Heartbreak for hurlers as film of final stolen
THE country's top young hurling stars will be unable to re-live their proudest moment because of the actions of a thief.
The under-14 hurlers who contested the finals of the Feile na nGael competition for juvenile clubs across the country in Co Clare this summer, were looking forward to getting the official film of the games before the end of the year.
Many had already earmarked the DVD as a Christmas present.
They include players from the winning clubs: Raherney and Castlegeoghegan in Westmeath; St Brekins from Clare; Naomh Eoin from Sligo; Sean O'Heslins from Leitrim; and Turloughmore from Galway.
Videographer Dermot Flaherty had shot the footage of all six divisional finals at Feile na nGael, and many parents who had travelled to the event decided not to bother using their own video cameras, secure in the knowledge that an official film would be available. Mr Flaherty had just begun making copies for the clubs when his premises in Gort, Co Galway, were broken into.
Two professional Sony broadcast cameras and other recording equipment, along with the unlabelled master tapes were all taken. Yesterday he appealed for the return of the tapes that meant so much to the youngsters who took part in Feile.
"It was the high point for all the clubs, the young players and their team officials. It was a big occasion for all the winners, but now the only record of the day is gone. I am hoping that somebody will have the heart to send me back the tapes," said Mr Flaherty.
"Maybe someone has innocently bought some of the equipment and the three tapes could be sitting in the camera case. You can always replace equipment, but those tapes can never be replaced."
Gerry Linnane, whose son Sean captained the Turlough-more team to scoop the 'Christy Ring' trophy, said the theft was a big disappointment to everyone in the Co Galway club.
"It was a huge achievement for a rural club like ours to win and everyone was really looking forward to sitting down and watching the final," he said.
Gardai at Gort (091-631514) are appealing for information.