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Saturday 17 November 2018

Mighty Margaret

Series of awards for camogie legend

Margaret Leacy with Aogán O Fearghail in Croke Park on Friday
Margaret Leacy with Aogán O Fearghail in Croke Park on Friday
Margaret Leacy receiving her Wexford camogie volunteer of the year award from Kathleen Kehoe (Co. Secretary) and Donnacha Kerins (Co. Chairman)
Margaret Leacy with family members after receiving her award from G.A.A. President Aogán O Fearghail (centre front) in Croke Park

It certainly has been a special few weeks for Wexford camogie legend Margaret Leacy (nee O'Leary).

In the middle of last month she was honoured for her outstanding service to the sport at the annual Seana Ghael awards held in the Ferrycarrig Hotel.

Then on Monday of last week, at the I.F.A. Centre in Enniscorthy, another significant accolade came her way when she was named as the Wexford camogie volunteer of the year.

The former Buffers Alley and Wexford player, and long-time Oulart-The Ballagh stalwart, accepted that presentation from Donnacha Kerins (Co. Chairman) and Kathleen Kehoe (Co. Secretary), and it was only the start of a very special week.

Margaret and her proud family travelled to Croke Park on Friday night where she was one of twelve countywide recipients of the prestigious G.A.A. President's awards, with the event televised on TG4 over the weekend.

The cameras had been in her home last month to film some footage, and it made for interesting viewing as she shared some memories in the company of her husband, Matty, and daughters Ramona, Mary and Una.

Margaret began her career with her native Buffers Alley, adding three All-Ireland Club titles to the first she had won when assisting Eoghan Ruadh of Dublin in 1967.

She was one of the leading lights in 1968 when Wexford won the O'Duffy Cup for the first time, and again in 1969 when the crown was retained.

And six years later her defiance went a long way towards curtailing a star-studded Cork forward line as a somewhat unexpected All-Ireland title returned to Wexford.

There was no further outright success, then, until 2007 when Margaret's daughters played outstanding roles in the county's memorable success over the Leesiders, with Mary captaining the team from centre-back and Una contributing both goals.

A performer of remarkable all-round ability, Margaret was the Gaelic All Star player of the year in 1968 and was selected on the camogie team of the century in 2004.

She holds eight Gael Linn inter-provincial medals, won two Wexford Power's Sport Star of the Year awards in 1966 and 1968, and is now Chairperson and the main driving force behind the Oulart-The Ballagh club.

All of the honours of recent weeks are richly deserved, and with Margaret now part of Martin Carey's backroom team with the Wexford Seniors, here's hoping there's even more to come.

Wexford People

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