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Brennan: Tyrone can stay at the top

Celebrations and jubilations were the order of the day when Tyrone threw the party to end all parties at the weekend.

It was at the Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan that the O'Neill County brought the curtain down on the most memorable year in its GAA history when the All Ireland Senior and Minor title triumphs were marked in spectacular style.

GAA president Nickey Brennan was the VIP guest and presented All Ireland medals to members of both winning squads to the delight of the 800-plus guests at what proved to be a landmark occasion.

And Brennan certainly brought an extra dimension to the proceedings when he proclaimed that Tyrone had the capacity to remain at the top.

This theme was enthusiastically endorsed by Tyrone chairman Pat Darcy.

"We certainly would like to see the Sam Maguire Cup remain with us next year which would mean back-to-back triumphs - that's our goal. The future looks very exciting for Tyrone and I would venture to suggest that we could remain a footballing force for perhaps the next five years," said the Red Hand supremo

Footballer of the Year Sean Cavanagh was accorded an extra-special welcome when he paraded the Cormac McAnallen Trophy, Ireland's prize for winning the International Rules series in Australia under the Moy clubman's inspirational captaincy.

And a vision of the future was offered with a 3-D fly-through, embracing the ambitious plans for the proposed Centre of Excellence at Garvaghy, near Ballygawley, which is set to become the nerve centre of the GAA in the county.

The project will incorporate six pitches, an astro-turf arena, floodlights, an indoor gymnasium, extensive male and female changing accommodation, a Hurling 'wall' and administrative offices for the County Board.

Tyrone PRO Damian Harvey said: "We would not expect the work on this overall scheme to be completed for about five years but it is certainly an exciting initiative. This will cement the future of the GAA in our county and, I must say, we are delighted withwhat the planners have come up with."

The double achievement of St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon in winning the MacRory and Hogan Cups, under the baton of Tyrone senior All Ireland winner Ciaran Gourley, was also marked at the banquet.

Club Tyrone hosted the banquet which bore testament to the vital work that this body does on an ongoing basis to ensure the contining GAA progress within the county.

"The fact that we have landed a double All Ireland success this year not only makes all the efforts on the part of everyone worthwhile but provides us with considerable momentum for the future," said a Club Tyrone spokesman.

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