President Michael D. Higgins has sent a letter congratulating Mullinalaghta on their unlikely victory at the weekend, defeating Dublin kingpins Kilmacud Crokes to be crowned Leinster champions and becoming the first Longford club to win the provincial crown.
Mullinalaghta is a parish of only around 400 people, with their club having 155 members. Compare this to Kilmacud's 4,800 members and you can start to get an idea about the scale of this victory.
Higgins praised the club and the community of Mullinalaghta on their achievement in winning the competition, writing that their success was many years in the making:
Dear Mr. Graham,
As president of Ireland I would like to sent my heartfelt congratulations to you and to the entire squad on St Columbus' impressive victory over Kilmacud Crokes to win the Leinster Club SFC Final yesterday.
The team's tenacity and steely performance will give great heart to communities up and down the country and encouragement that smaller clubs can compete and win at the highest levels.
As you know the victory is not the players' or yours alone, but is the fulfilled promise of many, many years of effort by parents, mentors, coaches, teachers and the broader Mullinaghta community who have together allowed these young men to achieve such success on the field of play.
President Higgins has written to Mullinalaghta GAA club, who won the Leinster SFC title. pic.twitter.com/A07MIeuNKR
— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) December 11, 2018