ST Michael’s Grammar School pupil Eoin McCabrey has dedicated Monday’s MacLarnon Cup final win to his father Tony who is recovering from serious injuries sustained in a road accident last month.
The Lurgan school defeated St Louis Grammar, Kilkeel in a dramatic final at Athletic Grounds, Armagh.
The victory was a particularly emotional moment for Eoin, who had prepared for the final in the knowledge that his father remained ill in hospital after being knocked down in Belfast on February 15.
The young Clans man and his mother Niomh, along with other family and friends, have maintained a bedside vigil with Tony since the horrific accident.
But Tony is now out of intensive care and with St Michael’s winning the MacLarnon Cup on Monday, it has been quite a week for the McCabrey family.
Eoin said, “Dad is now out of the intensive care ward and in a recovery room. He is speaking to us and he is delighted St Michael’s won the cup.
“It meant so much to me to have my father share in the joy of the win. Mum has been a great source of strength to us all and the entire family circle have been so supportive.”
With Tony looking forward to getting home at some stage in the future, Eoin said he and his family deeply appreciated all the support they received from the local community.
“The boys from school have been fantastic, everyone has been very supportive including our management team,” he said.
“Our head coach David Wilson was really understanding and he was always asking how things were with dad. He supported me in every way possible as did the entire school and the whole community. On behalf of our family I would like to thank everyone for their support.”
Apart from St Michael’s, another local school also made the headlines recently at provincial level. St Paul’s Junior High won an Ulster title at under-15 level and a former principal of the Francis Street School is Eoin’s grandfather Gerry McCrory who he said was his big influence in joining Clan na Gael.
“My family would be better known for being St Peter’s folk,” added Eoin. “My uncle Brian has been heavily involved in youth teams at the club over the years but I have thrown my weight behind the Clans. It’s great to see so many clubs being represented on the St Michael’s School team.”
St Michael’s Grammar School coach David Wilson will now have the luxury of preparing his side for the All Ireland semi-final in two weeks’ time and, according to Eoin, the young players are ready for the challenge.
“It has been quite an emotional roller coaster for me personally over the past number of weeks but winning the MacLarnon has been fantastic,” he said.