A familiar face will be missing when Tyrone bid to retain the Anglo Celt trophy in Clones tomorrow week.
For the county’s affable liaison officer Jim Curran will be thousands of miles away in Brisbane for the wedding of his son, Paul.
GAA has always been his first love but he’s a true sportsman in every sense of the word.
He has already been to three World Cups and he’s now eyeing up a visit to Wimbledon and maybe a Grand Prix.
“I can only recollect missing one Ulster final in all my time with Tyrone.
“It’s one of those days when family comes first and I’m sure there will be lots of other days with Tyrone.
“I would anticipate a very tough and demanding Ulster final for Monaghan are an improving and would appear to be the form side so far.
“They certainly looked the part both against Armagh and Fermanagh.
“Nothing less than Tyrone’s very best will do. I know we beat them three years ago in the final, but that counts for nothing now.
“People talk about All Irelands but right now our whole focus is on retaining our Ulster title. It’s a wee while now since we managed to retain the Anglo Celt so that’s a huge motivation for us.”
For the best part of two decades Curran, an Ardboe man to the backbone, has been rarely far away from Mickey Harte’s side on big match day.
It’s an association that began as far back as 1994 when Harte was minor manager.
There was little hint then of the three All Ireland titles that would make their way to the county.
“I was new on the county board at the time and I was appointed as the liaison officer.
“The success began in 1998 with an All Ireland minor title and thankfully we haven’t looked back since then.”
Curran couldn’t speak highly enough of Harte’s massive contribution over the best part of two decades.
“He’s the maestro in my book,” said a smiling Curran.
“He knows the game inside out and his reading of the game is unsurpassed.
“It’s only when he’s not there anymore that his contribution to football in this county will be fully appreciated.”
Curran’s first priority on arriving in Brisbane will be to make arrangements to see live coverage of Tyrone’s bid to retain their Anglo Celt trophy.
Monaghan will certainly be a tough proposition but Curran can see nothing but a Tyrone victory.