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GAA 125 - GAA President Christy Cooney Vists Dreen
18th July 2009
St.Mary's Rasharkin Commemorate 100 years of Gealic Games in the parish
Saturday 18th July 1909 St. Olcan's Rasharkin played their first ever hurling match against Loughgiel Tir na nog at McLaughlin's Corner. The visiting side won that day on a score line 3-7 to 2-3, these two sides met again 100 years later on Saturday 18th July 2009 at Dreen, this time it was St.Mary's Rasharkin verses Loughgiel Shamrocks and 100 years on it was the same result, Loughgiel winning on a scoreline 3-15 to 1-13.

This was a very unique occasion for our club and was attended by some very special guests, Uachtaran Cumann Luthchleas Gael Christy Cooney accompanied by his wife Ann was present to witness this great milestone and unveil a plague commemorating the first ever Rasharkin team. County Chairman John Mc Sparran and our Club Vice President Canon Murphy also took part in proceedings.

This was the new GAA president's first visit to an Antrim Club and his second visit to an Ulster club since taking office. He arrived at Dreen shortly after 4.00pm where he was welcomed at the entrance gates by Club Chairman Brian O'Neill and a guard of honour featuring players, supporters, managers, committee members etc. Christy and Alan Milton then had a two hour questions and answers session with a cross section of club and parish groups in the club rooms.

After attending evening mass in Rasharkin he returned to Dreen for the Centenary rematch.

One of the founding members of St.Olcan's Rasharkin was a 22 year old man called Anthony Mc Mullan from Tamlaght, two of his six sons Vincent and Dermot made the trip up from the south to participate in this occasion. Vincent from Dublin accompanied by daughter Annette through the ball in at the start of the game and Dermot from Kilkenny accompanied by daughter Sarah presented the club with a perpetual cup in memory of their father.

Amhran na bhFiann was beautifully sang by Therese Tunney accompanied by Patrick Tunney, Clare Kelly and Meghan Rafferty at the start of the match.

Loughgiel got off to flying start with two goals inside the first eight minutes from Brendan McGarry; Rasharkin fought hard and with scores from Duirmuid Quinn, Thomas Doherty, Eamon Kelly, Brendan McMullan and Decky McKay left the half time score 2-8 to 0-5.

Turlough McGarry, Declan Gillan, Ronan Mc Fadden and Brendan Mc Carry showed great skills in the second half for Loughgiel. After four minutes Rasharkin's Duirmuid Quinn flicked home a good goal and with further points from Thomas Doherty, Decky Mc Kay and Thomas Mc Mullan the game was down to five points mid way through the half.

Paudie Mc Fadden put the game beyond Rasharkin with a brilliant goal after eighteen minutes.

This was a good competitive match played in good spirit thanks to both teams who entertained the large attendance. Thanks also to referee Francis Traynor, linesmen, Gusty Crawford and Cormac Hasson

The Loughgiel team lead by Captain Odhran Mc Fadden collected their commemorative medals for Uachtaran Christy Cooney before the unveiling.

The Pat Hendrie Memorial Cup was played earlier in the afternoon, Christy Cooney presented the winning captain Conor Mc Keever with the award.

Although an event such as this took a lot of effort from various people throughout the club certain individuals deserve special mention for their contribution to this celebration; Anthony McMullan through his research for the Club Book found the vital evidence of the first ever Gaelic activity in the parish in the Irish News in 1909 and it was he who was the driving force behind this occasion, Michael J Hasson was instrumental in organising the arrival of Christy Cooney, Mary Mc Mullan played her part in sourcing and facilitating Anthony Mc Mullan's family along with producing the commemorative programmes, Terry Hasson who once again proved himself as the ever reliable - man on the mic.

St.Mary's Rasharkin would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all those who helped organise, clean up the facilities at Dreen, the kitchen staff and those who participated in this special event, which will undoubtedly go do as a momentous day in the history of our club.