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Clare Island hosts match for Morgan


MIGHTY MEN The Mayo and Tyrone Masters teams pose for a photo together on Clare Island last Saturday.

Michael Gallagher

A UNIQUE celebration of life took place on Clare Island last Saturday when Masters Gaelic footballers from Mayo, Tyrone and overseas gathered to remember Morgan Pinder, a 13-year-old boy who died on the island in 2018.
The local football pitch was awash with colour as a Mayo selection took on their Tyrone counterparts and the fare on view was enjoyed by all who came to remember the life of the teenager, described by many as ‘a boy with a big presence and an even bigger smile’.
The memorial match was the brainchild of London-based John Reddington, and the Bohola native proudly captained the Mayo team for Saturday’s joust with the Ulster men.
Reddington, who looks set to ride his own horse, Jack Hyde, in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham on March 15, had a busy morning and flew to the island in time for the big game in his own helicopter.
Pat Clarke of the Mayo Masters is a life-long friend of Reddington and accompanied the sporting businessman on his flight from Bohola to Clare Island.
“The rest of the team travelled by coach to the pier in Roonagh and then made the crossing to the island by ferry,” Pat told The Mayo News. “But there was Mass in Bohola for a good friend of ours, the late Tommy Byrne.
“We attended Mass and then John brought his father Paddy, Paul Byrne, Thomas Lavin and myself to Clare Island in the helicopter. It took us about 12 minutes to travel from Bohola to the pitch so we were in good time for throw-in,” the well-known Moy Davitts clubman explained before explaining how the unique event came about.
“We wanted to remember Morgan and celebrate his life, and John came up with the idea of putting a Masters selection together. We had lads from around Swinford, Bohola, Kiltimagh and a few Mayo exiles lining out and we had a really enjoyable game.
“The Tyrone lads are great craic - off the pitch - and we had a nice presentation and some refreshments afterwards. We’re going to make it an annual thing and we’re already looking forward to next year’s match,” Pat added.
A large crowd turned out for the day’s events and the Morgan Pinder Memorial Cup was presented to Tyrone captain, Paddy Donaghy, by Morgan’s mother, Maureen, later that evening.

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