ST PATRICK’S College, Maghera’s O’Keefe Cup All-Ireland winning Hurlers were honoured by Magherafelt District Council recently with a Civic Reception hosted in the Council buildings on the Ballyronan Road.
Also there on the night to celebrate their own All-Ireland successes were the Allen School of Irish Dancing with both groups being recognized for their recent successes at All-Ireland level in their respective sporting fields. St Patrick’s won the All-Ireland Schools O’Keefe Cup when they defeated St Raphael’s Loughrea in the Spring time of the school year thus bringing the title back to the College for the second time – 2005 having brought the original hurling success at national level. The winning O’Keefe Cup panel was present on the night in their team jerseys and were accompanied by their coaches and College principal Mrs Anne Scott. Also present were Brian Mór McGilligan and Ulster Development Coach Kevin Hinphey – both of whom had spent a lot of time working with the team during the year.
The group were received in the Council offices by Mr John McLaughlin, Mr JJ Tohill and Council Chairman Mr Ian Milne while a number of other local councillors were also in attendance.
Following early introductions the entire group was then sat down to a beautiful meal prepared and served by staff at the Council buildings. The night however didn’t end there as Chairman Mr Ian Milne then presented specially commissioned, and individually personalized, mementoes of the All-Ireland success to each member of the St Patrick’s panel and management team.
There was also a special cut crystal presentation made to the College principal Mrs Anne Scott to mark the occasion and the achievement of the Senior Hurlers. In thanking the Council for the very generous awarding of the Civic Reception to the team Mrs Scott also thanked Mr Milne and the Council for the gifts to the boys and the College.
Mrs Scott also paid tribute to Magherafelt Council for their continued promotion of sport and good health in the Borough through their recognition of sporting achievement and the provision of high quality sports and leisure facilities – many of which are available to the schools of the area.
Tribute was paid by Mrs Scott to the fact that the District Council have always been supportive of St Patrick’s and have, over the years, acknowledged all six of St Patrick’s’ All-Ireland successes in hurling and football.
A very pleasant, enjoyable and successful evening was concluded by Chairman Mr Ian Milne inviting all those present to visit the Council Chambers where he expressed the hope that maybe one day some of the young people present might work to serve their communities as local councillors in the area.
St Patrick’s would like to acknowledge the generosity and continued support of the Magherafelt District Council for the work done and achievements won in the College.