On Saturday afternoon, St Patrick’s Academy Dungannon opened their new GAA grounds Pairc Mhic an tSagairt (named after the late Mon. McEntaggart) with a wonderful exhibition of football remembering the successful MacRory Cup teams of 1991/1997 and 2004.
For me this was a terrific trip down memory lane as I attended St Pat’s (Boys’) Academy from 1996 to 2003 and have a lot of fond memories from those years. At the end of my first year in 1997, the school won the MacRory Cup and I can still remember the celebrations with Monsignor Faul in the assembly hall and what an event this was. Seven years later the cup returned and although I had already left the school, I knew most of the boys involved in the team and it was fantastic to see them back in the red Academy jersey on Saturday for the exhibition match.
Although there have been a lot of changes in the school structure and staff since I have left, it was great to see some of the teachers that taught me and some old school pals too throughout the day. Together with some nostaglic tales from Paddy Parke, Adrian Logan, Fintan Donnelly and Fr McAleer, it really was a wonderful afternoon.
The opening of Pairc Mhic an tSagairt is the beginning of a new chapter for St Patrick’s Academy as they have now been approved for a new school build – hopefully these new exciting developments will mean that the next MacRory Cup success isn’t far away.
Below are a range of photos from the day, all of which was led and coordinated impeccably by past pupil and 2004 MacRory Cup winner Owen Coyle. Maith thú!
The new Paric Mhic an tSagarirt GAA Grounds.
The 1991/1997 MacRory Cup winning team.
The 2004 MacRory Cup winning team from St Patrick’s Academy.