7 November 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard

The achievement of Monaghan’s senior county footballers in winning their second Ulster title in three years last July was celebrated at a civic reception in the Four Seasons Hotel on Monday evening last, organised by Monaghan Co Council.

It was certainly a case of a pleasure deferred being a pleasure enhanced – an event that had been delayed until the team’s All-Ireland odyssey and the interrupted club championship programme reached its conclusion took on an enhanced sense of savour as the Farneymen’s exploits were recalled from a more leisurely perspective.

And, unusually for a celebration of past achievement, there was an equal focus on possible glories to come, as both the Co Council speakers and representatives of the Co Board and team management looked forward with firm optimism to greater heights for the current county crop to scale. As “the boss” himself, Malachy O’Rourke, declared: “The group has not reached its potential yet – there is an awful lot more to give.”

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys (Fine Gael), and her fellow Cavan/Monaghan Dáil Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin (Sinn Féin) were also among Monday’s attendance.

All the public representatives and other guests present were formally welcomed at the outset of the evening’s formalities by Monaghan Co Council Meetings Administrator Carmel Thornton, who introduced the local authority Cathaoirleach Noel Keelan as the first speaker.

The Cathaoirleach reflected at the outset that the Co Council members had just come from a long and demanding day dealing with the business of their November monthly meeting.

“I was like the referee in the Chair, but despite some difficult tussles I did not have to show any of them the red card,” Colr Keelan stated in relation to the earlier conduct of his fellow councillors.

The Cathaoirleach described a civic reception as the highest honour any local authority could bestow, and it was their great pleasure as members of Monaghan Co Council to confer the honour on their victorious Ulster senior football champions, the second time in three years they had attained this high honour.

The SF local public representative reflected on Ulster Final day July 19 last, and the fact that he had got “a great sunburn” in St Tiernach’s Park. “Donegal got burnt also – and that was the most important thing!” he quipped.

He didn’t think the Monaghan team fully realised what they meant to the people of the county.

There had not been a family in the county that hadn’t gone through hard times in the recent difficult years of economic austerity, and what the team had done for the morale of the people was unbelievable. Tens of thousands of young Monaghan people were …


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