Donegal have received a timely fillip in advance of Sunday’s All-Ireland football semi-final against Dublin now that Brian McEniff, the man who guided the county to their only All-Ireland title success to date in 1992, has been inducted into the prestigious MBNA Hall of Fame.
McEniff, who won Ulster championship honours as a player with Donegal in the early 70s and who managed Ulster for 23 years up until he was succeeded by Joe Kernan three years ago, has made a massive contribution to the GAA as a player, manager and official.
He has served as Donegal’s Central Council delegate and has sat on high-powered Croke Park committees as well as having been fully immersed in administrative affairs within his own county.
And he is hoping that his Hall of Fame honour will prove a good omen for Donegal when they confront the Dubs in Croke Park.
“I see the honour as something for the county more than for myself,” insists McEniff.
“I have regarded it as a privilege to have been involved in Donegal GAA for so long and obviously Sunday’s game represents a wonderful opportunity for us to stake our claim for a place in the All-Ireland final.”
In the 1992 final, Martin McHugh proved inspirational when Donegal overcame Dublin in a memorable decider, and now it is the turn of his son Mark to try and follow in his footsteps on Sunday when he plays in the Donegal half-forward line.
“Obviously Donegal have been in the shadows since 1992 but this present side has certainly shown that they have the skill and the resolve to go all the way.
“Dublin will be very difficult to beat, however, and they will have a great hunger to get their hands on the Sam Maguire Cup again,” says McEniff.
In entering the Hall of Fame he joins such legendary GAA figures as Mick O’Dwyer (Kerry), Jimmy Keaveney (Dublin), Donie O’Sullivan (Kerry), Billy Morgan (Cork), Peter Nolan (Offaly) and the late Dermot Earley (Roscommon).
“It is indeed an honour for me to be bracketed along with such iconic figures,” adds McEniff. “Their deeds and achievements are part of GAA folklore.”