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'Running out at Croke Park was unbelievable. I'll never forget it'

 

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Sporting hero: Antrim camogie icon Jane Adams

Sporting hero: Antrim camogie icon Jane Adams

Sporting hero: Antrim camogie icon Jane Adams

Steven Beacom: Who is your sporting hero?

Sports Minister: It is Jane Adams, who I would have played with in camogie. She started out with me at St Malachy's camogie club and then moved to Rossa and became a camogie icon with Antrim, and all All-Star. She is somebody I still admire to this day.

SB: How much did you enjoy playing camogie?

SM: I played for the St Malachy's camogie team and represented the county and then I played at Croke Park. We were the most successful primary school. We won the Championship seven years in a row. It was a long time ago. Unfortunately the club is no longer there with players going to other clubs, but the memories are still fresh.

SB: What is your favourite sporting memory?

SM: It was unbelievable playing at Croke Park. I'll never forget it. I would have been in primary school. Even getting the train down with team-mates I remember. That's the power of sport. When I was Mayor of Belfast I had a reunion of the old camogie team and everybody came back, including our coaches. We made a presentation to them and it was like we had never left each other.

SB: Which football team do you support?

SM: None. I don't have a favourite team. I prefer to watch countries play in World Cups or European Championships. I used to like Man United years ago and I went to see them with my local camogie team. I met the players like (Peter) Schmeichel, who would have played at the time.

SB: What sporting event would you like to see?

SM: As many as I can. I want to go and see sports I don't usually see so I'd like to go and see rugby and football. I've met the Ireland women's hockey team and they are brilliant. I'd love to go and see hockey and golf as well. I'm open to seeing all sports. I've met the Paralympians and I'd also like to see some Paralympic sport.

Belfast Telegraph