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One corner of Fermanagh cheering for Tyrone!

TO TYRONE fans he’s a hero whose goal against Monaghan helped them on the road to another All Ireland, but to children in Newtownbutler he is simply Mr Sludden.
When Tyrone take to the pitch against Dublin this Sunday they can be rest assured they will have plenty of support from the Fermanagh village, where Niall Sludden is due to begin his second year as Primary 7 teacher at St Mary’s PS this week, just days before he takes part in the biggest game of his life. Speaking to the Herald, Niall said he presumed his pupils, who he is looking forward to getting back to after the summer break, would be excited for him, but quipped “you’ve got to remember they’re from Fermanagh.”
Asked if he ever got banter from the Fermanagh children about being from Tyrone, Niall conceded: “I did, to be honest. I’m up in the Primary 7 class so they’re well fit to hold their own. Whenever Fermanagh got to the Ulster Final they were giving me a bit of guff about it. But it was all good craic, and its nice for the children as well.”
In fact, the Dromore All-Star even got caught up in Ulster Final fever himself, and admitted to cheering on the Erne men. “I wanted them to do it, especially when they’d never won it. There was such great excitement, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. There was great hype about the school, we had a green day on the Friday and I had to wear a Fermanagh jersey.”
He added: “It’s a pity we couldn’t have had a red day, but I don’t know if they would’ve let us do it!”
When asked if the thought there were any future GAA stars at the school, he said there were “plenty” but wouldn’t name names.
“The girls won the league trophy this year. They did really well, so I’m sure the boys will want to follow that up. They are big into it.”
St Mary’s principal Paula Kelly said Niall had been inspirational for the pupils, and said the whole school was very excited for him ahead of Sunday.
“They are very fond of him anyway as a teacher, but he’s such a good role model, with his team spirit, excellent talent, his commitment and dedication. It’s good to see the kids have that as an example to follow,” she said. “Whether they win or not, there will be so much excitement in the school.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA