The Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councilor Martin Baker welcomed the Easkey GAA Team to County Hall on Saturday last to honour their achievement on becoming the first team from Sligo to reach the final of All-Ireland Club Championships.
In his address, the Cathaoirleach said ‘Given the ambition and resolve in the side, you will be disappointed at the result on final day, but sporting history will record that this was a special achievement by a very special group of players. For the people of Easkey, this was a journey that will be recalled and fondly remembered for many years to come.
The progress throughout the year captivated all your supporters and the wider community: Capturing the County Junior ‘A’ Championship. The next step is what one local paper called ‘a scorching, unprecedented run through Connacht’ before earning the ultimate accolade for any footballer, playing in a national final in Croke Park.
Over the course of the campaign you scored a very impressive 163 points, marking up 29 points on separate occasions against Eastern Harps and St Molaise Gaels. An achievement of this scale would not have been possible without a huge effort by many people, starting with Manager Dessie Sloyan who was the driving force and mentor to this excellent group. Dessie will be the first to pay tribute to his committed background team who shared his dedication and ambition.
Both during the season and in the after-math of the final, the young players showed a maturity beyond their years, saying the whole campaign had been very much a learning curve and that they gained invaluable experience that will serve them very well in their future careers. Any person who attains to the standard county and Provincial Champion, and All Ireland Finalist, should feel extremely proud of their achievement.
You have set a benchmark for other Sligo teams to follow, and you have been an inspiration for the many young players in your own community who aspire to follow in your foot-steps. Your many supporters who followed you throughout the year will have seen their outstanding team-work and enormous sense of pride in representing your club.’
The Cathaoirleach concluded his address by telling his guests ‘You should take great pride in your achievement, and realise what it meant to your club, your families, your community.’