Saturday was a special day for everybody involved with St Michael’s and not least school Principal Mark Henry and Pat Blake of Pat Blake Group, the main sponsor of Gaelic Games at the school.

Mark felt that victory is testament to the effort put in with all extra-curricular activities that take place at the school.

“We invest a lot in extra-curricular activities, not just Gaelic football but a range of sporting activities as well as music and drama and we do that because we feel it is of great value in developing skills and developing the whole pupil. We are a rural school from Fermanagh, we are not one of the huge schools in Ulster so for us to have achieved the pinnacle in Gaelic Games in schools football is brilliant for the school and it is recognition for everyone who is involved in extra-curricular activities in any guise in St Michael’s College,” he said.

And he said it was a proud moment when the final whistle eventually went following a nail biting finish at Croke Park.

“The last ten minutes were very nerve-wracking but thankfully the boys saw it out and the feeling afterwards on the pitch with the players was absolutely brilliant. It is a fabulous feeling, we are very proud, Dom and the players have worked so hard for this and for me they fully deserve to be All Ireland champions,” he said.

With everything, to be successful often requires support and St Michael’s have that from the Pat Blake Group who has been backing Gaelic Games down through the years at the school. And Pat says that it is something they are delighted to do.

“As a past student of the school and as the main sponsor of Gaelic Games in the school since Peter McGinnity’s era we are keen to see success right across the board at all age groups. I know the MacRory and Hogan Cup take pride of place but we are delighted to support all the teams in the school.

“St Michael’s success now will hopefully inspire young footballers throughout the county. The school has had more than decent results in a number of competitions over the years and I think this could maybe be a purple patch for success across the different age groups at the school,” said Pat.

And the man himself, Dom Corrigan, received high praise from both men.

“I’m delighted for Dom Corrigan personally, he has put an awful lot into developing football in the school. When I came to the school in 1995 Dom was looking after Corn na nOg and Rannafast and took over MacRory in 99 and won it in his first year. Ever since then he has given his maximum to every single team that has come under his care. He has been working towards this for a very long time and it is recognition to the outstanding contribution he has made to football not only in St Michael’s but across County Fermanagh,” said the Principal.

And Pat added: “Only those who would have an insight track with regards to preparation that goes into winning a MacRory Cup, and even more so a Hogan Cup will appreciate the commitment, time and the energy that the players and management and in particular Dom Corrigan put in to achieve what they have done.

“In the early stages of the competition I would have been getting a minimum of one call a day from Dom and in the latter stages I have lost count of the number of calls I was getting from him,” he laughed.

Pat was also quick to praise Dom Corrigan’s backroom team.

“I’m delighted to see the assistance that Dom receives from the likes of Conor Lavery and Richie Donnelly and it is brilliant to see them giving up their time on a voluntary capacity,” he added.

Next up for Pat will be a trip to Windsor Park to cheer on another Fermanagh side seeking major success.

“A number of us will be going to the Irish Cup final and cheering on Harry and his Ballinamallard team, that’s the next big sporting thing for Fermanagh,” he added.

And for the Principal now, the focus in school will be on exams and he is confident that those who enjoyed success on the field will also do the same academically.

“Their sole focus will now be on the academic and I have no doubt given the maturity that they have shown over the course of the last number of months, not only will they leave here with MacRory Cup medals and Hogan Cup medals, they will be leaving here with very good A Levels.”