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McGuinness pays tribute to history making down team of the 60s

16 April, 2010

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, MP, MLA was among the guests who attended a special event in Newcastle today to honour the All Ireland winning Down team of 1960/61, the first team from the North to win the Sam Maguire.

As well as members of the victorious team other guests included President Mary McAleese and GAA President Christy Cooney.

Mr McGuinness said: "It is a great honour for me to attend this event which marks the 50th anniversary of an iconic moment in Irish sport. As a young boy I can remember the excitement of that historic occasion and the likes of Kevin Mussen, Sean O’Neill, the MacCartans and Paddy Doherty remain legends in the history of the GAA.

"Many of those players went on to make the 60s a glorious decade for Down and Ulster football with victories in 1961 and 1969 earned those teams a rightful place whenever debates are held about the greatest GAA teams of all time."

Mr McGuinness paid tribute to the organisers of the event and also took the opportunity to welcome the GAA Congress, which begins on Saturday, to Co Down for the first time in 30 years.

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