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Paddy Tally receives a framed jersey from Kieran Kennedy, CEO for O'Neill's International Sportswear during the Irish News All-Stars at Armagh City Hotel


In September 2017, Paddy Tally, manager of the successful Sigerson Cup winning team, received a framed jersey from Kieran Kennedy, CEO for O’Neill’s International Sportswear, during the Irish News All-Stars celebration attended by five hundred guests at the Armagh City Hotel.

Sport plays an integral role in campus life at St Mary’s, as it does at most institutions of higher education. However, as a small institution, St Mary’s has both the advantages of a strong sense of student solidarity and of close communication, as well as the disadvantages that arise from its small size. In 2017, the advantages heavily outweighed the disadvantages as the College took national honours in both Gaelic football and netball. Student success in national sporting competitions was indeed one of the highlights of College life in 2017, and there was plenty of public recognition to go with it.

Back in September 2017, St Mary’s received an Irish News GAA excellence award at the annual Ulster All-Stars celebration to mark the College’s success in the Sigerson Cup. It was the first time that the Irish News made an excellence award and the first time that an award was made to a higher education/university team.

Looking forward to 2018, Gaelic football coach Paddy Tally gave an interview to the Irish News, which was reported on January 3rd, and it provides an insight into his approach to management, one which places the greatest emphasis on learning:

“The most important thing for us in the McKenna Cup every year is for our boys to gain experience at a really high level. After that we will know who can play different positions and maybe what system we’ll go with. So there’s a fair bit of stuff to learn out of the McKenna Cup, and if we can learn it, we’ll be delighted.”

Meanwhile, St Mary’s University College is pleased to report that Dr Elaine McLaughlin (Rice) has been selected as Head Coach for the Northern Ireland Netball Team, which will compete at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia between 4th and 15th April 2018. The netball team will have twelve athletes and will have matches against Australia, South Africa, Jamaica, Barbados and Fiji in the group stage before at least one classification match.

Elaine is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Education at St Mary’s and has developed a strong netball tradition at the College. In addition to managing and coaching netball, Elaine is a key force in the senior football management team.


Successful coaches, Paddy Tally and Elaine McLaughlin with the Sigerson Cup


Successful coaches, Paddy Tally and Elaine McLaughlin with the Sigerson Cup