Let me begin this week on a sad note and the death of that great Red Hugh’s stalwart, Hugh Gillespie. Hugh was laid to rest last weekend and I must say I was very sad to hear of his passing.
Hugh was a great sportsman and a great footballer, both Gaelic and soccer and was a big man in the formation of the Red Hugh’s club. And for years he played a huge role in keeping the club going.
I played alongside him many years ago in a tournament in Donegal Town. Hugh was playing with Sean MacCumhaill’s at the time, and I guested for them for the tournament. It was back sometime in the 1970s and we won the tournament.
He was on the county panel for a time too and played for the county in the ‘70s. He was a great GAA man and great Gael.
My sympathies to his sons Lyndon and Chris and daughters Sonia and Benita. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
I see new county chairman, Mick McGrath, had his first official duty on Monday at the launch of the new county jersey for 2018.
Mick has taken on a big job. But it is one that he is well capable of doing. He brings loads of experience to the role.
I worked with Mick for a number of years on the county executive and I always found him very committed to whatever role he was in. Mick was always willing to roll up his sleeves and get on with the job. I always felt, for whatever reason, he never seemed to get the credit he deserved.
He is taking on a big job and faces many challenges. The most immediate is the fixture crux at club level and the conflict that arises between the club and county. Hopefully, his relationship with Declan Bonner, the senior team manager, will help on that front.
The other big challenge he faces is overseeing the completion of the county training centre at Convoy.
Progress has been steady in the last few years but the final push must the made now to finish it.
That is going to take a fair bit of finance and that is the other challenge for Mick, leading the drive to raise that necessary finance.
I wish Mick and all of the executive all the best in their endeavours in the years ahead.
Finally, a happy Christmas and health and happiness in the new year to all Donegal people wherever you read this column.
Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack.