Updated: 19/09/16 : 07:58:41
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Sligo golfers dedicate victory to deceased teammate

Tears of joy were followed by tears of sadness for County Sligo Golf Club on Saturday night when the inspiration behind the club's fifth AIG Irish Senior Cup success passed away just hours after their thrilling 19th-hole win over Castle at Carton House.
   
Mark Rooney, the much-loved team-mate and club stalwart to whom County Sligo dedicated their victory, died in Sligo later that evening after a long battle with cancer. He was 38.

Independent.ie reports that during the trophy presentation on Saturday afternoon, team captain Shane Flanagan dedicated the club's 3-2 win to the popular family man who was their captain in 2012, whey they lost the decisive match to Tramore on the 19th.

"There is one person missing from the stand up here, our dear friend and panel member, Mark Rooney and if there were two words that summed up the inspiration behind this victory, they would be 'Mark Rooney'," Flanagan said.

"The first house we will call to when we get back to Sligo will be to see Mark."

Earlier, Flanagan said: "He was in the panel, and he would be mentioned in every team meeting. And a lot of the lads had his initials on their glove.

"They had the height of regard for him. We all know people like that - people who earn everyone's respect the right way. He is one of them. . . great lad. A super, super guy."

Yesterday, Flanagan described how the team was "devastated" to hear the bad news, saying: "We all went down to the Ewing Room and had a good half hour to ourselves with the door shut, remembering him. Then one of the guys said, 'Mark will be so upset if we don't go back up to that bar and raise a glass.'

"So we all went up and raised plenty of them, I can tell you!"