If an alien was to land in Kiltoom, armed with a (very random) checklist – and ideally a friendly disposition – they would quickly establish what a superbly forward-thinking GAA club looks like.
I’ve long admired St Brigid’s, and how this club goes about its business. They are the benchmark for all other clubs locally. I might add that GAA clubs in County Roscommon are generally very progressive, with outstanding volunteerism driving them towards a tremendously impressive ongoing development of facilities, that and the pursuit of playing success.
Without digressing too much, I think it is very evident that, pleasing as trophies and medals are, these GAA clubs are genuinely motivated by a generation to generation commitment to providing a playing platform for young people, and joy, fulfilment and a sense of belonging for all in the parish.
Back to St Brigid’s. In all my time working in the media in Roscommon, they have been a club committed to setting the highest of standards. The infrastructure and playing numbers at Kiltoom is evidence of that. The club’s historic All-Ireland title win in 2013 was just reward for St Brigid’s’ ongoing development.
Their feat in returning to Croke Park on All-Ireland final day this year is further evidence of the club’s ambition, a formidable, classy new St Brigid’s senior team having emerged over the past while. Last Sunday’s one-point loss to Glen – a cruel outcome, given where St Brigid’s were a few minutes earlier – is a heartbreaker, but it can also further motivate the Kiltoom club to continue its onward march.
St Brigid’s undoubtedly have what it takes to do it all again. They have the capacity to dust themselves down, and resume their dream of following in the footsteps of the heroes of 2013. They absolutely can return to the summit. We’d expect nothing less of St Brigid’s.