FERMANAGH may have sadly just missed out on an Ulster title this year, but at least football fans can content themselves with cheering on their neighbours to the north in this today’s All Ireland!
Jokes about county rivalries aside, with such strong connections between Tyrone and Fermanagh there will be many up and down the county cheering on the Red Hands on this afternoon. We even have four players we can almost claim, including the captain, and an entire village decked out in the red and white.
Trillick may just be over the county border, but with many of its residents looking to Fermanagh for work, school and socialising, it is really can be claimed as a local village. Except when it comes to GAA, of course.
The village is currently at fever pitch ahead of the big game against Dublin, with locals brimming with pride as two sets of local brothers are key members of the squad, captain Matty and Richie Donnelly and Lee and Rory Brennan.
Matty and Richie’s mum Claire is club secretary at St Macartan’s GAC.
She told the Herald the entire village as well as, she hoped, their Fermanagh neighbours were behind the team.
“Everyone is supporting them. We have four men involved from the club so its absolutely brilliant,” she said.
“I would imagine a lot of the counties would be behind us.
“We’re going in as underdogs, as at the end of the day Dublin is a good strong team.”
As for the Donnelly household, it’s surprisingly calm at the moment, according to Claire, who was speaking to the Herald earlier in the week. She said her two boys were planning to keep working up until Friday.
“It’s good to keep them busy because you can lose focus and get carried away with the whole hype, so they’re staying out of it,” she said,
Claire said the entire family circle would be at Croke Park for the big game, including her six-month-old grandson Jack who has yet to miss a game and is the team’s biggest fan.
Also cheering on the brothers will be their McMahon cousins in Roslea, with Martina, who is married to Seamus and heavily involved with the Shamrocks, being their dad Liam’s sister.
When it comes to such strong Trillick representation on the Tyrone team, Claire had a simple explanation: “There’s a lot of work and effort put into coaching the young boys coming
“That has been ongoing the past 10 years and it’s now filtering through.
“It’s really paying off for us these last few years, we’ve a great senior team.
“They won the Tyrone championship in 2015 and we’ll give it a rattle this year again.”
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