Focail as an Clann Mhic an Ailín
Below is the content of the Founding Address from Cormac McAnallen’s family, written at the club’s inception back in 2005.
“A Chairde Gaeil,
Dia daoibh. Tá súil againn go mbeidh oíche mhór agaibh anocht agus go mbainfidh sibh uilig sult asti. Tugaimid ár gcomhghairdeas daoibh as an ócáid seo a bhaint amach agus táimid dóchasach nach í seo an uair dheireanach go mbeidh cúis céiliúrtha agaibh.
We are sorry that we cannot be with you tonight, and our satellite is broken so we cannot join you by that either!
This is an event we could never have imagined happening two years ago, and indeed it takes quite a while to get used to something at the other end of the world being named after a family member.
We are very honoured that this club has chosen Cormac’s name, and we know that he would be very flattered that a club anywhere would be named after him. That it would be done as far away as Australia is an even greater tribute.
Of course, Cormac visited Australia twice as a member of the Irish International Rules squad, playing in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Alas he never got the chance to play in Sydney, but you are doing that for him. No matter how many years pass we will never picture Cormac any older than 24 years of age. It is quite fitting therefore that your club will cater to a large extent for young Irish people in and around that age who are on a year’s sojourn to Australia.
We commend your work in promoting Gaelic games in Sydney and Australia, which is a huge task, but from what we hear, you seem to have achieved great things already. It is due to the dedication of clubs such as your own that the international development of Gaelic games is one of the biggest success stories of Cumann Lúthchleas Gael today.
This last twenty months have obviously been a difficult time for us, sometimes in ways that one could never realise unless in our position. Nomenclature, or the naming of memorials, is very often a sensitive matter, particularly when the subject is not long deceased. At times something can be done with the best intentions but not everyone may perceive it that way. Reaction to the International Rules series in the last fortnight has re-emphasised the fact that the naming of something can turn into a political football in itself. It is our intention to avoid any possible contention.
It is very touching to know that Cormac’s name will not be forgotten. Having said that, anything that is done in his memory, we believe strongly should be done appropriately and in keeping with his character. Cormac would not have lent his name to something casually. Hence we as a family are keen that a club using his name should try to reflect his outlook. Through the Cormac Trust charity we are now heavily involved in pressing for better healthcare for young people and we do not want to compromise our mission in any way.
Equally, we trust that the club in all its activities will strive to be the best in Australia, not only in terms of its on-field success, but also in its conduct and in its range of Gaelic activities. We are confident in your aspiration to be model members of the association in all of its dimensions, so hopefully in due course the club may field hurling and camogie teams, or promote other aspects of Gaelic culture.
We hope to keep in regular contact with the club, and to join up with you in person at some stage in future.
Go n-éirí an bothar libh agus go mbeirimd beo ag an am seo arís.
Clann Mhic an Ailín
5 Samhain 2005”