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In The Irish News - May 5 1998: St Enda's celebrate endurance through dark days

POIGNANT MOMENT... St Enda's: remembering ‘those no longer available for selection’
The Irish News Archive

After 42 years of club history the patrons of St Enda’s celebrated the opening of their club’s new complex on the slopes of Ben Madigan.

The £500,000 complex will house some of the best facilities in Ireland and is a testament to the clubs’ endurance through dark days.

GAA president Joe McDonagh was in attendance for the day’s events and sporting action including the Inter-County friendly game between home county Antrim and NFL runners-up Derry. It finished all square, Antrim 1-11 Derry 0-14.

A simple message carried in the commemorative programme said it all.

As St Enda’s Gaelic Athletic Club yesterday celebrated the official opening of its new clubhouse and pitch, many remembered the 16 gun and bomb attacks the Glengormley club has suffered in the last 26 years.

They also remembered the four members who lost their lives in sectarian attacks.

As thousands gathered to mark a celebration of sport, the commemorative programme carried a simple epitaph: “This booklet is dedicated to those members of St Enda’s who are no longer available for selection.”

“For a community which knows what it means to suffer for its sport, yesterday marked the beginning of a process aimed at transforming tears into trophies.''

“Today is very poignant,” said Stephen Gleeson, chairman of the Glengormley club.

 

DOWN TO BUSINESS... Antrim’s Emmett McCorry (right) closes in on Derry’s Gerard McGrath during yesterday’s game to mark the official opening of the St Enda’s new pitch and clubhouse at Glengormley.

 

STAR APPEARANCE... Tipperary’s Nicky English was a guest at the St Enda's opening

 

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A STORM of criticism has been aimed at dissident republicans whose aborted mortar bomb attack on an RUC station caused the re-routing of Belfast City Marathon yesterday.

The Westlink motorway was closed for several hours and around 100 people were warned to leave their homes following the discovery of two mortar tubes at Devonshire Close, off west Belfast's Grosvenor Road.

Residents reported hearing a loud bang and seeing a plume of smoke rising over the area shortly after 11pm on Sunday.

Security forces believe the mortar bombs, which are thought to have exploded close to the firing point and well short of their target, were meant for Grosvenor Road RUC station. Police and soldiers moved in to seal off the area around 6am yesterday.

Traffic was diverted away from the district and while some residents left their homes, many decided to stay put.

When it became clear the marathon route would not be cleared in time for the mid-day start, officials moved quickly to put contingency plans into operation.

 

MARATHON MAN... Magherafelt disabled athlete David Young leads the field home in yesterday's 17th Belfast Marathon. The athletes were forced to take a detour after a mortar bomb was fired at Grosvenor Road RUC station

 

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NORTHERN Ireland and Leicester City’s Neil Lennon, at the centre of allegations that he was kicked in the face by Alan Shearer, has pleaded with the Football Association to abandon plans to investigate the incident.

The Newcastle and England striker has insisted the clash during last Wednesday’s Premiership match at Filbert Street was an accident and that television replays make it look worse than it was.

“As far as I and the club are concerned this is done and dusted. I am disappointed to hear that the FA want to keep it going,” he told the Daily Mail.

“I have had this all week and I just want to forget about it and concentrate on playing football. I am fine now and it will be a shame if the FA charge him.''

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