National recognition for amazing contribution to the game of Bridge in County Cavan. From left: Cllr John Paul Feeley, chairman of Cavan County Council; Pat O’Mahony, CBAI President; Teresa O’Reilly, after accepting the award for her contribution to Bridge from Pat O’Mahony, CBAI President and Kathleen McArdle, President of Bailieborough Bridge Club.

Major award for Queen of Hearts

A member of the Bailieborough Bridge Club was the toast of card players from all over Ireland who assembled in the Cavan Crystal Hotel for a Midweek Tournament last week.

Teresa O’Reilly was presented with an award in recognition for her contribution to the game in County Cavan over the last 40 years. Pat O’Mahony, President of the Contract Bridge Association of Ireland (CBAI), was on hand to present the President’s Merit Award to the lady, described as a “master player” and “excellent teacher” who has taught hundreds of people to play bridge over four decades.

A delighted and modest Teresa was honoured to accept the award. “It is a very interesting game,” she enthused of bridge.

“I want to thank the clubs who nominated me for it and I want to thank my own home club, Bailieborough, and everyone who travelled here tonight. Enjoy your bridge, because it is only a game – each night is different.”

The CBAI has a membership of thousands of bridge players throughout Ireland. Each year, the president of the association confers an award on one of its members in recognition of outstanding voluntary work to promote bridge.

Pat O’Mahony, CBAI President, commended Teresa for her promotion of the popular card game.

“She has a great love for our game and great patience for those starting off. She never charges anything. She won’t even take expenses. She is a credit to the country. She is certainly one of the unsung heroes of bridge,” he remarked.

Kathleen McArdle is the president of the Bailieborough Bridge Club. They are thrilled with Teresa’s recognition.

“Teresa has dedicated several days in her week to teaching Bridge. Apart from teaching in her home town of Bailieborough, she travels to Cootehill, Cavan Town, Virginia, Oldcastle and Ballyjamesduff to give lessons - a large area to cover, especially during the winter months. That in itself is admirable, but Teresa has done this for years and continues still, totally on a voluntary basis, to keep bridge vibrant and to pass on her knowledge and skills,” revealed Kathleen.

The club praised Teresa for her “enthusiasm” and the “sense of fun” she transmits to her pupils, many of whom are now also teachers of bridge, ensuring that the game will continue to thrive.

“The full extent of Teresa’s contribution to Bridge is unknown, as she does not seek praise or adulation. But we in Bailieborough Bridge Club are eternally grateful to her and feel that she is truly deserving of the All Ireland-Award,” said Kathleen.

The President of the North Eastern Region, Peter Byrne sponsored the mid-week Tournament in the Cavan.