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Finnbarr's Festival lit up by blast from club's magic past

THE Naomh Fionnbarra Festival Week is a highlight of the August calendar. This year's event was even more significant.

A special Cabra Gathering was organised. Old times were recalled. New friends were made.

The Artane Band played. High drama on The Bogies with the finals of the Road Leagues.

There was the Teddy Bear's picnic and the famous Duck Race on the canal. Fun for all the family. The Bars will always walk on water.

GAA Clubs have a chance to win €25,000 to upgrade their facilities. Friday, September 6 is the deadline to register.

Ulster Bank is providing the opportunity. One club will get the top prize, and the four runners-up, one from each province, will pocket €5,000.

A record number of entries were received last year and already this season more than 100 clubs have entered. All the details are on www.ulsterbank.com/gaa.

JOHN BOWMAN was ambling through the Donnacha ó Dulaing archives on Sunday mornings on the radio.

There's plenty of treasure in there. There was a lovely piece on Christy Ring.

Pat Fanning was the late, great president of the GAA. Pat's son, young Pat, is the manager of the Dublin minor hurlers.

His dad recalled how Christy used to travel through Waterford in his truck delivering oil. The hurl and the sliotar were always in the truck.

Any break he got, he'd be out perfecting his touch. "He'd often join a group of lads in some village or whatever who were pucking away," recalled Pat Fanning senior.

"He'd go over to them and introduce himself as Christy Ring, as if there was any need. Sure everyone in Ireland knew who Christy Ring was!

"He was so much associated with the Railway Cup in Croke Park on St Patrick's Day. When Christy retired, the Railway Cup was never the same."

email: niallscullyfootball@eircom.net