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Stormont salutes GAA visionary Daly

By John Campbell

It is perhaps a true measure of the esteem in which Ulster Council chairman Tom Daly is held that today a cross-party group of MLAs attended a special reception at Stormont in his honour to mark the end of his three-year term in the top office.

Daly, who has just returned from a trip to the United States along with secretary Danny Murphy, is regarded as one of the most visionary chairmen to have served the Association in the province and has overseen major initiatives which have not only helped to cement its structures but which have enhanced its image particularly in the eyes of the unionist community.

Among those attending today’s event were MLAs P J Bradley, Kieran McCarthy, Basil McCrea and Barry McElduff.

Daly has played a major role in helping to propogate the GAA throughout the province and will exit his post having left a major imprint on the Association.

“Tom has not spared himself in working on behalf of every aspect of the Association here and it is an indication of the regard in which he is held that he is being feted in Stormont,” explains Danny Murphy. “This will be the second visit by Ulster Council officers to Stormont within a relatively short period as we were there last November to take part in a tree-planting ceremony in conjunction with our 125th anniversary celebrations.”

Only last month officers of Club Tyrone visited Stormont to press their case for funding for the county’s new GAA Centre at Garvaghey and were delighted with what chairman Hugh McAleer later described as “the very cordial reception” they received.

Indeed, the visit by the Club Tyrone delegation to Stormont triggered even more interest in their funding drive and it has just been confirmed that the Dregish club, the smallest club in the county, has now become the 100th Patron of the Garvaghey scheme.

Meanwhile, Centra look set to fill the void left by RTE Sport as partnership sponsors of the All-Ireland hurling championships.

The store chain, whose sister company SuperValu were announced last week as one of the three football championship sponsors, are expected to be unveiled as new sponsors on Friday.

Belfast Telegraph

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