On Sunday, Wexford hurling fans dared to believe as they witnessed their senior hurling team overcome the mighty Cats for the first time since their 2004 Leinster final win.
On a day when Davy Fitzgerald’s charges sought a remarkable victory, the Wexford camogie team lost out to Dublin by five points in Wexford Park in their National League game.
Amidst the jubilation for the Wexford senior hurlers, the Yellowbellies’ camogie goalkeeper Mags D’Arcy took to Instagram to pen a beautifully emphatic and powerful message to the GAA community.
View this post on Instagram
We lost today. Today I received this card into my hurly bag 2 minutes after the final whistle blew to what was a disappointing day. Over a month ago I got a call from a concerned parent asking could I help her daughter out, Kiera, on her primary school project. Keira's local GAA club started a Camogie team off the excitement of Wexford Camogie winning 3 all irelands in a row over 4 years ago. Her teacher said she had to choose a role model, so when I collected Kiera as I was on route to play a league match against Tipperary 3 weeks ago, I said "do your classmates get to spend the day with the person they chose?" she beamed back at me from the passenger seat paralysed with excitement. I left Kiera with my Wexford jacket and a sliothar that day to mark our time together and encourage her to continue playing Camogie but on one condition: only Play for as long as you enjoy the game. I could spot Kiera in the depleted crowd at Wexford park today, she encouraged her family to come to support us and was still beaming when she ran onto the field to me straight after the game, result aside and hurl in hand, she was enjoying the game. At every turn we are all ambassadors of our game, choose to respect the next generation, they are the future of our game.
Even though D’Arcy and her camogie counterparts failed to achieve the win against Dublin, not all was lost. In a brief Instagram post, the four-time All-Ireland winner illustrated exactly what being part of the GAA really represents. It’s not all about winning, and more about the enjoyment of our national game.
No matter the level, all GAA players are role models for our future generations and from treating them with the utmost respect, they’ll respect you even more and appreciate your efforts even during times of despair.
Even the simplest of gestures to the youth in our GAA communities will mean a lot, and certainly those of us who are GAA members can learn a lot from D’Arcy’s selfless deed to this young girl who considered it an experience of a lifetime.
Jason Redmond, Pundit Arena