Sunday, December 1, 2013

Connemara Gaels Victory Banquet

The Connemara Gaels celebrate their 2013 Boston Senior Football Championship Victory with a banquet next Saturday, December 7, at the IBEW Hall on Freeport St. in Dorchester.  The Banquet will be held on honor of long serving Gaels member, Jimmy O’Sullivan. 

Sean Og DePaor
Guests of honor include Sean Og De Paor, Joe McDonagh, and Mayor Elect, Martin Walsh.  Sean Og was part of the 1997 Connemara Gaels Boston championship side, and won All-Irelands with Galway in 1998 and 2001, and All Star awards in those years.  Regarded as the best in the country at his position of right half back, the Carraroe man also represented Ireland between 1998 and 2001 in the International Rules series.  Joe McDonagh, former President of the GAA and Galway hurler, is the holder of an All-Ireland medal from1980 when he famously sang “The West’s Awake” from the steps of the Hogan Stand.  Joe also served as a Board Director of the World Special Olympics.  Marty Walsh may not have any All-Ireland medals or All-Star awards to his name, however, Marty brought a lot of pride to the Galway and Connemara in particular with his recent election as mayor of Boston.   

Joe McDonagh
After an up and down regular season, the Gaels made the playoffs and drew Kerry in the quarter final.  A convincing win by a score of 2-14 to 2-9, with a goal each from Coleman Mulkerrins and Ian Burke, earned the Gaels a semi-final date with Christopher’s.  Michael Lundy was the star of the show in the semi-final with 2 first half goals, and a third early in the second half from Ryan Hyde helped the Gaels through into the final where they would face a formidable foe in Aidan McAnespies.  The Gaels started off with a bang after Lee Cullen netted from corner back within 5 minutes, and getting fine performances throughout the field, never let their opponents take the lead.  A Kevin McGrath goal in the second half provided the cushion for the Gaels who won a famous victory by a score of 2-9 to 0-10. The starting 13 that day were Eoin Connolly (Galway), Lee Cullen (Fermanagh), Che Cullen (Fermanagh), Pat McNicholas (Mayo) Robbie Kiely (Tipperary), Damien Doolan (Kerry), Damien Comer (Galway), Ryan Hyde (Fermanagh), Michael Lundy (Galway), Noel Graham (Offaly), Sean Connelly (Galway), Coleman Mulkerrins (Galway), Kevin McGrath (Laois).

Jimmy O'Sullivan

Banquet honoree, Jimmy O'Sullivan, was raised in Derradda East, Recess, Co. Galway.  He grew up playing football with the minor and junior football teams for Roundstone Football Club.  Unfortunately his career ended early due to a knee injury that prevented him from playing football again.  However, Jimmy remained very active in the GAA. After emigrating to London, he was involved with South O’Hanlon’s F.C. and St. Michael’s F.C. and helped form St. Gabriel’s H.C. Later in Birmingham, he worked with St. Brendan’s F.C.  In the early 1970s, Jimmy moved to Boston and joined the Connemara Gaels. Throughout the 70s, Jimmy also lived in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.  He was a big supporter of the New York and Chicago Gaels and helped restart the San Francisco GAA.

Eventually, Jimmy moved back to Boston.  He was a prominent selector and supporter of the Connemara Gaels, including managing his brothers, Paddy and John, on the senior Gaels football team.  Jimmy resides in Braintree with his wife Ann and son Connor, who is known throughout the world as the #1 Gaels man and the flyer of the flag for the Gaels in Canton and also for the great boxer Kevin McBride.  Jimmy worked in many different fields of the construction industry, including many years as a painter.  He was also the first to work with Connemara Green Marble in Recess.  Jimmy is known for his support of the Irish culture and causes.  He has helped many generations of Irish immigrants and has always been involved in many benefits.  A true sportsman, the GAA never had a better ambassador for its game and the Gaels never had a better clubman than Jimmy Sullivan.

Doors open at 7:00.  For ticket information contact John Conneeley (617) 306-0992, Pat McNicholas (617) 319-2781, Steven Murray (781) 336-3083, Stephen King (617) 877-3011.  A great night awaits!

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