Magherafelt council Chairperson, Kate McEldowney hosted a Reception for Robert Emmet’s GAC, Slaughtneil in the Council Offices on Monday 30 March 2015.
This Reception was to honour their Gaelic Team winning the 2014 Ulster Senior Football Championships and being finalist in the All Ireland Senior Club Championship.
At the start of her Speech Councillor McEldowney said that this event was very poignant for many reasons, namely this was the last Reception that Magherafelt Council would host, this would also be the last time the Council Chamber would be used by Magherafelt District Council, this was her last Civic Duty as Chairperson which was fitting given her connections with both the Slaughtneil Community and Slaughtneil Club and finally she recalled the first Civic Reception which took place in Magherafelt Council which was on the 16th November 1993.
This Reception was held to honour the Derry Team who had won the All Ireland final.
Again very fitting that the final reception should be to honour a Derry club team which had reached an All Ireland final.
She complimented the Slaughtneil club on their achievements not only in Football but also in Hurling and Camogie over the past year.
Councillor McEldowney said that the final should not detract from what they all as a Team had achieved this year.
She said: “At the start of the Season I am sure that you all entered the Derry Senior Championship more in hope than in expectation. It was merely a possibility but far from a certainty. You would have accepted that you were probably not within the average observers first three favourites for the Championship.
“I am sure that you will all admit that being Ulster Champions was never on the radar and the possibility of contesting an All-Ireland Senior Final in Croke Park on St Patrick’s Day was not even a dream.
“However, all of this has been achieved and you all should be rightly proud of those achievements.”
She also thanked Micky Moran the Manager and his dedicated Management Team.
In conclusion Councillor McEldowney gave a special mention to the Club Chairman Bernard Kearney who died tragically during the Derry Senior Championship campaign.
She said: “Unfortunately Bernard did not live long enough to see his beloved Slaughtneil crowned Derry and Ulster Senior Champions or to contest an All-Ireland Senior Club Football final in Croke Park, but she was confident that Bernard would be very proud of their achievements this year and of his Club being honoured here tonight”.