By Niall McCoy
ONE of the organisers of the Monaghan ‘It’s Good To Talk’ scheme has praised the contribution of the Oriel players who have been cheering up cocooned GAA fans.
Mary McEneaney, the Monaghan assistant PRO, and Bernie Bradley, Monaghan County Council and Monaghan Age Friendly, took on the project after noticing that former Mayo star David Brady said that he would call people for a chat.
“Pre-Covid times, the National League was in full swing and the club activity was just about to throw in,” said McEneaney. “We were all geared up for a nice, long season of GAA.
“Suddenly it all stopped. It has impacted on us all, but especially on the older members who are staying at home. Without the GAA some of those people are totally lost because they spent their lives following it.
“The Irish people like to talk, and they like the GAA – put the two together and we have the ‘It’s Good To Talk’ initiative.
“The players and management certainly answered the call and they volunteered to give a lift to those cut off.
“They were all on board, we couldn’t have done it without them. They’ve been brilliant.
“People may nominate a neighbour or a relative, maybe it’s their birthday or they’ve just had a bit of a rough time, and I’d pass it onto the players. They’d take it from there and they have been amazing.”
A total of 17 people have now been ringing up people from all over the country for a chat – 13 players, manager Seamus McEnaney and ex-players Nudie Hughes, Paul Finlay and Vinny Corey.
Requests haven’t just arrived from Monaghan either, with calls going out to Wicklow, Kilkenny, Dublin, Carlow, Meath, Sligo and all over the country.
“Sometimes a player would be requested and other times people are just delighted to talk to any Monaghan player,” McEneaney added.
“We had a few requests for some ex players too. We’ve been delighted with the response.”
The feedback has been exceptional, and the process is still open. If you would like to nominate someone, please contact Mary on 087 6887332.