Stormont welcome for GAA football champions

Marking the All-Ireland title wins of Armagh senior and Derry minor Gaelic football teams the Secretary of State, Paul Murphy, hosted a reception at Parliament Buildings, Stormont.

Welcoming both teams and supporters to Stormont, Mr Murphy described their achievements as "remarkable and historic" with an unusual double championship victory for the same Province.

He underscored the increasingly important role of sport in modern society: “Sport is an activity which can stir the emotions like few others and, when local teams are representing their communities in major competitions, it is a source of great pride for the whole area. I know that the people of Armagh and Derry are tremendously proud of their teams, and rightly so.”

Mr Murphy paid special tribute to the Armagh Senior and Derry Minor captains, Kieran McGeeney and Gerard O’Kane, for "setting a terrific example of the importance of focusing on an objective and inspiring others to work for its achievement".

The victorious Armagh team who took the Sam Maguire Cup to Stormont have also had nine players nominated for the All-Stars line-up. The nine are Ronan Clarke, Diarmaid Marsden, Oisin McConville, Stephen McDonnell, John McEntee, Kieran McGeeney, Paul McGrane, Enda McNulty, and Aidan O'Rourke.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Policing Board has wished the PSNI GAA team "good luck" as they take the field for the first challenge match with An Garda Síochána.

In the run up to the GAA match, Professor Desmond Rea, said: “I would like to wish the team success in this their first official match. I know that over the last weeks there has been a lot of intensive training to prepare the team and to finalise the game plan. The players and the coaches have undoubtedly put in a lot of effort and I hope the hard work pays off with a win!"

Professor Rea hailed the match as "historic" as it demonstrated the "commitment of the PSNI to promoting a neutral environment, diversity and equality for all.”

The match follows on from the GAA’s abolition of Rule 21 which had prevented British security forces personnel from taking part in games.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

15 January 2020
Communities Minister: Casement Park Is A Key Priority
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has identified the completion of Casement Park as a "key priority" for her department. Deirdre Hargey MLA met with Ulster GAA officials at the west Belfast site to discuss furthering the project. Minister Hargey said she is determined to see the project started as soon as possible.
26 June 2012
More Olympic Athletes To Train In NI
The Sports Minister has announced that five more countries have chosen Northern Ireland as their training centre in the run-up to the London Olympics. Three boxing teams from Columbia, Canada and Puerto Rica and two athletics teams from Algeria and Djibouti are to train here over the next couple of weeks.
05 September 2005
Tyrone to meet Kerry in GAA football final
It took a late resurgence by Tyrone to beat Armagh in the Bank of Ireland All-Ireland semi-final on Sunday. While the first-half was not without excitement, it was a story of missed chances as Ryan Mellon should have taken the first goal of the match for the Red Hand men but was denied by Armagh keeper Paul Hearty.
14 October 2009
Cliftonville Has 'Grounds For Celebration'
There's been a substantial investment at a north Belfast soccer ground - which has already helped bring the club a giant-beating match result. Cliftonville beat the Scottish champions, Celtic, 3-0 last night in a surprise friendly match result whose score line was the icing on the cake for the club on its 130th anniversary.
05 December 2019
Man Dies In Co Armagh Fire
A man has died in a house fire in Co Armagh, it has emerged. Fire crews responded to reports of a blaze at a property in Derrynoose shortly after 11am on Wednesday 04 December. The 34 year-old was confirmed dead at the scene. A fire in a downstairs bedroom in the two storey house had burnt itself out. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.