GREAT NIGHT! MONAGHAN CELEBRATE FANTASTIC YEAR

22 November 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

2013: The year Monaghan won two Ulster Finals …

COLM SHALVEY

Monaghan Gaels brought the curtain down on a year of unprecedented success with a glitzy Gala Banquet in the Hillgrove Hotel last Friday night.An attendance estimated at around 600 made their way to the Monaghan town hotel for the celebration of the remarkable achievements of the county senior and minor teams this year. Clubs from across the county were represented at the black-tie event, which saw the players, mentors and officials swap their jerseys and tracksuits for considerably more formal attire. 2013 saw Monaghan win Ulster senior and minor championships together for the first time on an unforgettable in July, while the National Football League Division Three title and the Ulster Minor Football League were also won on the same day back in April. The capture of the Anglo-Celt Cup, dethroning Donegal in the process, bridged a 25-year gap, while the minors’ dramatic Ulster final comeback against Tyrone ended the county’s 68-year wait to win the Fr. Liam Murray Cup.

The senior and minor teams received their medals on the night, among them team captains Owen Lennon and Kevin Loughran.

The double Ulster success of 2013 tied in nicely with the 25th anniversary of the 1988 Ulster SFC win. The class of ’88 were also recognised on the night, as they had been when they appeared on the St. Tiernach’s Park pitch on Ulster final day. The last major win of the legendary 1980s team, when they overturned 1986 All-Ireland finalists Tyrone to win a third provincial title since ’79, was fondly remembered on the night.

UTV sports anchor Adrian Logan and TG4 presenter and Monaghan native Gráinne McElwain were fear an tí and bean an tí, while music was provided by the aptly-named ‘The Conquerors’ and a group from Scotstown Comhaltas.

Paul Curran, in one of his last official roles as County Chairman, said it was no coincidence that the achievements of 2013 had happened, paying tribute to the coaching staff and clubs in the county. He also stressed the importance of the training centre …

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