Gerry smiled as N. Éanna claimed Ulster glory

05/12/2018

Gerry smiled as St. Enda’s claimed Ulster glory

 

 

Gerry Devlin smiled down on the Athletics Ground in Armagh from that great grandstand in the sky as his beloved St. Enda’s celebrated the greatest fete in the club’s history by beating Mullahoran of Cavan in the Ulster Intermediate football club final on Saturday night.

Seated alongside the former player and manager of the Glengormley club were Liam Canning, Colin Lundy and his mother Kathleen, Sean Fox and Gerard Lawlor all savouring the moment as the Armagh pitch was draped in a cloak of amber and black as their strong support joined their heroes to celebrate this remarkable victory.

In an era where commitment and sacrifice are the words most often used to illustrate just what is required to achieve success Gerry Devlin and his heavenly colleagues made the ultimate sacrifice.

Gerry was shot dead when leaving the old St. Enda’s clubrooms on the 5th December 1997. He was 36 years of age and had served his beloved St. Enda’s for most of his life. After injury had cut his playing career short he took over the management of the senior football team who gained promotion to division 1 in 1993.

Gerry was regarded as a manager ahead of his time and we can only imagine what he might have achieved had it not been for that tragic night. Liam Canning was 19 when he was shot dead by an off duty UDR member in 1981 while Colin Lundy was only 16 when he and his mother Kathleen were burned to death in their Glengormley home after loyalist’s poured petrol through their letter box in 1991.

Another club stalwart, Sean Fox was 72 when he was murdered in his home, only 200 yards from the St. Enda’s ground in 1993 while Gerard Lawlor was the last to die, cut down as he walked home to his new house on the Whitwell Road on the 22nd July 2002, a promising player just 18 years of age.

Their collective crime, being members of a GAA club in an area where sectarianism and intolerance was rife and in the years that followed St. Enda’s suffered but the spirit of those who had gone before kept the dream alive and today they are a club who are the envy of many.

Their complex beside the old ground boasts three full size playing pitches and they have excellent changing facilities including a new clubhouse. A very successful coaching programme produced a Feile winning side in 2011 and they went on to win the Paul McGirr tournament in 2012. That same group of players won the Antrim minor championship in 2015 and many of them featured on Saturday night’s winning side.

Under the guidance of former Antrim supremo, Frank Fitzsimmons and his backroom team of Pat Hughes and Thomas McNulty they have established themselves in division 1 this season. That first Intermediate championship was finally won this year and Saturday night was the icing on the cake.

No doubt the names of Gerry Devlin, Liam Canning, Colin and Kathleen Lundy, Sean Fox and Gerard Lawlor were mentioned when the subject of Commitment and sacrifice popped up and they must have smiled broadly as they looked down from their heavenly  grandstand as their side celebrated on Saturday evening.

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2 days ago

Naomh Éanna CLG

A Chara

UPDATE re RETURN TO PLAY

The County Board issued a notice to all clubs two weeks ago to suspend all activity for two weeks due to alarming high rise in infections and the strain on our health service.

As the two weeks are up tomorrow, our Executive Committee convened to consider our position as a club.

A strong and considerate representation was made in favour of returning to play, for what would have been the remainder of the season, i.e. the month of November.

We also considered the dangerously high rate of infection and the fact that wider society remains in a circuit breaker.

We have concluded that we will not return to play this season.

We are as disappointed as the many children who look forward to playing our games, as the Committee are all active coaches and players. We have decided to err on the side of caution, noting that the playing season is over, i.e. that there are no fixtures to be fulfilled. We are also cognisant that schools remain closed and to return to play might be considered inconsistent and confusing. We note the stress and pressure currently on our health service and we have decided to manage risk in as responsible a way as possible. We are in the immediate midst of a dangerous second wave.

We appeal for your understanding and forbearance and most of all to maintain our communitarian solidarity. We eagerly look forward to next spring, when we hope and pray the virus is in a much mitigated and defeated state, and we look forward to seeing all of our young members, our future back on our playing fields, making lifelong friendships and memories.

Bigí sabhailte agus tcífidh muid sibh i 2021.

Le Meas

Stephen Jennings
Cathaoirleach
...

View on Facebook

2 days ago

Naomh Éanna CLG

A Chara

UPDATE re RETURN TO PLAY

The County Board issued a notice to all clubs two weeks ago to suspend all activity for two weeks due to alarming high rise in infections and the strain on our health service.

As the two weeks are up tomorrow, our Executive Committee convened to consider our position as a club.

A strong and considerate representation was made in favour of returning to play, for what would have been the remainder of the season, i.e. the month of November.

We also considered the dangerously high rate of infection and the fact that wider society remains in a circuit breaker.

We have concluded that we will not return to play this season.

We are as disappointed as the many children who look forward to playing our games, as the Committee are all active coaches and players. We have decided to err on the side of caution, noting that the playing season is over, i.e. that there are no fixtures to be fulfilled. We are also cognisant that schools remain closed and to return to play might be considered inconsistent and confusing. We note the stress and pressure currently on our health service and we have decided to manage risk in as responsible a way as possible. We are in the immediate midst of a dangerous second wave.

We appeal for your understanding and forbearance and most of all to maintain our communitarian solidarity. We eagerly look forward to next spring, when we hope and pray the virus is in a much mitigated and defeated state, and we look forward to seeing all of our young members, our future back on our playing fields, making lifelong friendships and memories.

Bigí sabhailte agus tcífidh muid sibh i 2021.

Le Meas

Stephen Jennings
Cathaoirleach
...

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2 days ago

Naomh Éanna CLG
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