Armagh legend O’Neill one of the first to receive new vaccine

ULSTER’S oldest winning Anglo Celt Cup captain has become one of the first in the North to receive the new Covid-19 vaccine which is being rolled out this week.

In 1950, retired GP Dr Pat O’Neill led Armagh to their first Anglo Celt Cup success for 47 years. Now aged 91, he received the jab at his local surgery in Omagh yesterday (Wednesday).

Dr O’Neill, who still follows the fortunes of his native Armagh and adopted Tyrone closely, said he was “delighted and relieved” to have received the vaccination and is now looking forward to getting the second dose in just under a month.

“There was no problem with getting the jab at all and I didn’t even know I was being jagged,” he told Gaelic Life.

“It’s something that I was very much looking forward to because without this vaccination we are more or less confined to the use and unable to go anywhere, although this doesn’t give us leeway at the moment.

“Our hope is get full immunity soon. There is a certain amount of protection even in the first jab, but it’s not to be recommended to go out and party.

“I’m a retired GP and there’s nobody living at the moment who has ever witnessed anything like this pandemic before. Nothing even comes close to comparing with it during my career in the medical profession.

“It has been interesting reading about the vaccine, and you really can’t miss being informed because there is so much coverage on the news. There are a lot of views on it, and some nonsense talked.”

During an illustrious career, Pat played for Armagh when they defeated Cavan in that provincial decider 71 years ago. He was also on the team which reached the All-Ireland final in 1953 and continues to take a keen interest in Gaelic games.

“I’m still very keen about the football and I’m very keen about the game and complaining about it,” he added.
“Hopefully, come the summer, we’ll be able to see supporters again following Tyrone, Armagh and the rest of the counties.”

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