Naomh Columba empty team bus to help Galway farmer turn his turf at Comórtas

The Naomh Columba team pose for the camera at the bog in Spiddal, Co Galway, on Saturday. Photo: Rosie O'Gara

The Naomh Columba team pose for the camera at the bog in Spiddal, Co Galway, on Saturday. Photo: Rosie O'Gara

  • by Alan Foley

Naomh Columba’s panel and management did a local man a friendly turn at the Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta in Galway on Saturday.

The Glencolumbkille side had just defeated Belfast’s Laochra Loch Laoi in Moycullen in the Junior quarter-final, 2-13 to 2-10.

“We were only about 15 minutes from Spiddal so the lads decided we would go there to the beach to the salt water to bathe before we were to go back to stay at Corrib Village,” said Naomh Columba manager Paddy J McGinley.

“We just went straight from Moycullen before we had a chance to tog in after the match.”

On their way, the team bus passed by a secluded bog with one man - a farmer named Tomás Lydon - turning his turf.

“On the way we saw a man with about an acre of turf and we made the decision to stop and help him,” McGinley added.

“I went down to introduce myself and Tomás was a little taken back to begin with. The intentions were genuine from the lads.

“He was maybe in his sixties and we had about 30 men altogether, aged anywhere between 15 and 40.”

After an hour of so, Naomh Columba’s players and management had turned the entire plot of turf, chatting and joking in the native tongue with their host as they did.

“When I was leaving, Tomás came up to me and thanked me and said he wouldn’t have managed to do that much in three days,” McGinley added.

“He looked again and said: ‘No. Five days actually.’ I’m glad we could’ve been of help.”

Karma didn’t really help Naomh Columba as they were eliminated from the competition the following day having been beaten 3-7 to 1-10 by London’s Moindearg, who had nine Donegal natives on their panel.

“It was disappointing to lose but all in all it’s a great weekend,” McGinley said of the Comortás.

“It’s great for rural Ireland as you get to meet people of similar background and culture from Ulster, Connact, Munster and Leinster.”

Naomh Columba’s neighbours Ardara will host next year’s Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta.

Over the weekend, Donegal were celebrating as Termon won the ladies competition for the fifth successive year, while Kilcar defeated Micheal Breathnach 3-14 to 0-13 to lift the men’s title for the sixthtime in their history.


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