Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Support the Philly McGuinness Memorial Park

This day week is the first anniversary of the death of Philly McGuinness. Philly McGuinness was a 26-year-old engineer from Mohill, County Leitrim, who had his whole life ahead of him when he togged for Mohill in a league match against Melvin Gaels with his brothers on Saturday, April 18th, last year.

There is no more typical vignette of Irish rural life than the men of a football family playing for the parish in a league game. All of the brothers had played for the county; they knew what they were about. There was no reason for this to be any different than any of the other league games Philly had played or had ahead of him.

But it was different. At some stage during the course of the game Philly took a knock, as happens in football. The knock was bad. He hit his head, and everybody knew he was in trouble. Philly McGuinness was rushed to Sligo Hospital and then on to Beaumont in Dublin but he never regained consciousness. He died on April 19th, 2010.

The club hasn’t forgotten him, and doesn’t plan to. The Mohill GAA Grounds have been re-named in his honour and memory, and the club are organizing a draw for this Easter weekend to raise funds for the redevelopment.

Contact details for anyone who wants to buy a ticket are available on the Philly McGuinness Facebook page. Ring the mobile number or drop them a mail and they’ll sort you out. The prizes are worth winning too, with a ten grand total prize fund, two weekend breaks in Lough Rynn and the Landmark Hotel in Carrick-on-Shannon, and spot prizes too.

We hear so much chat about the GAA and what it means. Martin Breheny will almost certainly churn out another of his why-oh-why pieces about why the GAA doesn’t market itself better between now and the League Final. Clubs like Mohill don’t need the GAA marketed to them, but we, the nation, need GAA clubs like Mohill possibly more than ever before as we fight for our very survival as a nation.

God have mercy on those whom He has called home before their time. Ar A dheis go raibh anam uasal Philly, sásta saor ó gach buartha an domhain crua seo.