Sim­ply the best

Irish Examiner - County - - Front page - John Tar­rant

A year to re­mem­ber for Knock­na­gree cham­pi­ons.

To the strains of Tina Turner’s ‘Sim­ply the Best’, a stand­ing ova­tion greeted the Knock­na­gree All Ire­land Ju­nior Foot­ball cham­pi­ons at a cel­e­bra­tion func­tion in the Gle­nea­gle Ho­tel, Kil­lar­ney.

From a past year of mem­o­ries and milestones, the Duhal­low club an­nounced their ar­rival onto the big stage to com­plete a re­mark­able year of suc­cess.

The fruits of Knock­na­gree’s labours through last sum­mer, au­tumn and win­ter tasted sweet for the 300 strong at­ten­dance.

For a proud club, the many tributes forth­com­ing from a dis­tin­guished in­vited guest list were loud in the praise to the deeds of Knock­na­gree foot­ballers that brought so much hon­our to their com­mu­nity.

Amongst the di­verse at­ten­dance were County Board chair­per­son Tracey Kennedy, Mun­ster Coun­cil chair­man Jerry O’Sul­li­van, and former GAA pres­i­dent Seán Kelly.

The top ta­ble was sparkling, lit up by the All Ire­land tro­phy sur­rounded by county and Mun­ster sil­ver­ware in ad­di­tion to un­der­age suc­cess by a mi­nor foot­ball side. Club chair­man Jeremiah Moyni­han summed up the county, Mun­ster and All Ire­land voy­age as very spe­cial.

“Win­ning an All Ire­land with your club is a very spe­cial oc­ca­sion and one you never for­get.

“The team and team man­age­ment were mag­nif­i­cent all year and they were a su­per bunch of peo­ple to work with, a lot of peo­ple within the club and com­mu­nity de­liv­ered a big com­mit­ment to make this hap­pen, but it was worth it all,” he said.

The Knock­na­gree sup­por t base comes from both sides of the county bounds, ly­ing in the parish of Rath­more, where fel­low parish­ioners Rath­more and Gneeveg­uilla hold a mas­sive pas­sion for foot­ball and some great names have graced the high­est honours in the land for Kerry teams.

Now their Knock­na­gree neigh­bours can stand up and be proud of reach­ing the sum­mit.

“To win an All Ire­land is the ul­ti­mate, its a credit to a most honest and ded­i­cated team, the man­age­ment left no stone un­turned and the work paid off.

“Thanks to the former play­ers on their in­volve­ment over the years to rep­re­sent the club, its fair to say 2017/18

has been an in­cred­i­ble jour­ney,” said the club chair­man.

A team man­age­ment of John Fin­tan Daly, John Hor­gan, Ed McSweeney and Billy O’Neill mer­ited spe­cial men­tion and suit­able pre­sen­ta­tions.

Tributes we r e paid to club spon­sors in ad­di­tion to the over­whelm­ing fi­nan­cial back­ing se­cured from busi­ness and the pub­lic far and wide.

Guests were unan­i­mous on con­grat­u­lat­ing Knock­na­gree on their glo­ri­ous path that re­quired huge work and ef­forts to achieve their goals.

Video footage of a re­mark­able cam­paign re­lived the high­lights as did a sou­venir pub­li­ca­tion in a cel­e­bra­tory at­mos­phere.

A se­ries of medal pre­sen­ta­tions fol­lowed to the play­ers with county league and cham­pi­onship in ad­di­tion to Mun­ster and All-Ire­land medals re­ceived by the tri­umphant panel.

In­di­vid­u­ally, Alan O’Sul­li­van col­lected the Most Im­proved Player of the Year Award, Eoin McSweeney took hold of the Player of the Year Award, and no sur­prise John Fin­tan Daly earned the Club­man of the Year.

Proud re­cip­i­ent John Fin­tan had en­joyed pre­vi­ous All Ire­land suc­cess with Cork Ju­nior and U21 teams in ad­di­tion to Mil­town Castle­maine across the border in Kerry in 2012, yet he ad­mit­ted, the Knock­na­gree tri­umph was his most mem­o­rable day.

“I can never top this, to win an All Ire­land with my own club is very spe­cial, the oc­ca­sion brought back di­as­pora from all cor­ners of the world to savour the oc­ca­sion,” he said.

Pic­tures: John Tar­rant

Jimmy O’Sul­li­van, club pres­i­dent; John F Daly, Ju­nior A Foot­ball man­ager; Seán Kelly, former na­tional pres­i­dent GAA, Tracey Kennedy, chair­per­son, Cork Co Board; Jerry O’Sul­li­van, chair­man, Mun­ster GAA Coun­cil, and Jeremiah Moyni­han, chair­man,...

The Knock­na­gree Ju­nior A Foot­ball man­age­ment team of Ed McSweeney, John Hor­gan, John Fin­tan Daly, and Billy O’Neill, hold a col­lec­tion of county, Mun­ster and All Ire­land sil­ver­ware at their vic­tory ban­quet in the Gle­nea­gle Ho­tel, Kil­lar­ney.

Fidelma Rahilly and James Den­nehy at­tended the Knock­na­gree GAA vic­tory ban­quet in Kil­lar­ney.

Maura O’Mahony and Danielle O’Con­nor en­joyed the Knock­na­gree GAA vic­tory Ban­quet in Kil­lar­ney.

Knock­na­gree GAA Club chair­man Jeremiah Moyni­han and his wife Siob­hán at the Knock­na­gree GAA vic­tory ban­quet.

Sinead Di­neen and Marie Doyle en­joyed the Knock­na­gree GAA Vic­tory Ban­quet in Kil­lar­ney.

Pic­tures: John Tar­rant

The Knock­na­gree Ju­nior A Foot­ball team pa­raded a galaxy of sil­ver­ware at their vic­tory ban­quet in the Gle­nea­gle Ho­tel, Kil­lar­ney.

Knock­na­gree cap­tain Matthew Dil­worth with Dhenise Ba­calso at the Knock­na­gree GAA Vic­tory Ban­quet in Kil­lar­ney.

The Knock­na­gree Mi­nor Foot­ball team, win­ners in the Rebel Óg North Cork Cham­pi­onship, at their vic­tory func­tion in the Gle­nea­gle Ho­tel, Kil­lar­ney.

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