Highlights on Off The Ball

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Highlights on Off The Ball

REVEALED: The Cavan sporting Mount Rushmore

We're over halfway into our selections of the sporting Mount Rushmore's for every county in Irela...

REVEALED: The Cavan sporting M...

REVEALED: The Cavan sporting Mount Rushmore

We're over halfway into our selections of the sporting Mount Rushmore's for every county in Ireland - and this morning it was the turn of Cavan to see their top four chosen.

Dave McIntyre, a Cavan man by virtue of his parents, and Paul Fitzpatrick, Sports Editor of The Anglo Celt, joined Ger and Eoin to put their names forward.

In the end some big names missed out - including Irish international Leanne Kiernan, Cillian Sheridan, and a few top inter-county stars that lined out in the Breffni blue.

In the end though, here was the final Cavan sporting Mount Rushmore selection:


ATHLETICS - Catherina McKiernan

Dave rightly pointed out that there was no reason for any debate on this first choice on the mountain.

"I would find it difficult for anyone to put forward an argument that she shouldn't be on it. She's regarded as one of the world's best-ever cross-county runners, she won four successive silver medals at the World Cross-Country Championships between 1992 and 1995, she won gold at the European Cross-Country Championships in 1994.

"She's won the London Marathon, the only Irish woman to do so, she's won the Berlin Marathon, the Amsterdam Marathon, she's still the Irish Marathon record holder, [she] ran for Ireland in the Olympics.

"Since she's retired she's become a fitness trainer, she's become an expert in the mechanics of racing and how to get people to race in a safe and injury-free way.

"She's a legend of Cavan sport, but she's also one of the great distance runners on the national scene as well."

4 May 2019; Catherina McKiernan of Annalee A.C, Cavan celebrates after winning the Irish Runner 5k in conjunction with the AAI National 5k Championships, Phoenix Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile


HANDBALL - Paul Brady

Handball aficionado Paul Fitzpatrick agreed that Brady's achievements rightfully meant he deserved this recognition.

"There is that tradition [in handball] where you would have a dominant figure. But what Paul Brady did was he actually changed the game.

"In a way you could compare him to Stephen Cluxton, because he changed the way the game was played.

"And he's still going, he was going to have another crack at it this year but it looks like with the lockdown it mightn't happen. Also, he was a really good footballer.

"He was probably unlucky to play in a team that had plenty of talent, but for different reasons didn't make the breakthrough."

15 October 2012; Paul Brady, Mullaghoran, Co. Cavan, in action during his semi - final match against Michael Finnegan. World Handball Championships, Citywest Hotel & Conference Centre, Saggart, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE



The three-time All-Ireland winner earned his place as the sole gaelic football representative on the mountain, and Dave explains why he made the list above others like John Joe O'Reilly and Hughie O'Reilly.

"When he died in 2010 he was actually buried in the same cemetery as my grandfather and grandmother and grand aunt, and it was something I was always aware of - knowing he had seen out his final days in Virginia where my father grew up.

"Mick Higgins was born in New York and moved to Cavan... he played in five All-Ireland finals and won three of them. 1947 was appropriate given he was back in his native New York, he won [again] in 1948, he was the captain in 1952.

"He scored seven of Cavan's nine points in the replay win that year - seven Ulster championship medals, that alone would almost be enough for someone of his stature to make it onto the mountain.

"But his record as a manager and trainer is absolutely unbelievable."

19 July 2009; Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Criostóir Ó Cuana, left, and Ulster GAA President Tom Daly, right, present Mick Higgins, Cavan, with a special 125 Celebrations momento of All Ireland Captains before the GAA Football Ulster Senior Championship Final, Tyrone v Antrim, St Tighearnach's Park, Clones, Co. Monaghan. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE


GOLF - Leona Maguire

Paul Fitzpatrick added Leona onto the list at the last moment - replacing Dave's choice of John Joe O'Reilly. He explained why her achievements at such a young age merit inclusion.

"What she has achieved... I would be of the belief that if she put down her golf clubs tomorrow and never played again she has done enough to be on any Mount Rushmore.

"At 25 years of age if you look back through her career - she was winning adult scratch cups at the age of 12 along with her sister Lisa.

"She won the Scottish Amateur at Troon at the age of 14, the ordinary hacker like me, if I go to Troon I'm driving past and stop to take a photograph, at 14 she's out there playing on this course and beating the top amateurs in the UK.

"She turned pro, has already got a top-five finish. If you think about the depth of talent there is in golf, I would say Leona is right up there."

18 May 2020; Club member and Irish professional golfer Leona Maguire during a round of golf at Slieve Russell Golf Club in Cavan as it resumes having previously suspended all activity following directives from the Irish Government in an effort to contain the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Golf clubs in the Republic of Ireland resumed activity on May 18th under the Irish government’s Roadmap for Reopening of Society and Business following strict protocols of social distancing and hand sanitisation among others allowing it to return in a phased manner. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile


Missed any of our Mount Rushmore county-by-county series? Get all episodes so far here! 

Here is Nathan Murphy's selection of Mayo's Mount Rushmore from Episode One!

Here is Colm Boohig's selection of Cork's Mount Rushmore from Episode Two!

Here is Will O'Callaghan and Paul Rouse's selection of Offaly's Mount Rushmore from Episode Three!

Here is Shane Hannon and Gráinne McElwain's selection of Monaghan's Mount Rushmore from Episode Four!

Here is Diarmuid Lyng and Liam Griffin's selection of Wexford's Mount Rushmore from Episode Five!

Here is Neil Treacy and Jack Anderson's selection of Limerick's Mount Rushmore from Episode Six!

Here is Enda Coll and Kieran Cunningham's selection of Donegal's Mount Rushmore from Episode Seven!

Here is Máire-Treasa Nic-Cheallaigh and Michael Lyster's selection of Galway's Mount Rushmore from Episode Eight!

Here is Adrian Barry and Conor Moore's selection of Westmeath's Mount Rushmore from Episode Nine!

Here is Ronan Mullen and Dan McDonnell's selection of Louth's Mount Rushmore from Episode Ten!

Here is Alan Quinlan and Michael Quinlivan's selection of Tipperary's Mount Rushmore from Episode Eleven!

Here is Tommy Rooney and Hector Ó'hEochagáin's selection of Meath's Mount Rushmore from Episode Twelve!

Here is Conor Deegan and Donal O'Neill's selection of Down's Mount Rushmore from Episode Thirteen!

Here is Ger Gilroy and Joe Molloy's selection of Kildare's Mount Rushmore from Episode Fourteen!

Here is Thom Malone and Paul Howard's selection of Wicklow's Mount Rushmore from Episode Fifteen!

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Catherina McKiernan Cavan Cavan GAA Dave McIntyre Hughie O'Reilly Leona Maguire Mick Higgins Mount Rushmore Off The Ball Paul Brady Paul Fitzpatrick