Co Antrim camogie team take delivery of new jerseys after Croke Park theft

Ballycastle Camogie Club take delivery of their new jerseys. Photo by Margaret McLaughlin 
Marie Louise McConville

A Co Antrim camogie team took delivery of a new set of jerseys yesterday after an "unbelievably kind gesture" following the theft of their playing gear last year.

Hundreds of pounds worth of kit was stolen from Ballycastle Camogie Club when their team bus was targeted during a trip to Croke Park in September.

The girls had travelled to Dublin for a match against Faughs in Templeogue before going to watch Kilkenny defeat Cork to lift the O’Duffy Cup.

The bus was parked close to Ballybough Community Centre when belongings were stolen from the boot.

Their black-and-amber playing gear, a navy sports bag containing a first aid kit, sliotars and some personal belongings were taken. The stolen items were worth around £800.

A social media appeal for help to find the kit was shared by hundreds of GAA fans in the following days.

As a result, businesses in Dublin made several offers to replace the clothes and sliotars as well as cash donations.

Yesterday, the team came together at their club house at Páirc Mac Uílín to take delivery of 25 replacement jerseys donated by Ross Carrig of Balon Sportswear in Dublin.

Ballycastle Camogie Club members are presented with new jerseys for the u16 team by Lucia Mee representing the organ donation charity Live Loudly Donate Proudly. Included are from left, Bronagh Donnelly, chair, Ciara McShane, club pro and Clare Scullion, treasurer. Picture Margaret McLaughlin

Ciara McShane, the club's public relations officer, said when the story first went out, he came forward and said he would be happy to donate a new kit.

"We have been working with him since then to get it together. It is an unbelievably kind gesture for him to put that forward," she said.

Ms McShane revealed that in turn, a local charity will also benefit.

"When we were looking at the design of the jersey, a sponsor banner across the front, he wasn't bothered about his own name," she said.

"One good turn deserves another. We looked at giving a local charity some exposure."

The team chose to publicise Live Loudly, Donate Proudly, which encourages people to have open conversations about organ donation.

"We thought this was a good opportunity and we can do our bit and give something back to the community. The charity was delighted."

Ms McShane said the team is also delighted with the replacement jerseys following the disappointment of the theft.

"They were out for a great day and it was a bit of dampner," she said.

"At the end of the day, it quickly turned around because everyone rallied around.

"He didn't have to do this and he has kept his word. It was very generous. Something good has come from it".

Ballycastle Camogie Club take delivery of their new jerseys. Photo by Margaret McLaughlin 

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