St. Brigid’s Primary School Ballymoney; First Ever GAA Trophy
The girls in St. Brigid’s Primary School, Ballymoney made history when the won the school’s first ever GAA trophy.
The north Antrim girls won Cumann na mBunscol’s Nine Glens’ 2014 Indoor Camogie Tournament, going undefeated throughout the competition staged at Cuchullain’s (Dunloy) Centre of Excellence.
For the last couple of years, trained by their teachers Mrs Aileeen McIlroy (Glen Rovers, Armoy) and Mrs Dympna Kelly (Geraldines CC, Portglenone), the girls have been performing well in both indoor and outdoor competitions.
There have been a number of runner-ups medals but the breakthrough eventually came this year. The girls were thrilled, having put in many training sessions leading up to the tournament. They are also aware that this is a little piece of history for the school, which does not have a traditional GAA pedigree.
Mr Malachy Conlon (Principal) explained: “We don’t have a tradition of hurling and camogie in the school, as yet. However we have players of great ability and staff who are willing to put in the time to promote Gaelic games. This is a great news story for our school and especially for the girls themselves. They are a great group. We only have six girls in P7 so basically everyone plays and the P6 pupils help out. This trophy has been coming for a number of years and we have been very well supported by the Antrim County Board with equipment and coaching.
“I’d like to thank Kieran McGraw and Dominic McKinley for their part in our success story and to all our wonderful parents who support us throughout the year.”
St. Brigid’s success is also of note because the team is made up of girls with a camogie background and girls with a hockey background.
“Ballymoney has a great hockey team and the majority of the girls turn out for the club. Last year for the first time, the school competed in hockey competitions winning the Northern Regional Qualification Tournament and reaching the last eight of the NI Primary Schools’ Hockey Finals at Lisnagarvey Hockey Club. On that team we had girls who played camogie for Loughiel and St. Malachy’s, Castledawson. We are really proud of this, proud too that we also reached the last eight of the NI Primary Schools’ Netball Championship and proud that girls’ sport is the equal of boys’ sports in St. Brigid’s.”
This time last year, The Education Training Inspectorate (ETI) carried out an inspection of the school and as well as praising the school’s academic standards and teaching, the inspectorate also commented on the school’s after schools clubs.
There are nineteen after school clubs in St. Brigid’s including sports: rugby, netball, cycling, keep-fit, hurling, camogie, golf, volleyball, boys’ and girls’ soccer, basketball, tennis and hockey. Creative clubs including cookery, ICT, music technology, needlecraft, drama and film club.