first_imgIt was a place junior Declan Sullivan crossed dozens of times performing his duties as a student videographer for the football team. It was a place the Sullivan family chose as a meeting point after Notre Dame football games. It was a place within sight of Sullivan’s fatal accident almost one year ago. Now, it is a place of memorial. About 75 people gathered Saturday afternoon before the football game against USC to dedicate a memorial to Sullivan, who died last October after a scissor lift from which he was filming football practice fell. A plaque, two benches and some trees now sit between the Guglielmino Athletics Complex and the LaBar Practice Field. Sullivan’s mother Alison addressed the group gathered to honor her son’s life. “We didn’t envision anything that could be more perfect,” Alison said. “I think if [Declan] could see this, he would be in awe. He would say, ‘Gee, this is amazing. I love this. It’s epic.’” The group chuckled at the use of the word “epic,” a word that Declan strived to embody in his life. “He always wanted to be epic, and I think he would look at this and say, ‘Indeed, it is epic,’” Alison said. University President Fr. John Jenkins led the ceremony and asked God to bless the memorial. “Lord God, we ask your blessing,” Jenkins said. “May it be a place of memory, a place of prayer, a place of consolation and a place of hope, so that all who spend time here remember Declan and be inspired by his life.” Jenkins then joined members of the Sullivan family and Vice President for Student Affairs Fr. Tom Doyle in sprinkling holy water on the memorial. Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick also presented the Sullivan family with the flag they helped raise at the opening football game of the year, and representatives from video services gave the family a framed photomontage in the shape of the Notre Dame monogram. Inscribed on the plaque is a poem written in honor of Declan and a shamrock logo with Declan’s initials inside. Alison said both components are particularly meaningful. The poem was written by a family friend and refers to Declan’s life as “never ordinary.” Alison said Declan often quoted a line from the movie “American Beauty” when a minor character said, “There is nothing worse than being ordinary.” “That was kind of his mantra,” Alison said. “The reference in here to ordinary is something I think Dec would really get a kick out of.” Alison said Declan would also appreciate the shamrock logo. “From the time Declan was a little boy, he was enamored with shamrocks,” she said. “It’s very significant because it’s a symbol that he really liked.” Jenkins told The Observer the memorial was an opportunity to honor Declan’s memory. “The loss of Declan was a tragedy to all of us in the Notre Dame family,” he said. “This [dedication] was a chance for all of us to come together in a place dedicated to his memory, to memorialize it and to give thanks for his life.” Jenkins also expressed gratitude to the Sullivan family. “The Sullivan family, from the day Declan died to today, have been such an inspiration to all of us, and it is particularly meaningful for me to bless this place with them,” he said. “We are grateful to them for helping us work through the tragedy of Declan’s death.” Alison also thanked Jenkins and Doyle for their help with the memorial and throughout the year since her son’s accident. “I wanted to thank [Jenkins] for giving us a lot of leeway with this and really letting us do what we thought would best memorialize our son and brother,” Alison said. “And [Doyle] for really helping us every inch of the way with everything from the moment of the accident through the past year.” Megan Doyle contributed to this report.last_img read more

first_img “The amount of balls we put into the box, a little deflection would have suited us, but unfortunately they got it.” Ireland head into September’s double-header against Gibraltar and Georgia knowing their qualification hopes have been dealt a significant blow, but one which in Coleman’s eyes at least, is not yet fatal. He said: “We’re still two points behind Scotland, but we were very disappointed in there. But Scotland have a couple of tough games coming up, we have tough games coming up – we have just got to look at the next game. “We’ll look forward to September and try to win them. I know they are cliched answers you are getting from me, but we can’t give up on this group and I think we are still in it. “Obviously three points would have been a lot better than one. A lot of people said it was must-win, but we won’t give up hope just yet.” Asked what O’Neill’s reaction had been in the dressing room afterwards, Everton full-back Coleman said: “Like everyone else, he’s disappointed, as you can imagine, any manager’s reaction straight after that. “We were going to keep it tight and then we concede 45 seconds in, so we got a bit of a slap on the wrist for that, and rightly so. “As professional players, that shouldn’t be happening 45 seconds into the second half. We have to take that on the chin. You can do all the stuff on the training ground you want, but you can’t really let that happen so early in the second half.” Maloney’s early second-half strike cancelled out Jon Walters’ 38th-minute opener which had given Ireland a deserved lead, and frontman Daryl Murphy was unable to cap a fine individual display with the goal his efforts deserved despite being presented with a series of passable opportunities. The Republic were ultimately frustrated as a game they desperately needed to win – and probably should have won – ended all-square. Coleman said: “To have all your hard work in the first half undone very, very early in the second half is massively disappointing, and it’s hard to take. It feels like a defeat, to be honest. “Obviously it’s not a good start, conceding so early in the half – that was poor from our point of view – and then the normal reaction after conceding so early is that they are going to be on top for a little bit. “But we did ride it out a little bit and Murph had a great chance, and it would have been great to make it 2-1. Robbie [Brady] played some great balls into the box a few times and we peppered their goal, and they just got that little bit of luck that we didn’t. Press Association Coleman and his team-mates had to make do with a point from their Group D showdown with Scotland at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday evening as they were caught with a sucker punch two minutes after the restart which handed the visitors a 1-1 draw they barely deserved. To manager Martin O’Neill’s horror, Scottish midfielder Shaun Maloney, who scored the only goal in the reverse fixture in Glasgow in November, was allowed to play a one-two on the edge of the penalty area and fire home an equaliser off luckless defender John O’Shea. Seamus Coleman has admitted the Republic of Ireland must learn from their mistakes if they are to keep alive their hopes of making it to the Euro 2016 finals. last_img read more