By Tom Comack
A new chapter in Donegal and Ulster Schools (second level) GAA was launched last night in the Sean MacCumhaill Centre, in Ballybofey.
The launch was hosted by the Donegal Schools board and was the Donegal launch of the new Ulster Schools GAA (amalgamation of Ulster Colleges and Ulster Vocational Schools).
The two bodies, Ulster Colleges and Ulster Vocational Schools, have been amalgamated under the one governing body, Ulster Schools GAA.
Noel Ward, Coláiste Na Carraige, the outgoing chairman of the Donegal Vocational Schools board, and one the county’s two representatives on the new provincial body, was the chairman of the launch. Gareth Doherty, also Coláiste Na Carraige and the outgoing secretary of the Donegal Vocational board, is the other Donegal representative on the new body.
Among the special guests were Anne McHugh, CEO of Donegal ETB, Donegal GAA chairman Sean Dunnion and Donegal stars Michael Murphy and Neil Gallagher.
Sean Dunnion welcomed the amalgamation and spoke of the importance of second level schools in the development of football and hurling in the county.
Anne McHugh, in her speech, referred to the importance of sport to mental health and well being.
Michael Murphy, who played in Ulster Colleges competitions with St Eunan’s, said he was delighted to see the amalgamation and the streamlining of competitions in the province.
Michael Murphy Sports and Leisure have also backed the new initiative with sponsorship of the Donegal Schools committee.
Representatives and players from the bulk of the second level schools in the county competing in Ulster Schools competitions were present at the launch.
Ulster Schools competitions will be graded from A to F with the majority of Donegal schools competing in C competitions. St Eunan’s College, Letterkenny is the only school in B competition.
See Thursday's Donegal Democrat for more.