Clann na nGael, the most successful Gaelic football club in Roscommon with 21 county titles and 7 Connacht club championships, owe much of their success to the late, great Donie Shine.
Donie was involved in the club as both a player and a manager, dedicating much of his life to ensuring Clann na nGael’s place in the GAA’s history books.
Four club legends - Tony Whyte, Eamon McManus, Tony McManus and Emmet Durney spoke to Off The Ball about the club’s history and the influence of Donie Shine.
“You couldn’t let the night go or the discussion go without mentioning Donie Shine. He was so much part of the whole thing.
“He meant so much to this team and he meant so much to the whole parish. At his funeral - it brought the whole county together. You had people from Castleisland, you had people down from the Burren.
“He forged friendships with all these clubs. Where I just might [become friends] with the fella I was marking. But Donie went out of his way to get to know people,” Eamon McManus said.
While the club experienced great success throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s, they never quite managed to win an All-Ireland title, losing in the final five times between 1982 and 1990.
“So the All-Ireland final against Finbarr’s [in 1987] - I feel it was the one we really left behind. I feel like myself, I had one of my weakest games ever for Clann.
“I remember I was marking John Meyler, who went into hurling afterwards and is David Meyler’s father, but that’s a game that really rankles, that I feel myself that we left behind. A lot of us didn’t play well.
“So that was the one game that rankles with me now. We wish we could have, should have won it. I feel that if we won that, there would have been a couple more. But that one hurt,” Tony McManus said.
While the club experienced great success, the disappointment of missing out on an All-Ireland final remains for the club legends.
“From a younger player’s point of view, you’d have loved to have won one for Donie Shine. Or for Tony Whyte.
“Or as the lads say, the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people who travelled by train [to Croke Park on All-Ireland final day],” Emmet Durney said.
There's been a change to the AIB GAA Club Championship fixture schedule this year! The All Ireland semi-finals will take place on the 4th and 5th of January and the finals on the 19th of January.
Tickets will be available from usual outlets including local clubs and Supervalu and Centra stores.
When It’s Club It Lives Forever.