Quinn Building Products UGAAWA MERIT AWARD For May 2016

A little bit of Cavan history is made with the Quinn Buildng Products UGAAWA Merit Award going to a Breffni player for the second month in a row. Padráig Faulkner was the winner for April and now MARTIN REILLY steps into the limelight. It is the first back-to-back award for Cavan since Dermot McCabe was the first Breffni person to be honoured in August 1986.

Reilly gets the award after a dazzling display for Cavan against Armagh in the USFC quarter-final, at Breffni Park. Not only did he hammer home the clinching goal, from the penalty spot, for the winners but he played a major role in the first Cavan goal scored by Dara McVeety, as well. He also earned a number of free-kicks that Seanie Johnston tossed over the bar. It was no surprise that the flying No 12 won the Man-of-the-Match award.

“All the lads played an important part in our win over Armagh,” recalls the Killygarry clubman (29). “We were delighted with the win but now we have a big obstacle in front of us in the semi-final against Tyrone. We were disappointed in our performance against them in the Division 2 league final but Tyrone were deserving winners on the day. We have got to do better next time.”                          

The only medal that Reilly has won with Cavan is a Leinster JFC trophy, a few years ago, but he is, naturally, hoping for bigger things in the not-too-distant future. His first senior appearance with the Breffni Blues was in 2007, after he had sampled soccer at home and abroad.

In the League of Ireland he played with Home Farm and Longford Town but was signed by Burnley as a 17-year-old. However, things didn't work out for him at Turf Moor and, after two years, he left the Clarets, returned home, resumed his GAA career and qualified as an Electrical Engineer. He works with Lakeland Diaries in Killeshandra.

“I never lost my appetite for GAA and I'm delighted to have returned to the game. Winning this Monthly Merit Award is a surprise for me and, of course, I'm honoured. Individual awards are very welcome, particularly when they don't come around too often,” he stressed.

Reilly had to outpoint Tyrone's Ronan O'Neill, scorer of 2-2 against Derry, Fermanagh's Tomás Corrigan, who rifled over two remarkable sideline free-kicks in his eight points haul against Antrim, and Saffron hurler Ciarán Clarke who totted up 16 points against Kildare.

The winner receives an engraved Belleek Living vase, specially designed silver cuff links from Carlingford Design House, training gear from O'Neill's International Sports and a medical kit bag from 3FiveTwo Communications on behalf of Kingsbridge Private Hospital.

“That's an awful lot of stuff,” commented Martin, “and I'm very thankful for the award. It is a great confidence booster going ahead to play Tyrone.”

The presentation was made at a function in Quinn's Corner Restaurant, Ballygawley Road, Dungannon, by Quinn Therm Operations Manager, Peadar Maguire, and UGAAWA chairman John Martin.


Martin with Peadar Maguire, Quinn Therm     Pictured with his father, Pauric                       With his Belleek Living Vase.

                                   Martin Reilly                                   with his girlfriend, Jennifer Leonard

All images by Peadar McMahon