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Football Team Sponsors


Pictured at a reception in Dungannon at the ‘Hill of the O’Neill” are Ruairi Cunningham, Director of Strathroy, Peter Harte, St Mary’s Gaelic Football Team Captain and Professor Peter Finn, Principal of St Mary’s University College, Belfast


Strathroy Dairy Ltd, Ireland’s oldest family dairy, has once again agreed to sponsor the Gaelic football team at St Mary’s University College. Ruairi Cunningham, Director, met up recently with St Mary’s Team Captain, Peter Harte, Team Manager, Paddy Tally and College Principal, Professor Peter Finn, at the historic Hill of the O’Neill site in Dungannon, County Tyrone.

The profile of Gaelic football at St Mary’s has risen in recent years under the management of Paddy Tally, Senior Lecturer in Physical Education. It is well known that the ‘Ranch’ has a long standing tradition of vigorous team spirit in the face of competition against much larger institutions of higher education. That tradition has been strengthened by the availability of new facilities and services on the St Mary’s campus which have enabled improvements in team preparation and player development. The values associated with voluntary support in coaching and management still prevail at St Mary’s however and that contributes significantly to the College’s standing in higher education sport.

Peter Harte of Tyrone is in a long line of top class players who have captained the Ranch since the 1940s. He said, “ To be part of the St. Mary's football team is special, it's like having a second club. The togetherness is unique and I believe this comes from the close knit community that exists in the college. It's a privilege for me to captain this great group of players. Their efforts this year has been first class and we're looking forward to facing UCC in the quarter final.”

The Sigerson Cup quarter final clash with University College Cork will bring back memories of the College’s Sigerson Cup success in 1989 but College Principal Professor Peter Finn who, along with Jim McKeever managed that team chooses to focus on the present as he explained, “Competitive sport is about today and tomorrow, not the past. Today we rely on the conviction of our Manager Paddy Tally and our players including our team captain Peter Harte. We also rely on sponsorship of course and are delighted to be associated with Strathroy and its fresh dairy produce.”

In the run up to the clash with the Munster team, St Mary’s will be hoping to draw some important lessons from the early part of the season. Team Manager, Paddy Tally, said “UCC in the quarter final is without doubt the toughest challenge we have faced this year. The game against Tralee in the first round was a good result but we are very aware that the quality of the performance would not be enough to beat UCC. The team have developed well through the league and Mc Kenna Cup competitions so its vitally important that we take all we have learnt and apply it against Cork.”

St Mary’s play UCC on Wednesday 13 February.