Sunday 24 September 2017

Where are they now?

Seamus Quinn

(Former Leitrim footballer)

Not many men can say they have won a Connacht title with Leitrim but Seamus Quinn can. Connacht's smallest county has won only two provincial championships in its history, the last of those coming in 1994.

The Gortletteragh man was just 20 that July day when John O'Mahony led Leitrim to victory against his native Mayo and ended a 67-year wait for glory.

"I remember that day and the build-up very well," says Quinn. "There was a lot of pressure because it had been so long since we had won the Connacht championship. Not many people expected us to beat Mayo but thank God we won."

Quinn is one of the most decorated footballers in Leitrim's history. His displays at full-back during that championship-winning summer earned him an All Star award, making him only the second Leitrim man to be awarded the prestigious prize. "It was a fantastic achievement at my age to win an All Star. I was only 20 at the time so for me to win it when I was so young was a big achievement."

His talent earned him further recognition and the opportunity to experience the international stage in 2000. "I was called up to the International Rules team under Brian McEniff. It was a very good experience as I got to play and train with the best players in Ireland and it was great to get that chance."

Quinn retired from inter-county football in 2004, having spent 11 years at the coalface, but he remains deeply involved in the game.

"I've been playing club football on and off since then. I had a few injuries and I took last year off but I'm back playing junior football with Gortletteragh this year. I enjoy playing at this stage because it's a bit of crack and not as serious as playing with the county. I've done a bit of coaching with Killoe in Longford for a couple of years and my own club too."

Two Gortletteragh players, Cathal McCrann and Ciarán Egan, line out for Leitrim in Ruislip this afternoon and Quinn anticipates a battle against an improving London side.

"Leitrim have come through a tough enough patch over the last few years. Emigration has hit the county more so than most. The match will be fairly tough as London have a strong enough team. Mayo found it difficult to beat them last year and London have more players coming from other counties so it's hard to know."

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