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Clare's All-Ireland winning manager Davy Fitzgerald returns to Aodh Ruadh

Last Wednesday night saw the return of the great Davy Fitzgerald to Aodh Ruadh as he was the special guest at the annual Juvenile Hurling Presentation night. The RTE manager of the year and All-Ireland winning manager brought the Liam MacCarthy cup with him as he kept his word on a promise he made to John Rooney after Clare won the All-Ireland that he would return to Aodh Ruadh.

Davy again showed himself to be a really genuine character as he spent over four hours in Aras Aoidh Ruaidh where he kept the audience of over 200 entertained for the evening. You could hear a pin drop as Davy delivered an inspiring speech. He covered topics including friendship, respect, looking out for each other, bullying, drinking, nutrition and of course the inside story on Clare's historic win last September. Hopefully all present will take on board what he said on these very important issues.

Nothing was too much for Davy as he presented medals to all our underage squads, the highlight of which were the double winning minor team.

Our representatives on the county minor team that won the Ulster minor shield, Tommy Gillespie, Colm Kelly, Eddie Lynch, Jamie Brennan, Eugene Drummond, Oisin Rooney, Ciaran Rami and Donal Sweeny received their medals from the Clare legend.

Individual awards were made to Adam Rami, Owen Doherty and Shane Gillespie. The trio were part of the Donegal under 12 development squad who played in Croke Park last year. Meanwhile Eugene Drummond who made the Ulster Under 16 development squad was also recognised.

John Rooney then called on newly elected club President Owen Roe O'Neill to present Davy with a club jersey as at this stage he is an honorary Aodh Ruadh man. Owen spoke of his delight at seeing Davy in the Aras and spoke of the great player he was and of Clare's great win, he said he was honoured to present him with a club jersey. John, then on behalf of the Juvenile Hurling Committee presented Davy with a lovely piece of Belleek Pottery.

After the presentations Davy had a word for everyone as he signed autographs for all and got photographs taken with all present. No request was too much for Davy as he chatted away to all both young and old. Ray Durack, manager of the Nicky Rackard winning Donegal squad was present and history was made as both cups were present at this function.

Our ladies, as always, put on a great feast for all. Many thanks to all who baked, and yet again to Kieran Barron at Value Centre, Letterkenny and William Doogan of MCM. Ballyshannon were more than generous supplying goodies and Davy's favourite Miwadi many thanks to the lads. Thanks to John Hughes who put together a great slide show highlighting Davy's career and many thanks to Brian Drummond for his great photography work on the night.

Young and old were then treated to over an hour of questions and answers with the great Davy, what journalists such as Martin Breheny and Vincent Hogan would have given to have been in that room, as again Davy showed how genuine he is as all questions were answered and no issues were dodged. We all got a great insight into Clare's preparations for the All-Ireland, modern day training methods and lots of other issues. As the clock ticked towards 11 pm the great Davy began his trip back to Sixmilebridge, he still posed for more photos before he left and gave more advice to our young hurlers. All agreed it was a brilliant night and that the great Clare man is a brilliant role model for youth. As he left Father Tierney Park let's hope it's not the last we see of this unique man in Ballyshannon.

Last modified: Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 7:12pm