Club of the week – Loughnisland
WHILE the recent European Championships were a time of celebration for most, for Down club Loughinisland it was a time for a reflection and a reminder of how far the club has come in the face of adversity.
When Ireland faced Italy on June 18 in Poland, they wore black armbands to mark the 18th anniversary of the Loughinisland massacre when six men were shot dead at the Heights Bar while watching the two teams in action on the exact same date during the 1994 World Cup in America.
Of course it took a long time for the village, including the GAA club, to recover, and the recent weekend at the club by the Loughinisland Justice Group was a reminder that those lost will never be forgotten.
The event also provided a reminder of how the Teconnaught Road club have progressed from those dark days, and how they can look forward to a very bright future.
It was held in the new function room, part of phase two of the redevelopment of the club, incorporating the hall and four new changing rooms and a referee’s room.
Then GAA President Christy Cooney arrived up to the parish on March 23 this year to take part in the official opening alongside Down greats such as Dan McCartan and Pete McGrath.
“Christy Cooney came up to open the clubrooms,” said club PRO Peter Fitzpatrick. “We had officials from the county board and other greats there as well, like Pete McGrath and Dan McCartan and Peter Quinn, it went really well.
“Christy visited the local school [Saint Macartan’s] and spent the day there too, he spoke very well.
“We also had a look at our history from 1906 through to the present day and there was play staged looking at the past in the Loughinisland club which was narrated by Michael Madine.”
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published on Thursday July 5. Buy your copy now in your local newsagent, or you can purchase the online version – for only 90p – by clicking here