Annual Paddy Cooney celebration a huge success

Pictured left to right are the four winning captains; Liam O Meara of Moycarkey Borris, Co. Tipperary, Colin Spain of Kilcormac Killoughney, County Offaly, Shane Bracken of Rathdowney Errill, Co. Laois and Wayne Kearns of Na Piarsaigh, Co. Limerick with Paddy Cooney of Moycarkey Borris GAA Club
See report on this years tournament hosted by Moycarkey Borris GAA club

See report on this years tournament hosted by Moycarkey Borris GAA club

Each team represented their county, their club and themselves with great pride, respect, competitive spirit and with great heart. The matches were officiated with distinction by Mark Dunne, Kevin Jordan, Donal Leahy and our own Michael Shiner Heffernan. For many of the players this was their first experience hurling with senior referees and all the matches were played in a positive spirit.

The opening group stages on our eight pitches started with blistering hurling and the pace and skill continued throughout the day. Three matches of fifteen minutes a half decided how the finals would be lined out. The group stages were very competitive with score difference required to separate some teams before the final pairings were selected. All four finals were played at the same time, with Rathdowney Errill, Kilcormac Killoughney, Moycarkey Borris and Na Piarsaigh each taking home a shield. Every player got either a gold or silver medal but in truth every player was a winner on the day.

The players, coaches and match officials were treated to hot food and bottles of Tipperary’s finest proudly sponsored by Tipperary Water. The travelling supporters from our own and surrounding counties were spoiled for food choice with the generosity and hardwork of the Moycarkey Borris parents.

Lunch was brought to a conclusion with the sounds of our piper Gerard Neville. All eight teams, led by their captains, were marched in procession by our piper and then after Amhrán na Bhfiann, the warms ups started in anticipation of the finals. Every team had a chance and every team wanted to win.

Paddy Cooney himself, with his wife Josie by his side and many other Cooney family members in attendance, watched with delight as all the hurling unfolded throughout the day and Paddy was delighted to present the four finals shields to the four worthy recipients. Paddy was born in 1936 and first got involved with Moycarkey Borris GAA club in the 1960’s, where he was particularly involved with the u16’s and during that time two minor county titles came to the parish. Paddy was an active supporter and from the 1970’s to the mid-1990’s Paddy & his wife Josie were involved in all levels of Scor both senior and juvenile, bringing two All Ireland titles at juvenile level with the help and support from a lot of parents and friends.

During the concluding speeches Frank O’ Regan, Cathaoirleach, Moycarkey Borris Juvenile GAA Club expressed his thanks to all the teams for contributing to a memorable occasion and he gave a history of the Paddy Cooney Tournament and a heartfelt account of the contribution that Paddy Cooney and many of his family members have made to the club and to the local community over the years. Martin Cooney, son of Paddy, who himself is involved with our current minors, spoke on behalf of the Cooney family in complimenting the standard of hurling and the great work going into all of the teams. Martin felt he was watching four All Ireland finals at the same time. Martin finished by sincerely thanking the Under 10 Moycarkey Borris coaches who took responsibility for organising the event and the Moycarkey Borris parents for making the tournament the success that it was.

A small presentation was made to Michael Shiner Heffernan by the Moycarkey Borris Under 10’s coaches on behalf of the club in recognition of service over and above the call of duty. The rain fell briefly too, but just at the right times and by the mid-afternoon the cars filed out of the grounds after what was a fantastic day of juvenile hurling in the premier county. The many sponsors whose generosity facilitated a memorable occasion were noted in a 28 page colour programme circulated on the day and the club once again want to thank all the sponsors for their generosity. Tipperary Civil Defence ensured players were tended to with First Aid and thankfully these instances were rare and minor. Many club members made a significant effort towards ensuring the event ran smoothly and the support of a large number of Moycarky Borris parents as always is greatly appreciated.

The teams are already thinking about next year and our stars of the future are relishing the challenge.