PLAYING THEIR PART Westport GAA were delighted to make a donation to Charlestown GAA towards the development of their new pitch in the memory of the late Colm Horkan after last Saturday’s Mayo SFC match. Pictured left to right was: Chris McGowan (Westport GAA Secretary), Liam Breheny (Charlestown GAA Chairman), Charlie Lambert (Westport GAA Chairman) and Brendan Horkan (brother of the late Colm Horkan).
THE tragic death of Detective Garda Colm Horkan has served as ‘added motivation’ for the Charlestown Sarsfields footballers to ‘leave absolutely everything on the pitch’, according to the team’s talismanic midfielder Tom Parsons.
The East Mayo side upset the odds last Saturday evening by sharing the spoils against Westport in the Mayo SFC’s infamous ‘Group of Death’, leaving them still in a position to qualify for the quarter-finals heading into their third round game against Breaffy the weekend after next.
“The whole community was rocked to the core for a number of weeks, and we still are,” he told Mayo GAA TV after last Saturday’s game in Westport. “It’s not something that will disappear, it will remain.
“It has been an added motivation for some guys to leave absolutely everything on the pitch, and that’s how Colm Horkan played, coached, mentored, everything about him was about giving 100 percent. “I’d be proud of the lads doing that [today], doing that last weekend, leaving every ounce of energy. And if the result doesn’t go your way, at the end of the game you have 15 guys who put in absolutely everything.
“From a personal perspective, [I’m] hugely proud of the community and of the wider GAA community who came and rallied and expressed their sympathies, their respects and condolences to the family and our GAA family in Charlestown Sarsfields.
“I just want to take a minute to thank everyone across Mayo and Ireland for doing that. It has been something special to see the response for the community as a whole.”
The Mayo star added that he was ‘hugely disappointed’ not to have come away from their ‘cracking game’ in Westport with a victory last Saturday after a late point from Colm Moran earned the home side a draw.
“In two weeks we’re against another monster in Breaffy, in a neutral venue, and the lads will be looking forward to it,” he said. “We don’t know how this group will turn out yet, there may be an opportunity that we could still go through.
“When you lose a game, not everything is wrong. Not everything was wrong from our game last weekend [when they lost to Castlebar Mitchels] and when you win or get a performance, or a draw like that, not everything is right. So the lads [management] will keep the guys grounded.
“It’s great to go into the last game with something to play for,” he added. “There’s nothing worse than going into the last group game and it’s a dead rubber.
“So I’m hoping – I don’t know how the fixtures have to go which gives us a chance in the last game – but we’re looking forward to it.
“I’m absolutely delighted to be playing football. It’s great to be playing football on a cracking day today – 21 degrees – great game of football, and I hope we get another day like this in two weeks time.”