The Hillgrove Hotel in Monaghan played host to an evening of glamour and elegance on October 30th as Aghaloo people arrived in town for their 40th Anniversary Gala, writes Damien Donnelly.
Tales of yesteryear pervaded the air as folk gathered in convivial surroundings to celebrate the history of this admirable club located on the border between Tyrone and Monaghan.
One of the first people I met on arrival was Cuthbert Donnelly, a man who needs little by the way of introduction but suffice to say he is a legend down Aghaloo way and much further afield.
It was a proud night for Cuthbert, his family and indeed all those families associated with Aghaloo O’Neill’s down through the years.
There have been tough times but many good times too for a club that epitomises the true spirit and ethos of the GAA.
The Aghaloo years from 1970 to 2010 were captured in a mixture of memorabilia displays, on-screen archives plus personal memories of players, supporters, officials and neighbouring communities.
MC for the big night was Aghaloo’s very own Martin McCarron, a man who can keep banter going at the drop of a hat.
Peter Canavan and Patsy O’Hagan were among the distinguished guests who mingled with people in the foyer before everyone was called into the main arena for dinner, speeches, chat, some special presentations, music and dance.
We’ll feature photos from the gala in the near future, hopefully bringing you a taster of things on a night of nostalgia.
An occasion like this is tinged with sadness too as great gaels no longer on this mortal earth are fondly remembered. Aghaloo was well served with such dedicated people and no doubt they were looking down with great pride on this truly momentous event.