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A SPECIAL tribute will be paid to Eamonn Burns at the forthcoming Loughinisland GAC event to honour the Down 1994 jubilee All-Ireland winning side.
The Bryansford man, who died suddenly last week, will be remembered by team-mates who are gathering on October 26 to mark the 25th anniversary of Down's historic win over Dublin in Croke Park.
Following Eamonn's death last week, there was doubt over whether the Loughinisland event would proceed, but his colleagues say he would have wanted the event to go ahead.
Down's 1994 victory came just three months after the Loughinisland massacre, on June 18, when six men were murdered by UVF gunmen as they watched Ireland's World Cup victory over Italy at the Heights Bar.
During that turbulent period of the Troubles, the recently-crowned Ulster champions, complete with the Anglo-Celt Cup, came to Macartan Park on July 28 to play a charity match against a select team of players from Loughinisland, Teconnaught and Drumaness.
Over 2,000 people turned up and the event raised over £5,000 for the Loughinisland Appeal Fund, which was set up to help the families of the murdered men.
The forthcoming celebration evening is being organised to thank the Down squad and backroom team for coming to Loughinisland during a time when the people in the area were reeling after the atrocity.
A large contingent of the 1994 Down squad will be in attendance, including captain DJ Kane, Mayobridge flyer Mickey Linden, James McCartan, Downpatrick pair Conor Deegan and Barry Breen, Castlewellan's Gregory McCartan and Ciaran McCabe, Bryansford's Brian Burns, Carryduff goalkeeper Neil Collins, Ross Carr and, of course, Loughinisland's Gary Mason and Gerard Colgan, plus many more.
Compere for the night will be TV and radio personality Frank Mitchell, with the event sponsored by The Irish News. Tickets can be purchased in O'Toole's Bar, Loughinisland GAC clubrooms, or by contacting the club's Facebook page, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 07761 754207.
ST JOHN'S, DRUMNAQUOILE: If you would like to volunteer at the Siobhan McCann ladies' sevens on Saturday, contact event organiser Cormac McMullan. Volunteers are requested for catering, stewarding, car parking and selling raffle tickets, along with other roles. All help greatly appreciated. Money raised will go towards the Cancer Fund For Children.
ST PATRICK'S, EGLISH: The club is hosting ‘St Mungo's Luganulk 2 - The Umpire Strikes Back' in the sports hall on Saturday, November 2 at 8.30pm. Tickets available from McCann's Shop, Daly's Spar and any committee member.
ST PATRICK'S, CARRICKCRUPPEN: It was 30 years ago when Carrickcruppen cyclists Jim Loughran, Tom Morgan, Jim Burns, Teresa Collins, Anne Fegan and Keith Quigley undertook the club's first sponsored cycle ride to Croke Park – and last Saturday 133 Carrickcruppen men and women took to the road to cover the 131km route.
Jim Burns was back to challenge himself on the long and winding road to GAA HQ. Anne Fegan wasn't there this year but her son Rory was cycling in the elite group.
This year the organising committee was headed by Jane McGinn, Tom Morgan, John McCauley, Anne-Marie Bradley, PJ McNally, Peter Quinn and Kevin McCann, and a group of other enthusiasts and experienced cyclists.
Local businessmen including PJ McNally, Alan McArdle, Mark Trainor, Eugene O`Hagan, Darran O`Grady and Brian Treanor provided the vans, Slaine O`Grady, Anthony McClean, Alannah O`Grady, John McAteer and Amanda Crozier provided cars needed for the backup team and equipment to ensure safety. A special word of thanks to Kate Loughran and Patricia Keenan who made the delicious food for all the cyclists and stewards.
Everyone had gathered in Jones Road by 4.30pm, and the staff at Croke Park provided the usual warm welcome. Bernard Smith had organised for the Sam Maguire cup to make an appearance and all the cyclists enjoyed the photo opportunity in the stand before heading to the Bonnington Hotel for an evening of rest, recuperation and great craic. Pat Rice arrived to transport all the bicycles back to Carrickcruppen GAA as the cyclists arrived at the hotel.
To mark the end of the event, Hall of Fame awards were made to Teresa Collins and Rory Fegan on behalf of Anne Fegan. Tour De Crupps awards went to Vincent Boyle (most sponsorship), Roisin Morgan (best on hills), Tom Morgan (oldest participant), Callum Toner (youngest participant), Patrick Tavey (best sprinter).
CAREY FAUGHS: The club is looking to appoint a senior hurling team manager for the incoming season. Please e-mail email@example.com or contact club secretary Jimmy Mulholland on 07711 987143 for further details or to register your interest.
ARMAGH MINOR BOARD: The next full Armagh Minor Board meeting will take place at 8pm on Tuesday, October 22 at the Athletic Grounds. Two delegates from each club are welcome to attend and to review the 2019 season and look forward to 2020.