Monday 26 September 2016

Joy - and a tinge of sadness - as UCD top Sigerson billings once more

Published 22/02/2016 | 02:30

Jack McCaffrey celebrates with his team-mates after winning the independent.ie Sigerson Cup. Photo: Oliver McVeigh / Sportsfile
Jack McCaffrey celebrates with his team-mates after winning the independent.ie Sigerson Cup. Photo: Oliver McVeigh / Sportsfile

Just as it is important for the GAA that Dublin, as the capital of Ireland, should be in a strong position as regards GAA activity, the same can be said about the largest third-level institution in the land, UCD.

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Therefore, the success of UCD on Saturday - in winning the Sigerson Cup competition after the longest absence (20 years)there since its foundation in 1912 - is significant beyond merely winning a famous trophy.

While many in the GAA still decry third-level GAA activity, there is no doubt that the dramatic developments in that GAA sphere over the past 30 years or more has served the GAA very well.

Many more players from all parts of Ireland, particularly from weaker counties, have been given the chance to improve their football and personal skills through GAA games.

In addition, the availability of top class playing and other facilities in those colleges has served many other branches of the GAA very well by sharing those facilities.

The UCD victory will be seen in the college GAA club, Dublin and beyond as the ultimate tribute to the wonderful Dave Billings who ran all the GAA units in UCD for over 20 years with incredible passion until his sudden death last year.

Somewhere up in the heavenly stands, Dave is sure to have been smiling on Saturday evening.

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