Labyrinth Nomination Narrative for Patrick ‘Paddy’ Lally

        Patrick ‘Paddy’ Lally is one of the two founding members of the Westmeath Minotaurs American Football Club. Since the clubs inception, Paddy has been the driving force behind the establishment and building of the club to what it is in 2019, a championship caliber football team. Without Paddy’s dedication, it is safe to say that the club would not have endured all these years.


        Evidence of Paddy’s dedication is the investment of personal time and resources into the club. Elected to office multiple times, Paddy has held the positions of Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer. For most of the club’s existence, bar one year, he has been on the club committee playing a key role in the operation of the club. The time invested as a committee member, in many years, was also matched by his time spent coaching and playing. This combination of committee work, field work, and energy invested is not easily replicated by other members.


        Older members need to recall and newer members need to know that the early years were lean times both on the field and financially for the club. Winning makes leading the club much easier but enduring losing years requires exceptional leadership under difficult and trying circumstances. Paddy never gave up on the club and on many occasions dipped into his own pocket to sustain the club financially. Undaunted, Paddy learned while doing and helped to steadily improve the club on and off the field. 


        Just listing Paddy’s offices held, years in the club, coaching positions, and financial support would be enough to qualify him for induction into the Labyrinth. Those listing of facts do not really tell the story of Paddy’s club career though. The full story includes his love of the game, club, and the members past and present. Loyalty, sense of duty, respect for members, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage all are appropriate descriptions of Patrick ‘Paddy’ Lally’s steadfast and faithful service. 


        Paddy Lally’s example sets the bar high for subsequent Labyrinth inductees and is a true representation of the very best of the Westmeath Minotaurs American Football Club. 


Labyrinth Nomination Narrative for Michael McCormack 


             Michael McCormack, father of founding member Sean McCormack, played a key role in the formation and establishment of the club. The core group of Minotaurs back in 2011 were a very young group with no experience in forming a sports club or running any kind of organization. Obviously, American Football in Ireland would not have a large cadre of experienced sportsmen to ask advice. The young men were essentially on their own. 


             Michael stepped in to fill the role of chief adviser to the young men forming the club into something sustainable. Never letting the young men get too cocky, inspiring players and coaches to learn and push themselves, and being brutally honest with constructive criticism but also lifting the team up with praise when due; Michael had a huge positive affect in the critical early years. 


            Respect for Michael runs deep in the club. Evidence of this occurred when the Minotaurs were to play in their first playoff game against the Cork Admirals. Unfortunately, Michael passed away in the days before the game. The team, in a sign of respect for Michael, forfeited the game instead of missing his funeral. Years later in 2017, the respect and love for Michael was again on display, as the club held a fundraising event and flag football tournament in Michael’s name. Everyone in the club chipped in some way or another. The event was a huge success for such a small club. The result was a significant amount of money raised for a local cancer charity. 


            Michael McCormack’s guidance over the early formative years of the club was critical. The club’s sustainability from 2011 to 2019 is evidence of the quality of his advice and mentorship. Michael’s steadfast and faithful service to the club is an inspiration to others and is worthy of the high honor of entrance into the Westmeath Minotaur’s Labyrinth.


Labyrinth Nomination Narrative for Paddy Coyne


           Paddy Coyne is the quintessential man behind the scenes. For the club member who has not been on the committee they probably don’t know of the support that Paddy has given to the team over the years. Some might only know that he is the father of J.O. Coyne; our team captain and stellar offensive left tackle. In fact, Paddy Coyne has been instrumental in the success of the club.   


           American Football is not an inexpensive sport. It may be the most expensive sport of all, certainly in Ireland. Game costs are €600 for each game. Rental of the pitch amounts to thousands a year. In the early years, to expect a group of young men to somehow pay for all these costs without any experience in fundraising or having full time jobs was nearly a forlorn hope. Enter Paddy Coyne. 


          Without any fanfare, Paddy Coyne quietly kept the Westmeath Minotaurs alive through monetary donations at critical points in the club’s history. Paddy never asked for a name on a jersey or a sign next to the pitch. He never asked for recognition of his generosity. Simply, Paddy wanted to see the club succeed. 


          The club is indebted to Paddy Coyne for his help throughout the years. We hope that his support to the club will be one day repaid with a championship. Until then, we ask Paddy Coyne to enter into the Labyrinth in recognition of his steadfast and faithful service to the Westmeath Minotaurs American Football Club.