Monastery National School Ardee made history last May when they became Aviva Health FAI All-Ireland Five-A-Side soccer champions.
The honour that the school brought to the town was acknowledged last week when Ardee Town Council held a civic reception in their honour at Ardee Castle.
This could be the last such honour to be bestowed by the council on behalf of the people of the town, as the council will cease to exist from next September when local government bodies will be restructured.
At last week’s civic reception Cllr Fintan Malone welcomed the team, their teachers and trainers, their families and friends.
Also present were members of Ardee Town Council and Town Clerk Miriam Roe, who, played “a major role” in organising the event.
Mr Jim McGee, principal Monastery national school, said the school was really delighted to receive such an honour from Ardee Town Council.
He said last year was a real rollercoaster for the school.
They became Louth, North Leinster and then Leinster Champions and so qualified for the All-Ireland finals.
They won the finals and were crowned All-Ireland Champions 2013.
“They walked up those famous steps in the Aviva Stadium and co-captains Liam Jackson and Dónal McKenny received the Aviva Health FAI All Ireland Fives Champions Cup for Monastery national school, Ardee, and county Louth,” Mr McGee said.
The Monastery squad was Gavin Kirk, Dónal McKenny (co-captain), Liam Jackson (co-captain), Tom Jackson, Jonathan Commins, Eddie Bing Quan Ooi, Evan McKenna and Darragh McCoy. The team was managed by principal Mr Jim McGee and teacher Ms Leanna Cusack.
Mr McGee said that it was a great day for county Louth sport in general. He praised the excellent organisation of the event at the Aviva stadium by the FAI staff who provided all who took part with a day they will never forget.
“The boys were following a great tradition,” Mr McGee said.
“The late great Dermot O’Brien who lifted the Sam Maguire Cup in 1957 was a former pupil of the school.
“Ardee is used to bringing cups home.”
This was a wonderful competition organised by the FAI who did an excellent job on the day. Aviva Health sponsored it.
Mr McGee has also thanked Ardee Celtic who have done and continue to do so much work with the pupils of Monastery. Also the parents, staff, friends and supporters who travelled and cheered them onto victory.