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Everyone's a champion

THEY were talking about Gerry Collins at yesterday's Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Football finals in Croke Park.

Gerry played in a Primary Schools final. He went on to play for the Dubs.

His advert urging people to give up, or not to start, smoking is a legacy of his life, which, sadly, ended at 57.

Playing a HQ will represent a lifetime achievement, and a precious memory, for all those that graced the theatre yesterday.

It was the concluding chapter of the fabulous two-day football festival which saw 31 games played. Dublin's Ciaran Kilkenny was in the audience. He has precious memories from Cumann na mBunscol.

The stadium will close now until 2015. And what a show-stopper to end with.

One little fella on his way into the ground said: "This is bigger than the Aviva."

Ciaran Whelan knows the place well. He arrived to present the medals.

One of the referees was Danny Harrington, who took charge of last month's Dublin Senior Hurling Championship final.

Another referee, Paul Faughnan, will be back in Croke Park on Saturday night to take part in the St Patrick's of Palmerstown Strictly Come Dancing event.

Declan Darcy could fairly skip along the floor for Leitrim and Dublin. His two daughters, Lauren and Ella, were in action for Scoil Mhuire of Sandymount.

Somebody said to them after that their Dad was some player. Another voice remarked: "Not as good as these two."

Cavan's Michael Brady was coaching Rolestown, while Ballymun's Mayo man, James Burke, brought Howth back to their first final in over 30 years.

Dublin footballer, Sarah McCaffrey, was in the crowd cheering on her old school, Scoil Neasain. Herself and Jack are past pupils.

A former pupil of Holy Trinity, Rachel Graham, helped Raheny United to win the FAI Cup on Sunday.

Trinity included Moya Lee, the daughter of the Raheny GAA chairman, Conor.

Triinty brought out a coloured programme. David Henry got a favourable mention.

Their managers are Martina O'Leary from Cahersiveen and Joe O'Reilly from Cavan. Joe plays for Shercock.

Excellent defending and three first half goals saw the Donaghmede school take the prize. The goals came from Niamh Byrne, Abbie Thomas and Ciara Penrose.

They overcame GS Thaobh na Coille, who had the outstanding Roisin Ni Chathasaigh at midfield. The Kilternan side were at their best in the second half. Rachel Ni Lionain made a noble contribution.

One of the best games on the menu was the Sciath Chumann na nGael. Scoil Attracta and Scoil Treasa finished level. They'll get the Cup for six months each.

The no extra-time rule is to be applauded. And this was a match where everybody was a winner.

Cuan O Maoileoin gave a performance for Scoil Neasain that even Whelo would have been proud of, while the Howth skipper, Shauna Sugrue, also excelled.

Another priceless Primary parade to cherish. Champions

all.


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