St Patrick’s recently welcomed the President of the GAA and Belfast’s new Lord Mayor to Bearnageeha as the College officially opened its new 3G Pitch.
Cork native—Christy Cooney—began the day’s ceremonies by cutting the ribbon at Páirc Ui Ghráda; paving the way for the first hurling and football matches to be played on the surface.
St Patrick’s headmaster PJ O’Grady said, “The opening of the pitch has been long awaited by the pupils, teachers and all associated with the school.”
“I am extremely grateful to the President for coming to the school and driving all the way up from Cork. I want to thank the PE department for their forbearance in going without grass on their pitch before now.”
The headmaster concluded, “This is a great day for St Patrick’s College, Bearnageeha”.
GAA President Christy Cooney officially opens and names Páirc Uí Ghráda. Also pictured are: Niall Ó Donnghaile (Lord Mayor of Belfast), Jim Murray (Chairman of the Antrim County Board), Fr. Michael Sheehan (Chairman of the Board of Governors), Rev. Adrian Dorrian (Rector at St Peter’s Parish Church, Antrim Rd), PJ O'Grady (Headmaster).
Fr. Michael Sheehan (Chairman of the Board of Governors and Adm. of St Patrick's, Donegall Street) and Rev. Adrian Dorrian (Rector at St Peter’s Parish Church, Antrim Rd), PJ O'Grady (Headmaster) join together to pray a blessing on the new pitch.
The President throws in the ball for the first official game on Páirc Uí Ghráda. This game featured the Belfast Cuchulainns — a cross community hurling team comprising boys from Ashfield H.S., Boys Model, Corpus Christi College and St Patrick's, Bearnageeha.
George Lavery — a former Down county player of the 60s — throws in the ball for the second game on the pitch. A mighty display of football from the victorious College Nolan Cup team followed.
Belfast Cuchulainns with GAA President Christy Cooney, Headmaster PJ O'Grady and PE teacher/Coach Declan McLarnon.
Victorious Nolan Cup team with GAA President Christy Cooney, Headmaster PJ O'Grady and Head of PE/Coach Carl McCabe.
A welcome break for Christy after a 250 mile drive from Cork. The President enjoys the company of Lord Mayor Niall Ó Donnghaile, former Lord Mayor Alban Maginness and Headmaster PJ O'Grady.