By Michael McMullan
GAA President elect Jarlath Burns was a special guest in St Brigid’s Primary School Tirkane/Bunscoil Naomh Bríd Tír Chiana on Wednesday afternoon.
A long-term friend and college colleague at St Mary’s University College in Belfast of acting principal Ursula O’Hanlon, Burns was given a guard of honour with pupils all dressed in their club colours and singing Amhran Na Bhfiann.
The staff, also dressed in club colours, were joined by representatives of the feeder clubs – Sleacht Néill, Glen, Glenullin, Swatragh, Ballerin and Lavey.
“When he heard that I was coming to St Brigid’s Tirkane/Bunscoil Naomh Bríd he said he would love to come and visit such is the high esteem in which he holds this strong and vibrant community,” Mrs O’Hanlon commented.
“He has always admired their achievements in building a hub of culture and heritage the likes of which Ireland can be very proud. He is interested in the workings of St Brigid’s Tirkane/Bunscoil Naomh Bríd and how the two schools come together as one.”
Inside, the pupils sang a specially commissioned song – to the tune of the Boys of the County Armagh – to wish Jarlath every success in his three-year term that commences at the next GAA Congress in February.
Watch: A St Brigid’s Primary School Tirkane/ Bunscoil Naomh Bríd Tír Chiana, welcome for GAA President Elect Jarlath Burns pic.twitter.com/zK4yvE3myZ
— Gaelic Life (@Gaelic_Life) October 11, 2023
Burns fielded a range of questions from the children on a range of topics from fly goalkeepers, the promotion of hurling in Ulster, the amateur ethos, his hobbies and whether he’d be following in Peter Quinn’s footsteps of presenting Sam Maguire to three Ulster captains in his time in office.
Before leaving to attend a club engagement in Dublin, Burns was presented – by the oldest and youngest pupils in the school – with a St Brigid’s cross and a framed copy of the specially worded song.
“We are grateful that he has taken time out of his busy schedule to visit us here in St Brigid’s/Bunscoil Naomh Bríd and wish him all the very best for his Presidency,” Mrs O’Hanlon concluded.