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Patsy 'overwhelmed' by President's Award privilege

PATSY POWELL opened the letter. It was from the president of the GAA, Liam O'Neill. She had been selected for a President's Award.

She couldn't believe what she was reading. She handed it to her daughter Aoife and she confirmed that, yes, indeed the Ma would be heading to the Ball.

"I was just flabbergasted, overwhelmed. It is such a privilege. I feel so honoured."

As soon as people found out, the phone began to ring. The texts were flying in. The messages went up on Facebook. "People have been so kind. The reaction has been phenomenal."

Then there was the day in school. Patsy works as a Special Needs Assistant at the Castleknock Educate Together NS.

They were celebrating International Women's Day. The announcement rang out: 'We don't have to look far for our own famous woman'. Patsy was called to the stage. Morto.

TG4 called to Russell Park to film a piece. And Patsy was still wondering why me. "I don't do anything different to all the thousands of people involved in camogie and the GAA."

Devotion

Yet it has been a life-long devotion. She says she wasn't much of a player. "If they were stuck, they put me in goals," she smiles.

Her gift was off the pitch – coaching, umpiring, administrator, board delegate, fundraising, committees, plus 100 other jobs.

She was reared in the GAA. All the family were involved. Her mother was a founder member of St Brigid's camogie club. Her late husband Jim played hurling and football at Russell Park.

All their children have carried on the love of the club and the games – Yvonne, Declan, Jason, Damien, James, Aoife and Danielle.

Brigid's have had some memorable times. "Winning the two championships on the same day in 2012 stands out," says Patsy, who salutes the ongoing work at county level.

"There's great progress being made. The development squads are a huge asset."

Friday's event was live on TG4. Patsy has given the sport so much. The thought never crossed her mind. "I got so much enjoyment out of it myself."


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