Club Stalwart P Jo McDermott celebrated his 80th Birthday, and his family could not think of a more fitting birthday present than to give back to the club and community he was born and raised in by purchasing the first Pillar in aid of the Croí an Chaisleáin Ghlais Development.
We are so grateful to P Jo and his family for this generous gift, and as we continue to tell the story of our wonderful club, we asked P Jo to reflect on his involvement throughout his lifetime in the club and to pass on some wise words of wisdom for us all.
P Jo, for those who know him, has many a story to tell, and took great delight in telling us that when the club first started out, they didn’t have a pitch, let alone club rooms. The fixtures schedules saw them move from one farmers field to another, where the warm up consisted of chasing sheep or cattle off the field, and removing the cow pats with a shovel before the opposition arrived. “But,” he says “we knew nothing else, so it was the way”
A life long supporter, P Jo has proudly held various roles within the club, Chairman, Secretary, Referee and Club Delegate to name but a few, and there is a smile as he reflects on those times and the memories they hold for him now. P Jo continues to support all teams in all codes to this day, on occasion pretending to walk a few laps to get his daily steps on his counter moving upwards.
There is never a good time to start to develop club facilities, the right time is always now. P Jo recalls that when they first started out to develop the wonderful facilities we now benefit from, that “there was less money about then, and there was no such thing as sponsorship etc to help with the costs. It was a time wherein people worked hard to earn a living. The original development of the current site was a big decision, but it had to be done; other clubs were doing it. The club draw was the main fundraiser and everyone played their part.”
His proudest club moment to date was “obviously winning the All Ireland Club title in Croke Park, others include the first Junior Championship, and promotion to Senior Football; for a small club to be competing and beating the ‘big boys’ was a proud time for our members and community.”
We asked him what he thought of the new Croí an Chaisleáin Ghlais development plans, he looks across pondering in thought before announcing that “it’s a big undertaking, but it has to be done to keep with the present day requirements.”
On his hopes for the future of the club, with a serious tone in his voice, he said “To stay competing at the top level, have a good youth structure to support this, for all, Ladies Football, Camogie, & Handball included.”
Finally, we asked our experienced fellow club member what advice he had for those who are tasked with delivering on the new plans: His advice was simple… ” Have a structured plan, stay focused, and keep the energy, the rewards are there”
Thank you to P Jo and the McDermott Family for purchasing the first Pillar of Croí an Chaisleáin Ghlais, and helping us to start our fundraising campaign in style.
For further information on how to purchase a Brick or Pillar https://greencastle.tyrone.gaa.ie/bricks-pillars/