Sean Bowden Tournament a great success

By Aideen O'Flaherty

SIX GAA teams took to the pitches at St Mark’s GAA Club in Springfield on Saturday, for a football tournament in memory of the late Sean Bowden.

Sean played with St Mark’s up until Under-13s, but the teenager was unable to continue competing after he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in March 2017.

Sean Bowden Tournament 03 compressor

St Mark’s footballers took part in the Sean Bowden Tournament in McGee Park on Saturday

After Sean’s cancer went into remission by January 2018, the sports fan was able to visit Anfield to see Liverpool FC.

He returned to Tallaght Community School in September 2018 but, two days after he started back in school, he was brought to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital with a cough.

At the hospital visit, Sean and his family were told the leukaemia had returned. The 15-year-old sadly died  on October 19, 2018 and was laid to rest in Bohernabreena Cemetery.

Sean was popular among his team-mates in St Mark’s, and the juvenile section of the club organised the inaugural Sean Bowden Memorial Tournament in his memory.

This tournament saw a number of GAA teams, including St Mark’s Amber and Black teams, Naas GAA, St Oliver Plunkett GAA Club, Kenagh GAA Club from Longford and Garristown GAA, all competing to win the Sean Bowden Cup.

Aoife Doran, chairperson of St Mark’s juvenile section, told The Echo: “It was brilliant. We started with a parade of all the teams led out by a piper. Then they all stopped in front of the flags for a minute’s silence for Sean.

“At the end of the day the shield competition was won by Garristown and the overall winner was Kenagh.”

Each of the players received medals, which were presented by Sean’s father, Michael, who also presented the cup to Kenagh GAA.

When asked what Sean would have thought of the event, Ms Doran said: “Sean would’ve loved it, because it was a day where people were with their friends all day.”

The organisation of the event was a “team effort” by everyone in St Mark’s juvenile section, said Ms Doran.

She added that she’s looking forward to the Sean Bowden Memorial Tournament being held again next year.

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