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31st Mar 2024

Jarlath Burns raises the Croke Park roof with brilliant Croke Park speech

Niall McIntyre

Derry 3-18 Dublin 2-21 (Derry win 3-1 after penalty shoot-out)

Jarlath Burns gave a rip-roaring speech befitting of an incredible Allianz National League Division One Football final.

Derry are Division One National Football League champions after an incredible game of Gaelic football.

In the end, three successful penalties were enough to win it for the Oak Leaf County, from Shane McGuigan, Conor Glass and Ethan Doherty, after Tom Lahiff, Lorcan O’Dell and Con O’Callaghan had all missed for Dublin.

Derry could and probably should have won the game in normal time, but had to go to distance after spurning a number of goal chances.

A controversial last-minute free awarded to Dublin by referee Conor Lane also played its part.

Niall Toner made a huge difference for Derry in extra-time, and they looked like winners when leading by three points with time just up.

But then an emphatic late goal from sub Greg McEnaney sent the game to a shoot-out moments after Brian Fenton had been sent off for an off-the-ball incident with Eunan Mulholland.

A row broke out between the two teams straight after the goal, with Paddy Small sent off for an incident with Ciaran McFaul and Conor Glass.

And then Derry won the day on the shoot-out.

Then it was left to the Hogan Stand speech, with Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Jarlath Burns capturing the moment perfectly with a powerful speech, before handing the cup to the man-of-the-moment, Conor Glass.

“Ladies and gentleman, we have just witnessed some incredible athletes make an exhibition of our game over an hour and thirty minutes. And we should be proud of every one of them,” said Burns.

“Our players are amateur by culture, but professional by nature, and they showed every skill that we love about Gaelic football today.

“But Derry,” said Burns, only for his speech to be interrupted by chants of Derry, Derry, Derry.

“Five years ago,” he continued, “you played here in a Division Four final. Today you stand here on these steps as Division One Allianz League champions. What an example that is to every team in Ireland.

“And your captain, Ulster champion, All-Ireland club champion, club player of the year, it’s now an incredible honour for me to present the Allianz League Division One trophy to your proud captain, and a proud member of the Glen All-Ireland winning club team, Conor Glass.”

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