Leitrim Sports Star Hall of Fame Award winner Maeve Quinn pictured with her daughter Edel, husband Gerard and son Eoghan. Photo by James Molloy
You don’t win All-Stars and two All-Irelands with luck but that is how Maeve Quinn described herself last Friday evening when she collected the Hall of Fame Award at the Leitrim Sports Star Awards.
The Aughawillan and Leitrim Ladies football legend received a standing ovation when she received her award at the Leitrim Sports Partnership organised event in the Lough Rynn Castle Estate & Gardens.
And it was obvious from her reaction just how much the Hall of Fame Award meant to Maeve - “I’ve been hugely lucky and I’m in awe of the fact that I’m getting an honour like this and getting it in Leitrim, getting this kind of an honour in Leitrim really matters and really means a huge amount.
“I’m very lucky to have been able to and very lucky to have been surrounded by a family that has enabled me to do that and that I’ve been lucky enough to be able to keep at it.”
And Maeve even joked about her reaction when told the news that she had won the award - “Couldn’t believe it. As somebody said to me the other day, I thought you had to be old and grey to get that and I said, but sure, we are!”
And if you want a sense of why Maeve was such a success in her playing career and is driving Ladies football on as an administrator, the sense of duty and of giving something back was obviously inspired at home.
“Inspired by my own family, by my mother and my sisters and that is there is no point in saying such and such isn’t getting done, if people are saying that, they should get out and do it.
“Now you can’t do it on your own, more people need to get out and do the work but we’ve a great county and the clubs are fantastic and people do put the work in and I’ve been very lucky that I’ve been able to.
“I’m still playing club and I have been involved in administration at club level, at county level, nearly all the time. I took a brief sabbatical when I was doing some extra studies there but look, I enjoy it.”
Surrounded after she received her award by family and well-wishers, there is no doubt that Maeve was honoured, thrilled and absolutely delighted to received the award - “I would be lying if I said I was anything other than delighted with it.
“It is lovely, it is absolutely delightful to get it. It is huge to get it and I am absolutely thrilled, I’m chuffed. People talk about being proud and it is wonderful to get something like this, it is a huge honour and recognition.”
Yet Maeve insisted that there are so many other people involved in Ladies football deserving of similar recognition - “I will say that there is so many other people, and I won’t name names because you could go all night in terms of there is loads of people in Leitrim in Ladies football who have done years and years and years of work and all on their own time. This is for them as well.”
A two-time All-Ireland winner, Maeve stands as one of the most decorated Leitrim sportspeople ever with an astonishing record of success matched only by an equally astonishing longevity and dedication to Ladies football in Leitrim, exemplified by the 19 years between those two All-Ireland successes in 1988 and 2007!
Maeve was integral part of the Leitrim teams who won the All-Ireland Junior title in 1988 and All-Ireland Intermediate crown in 2007, lifting the Cup named after her mother Mary, while she also contested the All-Ireland Senior Final in 1984. Maeve also won four Senior Connacht titles and three Junior titles with Leitrim and still has room for two Inter-provincial medals with Connacht in 1997 and 2000.
On an individual basis, the awards are no less impressive as Maeve is a three All Star winner in 1984, 1985 and 1994 while also picking up seven replacement All Stars down through the years. She was also Leitrim Ladies GFA Player of the Year in 1985,1988,1990 & 2000.
At Club level, Maeve’s record of success with Aughawillan is even more astonishing with 21 Senior Championships, 20 Senior League titles, Connacht Club glory with an Intermediate in 2005 and Junior victories in 1997 & 1998.