Donald ‘honoured’ to follow the master

Donald Feeley is a life-long GAA fan. By his own admission he was ‘a middlin player only’ — nevertheless he was always involved in the GAA, at club level in particular.   Donald has lived in the St. Johns Lecarrow area all his life and was a respected   member of the farming community until he retired from farming a few years ago.   He still lives in the ‘home place’ along with his wife Phil who is also well-known for her work with a number of organisations in the local commuinity. Donald tells me that he has been involved in the GAA since 1948.   ‘I attended my first club   meeting as a 16-year-old in ’48 and I have been involved in some shape or form since’ he says.   ‘I was only an average player although I loved playing football and in my club career I played with and against Jimmy Murray because St. Johns broke away to form their own club in 1953.   ‘I can tell you I preferred playing with Jimmy than against him — he was one tough footballer despite his small size.   ‘I played into my mid-30s but we won very little. The great St. Patricks team had faded away by    then.   ‘Those were fantastic times’ Donald said. ‘Rahara also had a team which they formed in 1956 and there was great rivalry at that stage. I remember one match when we were in the dressingroom before a game against St. Comans from Roscommon Town when Tommy Rogers made us all say a decade of the Rosary and then he shook Holy water on us all before we went out on the field.   ‘Gerry O’Malley was playing that day and he remarked that he didn’t know whether he was going to war or out to play football!!’   All three clubs (St. Patricks, St. Johns and Rahara) joined up in 1973 to form the St. Domnics club that we know today.   ‘I absolutely love football and hurling- unfortunately I was in the USA for the All-Ireland minor final replay last year but we got up early and searched frantically for a pub that was showing the match. Thankfully we found one and I can tell you I shed a tear as I watched theose wonderful players take the All-Ireland title in Ennis. A great day for Roscommon GAA’ the new St. Dominics President said.   Donald Feeley’s love affair with the GAA continues to the present day.   ‘I am very impressed with St. Dominics and all the work they have done in recent years. There are nine sub-committees in the club covering every area of GAA activity. They are involved in hurling, football, camogie, ladies football, handball and Scor for which I have a particular ‘gra’ as I was one of the founder members of Scor in Roscommon.   ‘The club have done marvellous work with the field which is a credit to them and there is a lot of work going in at underage level too which is great.   ‘The St. Domnics club are really progressive and it is a great honour to be President at this time. I hope that we can go on to win the Intermediate football title this year and maybe even a senior football title in the next few years.   ‘To follow in Jimmy Murray’s footsteps is an impossible task but it is a great honour for me and I am looking forward to helping St. Dominics in any way I can’ Donald concluded.   * Donald Feeley is a retired farmer and he lives at St. Johns Lecarrow with his wife Phil. They have   one son, Gerard, and four daughters – Martina (Gavin) Fiona (Dawson) Grainne (Regan) and Eithne.