A magical day of fun and football
GAA: Sean O'Toole Memorial 7s Tournament
The emotion in Barry John O'Toole's voice as he thanked the crowd, the players and the volunteers who had made the Sean O'Toole Memorial 7s Tournament a complete success told you everything you needed to know about what this wonderful event meant to the O'Toole family.
To have remembered the gigantic memory and legacy of husband and father Sean in such a wonderful way and at the same time to have helped in the most worthy of causes, Alex's Adventure, must have meant the world to the O'Toole clan and the wider community of Kiltegan.
All communities are special in many ways but the togetherness, the friendliness, the welcome, the camaraderie, and the openness that exists within Kiltegan were all on show in their fullest under a gorgeous June sun last Saturday afternoon at the local GAA grounds.
Six local clubs, Kiltegan, Donard-The Glen, Ballymanus, Clonmore, Rathvilly, and Stratford-Grangecon, took part in the scintillating football from 2.30pm to 8.30pm that evening.
There were scores scored during this tournament that you won't see in Croke Park come August or September.
The standard of football was tremendous and, for reasons not yet explained, somebody provided a fully functional microphone to a strange looking individual who proceeded to provide rambling commentary on all the games. Miraculously, the large crowd found his verbal dribbling humorous so that same individual was permitted to leave the area unharmed after the event. Phew!
After some thrilling games, the final pairing of Kiltegan and Stratford-Grangecon was decided with Kiltegan coming through a belter with Rathvilly and Stratford-Grangecon emerging from a dramatic penalty shoot-out with Donard-The Glen.
The final was a belter with both teams giving it their all but the fact that Stratford-Grangecon had played a league game on the Friday night seemed to drag on their legs and Kiltegan pulled away near the end for a convincing victory.
Team captain John Farrell collected the Sean O'Toole Memorial trophy (a beautiful piece) and Stephen Farrell collected the Man of the Match award after producing some fantastic football over the course of the event.
From start to finish this event was a complete success.
From the superb programme available for spectators with team lists and a wealth of advertising by local companies to the 'Moody Cow' food stall, the games and activities for children, the banter, the happiness and the wonderful sunshine, the Sean O'Toole Memorial 7s Tournament was a triumph of community and a fantastic tribute to a man who was fondly remembered by all and summed up perfectly by the special guest on the day, Leinster Council Chairman Jim Bolger from Hacketstown, himself a lifelong friend of Sean O'Toole.
Also in attendance was Wicklow County Chairman Martin Coleman and members of all six GAA clubs as well as people from all over the local area who turned out in their droves to support the event.