‘Special group’ honoured with civic reception


The Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councillor Paul Taylor hosted a Civic Reception in County Hall for the Sligo U20 County Football Team to honour their recent success on winning their first Connacht Title. In addition to the Cathaoirleach, the audience was addressed by Manager Dessie Sloyan and Chair of the County Board Sean Carroll.

he Cathaoirleach said: “This is the first civic reception hosted by the Council since pre-covid times, and I can think of no more fitting occasion to celebrate our return to normality than to welcome the heroes of Sligo U20 team to County Hall this evening.

“A Civic reception provides an opportunity for myself as Cathaoirleach, the Councillors and Executive, to publicly convey our admiration and gratitude to this special group.

“This was an historic achievement, earned in the most dramatic fashion and generating memories that will last a lifetime. Your progress was followed with great interest by the whole Sligo community, not just those with an interest in gaelic football.

“I have the privilege of knowing the manager, his players and his support team-Knowing what they are made of, and what they are capable of, their success came as no surprise. You have lifted the spirit of a county and instilled a desire and ambition in countless young players who aspire to follow in your footsteps.

“Dessie will be the first to confirm this is not the end of a journey, but the beginning. A team of this ability and character will have more epic encounters, more glory days to celebrate. It is a journey we will all watch with interest and pride.”

Team Manager Dessie Sloyan commended his players for their commitment and dedication, with some of the players involved with the panel for three years.

“From the first training session in October 2021, to the first game on 6th January 2022, there was something special about this group. They have lost only three of the sixteen games they played, which speaks volumes for their ability and character.”

Dessie also commended the players for their involvement in local causes, including the ‘White Ribbon’ initiative and the annual ‘Darkness into Light’ walk for Pieta House.

Chair of the County Board Sean Carroll said that winning the Connacht title was an historic achievement. He acknowledged the valuable role played by coaches, teachers through every phase of the players’ progression, from schools to development squads and minor squads.

Sean highlighted the many qualities Dessie brought to his role, saying he can take great pride in what he had achieved. He also paid tribute to the parents for their commitment shown over many years.

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