From Melbourne to Mayo

Ballyragget GAA Club will be back in the spotlight for all the right reasons this weekend as they take on Mayo’s Tooreen Hurling Club in the AIB GAA All-Ireland Intermediate Hurling Club Semi-Final.

Winning a Connacht title has been Toureen’s greatest achievement since their foundation in 1957 but their coming from the footballing stronghold of club GAA in Mayo is only part of their story.

Mayo’s footballers have had to be imaginative with training programmes for their senior players based at home and in Dublin but that is in the ha’penny place compared to the logistics faced by Toureen Captain Stephen Coyne.

Before the championship began late last year, Coyne booked an open-ended ticket from Melbourne, where he has been living these last ten years, for himself, his wife, and their new-born son JJ.

He put his career on hold, in the hope they would take him back upon his return to Australia, in order to commit himself wholly to his club’s ambitions.

He went back down under after the first part of the club’s ambition was fulfilled and now he has flown back again to see how much further they can go.

AIB has been to the fore in storytelling as part of their GAA partnership in recent years and this inspirational story of passion, sacrifice and pride of parish was too good to pass up.

In the latest video in #TheToughest seriesCoyne’s story is told below.

It’s some story, isn’t it?

AIB will be live-streaming the All-Ireland Intermediate Hurling Club Semi Final between Tooreen HC and St. Patrick’s Ballyragget at 13.30 via and AIB GAA’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

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