Oisin, a legend – Jarlath
LAST Saturday night I attended a This is Your Life event for Oisín McConville in the Carrickdale Hotel. About 500 others were in attendance and it was an evening put together in outstanding manner by Aiden O’Rourke from Newry and a few others.
The list of people who lined up to speak about him was breath-taking. Past, present GAA stars and celebrities and each of them with a funny story or anecdote about Oisín. Obviously his mum Margaret came in for plenty of praise too and well deserved because she really is a woman in a million and her hospitality and generosity is well known to all.
Oisín holds the record with his 2-7 for the biggest single score ever in an Ulster final. It is 13 times more than my own entire tally in the championship, but the statistics only begin there. His brother Jim also holds the record for the highest score in an inter-provincial match with 4-3 in a semi-final against Munster in the 90s.
His other brother Jarlath, not known for his athletic prowess stood in nets the first year they won the All Ireland and saved a last minute penalty against Burren in their first Ulster outing to put them into the final. A real GAA family if ever there was one.
I recalled one of his first matches which was my first game as Armagh captain. I had tried in vain to get close to goal and get a few scores, but kept getting tangled with him and on a few occasions got in his road.
At the end of the match I put my arm around him and wished him the best, congratulating him on his performance – him being the rookie and me being the veteran and all – but he shrugged me off, looked me in the eye and said, ‘And now let me give you a bit of advice. See in future when me and you are playing on the one team – the furthest forward I want to see you is when you go to take the toss.’
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published on Thursday September 13. Buy your copy now in your local newsagent, or you can purchase the online version – for only 90p – by clicking here