Category Archives: GAA Events

2014 Campa Chormaic Tyrone

Last week I was privileged to help out the terrific Campa Chormaic team and take some photos from one of their hugely successful summer camp days in Donaghmore. As I have said before on my blog, this summer camp is the best out there for teenagers nowadays who want to learn a cupla focal of Irish, play some football, hurling and camogie etc and for those who want to learn how to live in the spirit of the late great Cormac McAnallen.

The Campa Chormaic team also organise the best guests out of all the summer camps in Tyrone and the day I attended was no different when Dublin senior football stars Stephen Cluxton and Johnny Cooper travelled up especially to meet n’greet the 150 children at Donaghmore GFC along with Tyrone’s Joe McMahon…. what a great afternoon’s snapping! Click below for lots of photos.

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The second week’s attendants at Campa Chormaic Tyrone pictured outside St Joseph’s Grammar, Donaghmore.

 

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Cormac McAnallen Leadership Lecture by Jim Gavin

On Tuesday evening, I was delighted to help out the Campa Chormaic team by photographing the Launch of  Campa Chormaic and also the Cormac McAnallen leadership lecture, delivered by Dublin GAA senior manager Jim Gavin in St Patrick’s College, Armagh.

As always, the evening was superbly arranged and executed by the Campa Chormaic committee and managing to get Jim Gavin as the special guest was a major pull. I didn’t know what to expect from his talk but I think everyone that attended the evening were blown away by the content and delivery of his inspiring 45 minute talk on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and how it relates to sport and life in general. It’s no coincidence that his Dublin team are currently the best team in the country, especially after last Sunday’s Division 1 semi-final turnaround against Cork.

I didn’t know much about Jim Gavin before the evening but I learnt he was an Irish Air Corps pilot for over 20 years and now he spends his days with the Irish Aviation Authority training new pilots. But above all that, Jim Gavin is a gentleman and a leader of people…. he shook hands with everyone that night with a humble, “Hello, my name is Jim” even though it was obvious everyone knew who he was. It was a privilege to meet and photograph him.

Brendan and Bridget McAnallen greet Dublin manager Jim Gavin with Eglish's Mattie McGleenan.

Brendan and Bridget McAnallen greet Dublin manager Jim Gavin with Eglish’s Mattie McGleenan.

 

It was glorious evening in Armagh on Tuesday and the cathedral looked as magnificent as ever.

It was glorious evening in Armagh on Tuesday and the cathedral looked as magnificent as ever.

 

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Jim Gavin with the Tyrone Campa Chormaic 10 year anniversary jersey. Also pictured is Paraic Martin and Mattie McGleenan.

Jim Gavin with the Tyrone Campa Chormaic 10 year anniversary jersey. Also pictured is Paraic Martin and Mattie McGleenan.

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GAA Football Stars of the 80s Team

Just before the All Ireland senior football final took place on Sunday, the GAA Stars of the 80s team were recognised and Tyrone had two representatives on the team – Augher’s Eugene McKenna and Ardboe’s Frank McGuigan, two great players of their time.

Here are a few pics of them.

 

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Eugene McKenna from Augher GFC was recognised on Sunday.

 

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Frank McGuigan from Ardboe GFC was recognised.

Frank McGuigan from Ardboe GFC was recognised.

 

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The GAA Stars of the 80s team.

The GAA Stars of the 80s team.

 

Tyrone's two representatives on the Stars of the 80s team.

Tyrone’s two representatives on the Stars of the 80s team.

 

 

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Aidan McAnespie 25th Anniversary Commemoration Match, Aghaloo Vs Killeeshil

On the fateful day that my cousin Aidan McAnespie was shot on the 21st February 1988, Aidan was walking to Aghaloo football grounds for the Jim Devlin Cup fixture between Aghaloo and Killeeshil, a fixture that was never to be fulfilled.

On Saturday afternoon, both clubs reunited for for that tie with players from 1988 togging out for their respective clubs. Also, a host of GAA dignitaries attended the game such as the GAA president from 1988 Dr. Mick Loftus (who made the long journey from Mayo especially for the event), the new Ulster GAA President Martin McAviney, Ulster Council’s Danny Murphy and Tyrone GAA chairman Ciaran McLaughlin. Recent All-Ireland Intermediate champions Cookstown Fr Rocks also accepted the invitation to attend the commemoration game too which was fantastic.

On the football field, Killeeshil were victorious over a sluggish, too many miles on the clock Aghaloo side!! It was an entertaining game made even more comical with the match commentary by Aghaloo’s Martin McCarron.

Below are some photos from the afternoon.

The Killeeshil team from 1988 that togged out on Saturday.

The Killeeshil team from 1988 that togged out on Saturday.

 

The Aghaloo players from 1988.

The Aghaloo players from 1988.

 

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MC for the day, Aghaloo's Martin Mc Carron.

MC for the day, Aghaloo’s Martin Mc Carron.

 

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Aidan McAnespie 25th Anniversary Exhibition

As part of this weekend’s 25th Anniversary commemorations around Aidan McAnespie’s death, Aidan’s family and friends put on an extensive public exhibition of material in the old changing rooms of Aghaloo GFC detailing the life and death of Aidan.

This contained a massive catalogue of material ranging from childhood photos of Aidan, statements by Aidan of the harassment he received from the security forces in the years leading up to his death, newspaper clippings from his funeral and after his shooting, photos of the murder scene, some of Aidan’s football gear, paintings, photos of events from Aidan Mc Anespie GFC Boston, newspaper clippings of the search for truth from the past 25 years and various government and HET (Historical Enquiries Team) findings. Also, a massive hand made two sided quilt made by ‘Relatives for Justice’ was draped in the centre of the room, with a patch dedicated to each victim.

It was a fascinating and moving exhibition which transported the massive crowds who saw it over the weekend back many years. It was impossible for any photos to do the material on show any justice but here are some pictures for those who didn’t get the chance to see it.

A montage of photos of Aidan.

A montage of photos of Aidan.

 

Old photos of Aidan including of the final pictures taken of him before his murder.

Old photos of Aidan including one of the final pictures taken of him before his murder.

 

Newspaper coverage from February 1988.

Newspaper coverage from February 1988.

 

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Aidan McAnespie 25th Anniversary Candle Lit Vigil

The 21st of February marked the 25th anniversary of the murder of my cousin Aidan McAnespie. After years of intimidation and harassment from the British Army towards Aidan and his family, a member of the British security forces saw his opportunity from a watchtower and shot Aidan in the back from a distance of 300 meters as he walked alone to Aghaloo gaelic grounds carrying nothing but his football gear………it was a dark day for the family and for the GAA community as a whole.

Thursday night saw the first event to remember the 25 years since Aidan’s murder. A massive crowd gathered at Cornation Park, Aughnacloy and walked the route that Aidan walked to the spot where he died…. thankfully the border checkpoint has since been removed and we now live in more peaceful times.

Below are a few photos from the candle lit walk and guest speaker on the night, Peter Canavan.

Aidan McAnespie 25th anniversary vigil, Aughnacloy Co Tyrone

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Aidan's sister Margo and father John hold their torches.

Aidan’s sister Margo and father John hold their torches.

 

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A piper leads the large crowd from Cornation Park, Aughnacloy to the spot Aidan was shot.

 

The crowd makes its way past the part of the road where the checkpoint once stood.

The crowd makes its way past the part of the road where the checkpoint once stood.

 

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2012 Tyrone GAA County Convention

On Sunday, the annual Tyrone GAA county convention was held in St Mary’s P.S. Stewartstown….. you know you have reached the end of the GAA year once this is on. Each club’s county board representatives attended the meeting and discussed matters such as fixture scheduling, finances, discipline, attendances and more money matters….. all very serious and dry issues but critical in ensuring that what happens in the playing field at a club or county level for 2013 is successful.

Below are a few photos of the main players in Tyrone’s county committee, the backbone of Tyrone GAA.

 

A general view from the Tyrone County Convention which was held in St Mary's P.S. Stewartstown.

A general view from the Tyrone County Convention which was held in St Mary’s P.S. Stewartstown.

 

Tyrone county chairman Ciaran Mc Laughlin addresses a point from a delegate.

Tyrone county chairman Ciaran Mc Laughlin addresses a point from a delegate.

 

Outgoing Tyrone PRO after 5 years, Damian Harvey.

Outgoing Tyrone PRO after 5 years, Damian Harvey.

 

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2012 TeamTalkmag.com All Stars Awards

On Friday night, the hugely successful TeamTalkmag.com website held their All-Stars Awards in the Great Northern Hotel, Bundoran and I was delighted to be asked to cover the photography for the event. Over 550 people attended on the night and after an absence of 5 years, it was great to see the awards ceremony back again.

The event celebrated everything in Tyrone GAA from handball, ladies football, hurling, camogie, the referees and of course mens’ gaelic football covering both the club and county scene. The night culminated with the 2012 Team of the Year being announced, which was chosen by the general public following an online vote in which over 41,000 votes were cast.

It was a fantastic night of entertainment, food and craic and the entire night was planned and executed to a T by the Teamtalk committee of Noel Mc Ginn, Kevin Kelly, Damian Harvey, Cliodhna Kerr and Paddy Hunter. The night was also a great way to (nearly) conclude the Tyrone GAA calendar for 2012. I have heard that plans are already in place for the 2013 Teamtalk awards…….. let’s hope it will be even bigger and better (if that’s possible!)

Below is a gallery of approx 180 photos from the entire night (P.S. There’s around 20 thumbnails missing from the end but are still visible when clicking forward from No.156 onwards).

 

 

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Match for Michaela – Casement Park, Belfast

Last Saturday night was a very special night when the life of Michaela Mc Areavey was celebrated in Casement Park, Belfast with a night of fun, festivities and of course football!

Many glowing tributes have been paid to Michaela since her untimely death in January 2010 and nothing I write here could even come close to describing the genuine, helpful and friendly person she was. I didn’t know Michaela very well but our paths often crossed every week at St Mary’s in Belfast (or the Ranch) where we studied, at school doings after we both graduated around Dungannon, the odd night out in Newry and of course at all the Tyrone games where she would see me with a camera or two around my neck.

Spearheaded by Ulster GAA’s Ryan Feeney, John Mc Areavey and Mickey Harte, Saturday night’s event was the first major celebration of Michaela’s life and what better way to do it than have the current All-Ireland senior football champions Donegal take on an Ulster select side. As well as that, entertainment was provided by none other than X-Factor and Tyrone girl Janet Devlin, More Power to Your Elbow and a mass of young performers that entertained the crowd with an impromptu half time dance performance which was just amazing. Irish comedian and 2FM DJ Hector also ensured everything ran smoothly too with an excellent job as MC.

I have to admit that as much as I was looking forward to Saturday night, I was very nervous as I knew how much it meant to everyone but I am glad I could help out in this small way and hope that my photos have represented the spirit of the occasion. Here are a selection of images from the night……

2FM’s Hector in the Match for Michaela t-shirt at the beginning of the night.

 

The Railway band (I think) performed on the night.

 

A group of Michaela match performers on the night.

 

I got this shot of Hector wearing the Ulster GAA scarf as the temperatures in Belfast dropped.

 

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Errigal Ciaran Senior Championship Homecoming, Ballygawley

After Sunday’s Tyrone SFC final and U16 Grade 1 championship final in Omagh, I stopped off in Ballygawley for the traditional homecoming of the O’Neill Cup back to Gormley’s corner….. the first time it has returned there since 2006. As always, there was a large crowd out to welcome both Errigal Ciaran teams back with the trophies including Pat Traynor and his pimped Errigal car!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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