By Katrina Brennan
ALL Ireland titles don’t come around too often for Fermanagh in any code. When the county’s senior men won the All Ireland Junior title in 1959, Molly McGloin’s grandfather, the late Joe Pat Prunty, was playing full back against Kerry that day, in New Eltham Stadium in London.
Joe Pat won four senior championships with Roslea in the 50s and is best known in GAA circles as the founder of Prunty Pitches which can be found dotted all over Ireland.
63 years after Joe Pat’s success with Fermanagh and the Erne joint captain, Molly, is hoping to secure her second All Ireland medal, having been part of the 2020 team that won the title. McGloin like her grandfather also plays full back and is the only other member of the family besides him to have won a coveted All Ireland;
“Big shoes to fill, definitely” said McGloin. “He would’ve been so proud, he would’ve been following every bit of it. He was such a big supporter of the football, the Fermanagh men, he would have followed it all.
“He didn’t get to see the match in 2020,” recalls the 22 year-old, “he wasn’t well, so he never got to see that and then he passed away in 2021.
“Granda is a massive role model for me. I’ve always looked up to him, he was always a big part of the GAA for me, getting into it. Especially him making the pitches, sure even now, so many pitches I’ve played on, I can say that granda made it- it’s very special definitely.”
When McGloin leads the team out on Saturday afternoon in the Athletic Grounds, she will represent her club, Newtownbutler First Fermanagh’s, her county and her family. It is another big moment in her relatively young career;
“It is a privilege to lead the team out along with Annie [Andrea Gordon] on Sunday.
“It is every footballer’s dream to win an All-Ireland. That is why you train so hard. That is why you go out to training on those winter nights, drive all those hours because you want to win.”
The recently qualified primary school teacher knows that if they are to deliver the ‘dream’ they will need consistency over the hour;
“Sometimes we are a bit slow to start but we started off well in the first five, 10 minutes (against Antrim), but we then eased off a bit.
“I think that is when Antrim got their purple patch and they got a good few scores on the board.
“That left us going in at half time three points down. We knew that it wasn’t over, and even looking back at the Limerick game in the semi-final, we were six points down at one stage, and we pulled it back and won well in the end.
“We know that we have good character in our team and we knew that we could pull through.
“The next day, if we start the way we did on in the drawn match and keep it up, there is no slacking off. We have to bring that intensity and hunger that we did bring in the second half.”
McGloin, who postponed her holiday to be there on Saturday is quietly confident but knows Antrim will once again pose a massive challenge;
“They are a very strong outfit. Every time that we play them, you learn something new about them.We know them inside out now.
“That game sort of reflected what it has been like playing them this whole year and down the years too. It is always a tight battle between us and Antrim and I would say that the next day out will be nothing different but hopefully we will get over the line.”
Asked if she’s confident she can add another medal to the family collection, she said;
“By looking at the match, you can reflect on our mistakes and work on them. Hopefully if we correct those errors, there is no doubt that we will get over the line but we need to bring the workrate, the intensity and the belief is the massive thing.”