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Civic Reception For Passage Ladies Soccer Squad

Writes Leo McMahon

A civic reception was held in County Hall recently by the Carrigaline-Ballincollig Municipal District (MD) to honour the Passage West Ladies U18 Soccer squad on reaching the National Cup Final in Dublin in February.

Although they saw defeat in the decider, 0-5 to Greencastle from Co. Donegal, the Passage ladies blazed a trail along the way, beating Douglas Hall 4-0 and Co Limerick sides Annacotty and Askeaton 4-0 and 4-1 respectively.

The squad, most of whom attended the reception, comprised Rachel Sheehan and Emma Byrne, joint captains; Faye Ahern, Nicole Moriarty, Louise Burke, Olivia Gibson, Winnie Parata, Sinead O’Flynn, Katie Irwin, Rachel Irwin, Alex Glavin, Aisling Corkery, Chloe McCarthy, Hollie Tett, Aoife Allen, Laura Finlay, Aine Higgins, Eimear Murphy, Niamh Lester and Marina Neria.

The coaches were Tara Murphy, Tina Murphy, Alan Finlay and Paul Lordan. Among proud grand-parents and parents at the reception were Geraldine McCarthy, Noreen Corkery, Deirdre O’Herlihy, Maree Murphy, Susan O’Flynn, Pam Irwin and Orla Sheehan. Squad sponsors were SE Systems and Michael O’Connell.

Officers of the ladies soccer section are John Quinn, chairperson; Maree Murphy, secretary and Antoinette Devine, treasurer. There are teams from under 11 to senior and new members are welcome.

On behalf of the club, the joint captains were presented with framed certificates in Irish and English. A welcome was extended by MD officer Kevin O’Regan who said the reception was proposed by Cllr Michael Frick Murphy (SF).

Cathaoirleach Joe Harris (SD) said the civic reception was the highest honour the council could bestow and the last soccer club to receive it was Cork City FC after winning the double in 2017.

He congratulated the players, coaches (including John ‘Bird’ Murphy) and committee for giving the club and town of Passage West a huge lift by qualifying for a national final for the first time in the club’s 47-year history and also acknowledged the support of the families.

Cllr Harris, who is a coach to Passage men’s junior team, a former player with Douglas Hall and former referee, said ladies soccer was going from strength to strength in Passage West. He stressed the importance of women playing sport, not only for their physical fitness, but also their mental health which involved coping with defeat as well as delight in victory and welcomed the fact the club valued all its members and made them feel part of it.

The chairperson urged the under 18s to stay with it and praised the club for its ambitious plans for a more user-friendly clubhouse, its strict rules on child protection, good discipline and for encouraging players to pursue FAI coaching.

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