For the first time in twenty-six years, Declan Nerney will line out in Croke Park for an All-Ireland final.
In 1990, Longford’s own country superstar performed at half-time at the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship final between Meath and Cork. This year, Declan will feature on the Longford team’s kit, as our Senior Ladies take on Antrim on Sunday, September 25 in the Junior All-Ireland Final.
While reporting on the Longford Senior Ladies Football Club Final between Killoe and Mostrim, reporter Deniese O’Flaherty told Shannonside presenter John Lynch that the Ladies were looking for a sponsor for their jerseys for the occasion.
“I’d been listening to it on the road, and some other girls were after talking about how difficult it was to fundraise for clubs,” Declan told the Leader. The renowned musician jumped at the chance to support the ladies, pointing out; “Aren’t they trying to do their best as well as the fellows?
“I hope I won’t put bad luck on them,” he laughed, revealing that his name and logo will adorn the ladies' jerseys when they line out on Sunday week.
“I felt why shouldn’t they get the bit of sponsorship as well as any of the men's teams? They deserve a bit of credit for where they’re going,” Declan concluded.
Yesterday, Tuesday, following a meeting with the country crooner, Kathleen Darcy, Secretary of the Longford Ladies County Board confirmed that they had gladly accepted the generous offer.
“We wish to acknowledge this wonderful gesture by Declan, which has given a great boost to everybody involved with the team,” Kathleen commented.
“Longford Ladies also wish to thank and acknowledge the opportunity given by John Lynch, Shannonside Radio to allow Deniese O’Flaherty to send out this appeal. We also wish to acknowledge the fantastic support and coverage that Deniese has provided to Longford Ladies throughout the years.
“The power of media and local radio is proved beyond doubt in this great story,” she concluded.
It is 19 years since Longford last qualified for this stage of the competition, when they beat Tyrone in the 1997 final and there's no doubt that the team, with Declan's backing, will be hoping to repeat that feat at the end of the month.