Whatever you say about the GAA and its place in modern Ireland you can't beat the fervour of a local club game for excitement and passion. I was at the Leinster Junior Club Football Final last Sunday in Louth village, Co Louth. The local team, St Mochta's, won the Louth championship and were playing against the Meath champions Longwood. The final had been drawn the previous Sunday in Longwood. I was supporting Longwood.
After a ding dong struggle Longwood managed to win by a point. The game had everything, noisy fans, a missed penalty, plenty of yellow cards, three red cards, great scores and bad misses.
And my connection with the south Meath village of Longwood? My son-in-law plays at number 4 for the team. Small for a corner back he makes up in tackling ability what he lacks in height. He had a good game, made a number of vital score-saving tackles especially in the second half and displayed an acting ability which up to now had been hidden!
The Irish Independent match report is here.
I had never been to that part of Louth before between Ardee and Dundalk. I passed through he award winning village of Tallonstown, Co Louth. I noticed an almost life size sculpture in the village but didn't have time to stop and investigate. An internet search reveals that it is a very recent work by sculptor Ann Meldon Hugh of Vere Foster, the founder and first president of the INTO, who introduced a series of famous copybooks into Irish schools. A place to return to and linger in . . . . sometime.