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Elite Sports Programme for Our Lady’s students

November 3rd, 2014

Elite Sports Programme for Our Lady’s students

GAA in Our Lady’s got a welcome boost during the week with the announcement of the inclusion of two students, Frank Connolly & Micheál Bannigan in an Ulster Player Performance & Welfare Programme. This programme is aimed at the top 23 U-16 players in the province with Monaghan having 3 participants included in the programme. So it is a singular honour for Our Lady’s to have two of the 3 Monaghan representatives. Tyrone footballer, Ryan Mellon who works for Ulster Council GAA & Gary Longwell from the Sports Institute of Northern Ireland visited the school during the week to speak to Frank Connolly and Micheal Bannigan regarding the programme.

Both boys have proven track records both at club and school level and are very excited about the Programme.

Frank Connolly, Toome GFC, is a regular on County Development Squads and captained Monaghan U-16’s to their first ever Buncrana Cup victory. He played a key role in Senior Team that won O’ Doherty Cup for the school last year. Frank is son of Irene & Des Connolly, Annahale. Castleblayney.

Micheál Bannigan, Aughnamulen GFC, is a regular on County Development Squads and he too was part of Monaghan U-16’s that won first ever Buncrana Cup during the summer. Micheal scored the critical goal that led to the decisive victory for Our Lady’s over St. Louis Kilkeel last year in O’ Doherty Cup final.  Despite the fact that Micheal is U-16, he was an integral part of this year’s Co. Minor team. Micheál is son of Celine and the late Owen Bannigan, Carrickatee, Castleblayney.

Principal Eddie Kelly who also coaches Frank and Micheál on the Senior Boy’s GAA team remarked, “as a school we are delighted that 2 of our students have been selected for this elite programme. This is a testimony to the great work being done by GAA coaches not only in our school but also in the local clubs and in the development squads at county level. Both Micheál and Frank have fantastic potential as Gaelic footballers and it is hoped that the expertise and support they will receive on this programme will compliment their undoubted talent and skill & further enhance & develop their potential as Gaelic footballers. This is a timely boost to our Mac Larnon Cup team as they are preparing diligently for their forthcoming campaign and builds on the excellent victory they had in the recent County 7-a- side Blitz in Cloghan.”

Both Frank & Micheál are to be congratulated and are wished well on the programme, no doubt this is not the last we have heard of these two young men in football circles!


Pictured at Our Lady’s Secondary School in recent times is Gary Longwell of the Sports Institute, Northern Ireland and Ryan Mellon of Ulster Council GAA on the occasion of their meeting with students, Frank Connolly & Micheál Bannigan who have been selected for inclusion in the Ulster Player Performance & Welfare Programme. Also pictured is Mr Eddie Kelly, Principal of Our Lady’s and coach of the Senior Boys team in the school. Mr Kelly has expressed his delight at the boys’ inclusion in this elite programme and also with the fact that Our Lady’s have two of the three Monaghan participants in the programme.

Elite Sports Micheal & Frank

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