Some of the future super stars of Gaelic football swapped their local playing fields for the Letterkenny Public Services Centre on Thursday evening last to be honoured by Mayor and members of the Letterkenny Municipal District.
The reception was held in honour of their success in winning this year’s All Ireland Feile Cup.
The St.Eunan’s U-14 Boys Gaelic football team has enjoyed considerable success over the past three years within Donegal and on the national stage culminating this year with this title.
Mayor of Letterkenny Municipal District Cllr. Gerry McMonagle in his opening address praised the squad and mentors for their tremendous achievements saying they had brought glory and honour to their locality. He added they had also shown great example to young people everywhere by dedicating themselves to becoming the best.
Pauric Daly, Chairman of St.Eunan’s Minor Board and Joe Higgins, team manager also spoke at the reception and both agreed that this success didn’t happen overnight and that this squad of players have been building towards the big day for a number of years now.
Team captain Darren Ellison then spoke and thanked the team, coaches and parents for their dedication and commitment.
The following is a list of their achievements to date since the team’s inception into formal Gaelic Football competitions:
2013: County Go Games Champions in Division 1 and Division 2. Northern Board Champions in Division 1 and Division 2.
2014: Northern Board Champions Division1 in both the League and Championship. U-13 Division 1 County Champions in both the Championship and League thus qualifying to represent their club and county at The All-Ireland Féile Finals in 2015.
2015: U-14 Northern Board Division 1 League and Championship winners. U-14 Division 1 winners of the County Championship and the Division 1 County League.
In the All-Ireland Féile Cup Champions 2015 they played and won six matches. The All-Ireland Féile finals were played over the summer 2015 on the weekend of June 26 27 and 28 at venues in South Leinster. The St Eunan’s side defeated teams from Wexford, Armagh, Wicklow, Meath and Laois and in doing so took an All-Ireland Féile Cup title back to Letterkenny for the St. Eunan’s club.
This was an outstanding achievement given the logistics and travel between venues during the All-Ireland Feile Peil na nÓg weekend. The players, team management and travelling St. Eunan’s supporters comprising parents, family and friends/members of the club deserve great credit for contributing to this All-Ireland success.
Mayor McMonagle stated that each member of this team and management deserves recognition for this All-Ireland win and indeed for the consistency of their achievements over the past three years and for the Divisional and County titles that they have won.
Preparation for the 2015 season began in mid-January with an indoor programme of fitness and conditioning work in preparation for the extensive games programme which the team undertook resulting in county and national successes.
The focus and commitment of the team and its management has been total. The team management comprised Joe Higgins, manager; John Ellison and Pauric Daly. This team remains undefeated in Donegal over the past three years having played over 50 games.
Many of these players began their journey in playing Gaelic Football at the St. Eunan’s Sunday morning Academy and have benefitted from the corps of committed and dedicated coaches who serve the young players in their club at O’Donnell Park.
Indeed six of this team also play hurling with the St. Eunan’s club and have enjoyed considerable success with the Cáman this year as well. They were part of the U-14 hurling team that won the Donegal County Championship and County League.
The St. Eunan’s hurling team and Camogie team also won All-Ireland Féile Shield honours in 2015 with the Camogie team winning a county title this year also.
The Girls U-14 team reached an All-Ireland Féile semi-final after a very good season as well. The 4-For-Féile Project also undertook a very successful fundraising campaign to fund its four teams participating in Féile 2015 at various venues in South Leinster and Ulster this year.
The 2015 St.Eunan’s Under -14 squad:
Oisin Bradley, Oran Brogan, Jonathan Coady, Ronan Daly, Peadar Devenney , Dylan Doherty, Dylan Doogan, Eoin Dowling, Darragh Ellison [capt], Andrew Gillen, Andrew Grant, Donal Higgins, Peter McGee, Pauric McGettigan, Rory McGinty, James McLaughlin, Jordan Nugent, Dylan O’Brien, Conor O’Donnell, Shane O’Donnell, Oisin Randles, David Smith, Kieran Tobin, Oran Winston and Charlie Worth. Team management is: Joe Higgins, John Ellison and Pauric Daly.