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GAA memories fundraising initiative sweeping the nation

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ALL readers of a certain age will be aware of the musical genius of Bob Marley, but not many people know he was once yellow-carded for his part in a scuffle during a Derry U14 championship game.

Confused? You should be, but anyone from this part of the world with a Facebook account may well have some idea of what I’m talking about.

My newsfeed, and plenty more besides, has been awash with

GAA-related stories in recent days, all of them part of a brilliant fundraising initiative from the Eoghan Rua club in Coleraine.

The club launched their GAA Memories Challenge on Wednesday night and already, through Facebook nominations, the scheme has spread throughout Ireland.

The aim is to raise funds for two mental health charities, AWARE and Pieta House in Dublin, as well as for the club.

And while there is a very serious aspect to what Eoghan Rua are doing, some of the stories that have emerged from the dark and distant past have been hilarious.

For example, the club’s former Derry forward Ciaran McGoldrick (never a man to embellish a story) has given a warts and all insight into the ‘all work and no play’ life of an inter-county footballer.

It’s an epic story taking in Colm O’Rourke, Jaegerbombs, wedding crashing, a fake Corkman masquerading as a crisp dealer, and an early-morning run-in with the Gardai.

There have also been tales of a shipwrecked Ford Galaxy that came to grief on Benone beach on the way home from a match and a player called ‘The Volcano’ roaring in the wrong direction, while Irish News reporter Cahair O’Kane revealed how a hissy fit after being substituted failed to impress a lady he had his eye on.

Toto Schillachi also went on a goalscoring run for the club’s U14s back in the day after a one-on-one session with a mysterious mind guru called ‘Big Rico’.

Inter-county players such as Monaghan’s Darren Hughes, Tyrone pair Mattie Donnelly and Colm Cavanagh (above) and Derry camog Karen Kielt have shared a few secrets as well, and they are sure to be joined in the coming days by plenty more of their contemporaries as the tales get more outlandish and the stakes are raised higher and higher.

It’s a hugely effective fundraiser that is very easy to take part in.

To get involved, all you need to do is share your GAA memory on Facebook, text the appropriate number (listed below), then nominate four friends to take the challenge.

From Northern Ireland, text ‘ERUA01 £2’ to 70070 and 100 per cent of the money goes directly to AWARE. Standard network message rates may apply.

From the Republic, text ‘GAAmemories’ to 50300 to donate €2 and 100 percent goes directly to Pieta House across most network providers. Some providers apply VAT, which means a minimum of €1.63 will go to Pieta House.

It’s a great idea, a great laugh, with great causes.

Check it out to see how `Bob Marley' was booked in that Derry U14 game... 

Bob Marley was once yellow-carded for his part in a scuffle during a Derry U14 championship game, honestly, well not quite...

 

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