Strabane Sigersons under 10 boys wrapped up their season on Saturday past when they hosted their annual memorial tournament in honour of Gearalt Ó Dochartaigh who was the past honorary president of Strabane Sigersons.
Gerald O’Doherty passed away on 21st February 2003 and was a lifelong Gael who dedicated his time to all things Irish be it the G.A.A. or the Irish Language of which he was the driving force when it wasn’t very popular to do so.
Gerald was an Honorary President of Sigersons G.A.A. club and held a similar role with Shamrock’s Hurling club.
Gerald O’Doherty was to the fore in the work of Conradh na Gaeilge both locally and at Ulster level dating right back to the 1940’s as was his involvement with the G.A.A. on Strabane and North & West Tyrone committees.
It was the influence of Gerald and those around him that has brought the Irish language very much to the fore in Strabane. It’s thanks to the influence of people like Gerald O’Doherty who persevered and worked tirelessly to keep the language alive in Strabane and prior to his death the local Irish language school Gaelscoil Uí Dhochartaigh was named in his honour.
He has always been associated with the various G.A.A. clubs in the town and when the Sigersons club was reformed in 1986 Gerald was one of the first to come forward and lend his support and remained involved with the club up until his death in 2003. A memorial garden named in his honour is sited within the club grounds and was officially opened in 2009 as part of the G.A.A. 125 celebrations.
Over 100 boys and girls took part in the tournament which saw a total of six clubs in attendance, the two Newtownstewart teams joined Strabane and Drumquin in the shield semi-finals. In the trophy semi-finals it was Clann Na Gael paired with their neighbours Owen Roes and Castlederg take on the other Strabane team.
Newtownstewart and Strabane progressed in the shield final to put on a magnificent showpiece of football as the teams traded points throughout the keenly contested game. Congratulations to Newtownstewart who claimed the shield in the dying seconds of the game.
The trophy semi-finals saw Castlederg and Owen Roes paired together in another great game of football that saw a very good Castlederg team edge out the men from the glen by seven points to three.
Thanks to the visiting teams for making the journey, to the referees John McLaughlin, Noel McConnell, Ruairi White, Niambh Foley, Luke Coyle and Kevin Houston and to the parents for providing refreshments to make it a very enjoyable day for everyone in attendance.
Thanks also to the organiser Jason Foley for all his hard work with organising the tournament to ensure Gerald’s memory lives on.