Inspirational Aisling Hanly scored the winning goal as she captained her school Convent of Mercy in Roscommon to victory over Mercy Mounthawk of Tralee in the Lidl All-Ireland Post Primary School Senior B final.
Hanly was born "profoundly deaf" and has cochlear implants, wearing a rugby scrum cap when playing to protect them and can control her implants through an app on her phone via bluetooth.
"I got my right cochlear implant when I was two years old and my left cochlear implant when I was 13,"
"There are 52 electrodes in my head so because of that I have to wear a rugby scrum cap because if I collide with another player, it would be serious," she explained.
The 18-year-old has not let her disability prohibit her in her pursuit in sport.
"I don't let it bother me at all, and it shouldn't bother anyone"
"Sport is a great to way to get out, make friends, become more confident in yourself".
In the past week Aisling has spoke candidly about her disability as she hopes to inspire others.
"Do what you want to do because nothing should ever hold you back, nothing should define you."
"They're telling me that they've shown my interview to their kids who have cochlear implants or who are hard of hearing and it's really inspiring." adding "I'm just so happy. It means a lot to me".
The Convent of Mercy captain said that being asked in games why she wears the scrum cap does not bother her and that it is a part of her story.
"A few markers would ask and referees would ask me why I'm wearing it, but I just explain that I have to protect my head"
"I haven't seen many people wearing the rugby scrum cap playing football, it's very unique but I'm hoping I can inspire younger people to follow in my footsteps," she said.
The 18-year-old captain's winning goal meant she lifted the trophy for her school after their victory over the Kerry side with a final score of 2-11 to 2-6.
"Honestly it was a dream come true, if you told me as a child that one day I was going to captain the Convent of Mercy senior team to an All-Ireland final I'd have probably laughed at you"
Aisling Hanly, who was born profoundly deaf and has cochlear implants, played a starring role as Roscommon's Convent of Mercy saw off Kerry's Mercy Mounthawk for All-Ireland honours earlier today. pic.twitter.com/HcVjgYCbpd
— RTÉ GAA (@RTEgaa) March 30, 2023
Team: MERCY MOUNTHAWK, TRALEE: K Fitzgerald; R O’Donnell, É O’Connor, L Reilly; O McKenna, G Reidy, K Coffey; N Quinn, C Gannon; R Rahilly R Rahilly 0-1 (f), H O’Brien 1-0 pen, K Enright; K Nix 1-0, L Slattery 0-4 (2f), A O’Connor McCarthy 0-1. Sub: E Costello for Enright (40).
Team: CONVENT OF MERCY, ROSCOMMON: É Dowd; M Lohan, E McDermott, E McNeill; H Murray, L Murray 0-1, A Hussey; A Shanagher, E Biesty; E Tully, N Walsh 0-3 (1f), S Walsh 0-1; S Hession 1-1, A Hanly 1-2, C Dowd 0-3 (1f). Subs: Z Fallon for Biesty (45), J Morris for S Walsh (56), M Rogers for McNeill (57), A Mulry for H Murray (59), MA Feeley for Tully (60).
Referee: Ger Canny (Mayo)