Barna Notes 2nd November 2004

Barna Notes 2nd November 2004

Barna GAA Notes

On the Bank Holiday week-end over fifty members of Barna GAA Club,
ladies and men, made the long trip to Marbella in Spain to participate
in the Costa Gaels GAA Tournament staged there by Irish expatriots . The
invited Teams from Ireland were Barna , Ballymore Eustice ( Kildare ),
Castleknock ( Dublin ) and the local Costa Del Sol Irish selection. I
say long trip , as yes for costs reasons, we took the long road to Cork
and, on the other side from Malaga airport down to Marbella. The teams
were drawn to play two Semi-Finals on the Saturday with the final and
third place games, on the Sunday. Barna won through to play Costa Gaels
and on Sunday and beat the Spanish/Irish team, who were boosted by the
inclusion of special guest Niall Quinn in their side. This was a fine
game played with great determination with the Costa Gaels desperate to
win it out, but Barna fought hard to prevent this historic victory from
the local based lads, from happening. I would think even the other
visiting teams were shouting for the locals at this juncture, but a
tiring Barna outfit in the heat of south,of Spain, battled back after
going behind when their guest full forward , the Mighty Niall Quinn,
scored a goal. But one big fellow to another was the answer to big
Niall, with the tall Brian Conneely an All Ireland Under 21 Medel winner
last year for Galway, playing at an unusual full forward role, slotting
in what proved to be the winning score with a low shot to the net, with
just one minute remaining. Brian Conneely himself, as Captain for the
week-end, stepped up to receive the Costa Gaels cup from Jed O’Connor
formerly of Tralee , the Organizing Chairman, supported by that man
again, Niall Quinn, and his other three Irish guests namely, The Boomer
Liston, Ogie Moran and, Nicky English, who enjoyed the sunshine as Niall
was doing his bit. At the time of winning, this Cup, was just as
important to Barna, as it was to the Costa Gaels selection and, we will
cherish it, for the next year, as it is a perpetual cup , especially
when it decorates the Trophy table on Feb 19th next at our Annual
Banquet and speeches are made ( read on please ). The Special guests
plus teams from the other clubs, played a Four Ball golf Tournament
golf classic on Friday and they held fort at the Sunday night reception
and presentation, with a “Question and Answer period”, with The Boomer
entertaining us all with his party piece song ” The Piano Man”. Over
the week-end the Guests were busy attending functions at different Irish
Pubs over a twenty mile radius, who had supported this GAA event. I
suppose you could say a return of the compliment for their support to
the Tournament. Mind you we saw a couple of these Irish bars alright but
few Irish people apart from the players themselves. However with the
large numbers from the visiting teams the attendance at the games and
events looked large and were loud and vocal, especially at Barna V Costa
Gaels final, also attended by Sky TV. The Barna Ladies won through to
the final by beating the Spanish Irish Team, but faced yes ,you are
reading it right ladies, the Meath County selection, made up of players
from their Senior and Junior ranks, who were there for a week and used
it as a training programme for next seasons Meath County panel . The
Barna ladies who were up against it, held out to Half time and only a
five points separated the teams, at the break , but it was nearly all
Meath really, especially for taking their points, right to the end in
the second half, to claim their Cup. I understand that the biggest cost
outside that , of bringing over, the guests of honour was the large fee
for the hire of the playing facilities, with goalposts having to be
sought and erected. All the costs were raised through Irish business in
the Costa Del la Sol. Overall the Week-end itself was most enjoyable
for all the visiting teams and Marbella itself, is a fine old town,
although one of the most expensive in Spanish terms, for tourists, as we
learned.

However readers that whole week-end in Spain, has a most sorrowful note
to it, that has since brought us all down to earth. Yes as we left the
week-end away behind us and returned to Barna, we were all quickly
brought down to earth, on Thursday, two days after the team had returned
home, when news quickly filtered around the parish and much of the
county that Liam Gearoid McComiskey aged 22, who was on the Barna panel
in Spain and , had received his medel at the presentation, from the
special guests of All Stars who travelled from Ireland, had passed away
suddenly at his home at Boleybeg, Barna, on earlyThursday morn. I maybe
safe in stating that not since the inauguration of the Club in 1965,
has the whole Parish of Barna been gripped in one, of just pure shock
and grieving pain for its most recent loss. On Sunday afternoon, a huge
Guard of Honour , the biggest I have ever seen, escorted the hearse ,
one of the largest funerals, to leave Barna church, reminding one,of the
funeral of Enda Colleran whose remains were, also taken from the same
local church earlier this spring. The large Guard of honour from the
ladies and mens teams, Executive committee and the Barna jersey cladded
Under 16 team, team mates, of Kevin Gearoid’s only brother, Prionsias,
escorted their colleagues remains along the Barna Road heading east
towards Galway city,down by Barna woods, turning north up the Cappagh
Road to Boleybeg and east to our most eastern football catchment area of
, Rahoon to the cemetery there. May I as PRO for the club and on behalf
of the Barna GAA Club say, to Kevin Gearoid’s broken hearted McComiskey
family and friends, that we too in the club, are broken hearted but we
will go on to remember and play in the future with Kevin Gearoid in our
memory. But for now I know that you will accept our most deepest
sympathy and some comfort from all of us in the Barna GAA club and,
especially from all of those who were with your Kevin Gearoid, the days
before his passing playing football and enjoying ourselves,in the south
of Spain, where we won, yes, the Costa Gael Cup and set of Medels.
Winning now down there is even more important to us in Barna GAA Club,
as we remember our colleague.

We thank the County football Board for allowing our Senior league Match
against Annaghdown to be called off and we assure you that we will be
out there this week-end to fill that fixture, if not in full physical
condition, certainly in spirit.

Slan go foil Kevin Gearoid. Agus Tog go bog e ( HG)

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