As a country girl, it was obvious I was going to either be raised on a farm, or raised going to GAA matches, and luckily for me it was GAA that was the dominant force in our house!
Now, as most of your Irish people know, GAA is part and parcel of every community and parish, no matter where you live. It could be your neighbour who plays, or your cousins boyfriend, or anyone really, you will always know someone on a team, whether it be hurling or football.
I am from a little county, in the middle of the country, Westmeath, and we may not excel when it comes to Inter-County Championship, but you will find it hard to break the spirit that each player has, and the hard work they put in anywhere else across the country.
Next Sunday Westmeath Footballers play Derry in the Allianz National League Final (Division 2) in Croke Park, spirits across the county are at an all time high at the minute, and so everyone is hoping for a good result next week.
Of course, now would be a good time to mention the amazing work that the late Paidi O’Se did with Westmeath in 2004, and for me this has been one of the highlights of my life to date, something that I hope I will never forget and is definitely a story for the grandkids, because the GAA is such a part of our family life at home, this was a whole year spent traveling to every match until we reached that day in Croke Park on the 24th July.
Lucky enough that year there was a documentary “Marooned” filmed on the trials and tribulations of the Westmeath team that year, under the guidance of Paidi. But two weeks ago a video came into the wonderful world of Social Media where a scene from the great sporting movie, “Any Given Sunday”, was dubbed over by Paidi’s motivational speech to his Westmeath team.
Video Below, (Contains some strong language)
But really what I wanted to acknowledge here, was the work that local GAA clubs do in their communities, they bring people together and give the people in an area something to talk about, especially when things are going well in the club. Without them it would be difficult for communities to function, you sometimes see your neighbour more by going to a match than you would see them if you went out for a walk!
“Club is Family” .