IT was quite the weekend for the Connolly family from Newtownbutler – with sisters Maria and Rose Connolly both taking home Ulster titles.
On Saturday in Dromore, at the Ulster Fleadh, 15-year-old Rose came out on top in the 12-15 piano, while on Sunday, Maria, 24, was a member of the Fermanagh team who convincingly beat Antrim to take home the Ulster Intermediate title.
Mum Linda described a whirlwind weekend for the family, which also includes dad Joseph and older brothers Kevin and Barry.
“On Saturday, Rose was in the banjo competition first and she didn’t get placed and was a wee bit upset.
“But she then went into the piano, and she started to get a bit nervous so she went outside to get her breath.
“When they called her name it was just fantastic. When the judge calls he goes 3rd, 2nd, 1st so it’s a bit tense. It is very hard to win Ulster so when they called her name we were just so excited for her.”
And for Maria, who works as a radiotherapist in Belfast City Hospital, Sunday was just as sweet in Clones.
“The build up was great because Maria is such a hard working girl.
She is so committed that she comes home from training on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – and comes home for matches.”
And as for the game itself?
“She didn’t start but she came on, played really well and made a difference. The team connected well.”
The side ran out 4-13 to 1-06 winners.
Linda went on: “It was a great weekend. As parents we’re both very proud: You can’t win anything without practice and they do put so much effort in.
“They come from a family where the tradition is Gaelic football and Irish traditional music.
“They deserve it, they’ve a lot of heart.”
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