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Hall of Fame - PJ Buggy

PJ Buggy has been synonymous with Aodh Ruadh and has earned a reputation for being a great underage manager who played a major role in shaping the careers of players such as Gary Walsh, Tommy McDermott, Brian Touhy, Brian Murray, Brian Roper and Sylvester Maguire.

Before that, he also played the game at a decent standard lining out for the Donegal minor hurlers and footballers. He also served as comer back for the great St Joseph's before leaving Ballyshannon to gain employment. Needlesss to say the GAA would always have a major role in his life and while away from the winding banks of Erne, he became involved with well-known clubs such as Cavan Gaels and Ballymun Kickhams. He returned to our town in the mid-70s to work for the Department of Social and Family Affairs as it is today.

He immediately became active in Aodh Ruadh again serving as manager of a range of underage teams. In the centenary year of the GAA, 1984, he established the first ever Bord na nÓg in County Donegal which became the benchmark for all other clubs in the county. He served as its chairman for its first three years. His love of nurturing young talent didn't end there and along with Martin McHugh, he was instrumental in setting up the first ever school of excellence in Donegal in the 1990s.

He went on to manage our senior team, with the greatest success in 1986 and 1987 during what could be accurately described as a golden generation of Aodh Ruadh football. The arrival of the Dr Maguire Cup to Ballyshannon bridged a 35 year famine. In the '87 championship, a 57 day gap between matches against Naomh Columba in that campaign didn't amuse the manager too much but courtesy of wins over MacCumhaill's, Naomh Columba, Red Hugh's and Kilcar in the final, Aodh Ruadh retained the Dr Maguire in style. Indeed, the team came within a whisker of defeating the best club team in Ireland at the time, Burren in the Ulster club championship.

Just for good measure, our Hall of Fame inductee also managed the under 12s in 1987, a team which won divisional and county titles. Ten years later, he was back in charge of a county championship winning u-12 team back-boned by his son, Pauric.

He became club chairman in 1999 and 2000 and his direct no-nonsense style became a hallmark of many meetings but with efficiency and forward thinking never sacrificed. Scor is also one of his pet projects and his encyclopedic knowledge of GAA matters means he's feared and respected as much on the quiz circuit as he was patrolling the GAA fields. He reached an All-Ireland final in Scor Trath na gCeist in 1998 along with present secretary, John Magee and senior team manager, Sylvester Maguire. His love of Scor didn't end at participation level, he coached a young team to All-Ireland success in 2002. Further appearances in the final followed in '03,'06 and '08.

His family name is very much part of our club his wife, Ann and family, Grainne, Donal, Sinead, Ashling, Pauric, Ciara and Aoife have all donned the Aodh Ruadh colours in various codes with most also having represented Donegal. His colleagues, friends and club mates all agree that his greatest legacy is getting and making other people feel involved in Aodh Ruadh. Affable, committed and always proud and loyal, there is only one PJ Buggy.

Terence McShea presenting the Hall of Fame award to PJ Buggy.
Terence McShea presenting the Hall of Fame award to PJ Buggy.

PJ Buggy and his family after receiving the 2009 Hall of Fame award.
PJ Buggy and his family after receiving the 2009 Hall of Fame award.

Report Filed: 30 December 2008