Northern Ireland news

Pomeroy primary school celebrates 'Tyrone Day' with its own footballing star

Pupils from Mark Bradley's P3 class at St Mary's PS show their support for the Tyrone star ahead of tomorrow's All-Ireland final against Mayo. Picture by Hugh Russell
Marie Louise McConville

A primary school in Pomeroy has held a ‘Tyrone Day’ to celebrate the county reaching the All-Ireland final – and send a huge good luck message to its own footballing star.

Pupils at St Mary’s PS pupils all came to class dressed in the county’s red and white colours ahead of tomorrow’s eagerly-awaited clash against Mayo at Croke Park.

The students and staff have spent recent days decking out their school with flags, pictures and banners to show their support for P3 teacher Mark Bradley, a sharp-shooting member of the Tyrone squad.

P7 pupils at St Mary's PS, Pomeroy show their support for teacher Mark Bradley with a banner in front of the school. Picture by Hugh Russell

Three other players – Kieran McGeary, his brother Hugh Pat and Frank Burns – are also past pupils of the school.

Mr Bradley, from Killyclogher, donated a ball and the coveted shirt he wore during the epic semi-final victory over Kerry – both of which have been signed by the team – for a school raffle yesterday.

Teacher and Tyrone footballer Mark Bradley shows pupils from St Mary's PS, Pomeroy his signed All-Ireland semi-final jersey which was donated for a school raffle. Picture by Hugh Russell

The children and staff also created a special Tyrone Tik Tok dance routine.

Pupils from St Mary's PS, Pomeroy perform a special Tyrone Tik Tok dance routine ahead of the All-Ireland final. Picture by Hugh Russell

Tina Hinfey, acting principal of St Mary’s, said the day was about “celebrating Tyrone and their adventure”.

“Mr Bradley has spent the week being interviewed by various classes,” she said.

“It was all about football, how he psyches himself up, how he is feeling this week, what his thoughts are when he comes out of the tunnel, his diet and sleep patterns, questions galore.”

She said the money raised through the raffle, which drew a huge response from the school community, will be now used to buy new interactive boards to give pupils the latest IT support.

Conall and Eoin Bonner, pupils at St Mary's Primary School in Pomeroy, with teacher and Tyrone footballer Mark Bradley, who donated a ball signed by the team for a school raffle. Picture by Hugh Russell

“The children are just in awe of Mr Bradley and always have been,” she said.

“He is a very modest lad. Very dedicated to his work and his sport. He it totally committed to both.

Tyrone footballer Mark Bradley reads to P1 pupils at St Mary's PS, Pomeroy. Picture by Hugh Russell

“The children are buzzing. It has been great coming back after Covid - this has been lovely for the mental well-being and for everyone to enjoy.”

Pupils at St Mary's PS, Pomeroy show teacher Mark Bradley the trophy they want him to return with after tomorrow's All-Ireland final between Tyrone and Mayo. Picture by Hugh Russell

Ms Hinfey said the school is also sending all its best wishes to Frank, Kieran and Hugh Pat, whom she taught herself.

She described them as “totally committed” to both school and sport and said they “haven’t changed”.

Now all the school needs is for Mr Bradley to come back to work next week carrying the Sam Maguire Cup to make it an unforgettable start to the term.

“We have a banner for Mark at the front door,” Mrs Hinfey said.

“This is what the school needed. This was the incentive for our children to come back and be happy. They so needed excitement in their lives.”

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