She may be a native of Kilcullen in County Kildare but after over 30 years of service to both Longford and Mostrim GAA, Philomena (Phil) Donoghue is dyed in the wool blue and gold.
A volunteer at both Glennon Brothers Pearse Park and Devine Park, Phil’s years of service were honoured recently with her induction into the Longford GAA Hall of Fame at the Team of the Championship Awards night which took place in the Rustic Inn in Abbeyshrule at the beginning of this month.
Married to Abbeylara man and former Longford county player Philip Donoghue, Phil became involved with the Mostrim Minors through clubman Seamus Smith in the early 1980s.
From bringing schoolboy teams the length and breadth of the county to washing kits, the mother of eight has seen and done it all.
“I got involved through friends and neighbours”, Phil explains.
“We always had football growing up in Kildare and when I came to Longford it was the same. Seamus (Smith) asked me to give a hand with minors with stuff like jersey washing, bringing water to games and catering and I’ve been here with the minors all the way through to the senior sides ever since.”
Phil was awarded Mostrim GAA Club Person of the Year in 1988 and speaking of her shock and surprise at her award, she continued: “I originally wasn’t going to attend, but I went because I was told one of my neighbours was receiving the award.
“When I heard my home county mentioned and then my name, I nearly died!
“I received my award and when I turned around all my children were standing at the back of the room, I got such a shock but it was such an honour.”
Her commitment to the cause was eulogised on the evening by Mostrim club man and Leinster GAA PRO John Greene. Inducting Phil to the Hall of Fame and presenting her with her Lifetime Achievement trophy, he said: “When Arus Ui Bhrian was built in Pearse Park with kitchen facilities, ‘Mrs D’ as she is known, took charge and I mean took charge.
“There are plenty of orders given out on any given day, but she is there on all occasions for big and small games working very hard to make sure everybody and in particular visitors from other counties are well looked after.”
He added: “Phil is indeed very worthy of this accolade and I congratulate her and wish her many more happy years of involvement.”
Although she is currently recovering from a broken finger, Phil doesn’t plan to slow down any time soon. “I’ll retire when I get old”, she concluded.
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