On Monday 22nd May 2017 the Foundation saw the fulfilment of one of our key objectives when over eighty children under the age of twelve turned out to attend a new Hurling and Camogie initiative at St. Aidan’s in Shane’s adopted hometown of Derrylin, Co. Fermanagh.
Aside from his Hurling Development work in Co. Cavan, Shane also had big plans to re-introduce hurling in Derrylin, an area like many others in Fermanagh where Gaelic Football has been predominant for many years. As many will be aware, Shane tragically passed away on the eve of his first scheduled coaching session with the young O’Connell’s boys and girls on 25th April 2015. Our wish to fulfil Shane’s goal and see this work get off the ground was one of the chief motivating factors that inspired the family to set up the Foundation in October 2015. Thanks to the efforts of all the volunteers, fundraisers and sponsors who have contributed to the Foundation we were delighted to be in a position to support this revival of hurling and camogie in Derrylin and the surrounding area. As you can imagine, with over eighty children turning up, the volunteers and organisers required a lot of equipment to help them deliver the coaching sessions. The Foundation were happy to help by making a presentation of twenty five helmets, thirty hurls, catch nets, sliotars, cones, markers, training bibs and other essential training equipment.
It was tremendous to be able to offer these young boys and girls the chance to play this amazing game and to contribute to the development and future of hurling in Fermanagh. The equipment donated was put to good use and with such huge interest in the eight week introductory programme, it is evident that there’s a great appetite for hurling and camogie in the region.
Thanks to the amazing work of the volunteer coaches from the local communities of Derrylin, Teemore, Kinawley and Swanlinbar who have generously given up their time to help organize and deliver the programme we are delighted to confirm that Hurling and Camogie is set to continue here into the future. We are indebted to Pat McTaggart, principal of St.Aidan’s for use of facilities over the eight weeks, we trust that the assembly of the catch nets on the school grounds will be of great benefit in the longer term and may even inspire the formation of a school hurling or camogie team at some point in the future.
We would like to offer our heartfelt thanks to all involved and want to take this opportunity to wish the new club every success in the future, we hope that many of the children who participated will continue to enjoy the game for years to come and look forward to seeing you all on the field in the future.
All photos courtesy of Martin McBrien