Pauline Gibbons is the first nun to line out in an All Ireland Football Final.
After leaving the Roscommon football team mid-season to join the Augustinian Order in England, 18 year old midfielder Pauline Gibbons was given a special dispensation to travel home to play in the 1977 All-Ireland Senior Ladies' Football Championship Final against Cavan.
Sister Pauline was denied permission to play in Roscommon’s semi final clash against Kerry. However when the team reached the football final, the Roscommon County Board of the GAA pleaded with Mother Superior Sister Leonie to allow Pauline to travel home from her Sussex convent to play against Cavan.
To the bemusement of her fellow nuns, Sister Pauline trained for the football final within the convent grounds.
Roscommon’s unique player received great interested from the media and as a result, 3000 spectators turned up to watch the final held in Dr Hyde Park. However, there was to be no divine intervention for Roscommon as Cavan took the title.
The final score was Cavan 4–3 Roscommon 2–3.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 27 November 1977. The footage shown here is mute.