Wednesday 26 October 2016

bridín's beloved ashbourne days

UCD are off to the Mansion House. To have tea with the Lord Mayor.

It's a reward for their endeavours in the Ashbourne Cup.

The date had been pencilled in for a few weeks ago, but then came the bus strike.

"In the circumstances, the best thing was to postpone it till another time," reveals Bridín Uí Mhaolagain.

"The exams were coming up and then all the students scatter to the four winds for the summer. We are delighted to be going to the Mansion House. It's a lovely honour for the girls."

This year saw the Centenary Ashbourne competition being hosted at DCU.

The day takes in the Purcell, Fr Meachair and the Ashbourne competitions.

An Ashbourne medal is highly coveted.

The show always goes on, even if there's snow on the sliotar!

Bridin holds precious and fond memories.

"Even after sixty years, the Ashbourne still sends shivers down my spine. Like it does for most players, I'm sure, as they recall the wild and wonderful years of student life," she reflects.

Bridín was a most accomplished performer. She won five Ashbourne Cups in succession with UCD.

Her first, as captain.

She was selected on the Combined University team for seven years. Quite a feat.

She also represented Ireland in handball and racketball. She wrote a charming article in this year's Ashbourne programme.

It captures, superbly, the magic of those special days that will always live on in her heart.

Often she finds herself thinking back on "the treasured memories of my Ashbourne playing years."

"For me, the Ashbourne Cup was a Magnificent Obsession.

"Battles were fought, blood was spilled, bones were broken, sleep was lost, tears were shed, novenas were made, notes were copied, professors were wooed, lectures were missed, exams were failed, and super sacrifices in social life were made - all for the Ashbourne!

"And then when the wounds had healed, bones had mended, exams were passed (or failed), tears had dried, sleep was restored, prayers were answered....... plans were made to start all over again in the Autumn!"

Bridín went on to become the President of the Camogie Association. She's respected as one of the finest legislators in the sport. She always acknowledges the support of her Aide-de-Camp, husband , Aidan!

Bridín is the President of the UCD Camogie club. And as she looks forward to visiting the Lord Mayor, her love affair with UCD is a chain that will never be broken.

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