Tuesday 21 November 2017

Silver is the colour of success at Rockchapel GAA function



2012 will long be remembered in history by Rockchapel on their regaining county football glory which was celebrated at a victory function in the Devon Inn, Templeglantine.

The gala presentation function emerged at the culmination of a great season and was a fitting tribute to a team that captured the imagination of the sporting public, not just in Rockchapel but throughout the wider Duhallow region, the club having captured a county Junior football championship.

Those in the large attendance also saluted the heroes of 1987 who, 25 years earlier, had secured the club's first county title in the grade.

And on a night to acknowledge brillant achievement, also honoured were Cork ladies footballer Bríd Stack and world handball champion Jerry Guiney.

The occasion was tinged with sadness, too - all speakers thoughts centred on club President Bill Guiney who passed away after delivering a lifelong of devoted service to Rockchapel GAA.

Club Chairman Maurice Daly welcomed the gathering and paid tribute to players, management, and committees from field, lotto to social and club and sponsor Paddy Mollys.

"It appropriate that we take the opportunity to congratulate both the 1987 and 2012 county winning teams. The current side completed both league and championship doubles within Duhallow and county", he said.

Duhallow Board Chairman Richard Murphy hailed the achievements on the Junior A team collecting all the competitive silverware available to them during the 2012 playing season.

"The very best team playing junior football won the county finals in 2012. Offering great endeavour, heart and skill, the team is a credit to Rockchapel club. For a small community it's an unblieveable achievement. The GAA club is the heart of this local community", he said.

The divisional chairman indicated comparisons will be drawn between the 1987 and 2012 teams.

"Maybe the 1987 side were a little lucky to win the divisional final by a point, a game that I refereed. However, that side proceeded to raise the bar on winning the 1989 Co. Intermediate title. That augurs well for the future of the current side", he said.

Co. Development Officer Diarmuid Gowen spoke of a club holding a proud and honoured history.

"Winning both county junior league and championship lays down a marker for intermediate sides - here comes a side with more winning aspirations. Every club needs a spark to drive it - the 1987 side did that and hopefully the 2012 team will do likewise from this vibrant and well organised club", he said.

Team captain Kevin Collins thanked the Rockchapel club, supporters and particularly the team management of Tom Doody, Kevin Carroll and Den O'Mahony for undertaking a surperb job and they were the recipients of fitting momentos.

Likewise acknowledged were world handball champion Jerry Guiney and seven time All Ireland senior medalist and five time Ladies All Star Bríd Stack.

The team of 1987 wasn't forgotton, team captain Jerry Casey reminisced on past days and offered plenty of anecdotes.

"The Simpsons appeared on TV and Stephen Roche won the Tour de France. We had a dedicated team that gave their time and sacrificed so much", he said.

Thanks were extended to trainer Pat Curtin, along with co-selectors Seán Piggott and Den O'Mahony.

"In a reference to the win in the divisional final, I thought the referee would never blow the full time whistle. We did come through and progressed to land a county. From that triumph, we developed lifelong friendships. A big thank you goes to all the boys", he said.

And Jerry didn't forget the contribution of Bill Guiney to the club for close on 60 years.

"Bill was club chairman in 1987 and his involvement down through the years is the legacy of a giant," he said.

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