Sunday 26 March 2017

Rangers' incredible journey shows how GAA keeps the Irish spirit alive

Mount Leinster Rangers' players, from left, Hugh Paddy O'Brien, team captain David Phelan and James Hickey pictured in advance of their AIB GAA Club Championship All-Ireland Hurling Final against Portumna today in Croke Park. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
Mount Leinster Rangers' players, from left, Hugh Paddy O'Brien, team captain David Phelan and James Hickey pictured in advance of their AIB GAA Club Championship All-Ireland Hurling Final against Portumna today in Croke Park. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
Edward Coady of Mount Leinster Rangers, who will be the first Carlow side to line out in an All-Ireland Club Hurling Final today. Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Miriam Donohue

IF there was ever proof needed that the GAA is the glue that uniquely binds Irish communities together, go no further than the beautiful village of Borris in Co Carlow in the foothills of Mount Leinster.

While the entire country cheered on the Irish rugby team and Brian O'Driscoll on Saturday as they achieved spectacular success on the international sporting stage in Paris to win the Six Nations Championship, this small corner of Ireland was in a massive sporting frenzy of its own.

The mighty men of Mount Leinster Rangers – a club that is only a baby compared with other, long-established GAA clubs – will make history tonight when it becomes the first Carlow side ever to line out in an All-Ireland Club Hurling Final in Croke Park, taking on Portumna in Galway.

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