FERMANAGH is home to some of the country’s finest sporting stars.
On a sporting front our sportsmen and women continue to exceed expectations, while causing the odd upset or two.
Now, a new sport, pool, is growing in Fermanagh and it is all down to the hard work of Enniskillen’s Shane Mulligan.
A keen pool enthusiast, Mulligan set up ‘Toosies Pool Academy’, named in memory of his late grandfather Toosie Mulligan, on the Tempo Road in June 2018.
Prior to the academy opening, country pool was ‘dead’, but ‘Toosies Pool Academy’ has re-ignited the love of the sport in Fermanagh.
Since 2018, 12 Fermanagh players have played for Northern Ireland, the Fermanagh ladies, led by Michelle Rooney, are the current All-Ireland Championships, Lee McCutcheon is an under-18 world runner up and Kyle Barkley won the All-Ireland B Championship in 2018.
Aside from giving lessons and tutoring fellow pool fanatics, Shane Mulligan is a dab hand with the cue himself. In the past, he has beaten three-time world champion Jason Twist on the Pro Am Tour, and most recently, he scooped a total prize fund of £18,000 after a money match victory over Tyrone’s Conrad McCann in Stewartstown.
Shane explains that he was challenged to compete over a Facebook Livestream, by a Tyrone man and won.
Then his uncle, Conrad McCann, challenged Shane and he beat him on his home turf.
As his prize, Shane received a total of £18,000, but the money has to be divided among his supporters and sponsors who contributed to his pre-match kitty.
Shane is planning to invest his share of the prize money into ‘Toosie’s Pool Academy’, in order to help out with the new development plans.
He feels very privileged to be able to contribute to the growth of pool in the county.
“It isn’t a business or it isn’t for profit, it is just for Fermanagh pool.
“We are starting put ourselves on the map.
“I have won seven big matches in a row throughout Europe and we are starting to compete in every competition that we play in.
“It is growing all the time.”
The future is certainly bright for Fermanagh pool players.
In May, two Fermanagh men’s teams, the under-23s, the women’s and the senior teams are set to compete in the All-Ireland Pool Championships.
Plans are also in place to officially hold the 2022 Fermanagh Open later on in the year.
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