Val Murphy and Charlie Daly

Val Murphy and Charlie Daly share their lifetimes’ experiences of a richly rewarding relationship with the GAA. Both played for the Rostrevor club when they were growing up and went on to attend the renowned St Colman’s College when they were teenagers. They recall the GAA ethos at the school and reflect on the groundbreaking methods of well-known GAA coach Fr Traynor. Economic hardship was the norm in the 1950s and many people were forced to emigrate. Val and Charlie both left for England and they offer insight into the emigrant’s life in England - an existence which, although intrinsically social for most, can also be incredibly lonely. They remember fondly the Down footballers of the 1960s and the joy that they brought to the people of the county. In time they returned to Rostrevor, working as teachers and immersing themselves in GAA activities. Structures were put in place, land was bought and developed, and the club did its utmost to reach out to all sectors of the locality. From the 1970s onwards they had to contend with the Troubles and all the misery that that brought. There was little to be grateful for during that period, although the GAA acted as a beacon throughout, providing people with a sense of cultural identity that they cherished dearly. For Val and Charlie the Association has been an ever-present force for good, binding the entire community together and enhancing the lives of individuals as it does so.

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