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Honouring Something Special

By tyronepro Sat 15th Aug

Fifty years ago one of the great Minor teams won the All-Ireland. It wasn’t a Tyrone team. It was instead from our neighbours Derry, actually the first-ever Derry team to win the Ulster Minor Championship. Something about that Derry Minor team mesmerised, captivated and inspired Gaels across Ulster. Skilful, glamorous and supremely-organised, it drew heavily on the St Columb’s College Hogan Cup-winning team (which had also featured two of Tyrone’s greatest GAA people, Brendan Dolan RIP and our recent past County Chairman, Liam Nelis). Some of Ulster’s finest-ever footballers graced those Derry Minors: Eamon Coleman RIP, Seamus Lagan, Malachy McAfee, Adrian McGuckin, Mickey Niblock, Gerry O’Loughlin and Tom Quinn among others. Three years later they collected the All-Ireland U21 title. And but for the chaos that then erupted here, who knows what they might have achieved as Seniors. Exceptional men. Exceptional times.
Why are we talking about a long-gone Derry team on Tyrone social media? Because next Sunday another Derry Minor team goes to Croke Park. They’re there not as Tyrone’s rivals but as the Champions of our Province. They follow in the footsteps of Oak Leaf greatness. So if you’re following Tyrone to Croke Park, then get there for 1.30pm and get behind Derry. Apart from anything else you’ll be honouring and respecting something very special from half-a-century ago, a team that set a standard and meant something for so many of us. And that should be our privilege. ‘Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine … people live in one another’s shelter.’

By tyronepro Sat 15th Aug

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