11 to 2-13. The scoreline would suggest an easy win but I understand that it was much closer than the scoreline suggests and that sometimes is a good thing in that it pushes you to be the best that you can be and that can only improve you as a player.

Tyrone ladies have a proud history of success over the last 30 years, winning All Ireland and provincial titles at all ages. The senior team has produced some wonderful footballers and role models over the years and I am sure many of you can recall that great day in Croke Park in 2018 when the Senior ladies captured the All Ireland Intermediate Football Championship beating Meath in the final.

As you progress further up the age groups and hopefully on to the senior squad, it is to these ladies whom you will look to for inspiration. I am thinking especially of the recently retired dual All-Star Neamh Woods, who managed to combine a successful football career, netball career and her job as a teacher and another all-star, Gemma Begley who for many years was the scourge of defences up and down the country. I would also reference, the new senior County Captain, Niamh O’Neill who works here at Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.

With the correct application and dedication, you can follow in their footsteps. But for now, enjoy your provincial success you have earned it. The last two years have been difficult for sport over the last few years and I know that with a lot of hard work, you managed to get the U-14 club leagues and championships completed within the County, enabling you to hone your skills and bring to the County set-up and great credit must go to those who worked so hard to ensure that you had a full season of football.

I would also like to pay tribute to the Tyrone Ladies County Board and sponsors who have supported all the County teams to enable them to maximise their potential.

I would like to reserve a final word of congratulations to your management team, led by Rita Hannigan. Rita and her team put in so much hard work, a lot of which goes unnoticed to prepare you for your games and they played a major part in helping you realise your potential by winning the Ulster Gold title last year and on your behalf, I would like to thank them for all they do.

Finally, despite being a Fermanagh man, I would like to wish you, my near neighbours every success for the future and encourage you to follow your dreams of further success representing Tyrone ladies.”