White’s Cross GAA had the proud honour of welcoming the President of the Gaelic Athletic Association, Mr. Christy Cooney, to their Club recently. It was the first time that a President of the Association visited the Club, during their term-in-office. Mr Cooney was present to attend a match marking the retirement from work of White’s Cross GAA member, Paul O Neill.
Paul, an employee of Bus Eireann, would be well-known to anyone who availed of the bus services out of Parnell Place down through the years. If not a public transport customer, you might well remember Paul for his antics as linesman down the Pairc! Indeed Mr. Cooney, commented that Paul was quicker running backwards than he was forward, as he patrolled the side-line on match-day! Paul himself served as a referee for many years to the Seandun Board and Bord na n-Og.
To mark Paul’s retirement, a game was played between Dublin Bus and White’s Cross, with Paul obviously in charge of the whistle. This was until ten minutes from the end when he in fact was ‘red-carded’ and a replacement referee took-over! This was done to allow him prepare himself for the post-match reception, where both White’s Cross GAA and Bus Eireann made presentations to Paul. A great crowd attended the event, including four members of the Cork Senior Football squad – Paul Kerrigan, Pierce O Neill, Michael Shields and James Masters.
As for the game itself it appeared the Dublin Bus lads were slow to acclimatise to the Cork air, as they were comprehensively beaten by White’s Cross. Indeed it was only later in the evening that many of the touring side found their true-form, but that all in the comforts of the Stirrup Bar!
White’s Cross GAA thank Bus Eireann, and in particular Martin O Flynn, for organising this unique occasion. The Club also wishes Paul a happy and prosperous retirement.