Entries are now being accepted for exciting new competition on September 7th
BY GER McCARTHY
GRAHAM Canty, Melissa Duggan, Noel O’Leary, Emma Spillane and Libby Coppinger were amongst a galaxy of GAA stars at the Sam Maguire 7s competition launch at the Parkway Hotel, Dunmanway.
The organising committee hopes to generate a huge turnout at Dohenys GAA club grounds on Saturday, September 7th for their new seven-a-side GAA football competition.
The idea behind the Sam Maguire 7s came about thanks to a group of community-based volunteers who are interested in sport and promoting the town of Dunmanway.
This new competition will be run in conjunction with the Sam Maguire Festival that takes place in Dunmanway in early September.
The Sam Maguire 7s is unique in that it includes both men’s and ladies’ competitions of all grades and organisers are inviting teams from all over Cork and beyond to take part.
A hard-working committee delivered an entertaining launch night in front of a large crowd. The night ran smoothly and delivered plenty of laughs during two separate question and answer sessions. Many local representatives plus newly elected County Mayor Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan, who officially launched the 7s competition, were in attendance at the Parkway Hotel.
The event was compered by Southern Star Sports Editor Kieran McCarthy. Fresh from winning the Munster title the previous weekend, Cork seniors Melissa Duggan, Emma Spillane and Libby Coppinger, along with former All-Ireland winners, Graham Canty and Noel O’Leary, were put through their paces by Kerry native McCarthy.
Topics ranged from the Munster football final, the current state of ladies’ football in the county and a (possible) new line of Paul Galvin-Noel O’Leary inspired underwear being launched in the near future.
The second half of the Q&A session proved equally entertaining with the straight-talking Cork legend Teddy McCarthy stealing the show. The former dual All-Ireland winner didn’t hold back on his feelings about the current state of Cork GAA and proved a big hit with an appreciative crowd. Equally entertaining, former All-Ireland winning Cork player and manager Conor Counihan plus 1982 Offaly All-Ireland winners Padraig Dunne and Ritchie O’Connor made for a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
Chairman of the Sam Maguire 7s organising committee Finbarr Collins paid tribute to the local business community who got behind the competition and provided their support since the idea was first formulated.
‘We are looking forward to getting the competition up and running,’ Collins said.
‘I’d like to take the opportunity to thank Dohenys GAA for backing our competition. It is great to see some of our county’s GAA stars here with us this evening, a great mixture of sporting personalities. I’d also like to thank 1982 Offaly All-Ireland winners, Padraig and Richie, for travelling down to Dunmanway to be with us.
‘As for our sponsors, without their support the 7’s competition wouldn’t be possible. SuperValu Dunmanway’s Andrew Healy has given us unwavering support since the competition idea was first announced.
‘Also a huge thanks to other sponsors; Tar Isteach Fundraising Shop, Bank of Ireland Dunmanway, Drinagh Co-Op, Carbery Group, McSweeney Brothers Tarmacadam, Denis McSweeney and Sons, the Southern Bar Dunmanway and Premier Insurance Dunmanway.’
The Sam Maguire 7s is now open to all clubs for entry applications. All details can be obtained by emailing [email protected] or local clubs in West Cork can check in with their own club secretary.
Please note that places are limited as many applications have been received to date. Please ring Sam Maguire 7s secretary Mairéad (087-7834872) or chairman Finbarr on (086-1058740) for any details required about this competition that is taking place on September 7th.