Aodh Ruadh GAA Club Notes

RIP John Larkin

The many hundreds who made their way to Assaroe View last week for the wake and who then turned out on Thursday for the Requiem Mass of John Larkin in St Patrick’s Church told their own story. John lived a full life and he touched and enriched many people. He left an enduring and positive legacy and people wanted to make sure that was recognised and attempt, in some small way, to help the Larkin family in this time of their profound loss. The Aodh Ruadh club were fortunate to be one of the principle beneficiaries of John’s diverse talents and desire to see people be the best they could be. We remember his contribution with fondness and gratitude and it was a privilege to have an Aodh Ruadh guard of honour on duty as John made his final journey to Abbey Assaroe. It will take some time yet to fully come to terms with his sudden passing, but we should reflect that if the measure of a life well lived is the quantity of good you left behind, then John lived very well indeed, and will richly merit his eternal reward.  Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.



What a final. The under 21 decider between Aodh Ruadh and Gaoth Dobhair was widely judged one of the games of the season last year. The under 16 B final played between Aodh Ruadh and Red Hugh’s on Sunday wouldn’t have been far behind for entertainment, quality, commitment and honesty. On this occasion though, it was the Ballyshannon men who came out on the right side of a narrow result against an excellent Killygordon outfit. The Crossroads men were quickest out of the blocks, hitting two points, but Aodh Ruadh had it back level after seven minutes. Red Hugh’s kicked on again to go into a 1-3 to 0-4 lead at the end of the first quarter. Points from Shane Brady and Shane Gillespie reduced the margin to the minimum before a blistering shot from Harry Howarth put the Ernesiders into a two point lead. Red Hugh’s responded well though, hitting the last three scores of the half to go in leading by a point. Ballyshannon fair tore the doors off the dressing room heading out for the second half and they hit Red Hugh’s for six unanswered points to take a 1-12 to 1-7 lead into the final quarter. However Killygordon struck for 1-3 in a four minute spell to retake the lead with nine minutes left to play. Twice Aodh Ruadh levelled, only for Red Hugh’s to edge back in front. Then deep into added time Shane Gillespie hit another equaliser and quickly followed that up with the lead point. Aodh Ruadh controlled play after that to see out the win. The final whistle was met with pandemonium. Fittingly, it was Shane Gillespie who gathered the trophy for Aodh Ruadh following a majestic midfield performance alongside the tireless Senan Rooney. That said, there wasn’t a corner of MacCumhaill park where there wasn’t a hero in this massively intense game of football. Matt Gillespie going through the pain barrier for much of the second half and still sticking his kick out. Kyle Murray proving on the biggest stage just what an exciting prospect he is. Adam Clarke making a battle of every ball that went into the Aodh Ruadh rearguard. Nathan Owens Kelly taking care of business in the corner. Tiernan Flood Dolan giving everything for the cause, just as he has all year, a class act. Eugene Doherty inflicting the most spectacular exhibition of half back play MacCumhaill Park has seen in some time. David ‘The Catch’ Doherty, the greatest warrior on the team. Odhran McGarrigle rising to the challenge in terrific fashion, using possession smartly. Mark McGlynn putting the body on the line all over the park and hungry for the battle. Harry Howarth, what a goal. Cian Barden a constant menace in the Red Hugh’s defence. Shane Brady calming everything down with his cool free taking. Eoin Doherty, what is there to say, if he could have given a kidney to get Aodh Ruadh the win he would have done it. Game of his life. Then Cian Rooney and Aaron Neilan come on, each putting the ball over bar in a game where there was only the narrowest of margins between the teams. The bench quite literally won Aodh Ruadh this game. Later Marty McGarrigle and Ryan Keenaghan came on to a pitch populated with physically larger lads, but didn’t let that deter them one iota. They got stuck into the exchanges with determination and a manliness which belied their age and physique. We can’t forget the lads who played their part along the way, but who didn’t get on the pitch. Niall Monaghan, one of the steadiest, honest and most committed men on the team, he was unfortunate to miss out on a starting place. Frankie McGinley who will forever be remembered for carrying Senan Rooney on his back in Dunkineely against Naomh Muire. Jack McCaffrey whose return to the squad later in the season helped add bite to training sessions and who will hopefully feature more strongly next year, as he certainly has the potential to do so. Colm McGloin likewise showed well in training and will be a big part of the under 16s in 2018. Finally a thought for JJ Goan, as committed a lad as you could get, a tenacious and stylish defender, his loss was felt in the semi-final and final as he was ruled out following surgery. Every man who takes to the field across a season plays their part in the ultimate outcome and in this case happily, it was a seven game unbeaten championship run which brought two pieces of championship silverware back to Ballyshannon. All players can take huge pride in what they have achieved this year and the memories they have made together. We have a full match report and pictures from the game up on

The under 13s won the Southern divisional Title on Saturday, making it two in a row as they also claimed the under 12 Divisional Championship last year. It was a tight competition this year with Dungloe, Ardara and Aodh Ruadh in a three way tie at the top of the table with ten points each at the end of the round robin stage. The three teams met in Ardara for a winner takes all decider series. There were three games of 15 minutes a side with Ardara prevailing over Dungloe in the first game. The Ernesiders then defeated Dungloe 2-7 to 0-5 to leave the final game of the day as the outright Divisional Final.

The Dungloe game was Ballyshannon’s first outing since their disappointing performance in the county final a week earlier. They were quick to put it all behind them and get back to doing what they do best. Their passing was much improved and goals from Cian McKenna and Robbie Murphy and points from Shane McGloin, Danny Breen and Aaron Neilan lifted the hopes of the travelling Ballyshannon supporters.

It was Ardara in the final and following a number of great games against the Pearse Park lads over the past few years this game again proved to be a tight battle and was there for the taking for both teams. Aodh Ruadh were solid in defence and limited Ardara to only two points in the first half. Ryan Keenaghan and Damian Weber read the game expertly in the backs and snuffed out many of the Ardara attacks in their infancy. Ryan Daly got a lovely point and Aonghus Sweeny and Robbie Murphy both rattled the net to leave us five points up at half-time. The second half started well for Ardara who opened their scoring with a goal which nearly lifted the roof of the locals stand. Both teams traded points and Aodh Ruadh showed the grit which was lacking the week before to squeeze out the win that meant so much to the players.

Aaron Neilan, Aaron Cullen, Damian Weber and Danny Breen really lifted their game and showed real character. Some of the younger players were outstanding too with James Gallagher, Ryan Daly, Jack Gallagher, Robbie Murphy and Mr Determination – Shane Delahunty nailing their colours to the mast. Some 21 players were available to play on the day and everyone got on and played their part. Special thanks to all the supporters who followed the team so loyally all year. It was a great end to the under 13 season and the boys were a credit to the club and their families.

The under 10 league finished up last Friday night with two great games under lights in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh. The Shield Final saw Oran Gillespie’s team beat Ted O’Donnell’s team in a competitive game to lift the Shield. Oran’s team were three points up at half-time and they finished the second half strongly to claim victory. In the Cup Final Barry Campbell’s team got the better of Dara McGloin’s team. In the first half there was only a point separating the teams, however Barry’s team took control in the second half and won by a few scores. Afterwards presentations of medals were made to all players by Gus Culkin of Ballyshannon Shoe Company. The shield was presented to Oran Gillespie’s team by Gus Culkin. The cup was presented to Barry Campbell’s team by Paddy Kelly who sponsored the cup. Management would like to thank Ballyshannon Shoe Company for sponsoring the league and Paddy Kelly for sponsoring the cup. Thanks also to parents for a great spread of food on the night. We have a great gallery of pictures from the finals up on


Recent weeks have seen the underage county squads taking shape for 2018 and Aodh Ruadh are proud to have quite a number of players called up to county colours. Congratulations to Briana Maher, Ana Keon and Cáit Gillespie who were selected on the 2018 provisional minor squad; Caoimhe Keon who will be on the under 16 squad; Eilish Gallagher, Orla Keon and Sarah Jane Keon who have made the provisional under 15 league squad; and Aoibhínn McGarrigle, Caoimhe Hughes O’Brien, Katie O’Brien and Lucy McGlynn who were selected for the next phase of the Donegal under 13 development squad. Well done to our players on their selection and our commiserations to those who did not make it. Anything worth having is worth fighting for, so try and use any disappointment you may feel to drive you on.

The Ladies AGM has been rescheduled and will take place in Aras Aoidh Ruaidh on Thursday 23rd November at 8pm. Any team managers who have yet to submit reports are reminded to do so at their earliest convenience.

Scór na nÓg

The Scór na nÓg county semi-final took place last Friday in Moville. The Tráth na gCeist team of Beth Flood, Laoise Kelly, Lauren McHugh and Clodagh O Connor performed well and narrowly missed out on a place in the county final, losing out by a single question. This is a team with a lot of potential and considering they were nearly three years younger than the other teams, the future is bright. Eva Carney was also unlucky to miss out in the recitation section. She performed an enthralling version of William Allingham’s The Fairies and really brought the famous poem to life. Dáithí and Fódhla Sheerin will be performing in the other county semi-final in Glenfin this Friday in the Ceol Uirlise section and we wish them the best of luck.

Bring and buy sale

Thank you to everyone who supported our Bring and Buy Sale/ Craft Fair Fund-raiser for the u12 Girls team’s new jerseys. Especially the local businesses An Colleen Deas, MacCoueran Music, Maddy’s Sweet Treats, Andrea Whelan Photography, Seclusion Spa and Essential Healing and all the local crafters. A big thank you for their kind donations to Mary at A Novel Idea, Rory at Pearse O’Neill’s Newsagents, Liam at Mr G’s, Nuala at Nuala Foley Massage Therapy, Gabby McGloin, Louise Foy, Karen Vaughan-Doherty, AIB Ballyshannon and Chris Kelly. The winner of the Guess the Marbles competition, correctly guessing the correct number of 313 was Rebecca Downey. She won a €30 voucher for Mr G’s. Enjoy your winning’s Rebecca. Thanks also to Frances Daly for her lovely bakes, they went down a treat. Thank you to all who helped on the day Leia, Jake, Clare, Danielle, Rhiana, Kaila, Amy and Emma. We are nearly at the final figure for the jerseys and are now seeking a sponsor willing to provide the final bit of funding and have their name on the jerseys. Contact Karol Foley on 086-8780164 if interested.

Billy Finn memorial Concert

A commemoration concert in honour of Billy Finn will take place in Dorrian’s Imperial Hotel on Saturday night, November 25th. Doors will open at 7.30pm  with an 8pm sharp throw-in. The concert will be compered by Billy’s good friend Sean McGinley. The featured artists include the Ballyshannon Comhaltas group and Friends. Billy was one of the first members of the group and hardly ever missed a session. The Con Brio Trio will then introduce a lively set of traditional tunes and will be followed by Siobhan Calpin on vocals. Following on from her tremendous performance at the Allingham Arts Festival, Marie Askin will play a selection of tunes on  keyboards. After the interval will be a selection of songs from Billy’s brother Johnnie. Johnnie has won a number of prestigious song competitions and is highly sought after as a performer. TG4’s 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award winner is the renowned fiddler Danny Meehan. Danny will play a number of sets featuring tunes from Donegal as well as some from the famous composer William McGonagle. Master uilleann piper Leonard Barry will play many tunes on his beautiful new concert pitch pipes. Leonard is best known from both his solo work as well as with the sensational new band, The New Road. The night will be topped off with a grand finale from all the performers and at least one surprise guest.

The promoters are delighted to have this occasion to celebrate Billy Finn as he was a great musical stalwart of the town and dedicated his working life to teaching. He gave long standing service to Aodh Ruadh as well as to many of the heritage projects throughout Ballyshannon and in drama circles. The entry for this great night of music is a very modest €8 and a portion of the proceeds will be donated in the Finn family name to the Donegal Branch of the Irish Wheelchair Association.

Five Kinds Of Silence

Ballyshannon Drama Society have qualified for the All-Ireland One Act Finals with their production of Five Kinds Of Silence by Shelagh Stephenson. The finals take place in An Grianán Theatre in Letterkenny from December 1st to 3rd. The Society have won their three festivals to date, Ballina, Mullagh and Kiltymagh with Rachel O’Connor winning best actress and Michael McMullan best actor in all three Festivals. Anne McHugh won best Director in Ballina and Kiltymagh and Audrey Davitt and Louise Larkin won the adjudicator’s award in Mullagh. Moya Ferguson and Terence complete an excellent cast. The final two festivals are in Tubbercurry on Friday 17th November and Manorhamilton on Sunday 19th November. The last performance before the finals is in the Abbey Centre on Sunday 26th November at 8.30pm. So don’t miss this award winning production.

Running track fund-raiser

To maintain momentum on gathering the funds to have the running track at Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh available early in 2018, a further fund-raiser will take place in Seán Óg’s on Friday December 1st. About 20 club members will sell entries for a race night and club members are asked to generate as much support as they can for this venture. Anyone interested in sponsoring one of the 12 races or in taking an advert for the night can make contact with Tom Daly on 087-2390410.

National Draw 2018

The National Club Draw returns once again for 2018 and tickets are out now. The prizes are, as ever, spectacular. They include a new Renault Dynamique, a €2,000 travel voucher, various All-Ireland final ticket packages, and shopping vouchers ranging from €1,000 to €250 in value. To increase your chances of winning further there is also a Donegal County Board draw and an Aodh Ruadh draw for €100. Once again, Aodh Ruadh keeps 100 percent of monies raised by the club. Tickets are available from Lisa McTernan and Gerard Ferguson and committee members.

Diary dates

A few dates for your diaries. The underage football presentation night will take place in the Abbey Centre on Saturday 25th November. The Bord na nÓg AGM will take place on Tuesday 28th November. All team managers should have reports submitted to Lisa McTernan by Friday 17th November. The annual club dinner dance will take place on Saturday, 20th January 2018.

Aodh Ruadh Lotto

There was no winner of last week’s Aodh Ruadh Lotto jackpot of €5,500. The winning numbers drawn were XXXX. In the lucky dip €20 went to XXXX. Next draw is in XXXX with a jackpot of €5,600 on Sunday at 8.30pm. Tickets are now available in the following outlets: Seán Óg’s, The Market House, Dicey Reilly’s, The Limit, Pat’s Bar, The Bridgend, Owen Roe’s, Fin McCool’s, The Lantern, McGinley’s, Pearse O’Neill’s, McCosker’s Centra and Kernan’s Spar and at the weekly and weekly bingo in the Abbey Centre. If not in, you can’t win!

The lotto team for McCosker’s Centra on Saturday is: JUVENILE HURLERS.

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