Two ma­jor awards for Mar­garet in top week

Se­ries of awards for camo­gie leg­end

New Ross Standard - - SPORT -

IT CER­TAINLY has been a spe­cial few weeks for Wex­ford camo­gie leg­end Mar­garet Leacy (nee O’Leary).

In the mid­dle of last month she was hon­oured for her out­stand­ing ser­vice to the sport at the an­nual Seana Ghael awards held in the Fer­rycar­rig Ho­tel.

Then on Mon­day of last week, at the I.F.A. Cen­tre in En­nis­cor­thy, an­other sig­nif­i­cant ac­co­lade came her way when she was named as the Wex­ford camo­gie vol­un­teer of the year.

The for­mer Buf­fers Al­ley and Wex­ford player, and long-time Ou­lart-The Bal­lagh stal­wart, ac­cepted that pre­sen­ta­tion from Don­nacha Kerins (Co. Chair­man) and Kath­leen Ke­hoe (Co. Sec­re­tary), and it was only the start of a very spe­cial week.

Mar­garet and her proud fam­ily trav­elled to Croke Park on Fri­day night where she was one of twelve coun­ty­wide re­cip­i­ents of the pres­ti­gious G.A.A. Pres­i­dent’s awards, with the event tele­vised on TG4 over the week­end.

The cam­eras had been in her home last month to film some footage, and it made for in­ter­est­ing view­ing as she shared some mem­o­ries in the com­pany of her hus­band, Matty, and daugh­ters Ra­mona, Mary and Una.

Mar­garet be­gan her ca­reer with her na­tive Buf­fers Al­ley, adding three All-Ire­land Club ti­tles to the first she had won when as­sist­ing Eoghan Ruadh of Dublin in 1967.

She was one of the lead­ing lights in 1968 when Wex­ford won the O’Duffy Cup for the first time, and again in 1969 when the crown was re­tained.

And six years later her de­fi­ance went a long way to­wards cur­tail­ing a star-stud­ded Cork for­ward line as a some­what un­ex­pected All-Ire­land ti­tle re­turned to Wex­ford.

There was no fur­ther out­right suc­cess, then, un­til 2007 when Mar­garet’s daugh­ters played out­stand­ing roles in the county’s mem­o­rable suc­cess over the Leesiders, with Mary cap­tain­ing the team from cen­tre-back and Una con­tribut­ing both goals.

A per­former of re­mark­able all­round abil­ity, Mar­garet was the Gaelic All Star player of the year in 1968 and was se­lected on the camo­gie team of the cen­tury in 2004.

She holds eight Gael Linn in­ter-pro­vin­cial medals, won two Wex­ford Power’s Sport Star of the Year awards in 1966 and 1968, and is now Chair­per­son and the main driv­ing force be­hind the Ou­lart-The Bal­lagh club.

All of the hon­ours of re­cent weeks are richly de­served, and with Mar­garet now part of Martin Carey’s back­room team with the Wex­ford Se­niors, here’s hop­ing there’s even more to come.

Mar­garet Leacy with fam­ily mem­bers af­ter re­ceiv­ing her award from G.A.A. Pres­i­dent Aogán O Fearghail (cen­tre front) in Croke Park.

Mar­garet Leacy re­ceiv­ing her Wex­ford camo­gie vol­un­teer of the year award from Kath­leen Ke­hoe (Co. Sec­re­tary) and Don­nacha Kerins (Co. Chair­man).

Mar­garet Leacy with Aogán O Fearghail in Croke Park on Fri­day.

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