Galway’s top sporting sponsor in appeal for celebration of success

Date Published: {J}

STEPHEN GLENNON

THE biggest sponsor in Galway sport, Supermacs’ Pat McDonagh, believes sporting enthusiasts West of the Shannon should be more positive about the achievements of their county and their elite athletes.

Speaking ahead of the 47th annual Galway Sports Star Awards, an event Supermac’s also sponsors, McDonagh insists 2011 was a great year for sport in the county and, consequently, should be celebrated as such.

“Some people might say we didn’t achieve as much as we could have in 2011,” he continues, “but the minors and U-21s on the hurling side of things, and the U-21s on the football side of things, still won All-Ireland titles.

“Then, there were individual achievements in other sports, such as horse-riding and boxing. They [Award winners] got their own rewards in their respective sports while a number of others will also be honoured for their contribution on Saturday. So, I think it was a good year overall and, again, any All-Ireland you bring West is an achievement because it is hard to bring those titles across the Shannon.”

One person McDonagh is delighted to see listed among the 2011 Sports Stars is former Aston Villa and old English Division One winner, Éamon ‘Chick’ Deacy. “It was great to see Chick Deacy get the Hall of the Fame award because he is richly deserving of it. He has been one of the pioneers of Irish soccer; one of those players who went to England and did well. It is great he is being recognised for it.”

Of course, Supermac’s has become synonymous with a plethora of strands within Galway sport in recent decades. “We have been involved for 21 years with the [Galway] hurlers and we also have been involved in a lot of local club teams like Gort, Killimordaly and Ballinasloe.

“Then, I suppose, the opportunity came along to sponsor the camogie and that has been a pretty good partnership, as far as I am concerned anyway, over the last four or five years. They [senior camogie team] have been a bit unlucky.

“They have come very close to winning the [senior] All-Ireland on a couple of occasions and I think they certainly have the ability and are a team capable of winning it. With a small bit of luck and, maybe, a bit more direction, I could see them winning it in the next year or two,” says Supermac’s founder and Managing Director.

In addition to the Gaelic games sponsorship deals, Supermacs has also been strong supporters of local rugby (Connacht Schools Cup) and soccer (Galway Utd.) while the company is also an associate sponsor of the prestigious Volvo Ocean Race, which is due, again, to sail into town on its final leg this Summer.

“That, obviously, was a big event two years ago. It will be even bigger event this time around because it is the final leg of it. So, it will be a major event for Galway and if we are lucky enough to get the weather and everything goes right, it will certainly be one of the biggest events in the West of Ireland.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.