Meath All-Ireland winner Martin O'Connell has stolen medal returned

Gardaí have attributed the detection of the medal to the publicity surrounding the case
Meath All-Ireland winner Martin O'Connell has stolen medal returned

Paul McGrath of Cork in action against Martin O'Connell of Meath during the 1988 All-Ireland SFC final. O'Connell has recently recovered his medal from the 1987 win, which had been stolen. Picture: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Meath GAA legend Martin O'Connell has expressed his delight that his All-Ireland Senior Football Championship medal, stolen during a robbery last week has been recovered.

The medal, which he won in 1987 was recovered by gardaí in Dublin on Tuesday and is being held at Kells garda station.

The precious accolade was taken from his elderly parents home in Staholmog, outside Kells on Tuesday evening last, November 17.

Gardaí have attributed the detection of the medal to the publicity surrounding the case.

Martin had given the medal, which he had placed on a gold chain, to his mother as a birthday present some years ago and his mum recently had expressed her wish of passing it onto Martin's own daughter Jane.

The gold chain was not recovered, nor were other items taken in the break-in such as a Golden Jubilee medal.

"I'm delighted to get the medal back and so are my parents who found it particularly devastated," said Martin who made a public appeal for its return to the media last week.

"I got a call on Tuesday evening to go to Kells gardaí to identify the medal and they are holding onto it for the time being.

"I suppose there was always a chance of it coming back because it was inscribed with the date and the county's An Mhi and because it's an All-Ireland medal but I have to say that I was still very surprised.

"I don't really know much about where or how it was recovered but I'm just glad it's back "It would be great if the other stuff turned up too."

Martin is the second Meath player whose medals were taken in a robbery in just over a year.

Last November, All-star Graham Geraghty's medals were stolen in a break-in at his home in Athboy.

Although 13 championship medals were found in a bag discarded on a footpath in Arklow, Co Wicklow a few days later, his five Leinster medals and Railway Cup accolades are still missing.

"I played with Graham on the Meath team of 1996 and it's just devastating to lose these medals. I'd just urge any other GAA All-Ireland medal winners - Meath or otherwise - to keep their medal in a safe place," he said.

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