Brian Cody is chief guest as Ballycastle honour the team of 1980

Kilkenny hurling legend Brian Cody had a busy night at the Marine Hotel Ballycastle on Saturday where he, and his wife Elsie, were chief guests of the McQuillan’s club, who held their awards dinner for the first time in three years, following the pandemic.

Presentations were made to Players of the Year for 2021 and 2022, but the main presentation of the evening was to the 1980 team who were the first Antrim team to qualify for an All Ireland Club Hurling final, where they lost out narrowly to Castlegar of Galway at Pairc Tailltain in Navan, on Sunday 1st June.

In the semi-final they had beaten Crumlin of Dublin by 3-9 to 0-8 in Croke Park with a powerful performance. Despite this display they were rank outsiders in the Dublin media going into the final but they pushed the Galway champions all the way, trailing by just a point at half time, before losing out by three 1-11 to 1-8.

Sady there were a few ot the team unable to make it on the night. Phelim Watson sadly died last year while leading scorer on the day Paul Porky Boyle and sub on the team Brendan Bear Donnelly are now resident in the USA. Midfield stylist Terence Barton is now resident in England.

Brian Cody with his good friend Fr Raymond Fulton, who is chairman of the McQuillan’s club. The two first met at St Kieran’s College in Kilkenny where Fr Raymond was in the seminary studying for the priesthood and Brian was starting what was to become one of the greatest hurling careers in history, among his achievements, captaining the St Kieran’s side to Hogan Cup glory in 1971. Overall he collected 11 All Irelands, 18 Leinster Championships, 10 National Leagues, 7 Walsh Cups and 1 Oireachtas which makes a staggering 47 trophies
Ballycastle Division 3 Camogs, who won the Junior Development League & Championship in 2022, are seen here with Geust of Honour Brian Cody at the club’s awards night in the Marine Hotel
Guest of honour Brian Cody presents a Joe McDonagh Cultural award to the club’s Cultural Officer Patricia McAuley at the Ballycastle McQuillan’s awards dinner in the Marine Hotel.
The McQuillan’s club committee with guest of honour Brian Cody
All Stars. Brian Cody with McQuillan’s legend Paul McKillen
Brian with Club president Robbie Elliott, who played for a Rest of Ireland team (a forerunner to the All Stars) in Croke Park back in 1954, is still in fine form in his 92nd year.
Club legend John Sparrow Harkin has a warm welcome for Brian
Barry Kelly and Ciara McKendry make presentations to Brian and Elsie Cody in appreciation of them travelling up from Kilkenny to the be chief guests at the McQuillan’s GAC dinner dance in the Marine Hotel. Elsie was a noted camogie player who won three All Ireland medals with Wexford
Barry Kelly presents a cheque for £500 to John McIlwaine of the Saffron Gael. Many thanks to the McQuillan’s club for their contined support.

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