DONEGAL GAA SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP

O’Neills football found in Atlantic by Donegal fisherman returned to Gaoth Dobhair

Search continues for three still missing!!

Tom Comack

Reporter:

Tom Comack

O’Neills football found in Atlantic by Donegal fisherman returned to Gaoth Dobhair

Ball lost in Kilcar found in Atlantic

Gaoth Dobhair’s football season may not be quite washed up following last Sunday’s first round Donegal senior championship defeat away to Kilcar in Towney.

But it must have felt pretty close to by  manager Mervyn O’Donnell and his team as they made the homeward  journey along the N56 on Sunday evening.

Not only had the men in green and white let a second half three point lead early slip to lose by three points, 1-15 to 1-12, they were also down four brand new O’Neill’s footballs.

The four, just out of the wrapping, had been lost to the tide in the warm-up and in the course of the game.

But all is not lost. Five days later, on Friday morning one of the missing footballs, not expected to be seen again, turned up in the offices of Udaras Na Gaeltachta in Derrybeg.

Apparently the O’Neill’s size five had been fished out of the choppy Atlantic Ocean  off Rathlin O’Beirne Island, just  off the the famous Sliabh League Cliffs, by a mystery fisherman.

“Normally, when you lose a ball in a drain or a thick undergrowth you do hold out some hope. But when you are in Towney and a ball goes into the tide, you don’t hold out much hope of ever seeing it again,” said Gaoth Dobhair club secretary Aodh Mairtin O’ Fearraigh.

“We were very unfortunate that four footballs, all brand, went into the tide last Sunday. But thankfully one of them has been found.

“We are still a bit sketchy on who found it and we are working on finding out who it was. But what we do know it was found by a local fisherman we think sometime on Wednesday off Rathlin O’Beirne.

“The person who found it dropped it into the Oideas Gael office in Glencolmcille, obviously making the link with Udaras Na Gaeltachta and the ball was given to Donnacha O’Baoill of Udaras to take down to Gaoth Dobhair, when he was in Glen on Thursday.

“And Donnacha presented the ball to Christopher Sweeney, who is our goalkeeper and works in Udaras, on Friday morning. We are delighted to have it back and it saves us €50 and means the weekend is not as expensive as we first thought.”

The search  now goes on now for the other three. And whether or not they are found there are those in Gaoth Dobhair who are taking the finding of at least one as a sign that the football season is far from washed up for the footballers of Gaoth Dobhair.