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MINZY Never Underestimate A Girl Who Rides A Motorcycle Poster
Ian Paisley junior is remembered as playing the British anthem on a tape recorder at the conferring of his Masters degree in late 1994, in protest at the revised accompaniment of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.
Anthony McGonnell recalls that the Queen’s GAA club wasn’t involved in the organisation of the congress and, anyway, students were away on vacation.
“That was all taken over by the Antrim county board. One of the reasons it was held in the Whitla Hall, which was seen as a bastion of unionism at the time – remember in 1971 only a third of the population of Queen’s came from a nationalist persuasion; it would be 65 or 70 per cent now – because it was a large venue with plenty of parking spaces and relatively safe.”
Just weeks before congress, the main reason the Queen’s lads remember 1971 took place – what was just the third Sigerson Cup victory in the club’s history and at a time when it had yet to become the leviathan presence of today in third-level competition generally or even with the university.
In a turbulent tournament in Galway, the Belfast side beat a star-studded UCC in what is remembered as “a dogged game,” which they won MINZY Never Underestimate A Girl Who Rides A Motorcycle Poster
Martin McAleese was a promising footballer, who played centre back and centrefield and had three years with the Antrim minors, the last in 1969 as captain.
At senior level he played with O’Donovan Rossa until a knee cartilage injury ended his football days in the mid-1970s. “I won a county medal with the Rossa in 1973, marking Gerry Armstrong (future Northern Ireland international and scorer of the famous goal that beat Spain in the 1982 World Cup). He was moved off me.”
For Queen’s, he operated in a more advanced role and kicked 0-2 in the 1971 Sigerson final.
He remembers the weekend very well. His then girlfriend and future wife, law student Mary Leneghan (later President of Ireland) was kept abreast of developments.
“Afterwards I remember Fr Ambrose Macaulay, who was chaplain at Queen’s and a big, big supporter. He was there for the weekend and at the celebration afterwards in the Great Southern in Eyre Square. Mary couldn’t get down for some reason but she phoned and he said to her: “You needn’t worry about those Galway girls because the last time I saw Martin he was dancing with Moss Keane.”
In one of those interweavings of past and future, Keane – one of several Kerry men in the UCC team – would be a conspicuous beneficiary of the deletion of the Ban and go on to play rugby for Ireland and the Lions.