Mullinalaghta St Columba’s has been the feelgood story of the GAA in the last few months.
A quick Google search of the team throws up terms like ‘underdog’, ‘fairytale’ and ‘miracle’.
One miracle in question was the Longford side stunning Kilmacud Crokes before Christmas, securing a historic victory to land the Leinster title.
Dublin side Crokes have a membership almost 10 times the population of Mullinalaghta and the 1-8 to 1-6 win ensured the team became the first Longford club to win a senior Leinster football title.
The importance of the club to the players has been highlighted before. Speaking to the Irish Examiner before the provincial semi-final, attacker James McGivney claimed: “Only for the football field, I’d say the majority of our team would’ve emigrated by now.”
As the club prepares for the All-Ireland semi-final against Kerry side Dr Crokes on February 16, a new video – created as a tribute to former Ballymacelligott GAA man Dan McElligott – has highlighted the grá Mullinalaghta people have for the club.
Skip to 14:38
McElligott, who has five sons on The Half-Parish’s senior panel, is now a Mullinalaghta man since moving to Longford. In 1998 he took an U10s side down to Kerry to have his new club take on his old one.
Of that Mullinalaghta U10 team, seven of the current crop are still playing.
Patrick Rogers, Gary Rogers, Conan Brady, Francis Mulligan, Donal McElligott (Dan’s son), James McGivney and John Keegan all played in the game over 20 years ago and in the Leinster final.
McElligott’s other son Aidan and David McGivney, who star on the senior team, were also at the Ballymac pitch.
A scene from after the game shows a Ballymac man stating: “Ye’ll probably win the All-Ireland when yer time will come.”
In just two games, the throwaway comment might become fact.
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