Dublin Supporters’ Club Launch 2015 lands two Leitrim Legends

It’s beenÓgreat to get involved in the Dublin branch of the Leitrim Supporters’ Club these past few years.

Having finished up playing for the county it’s important for me to be able to contribute to the efforts of the various county teams in a small way by assisting the long-standing committee in their important work. My Croke Park Leitrim colleague Feargal McGill and I felt we could perhaps help the committee engage with some of the younger Leitrimites living in Dublin so we got on-board three years ago. Thankfully the past two supporters’ club draw launches in Croke Park have been a resounding success and have been enthusiastically supported by Leitrim natives and their families in Dublin and surrounding areas, while the ever-faithful natives have also travelled inÓgreat numbers from the homeland on both occasions. I have no doubt the 2015 launch will prove as interesting as we have once more secured the support of two apt special guests to bring a little something extra to the occasion.

The launch of the Dublin branch of the Leitrim Supporters’ Club 2015 will take place in Croke Park on Thursday, January 22, with Charlie McGettigan and Colin Griffin attending as special guests on the night.

I must admit I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to interview Colin Griffin as he is an athlete I have admired for many years. The single-minded nature of his chosen discipline always appealed to me (having largely chosen team sports over individual disciplines) and I am really looking forward to probing Colin about his journey from Ballinamore AC athlete to the Irish Olympian. Colin retired from international competition in 2014 and has since opened his own business ‘The High Altitude Centre’ in the Santry Sports Surgery Clinic and I also look forward to exploring how he feels his wealth of high performance knowledge and experience could be transferred to the playing and training fields by the various Leitrim squads and management teams.

Taking up the mantel from Eleanor Shanley, who wowed the large assembled crowd last year, Charlie will also offer all present the opportunity to hear one of the country’s favourite singers in the hallowed grounds of Croke Park before officially launching the 2015 draw. Charlie needs no introduction as a singer, of course, but is almost as well known in the northwest and midlands region these days for his very popular Saturday radio show on Shannonside Northern Sound. For many Charlie will always be best known as the man who won the Eurovision Song Contest, but for me he will always simply be Shane’s dad.  

Shane was a great friend and a brilliant team mate and his death as a result of a building site accident in Boston in 1998 partly shaped my life and the lives of so many who knew and loved him. Rarely a week goes by when I don’t think of Shane and the dignified way Charlie, Goretti, Tara, and Ciara dealt with their terrible loss helped me greatly when I lost my own brother Gordon four years later.

Charlie is a great raconteur and I’ve no doubt his words and songs will really enhance what will be the third launch of the Supporters’ Club launch in Croke Park. This event has gone from strength to strength over the past number of years with 160 people cramming into the Celtic Suite in GAA headquarters last year to support the occasion. We hope to match those numbers this year so if you are in Dublin on the night please to do come along – it’s a great gathering of Leitrim folk and promises to be an interesting and enjoyable occasion.

Liatroim abú.  

 

 

05-Jan-15 by Colin Regan