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Éire Óg Doire Achaidh's Committee with guests of honour Nicky Brennan - Uachtarán na Cumman Lúthchleas Gael, and Antrim Count Board members Dr John McSparran – Chairman and ???
75th Anniversary Gala Dinner
1932 to 2007
2007 sees Éire Óg Doire Achaidh celebrating 75 years of Gaelic Football and Hurling. This time has seen many highs and lows, championships, cup finals and leagues won and lost on a kick of a ball or the pull on a sliothar and has also seen many great players don the red and white jersey of Éire Óg.
Éire Óg held a gala dinner in the Balmoral Hotel on Saturday November 17th to celebrate this 75th Anniversary. It was a great success with well over 200 Ógs, past and present, in attendance.
Éire Óg were honoured to have Uachtarán na Cumman Lúthchleas Gael, Nicky Brennan, as guest of honour. Other guests included Dr John McSparran – County Antrim GAA Chairman and Matt Fitzpatrick – Irish News journalist and former Óg. Éire Óg were also delighted to have members of the victorious 1948 Senior Football Championship winning team present at the dinner.
The evening began with a champagne reception with a string quartet before Nicky Brennan was introduced to the club. Fr Hickland of Our Lady Queen of Peace parish, then said grace before dinner was served.
Following the meal, Michael Ryan, Éire Óg Chairman addressed the audience before Ciaran McGarrity gave a presentation of the club’s long term plans to acquire a pitch. Chris Browning, Éire Óg Secretary, then introduced the various speakers. County Chairman, John McSparran spoke first, followed by Nicky Brennan. Both congratulated the club on its 75 years service to the GAA, wishing Éire Óg every success for the future.
John McSparran talked about the 'Belfast Plan’, an initiative from the Ulster Council to look at obtaining more pitches for GAA games in the city and to get more children playing our national games.
Nicky Brennan was highly impressed with the hospitality, ambitions, organisation and hard work displayed by the Ógs. He empathised with Éire Óg, as he too came from a junior club, Conahy Shamrocks, that has only won a single senior championship too – strangely enough the 1947 Kilkenny Senior Football Championship, one year before the Óg’s only SFC!
Nicky Brennan spoke of the
is at the heart of the GAA and how people of all ages and backgrounds who
undertake all aspects of running a club, from cleaning changing rooms up to club
chairman level, receive no money and
put in as much effort and
dedication, if not more than, today’s senior county players.
Matt Fitzpatrick then ended the speeches with some personal recollections on his playing days with Éire Óg.
Nicky Brennan then presented special awards to Club President Matt Morgan for Lifetime Achievement, Gareth McLaverty for Senior Footballer of the Year and to Conor Wills for Clubman of the Year. The Martin Cup medals were also handed out to the victorious team with Neil Ryan, senior football captain, receiving the Martin Cup from the GAA President. Gerry and Theresa McStravick of Fast Track Mortgages were also acknowledged for their continued sponsorship.
A seisiúin cheoil by All Ireland Fleadh Winner and Éire Óg player Aidan McKenna along with his brother Eoghan, followed the speeches, before Matt Morgan presented Nicky Brennan with a crystal trophy and a one off 75th anniversary polo shirt as tokens of the club’s gratitude for attending the celebrations. To round off the evening there was live music from ‘The Hootenannies’.
The evening was also an opportunity to highlight Éire Óg’s success off the pitch as 2007 Irish News City GAA Club of the Year, in recognition for the dedication and hard work put in at the club’s juvenile level.
An official history of Éire Óg had also been produced for the 75th anniversary, and was officially launched that evening. The book describes all Éire Óg’s successes, including the highlight of winning the 1948 Senior Football Championship, all trophies from Under 8 all the way through to senior level in both football and hurling and has mini biographies of Éire Óg’s past players. There are still copies available and it has something in it for all Éire Óg’s members – past and present making it the perfect Christmas present!!