Chrissy McKaigue is busy man. He is now a multiple provincial winner at club level, in both football and hurling, and is preparing to face Nemo Rangers in the All-Ireland football semi-final this weekend. However, this morning the tweeted a letter he received which has made him step back and consider how special the GAA community he is part of really is.
Pat Shovelin was a coach with the Donegal football team but sadly passed away from liver cancer in October last year. Before he died, Pat and his friends came up with the idea of charity match, involving the Donegal 2012 All-Ireland winning team against a team of players from outside Donegal.
This is where Chrissy comes in. Charles McManus, a friend of Pat's, has written to McKaigue to inform him that he has been picked to play on the opposing team. The letter is a deeply moving one, that hit McKaigue with 'a sense of perspective.' It reads:
I write to inform you, that you made the team.
I know it's not a county final medal, a provincial medal or a Celtic cross. I know it's not an All Star or a team of the century award.
However, I can assure you that such was the esteem, respect and absolute love the people of Donegal had for Pat Shovelin, that your place on the team, for me and many more, is amongst the highest of accolades.
Perhaps, at some time of your life, on or off the field, when things are not going to plan and you need a pick up, that you can draw inspiration and confidence from his letter and realise that a great man, a man you never met, thought you were the best in your position to face his beloved Donegal.
— Chrissy McKaigue (@CKaigue) February 21, 2018
It's safe to say we speak for everyone, in saying we very much look forward to this game.