If anyone has any doubt of the scale of the emigration problem hitting the County’s GAA clubs, then this photo certainly leaves no-one in any doubt as 17 Leitrim Exiles celebrate a victory in the Western Australian Championships a couple of weeks back.
Last Sunday might have been the biggest day in the Leitrim Club calendar but as the curtain comes down on yet another club championship in the county, the scale of the emigration problem is all too apparent as Shamrock Gaels Ladies team won the Western Australian Gaelic Football Championship featuring six Leitrim players, including two sets of sisters!
Mohill’s Bernie Egan captained the team from corner-forward with her sister Caroline lining out in the half-forward line.
Kilnagross sisters Sinead & Orla McWeeney started the final at midfield and corner-back respectively as did Mohill’s Deirdre McDermott at half-forward and former Ladies All-Star Sarah McLoughlin from Ballinamore in midfield.
Sinead McWeeney, another former County star, was named Player of the Year at the Club’s Dinner Dance and also State Player of the Year.
The two Egans and McDermott would have been huge assets to Mohill last Monday evening in the Ladies Senior Final.
Also playing with Shamrock Gaels Men’s team is former Leitrim full-back Ronan Gallagher while Jamestown’s Orna Tiernan trains with the Ladies team.
In all, seven Leitrim clubs are represented in the picture but with emigration growing ever more frequent, the chances are that scenes like this will be repeated frequently in the years ahead.
Pictured left at the celebrations after the Shamrock Gaels team won the Championship were: (Back, from left) Miranda Burke Foley, Kiltubrid, Lisa Guckian, Carrick, Shane Foley, Kiltubrid, Killian Maguire, Drumreilly, Bernie Egan, Mohill, Paddy Garvey, Jamestown, Damien Mitchell, Drumreilly, Deirdre McDermott, Mohill, Caroline Egan, Mohill, Orla McWeeney, Kilnagross, Sarah McLoughlin, Ballinamore, Fergal McLoughlin, Carrick, Sinead McWeeney, Kilnagross, Barry Maguire, Ballinaglera, Aidan Dolan, Drumkeerin, (Front) Seamus McCrann, Mohill and Gearoid Foley, Kiltubrid.