Down chairman Seamus Walsh last night hailed the GAA community in the county and the Tullylish club in particular for the “tremendous support and sympathy” they have shown to the Harte and McAreavey families which culminated in their participation in yesterday’s funeral service.
Walsh also paid a special tribute to Tullylish for the way they had rallied round their captain John McAreavey, husband of the late Michaela, saying: “Outside of a family funeral of our own this was the toughest day of grieving that many of us had endured.
“I know what it was like for the rest of us, but I can’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like for the Harte and McAreavey families.” Only a matter of a few short months ago 26-year-old John took delivery of the Down Intermediate football championship trophy as skipper of the side — one of the proudest days in his sporting life.
“The club have been superb,” said Walsh. “Chairman John McDermott, who performed a reading at the service, gave a great lead which others followed and their wholehearted support for John has been absolutely wonderful.”
And he has called on Down players, officials and supporters to continue to stand by the two families.
“I thought it was so typical of both families that they should have agreed that any donations made in lieu of flowers should go to the Cormac Trust or to the Spirit of Paul McGirr Fund,” said Walsh.
Meanwhile, the GAA has begun the process of cutting the cost of attending games with a 13.3% drop in the admission prices.
From February the cost of attending a league hurling or football game in the first and second divisions of the NFL and the first division of the NHL will drop from €15 to €13.
Further falls in lower divisions have also been flagged with €10 now gaining entry to Division Three and Division Four NFL games and just €5 admission to lower level hurling games.