This Photograph, which will prove in time to be
one of the most memorable and talked about photographs ever taken in the parish
was taken in the home of Dermot & Anna-Marie McKenna on the day that Seán
Óg came to town, April 5th 2006. About six months previously Dermot got
to thinking about a medals presentation for our very deserving underage players,
both girls and boys. He started to thrall through a list of possible celebrities
who might possibly agree to perform the task. Someone with a bit of "street
cred" in GAA circles he thought. The search led to his big brother Peter
who works with the Ulster Bank in Cork. Who else works with the Ulster Bank in
Cork ? He had the bit between his teeth. A few phonecalls later and Seán
Óg Ó hAilpín, his employers the Ulster Bank and Peter McKenna together with
the "Liam McCarthy" cup were set on course to visit all the schools in
the area during a very busy April day and finish up presenting medals to the
Ballycomoyle underage footballers at a function in the Parish Hall in
Castlepollard. The entire day was an outstanding success. The schools
visited will treasure the memories into the future.
The man of the moment Seán Óg exceeded anything that could have been expected
of him. He regaled (as bearla agus as gaeilge), he signed autographs on anything
and everything that was put in front of him, he posed for photographs until he
must have thought he was a welder from all the flashing lights and he presented
medals and trophys to our players who will never forget the occasion. He
gave us more than 24 hours of his time. He left Cork on the Tuesday night after
training and arrived in Fore well after midnight. After a few hours sleep he was
welcomed to the area by Father Michael Walsh the next morning in St. Feichins
N.S. at 9am. He continued to Collinstown N.S. and from there to Castlepollard
where he visited the two primary schools and the secondary school. He finally
left Castlepollard Parish Hall after 9pm to head back the four hour drive to
At a time when we hear of GAA celebrities getting four figure appearance fees we
had a job to persuade Seán Óg to accept a small token of the club's
appreciation for his generosity, presence and the memories he left us.
Well done to Dermot, his brother Peter and the Ulster
Bank for their part in making this happen.
How did the Sam Maguire Cup get into the picture ?
How the Sam Maguire came into it is another story in
itself and proved just reward for Dermot for his efforts in making the whole day
possible. During the School visit to Fore Una Darcy from the Westmeath Examiner,
a Tyrone native and avid football supporter, told a few of the people present that "Sam" was in the
village of Clonmellon only a few miles up the road. Her journalistic nose for a
story started to work overtime and she set about uniting the two cups. This
can't have been an easy task as either side would have been understandibly
reluctant to part with their treasure; even for a couple of hours. With typical
"Nordy" determination, however, she was equal to the task and arrived
in the McKenna household with Sam in time to get her story and her
Dermot will tell you that it all happened so fast that if the photographs
weren't there to prove it he would have thought it was all a dream.
What a dream......