McAleese honours GAA team

Published Monday, 25 October 2010
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President Mary McAleese has played host to a cross community Gaelic Football team from Co Fermanagh to mark their participation in a sports tournament in New York.

The Co Fermanagh team, Enniskillen Cúchallainns, is a formation of players from four secondary schools in the town - Portora Royal, Erne Integrated, St Michael's College and St Joseph's College.

They were commended last week at the President's residence Aras an Uachtaráin for their participation in an outreach programme 'The Cúchulainn Initiative' organised by the Ulster GAA.

The initiative's aim is to break down barriers and promote good relations at a grassroots level throughout the community.

The week long trip to New York, which took place during the summer, saw the cross community team compete in the Continental Youth Championships against some of the USA's best GAA teams.

They were narrowly defeated in their bid for victory Stateside, but there is no doubt that meeting the President helped ease the pain of losing.

A group of teachers, principals and members of the Ulster GAA accompanied the 20-strong squad of players on their special Dublin visit.

Speaking after the event Ulster GAA President, Aogán Ó Fearghail, said that it was a "remarkable honour" for the teenagers.

"The players and their schools are proud ambassadors of Enniskillen representing all sections of the community.

"Ulster GAA's Cúchulainn Initiative is an important community outreach programme which uses Gaelic Games to break down barriers and promotes good relations.

"I thank President McAleese for welcoming the team to her residence in Phoenix Park. She has always been a strong supporter of this programme and we appreciate her support and interest."

He added that he was delighted so many young people were joining local GAA clubs in the Co Fermanagh town to develop their interest and skills in Gaelic Games.

The team's latest game is currently being organised as an exhibition match in Enniskillen to help introduce the boys' parents and families to the Gaelic Athletic Association.

© UTV News
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2 Comments
andrew in tyrone wrote (1,370 days ago):
john , that was one of the most , narrow minded , ill educated comment i have ever heard , of course you can be a member of the g.a.a , and be a unionist , if you feel you like the sport , there is nothing in the g.a.a constitution that states or backs up , what you are saying , dr. croke , one of the founding members of the g.a.a was a presbatarian , you should research a bit more of the gaelics games history , you might be suprised .
John in Armagh wrote (1,375 days ago):
Can I as a unionist be a member of the GAA, - not according to the GAA constitution. So to try and dress up the GAA as some sort of cross community organisation may work on a few gulible folk but won't fool the many.
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