Coaches don’t just teach young players to get better and achieve greater things on the field of play.
But they also help young players to become better people, according to Devenish chairman Tommy Mulrone at the club’s well attended Presentation Night in the Gillaroo Centre, Garrison on Sunday night.
In a thoughtful address, the chairman paid tribute to all those who give of their time so freely to promote GAA in one of Fermanagh’s most successful clubs.
In the 1960s, 1980s and early 1990s, Devenish took county championships as regularly as tea and have supplied several county players, the greatest of which was the legendary P T Treacy.
Silverware is not the only measure of success although the club’s senior team finished in the semi-final of the Fermanagh SFL and Championship’s and the U-10’s won a tournament in Kinlough under the watchful eye of Cashel’s ex senior star Sean Burns.
The Blues juniors also the Reserve Championship semi-final and were third in the League which shows a healthy consistency.
And Devenish decided to honour their local heroes by having Marty O’Brien, Barry Mulrone, Thomas Treacy and Peter Carty as their special guests.
And those three players are very key members of Peter McGrath’s high flying Fermanagh side.
“Volunteerism and community spirit are very important and for me two of our highlights was the Five Miler for the late Maggie Gilroy which raised E5,000 for Autism.
“We also had an interesting Charity Match at Christmas for our Old Boys which raised E1700 for a Defibrillator in memory of the late Damian Dolan”.
“We decided that we would have some of our own successful players and officials as special guests as these are the people that our youth look up to”, said Tommy who was a well know dual player in the 1970s and 1980s.
The chairman also congratulated all the award winners and there was an extra big cheer when the very popular Bart O’Brien, for years the strong soft -spoken Devenish General picked up his Club Person of the Year Award.
Fermanagh’s newly elected Central Council delegate Peter Carty told the large crowd that Devenish were lucky to have three great role models for the youth in their three Presidents Canon Patrick Lonergan (who scored a memorable hat-trick on an icy day against Newtownbutler in the 1960s) Michael Joe O’Brien and Jimmy Mulrone.
‘These men kept the GAA alive in Devenish in very tough times and I would hold them up as an example to follow for the youth of this parish.
“The young people must know that they are the inheritors of a very proud tradition and I hope they will carry it forward in the future”.