Issuu on Google+

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

€8.95


Call us on 1890 694 436 Email: info@oxigen.ie

G OFFERIN T AND N U CCO BOTH A SE SERVICE U PAY BY

Activate Your Online Account - at www.oxigen.ie


Club Ballinabrackey .............................................................. 309 Ballinlough ................................................................... 187 Ballivor .......................................................................... 428 Bective ........................................................................... 300 Blackhall Gaels ............................................................. 292 Boardsmill .................................................................... 316 Carnaross ..................................................................... 484 Castletown .....................................................................422 Clann na nGael ............................................................. 621 Clonard ......................................................................... 442 Cortown ........................................................................ 663 Curraha ...........................................................................380 Donaghmore/Ashbourne ............................................. 576 Drumbaragh .................................................................. 346 Drumconrath...................................................................329 Drumree ........................................................................ 706 Duleek/Bellewstown ......................................................668 Dunboyne ..................................................................... 256 Dunderry ........................................................................ 349 Dunsany ..........................................................................700 Dunshaughlin ............................................................... 563 Gaeil Colmcille ..............................................................686 Kilbride............................................................................362 Kildalkey ........................................................................554 Killyon ............................................................................ 367 Kilmainham.....................................................................340 Kilmainhamwood ...........................................................324 Kilmessan .......................................................................649 Kilskyre .......................................................................... 164 Kiltale ..............................................................................454 Longwood .......................................................................178 Meath Hill ....................................................................... 334 Moylagh...........................................................................288 Moynalty......................................................................... 356 Moynalvey.......................................................................413 Na Fianna ...................................................................... 522 Navan O’Mahonys ........................................................ 388 Nobber............................................................................ 544 Oldcastle ........................................................................ 712 Rathkenny...................................................................... 597 Rathmolyon ................................................................... 634 Ratoath........................................................................... 150 Round Towers ............................................................... 344 Seneschalstown ............................................................ 276 Simonstown Gaels........................................................ 610 Skryne ............................................................................ 724 Slane............................................................................... 476 St Brigids ....................................................................... 604 St Colmcilles ................................................................. 447 St Cuthberts .................................................................. 660 St Marys ......................................................................... 403 St Michaels .................................................................... 738 St Patricks ..................................................................... 754 St Pauls ......................................................................... 539 St Ultans ........................................................................ 654 St Vincents ................................................................... 372 Summerhill ................................................................... 466 Syddan .......................................................................... 435 Trim ............................................................................... 491 Walterstown .................................................................. 678 Wolfe Tones .................................................................. 508

County Editor’s welcome ..............................................................2 Shane McAnarney ............................................................ 4 Senior Football ................................................................. 6 Senior Hurling ................................................................ 14 Camogie .......................................................................... 20 U21 Hurling...................................................................... 26 Minor Football ................................................................ 28 1987 All-Ireland win ........................................................ 34 Mick O’Dowd ...................................................................37 Junior Football ............................................................... 40 Ladies Football ............................................................... 44 Football Team of the Year .............................................. 49 U21 Football ....................................................................52 Minor Hurlers .................................................................. 54 May Caffrey ..................................................................... 60 Handball ............................................................................63 Enda Keogh .................................................................... 69 Ratoath College ...............................................................72 Toss Gibney .................................................................... 75 Ladies Underage ............................................................ 79 Tayto Park .........................................................................84 Hurling Team of the Year ............................................... 86 Ken Rennicks ..................................................................90 Mickey Kelly ....................................................................95 Colleges Review ..............................................................98 Club na Mi ..................................................................... 105 Gerry Reilly Tournament ...............................................108 Holly Geraghty ...............................................................111 Arabian Celts .................................................................113 Rivalries - Kilmessan v Boardsmill ............................ 115 Cumann na mBunscol Hurling ....................................118 Brianie Kiernan .............................................................122 Friends we lost ............................................................ 126 Cumann na mBunscol Football ................................. 170 Eamonn Dunne ............................................................. 174 Robert Lynch ................................................................. 196 Terry Lilly ...................................................................... 199 Richard Dunne ............................................................. 202 Declan McCabe ............................................................ 206 David Troy ................................................................... 210 Aidan Coffey ................................................................ 212 Alan Battersby ............................................................ 214 Alan Martin .................................................................. 218 Tom Doyle .................................................................... 221 Cathal O’Dwyer ............................................................ 226 Mick Collins .................................................................. 229 Richard Morris .............................................................. 232 Philip Meade ................................................................ 235 Frank Brannigan .......................................................... 240 Jason Bennett .............................................................. 242 Daithi Whyte ................................................................. 245 Edward O’Riordan ........................................................ 250 Eugene Regan .............................................................. 254 Anthony Monaghan .................................................... 269 Martin Horan ............................................................... 408 Paul Feeney ................................................................. 410 Mark Courtney ............................................................. 462 Owen Clarke ................................................................ 640 Joe Stafford ................................................................. 643 Tom Murphy ................................................................. 646 Keith Loughman ........................................................... 733 Paul Finnegan ............................................................. 746


EDITOR’S NOTE

ROYAL COUNTY YEARBOOK is published by Lynn Group Media Kells Business Park Cavan Road Kells Co Meath Telephone: (046) 9241923 Fax (046) 9241926 ISDN: 046-9248197 Email: contact@lynngroupmedia.com Website: www.hoganstand.com

CONTRIBUTORS Paul Clarke Noel Coogan Shane O’Brien Liam O’Rourke Stephen Reilly Gerry Robinson Randal Scally All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be published or reproduced in any way without the written permission of the author or Lynn Group Media © Copyright Lynn Group Media 2012 The opinions expressed in The Royal County do not necessarily reflect those of the editor, publishers, their agents or Meath GAA. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this publication is correct, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors that may appear

W

ith the dust having just about settled on another fantastic season of GAA activity in Meath, it is our pleasure to introduce the latest edition of the Royal Couty GAA Yearbook. There was no shortage of action on pitches around the county – and beyond - during the 2012 calendar year and, as ever, we have chronicled it all in the pages that follow. On the club front, pride of place once more went to O’Mahony’s, who claimed our hoganstand.com SFC for an 18th time. At intermediate and junior championship levels, Na Fianna and Ratoath both realised their true potential. Meanwhile, in hurling, Kiltale returned to the top of the pile, while Rathmoylon returned to the senior ranks. The county hurling team made it to a league final and Christy Ring Cup semi-

final, but left their best form behind them on the big days. Our camogie team claimed All-Ireland junior honours while in ladies football, two underage Leinster titles were annexed. In senior county football, it was a year of mixed emotions but the embarrassment of relegation to Division Three will not quickly be forgotten. There was the highlight of a Leinster semi-final win over Kildare and the subsequent qualification for a final with Dublin, but that couldn’t paper over the cracks which included a draw with Carlow and eventual elimination at the hands of Laois. Seamus McEnaney’s eventful reign as boss came to an end and there is unanimous support for his replacement, Mick O’Dowd. The highlight of the year was the form

2

of our minor footballers, who reached both the Leinster and All-Ireland finals. There was no shame in being second best to an outstanding Dublin team on both occasions. I’d like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to everybody who made this publication possible – writers, photographers, researchers, interviewees, club contributors etc. Not forgetting the legion of players and clubmen who put their bodies on the line week in, week out! Sponsors and advertisers have kept the Yearbook alive during increasinglydifficult economic times, so I would ask you to please support the businesses who have advertised in ‘Royal County 2012’. Sadly, a number of much-loved Meath gaels passed away during the course of the year. We remember them here, also.


SHANE MCANARNEY Shane McAnarney captained Meath to the Leinster final

By any standards, 2012 was an unusual year for the Meath senior footballers. Reflecting on the events of the season gone by, Shane McAnarney – who captained the Royals in the Leinster SFC final - is almost lost for words. Then he gets into his stride …

STRANGE DAYS

T

he pause is palpable. I’ve asked Shane McAnarney what kind of year 2012 was for Meath football and the sudden silence at the other end of the line is understandable. Hardly the most straightforward question to kickstart

4

an interview... After all, one could write a book about the season and still not get into the real nuts and bolts of it. A lot happened; a lot didn’t happen. There were ups and downs and ins and outs aplenty as the Royal County


again. That’s what Meath football that lie ahead: “When the season struggled to do themselves justice ends, it’s hard and you are looking needs to be doing. The lads will need but still managed to reach a forward to getting back into it. provincial final. All in all, it’s difficult to time to get their ideas across about quantify. In hindsight, probably not “You build yourself up for those what they want to achieve and how the best ice-breaker of my illustrious games, although you do question they want to go about that. Once journalism career: why you do it sometimes. There is a everybody – the squad, the County “It was an up and down year if you lot of punishment, but it’s all for the Board and the supporters – buys into take the start of the season into it,” one goal at the end of the year and that then we can move on.” comes the eventual reply from that’s what every intercounty is How difficult will it be to do so from Meath’s 2011 Player of the Year. aiming towards.” the unfamiliar depths of Division “There were new faces introduced After the uncertainty of 2012, can Three, though? How much damage and we lost a couple of old faces. The Meath now kick on in 2013? “I hope was done when the team failed to league was a mixed bag and in the so,” comes the instant reply. “I think preserve its Division Two status championship we were under there is good potential there and earlier this year? “It is what it is. It’s pressure with the whole media saga there are good lads there. I suppose the hand we’re dealt and every team and the ‘Banty’ situation.” we are no different to any other team. down there will want to beat us. At the There was no alternative, though, Every other team in the country will same time, we want to beat them. only to get on with it and that’s exactly set out to improve next year and Our ambition last year was to get to what the players did: “We tried to Meath will definitely be seeking Division One and next year our ignore it and as a squad we just improvement. ambition is to get out of Division focussed on what had to be done. “The new management team will Three. We will just worry about our The first day against Carlow clearly have different ideas. I know from own game.” didn’t go the way we wanted but the playing under different managers that But surely playing in Division Three lads knuckled down and kept working they’re going to see different things in cannot provide adequate preparation hard and, after the Wicklow games, different players and it might take us for the Leinster championship? “It’s we did really well against Kildare. We hard to know what to make of it but a while to adapt to that but hopefully were lucky enough to get to a you see upsets in the championship it won’t take us long to settle into the Leinster final but the result didn’t go all the time and these are usually new system. our way against Dublin and we were caused by teams in Division Three or “As a county, we need to pull then disappointed with the Four. Championship football is like together and try to turn things around performance against Laois.” that – things can even out on the day. and try to challenge for honours Did the unending media When you’re playing in the fixation on manager Seamus league, regardless of who you’re McEnaney’s position at the playing, the goal is to compete. helm have an effect on the “Championship is on the day players? There seemed to be and Croke Park is the place continuous speculation where everybody wants to play. regarding the Monaghan man’s You can lift your game when you future all season long and the get there. Any lad who doesn’t players had to be aware of get worked up for a game in this… Croke Park, there’s something “As players, our focus was on wrong with him. These are the the pitch and we had a job to games you want to play and do. We tried to do that to the that’s why you put all the hard best of our ability. Having said work in.” that, you would have to be blind On a personal note, Shane’s and stupid not to know what goal for 2013 is first and foremost was going on.” to get himself back to full fitness: As for ‘Banty’ himself – “I’ll be out for a couple of months Meath’s first-ever outside at the start of the year but I’m manager - Shane agrees that hoping to come back and he was in a precarious position compete again for my place and from the word go: “It was impress the new management. definitely a pressure situation Like the rest of the lads, I’ll be he was under from the day he hoping to get a place, 1-15. walked into the job. But he “We all have that same goal but worked away and kept trying to it’s going to be a very hard panel do the job and you have to give to get on this year and a hard first him credit for that.” 15 to get into after that. Of course, there’s a new Competition will be fierce and regime in place for 2013, with that’s what you want. When you Mick O’Dowd spearheading the see young lads putting you under new management team. Shane McAnarney raises the Fitzsimons Cup. Meath defeated pressure at training, it only Athboy man McAnarney Armagh in the Gaeil Colmcille Tournament late last year pushes you on that bit more.” welcomes the fresh challenges at Pairc Tailteann

5


The Meath squad on duty in the Leinster final, front l/r: Peadar Byrne, Ciaran McConnell, Gary O'Brien, Graham Geraghty, Bryan Menton, Michael Burke, Tom Walsh, Alan Forde, Shane McAnarney, Donal Keogan, Chris O'Connor, Paddy Gilsenan, Mark Collins, Cian Ward, Ciaran Lenihan, Eoghan Harrington. Back: Jamie Queeney, Justin Carry-Lynch, Shane O'Rourke, Brian Sheridan, Stephen Bray, Kevin Reilly, Damien Carroll, Donnacha Tobin, Conor Gillespie, David Gallagher, Graham Reilly, Joe Sheridan, Brian Meade, Brian Farrell, Sean Curran, Eoin Reilly, Mark Ward, Seamus Kenny

SENIOR FOOTBALLERS 2012


SENIOR FOOTBALLERS Close control from Damien Carroll against Carlow

Meath’s Leinster SFC semifinal win over Kildare and subsequent Leinster final appearance fails to paper over the cracks of a disappointing year which saw the Royal County exit the qualifiers at the hands of Laois and relegated from Division 2 of the National Football League. By Shane O’Brien.

W

here to start when it comes to reviewing the fortunes of the Meath senior footballers in 2012? It certainly was an eventful and, at times, a tumultuous year but there were some crumbs of comfort for the county’s hard-pressed supporters. For those of a glass half full persuasion, the positives were – the Kildare jinx was finally broken in the Leinster SFC semi-final; the players displayed some pride in the jersey during the second half of Leinster final against Dublin and, most importantly of all, the injection of new blood augurs well for the future. Unfortunately, the list of negatives outweighs the positives – relegation to Division 3 of the National Football League; a failed heave by the County Board against manager Seamus

MORE LOWS THAN HIGHS McEnaney and a tame All-Ireland SFC qualifier exit at the hands of Laois in Tullamore. Banty called time on his tenure as the Royal County’s first ‘outside’ manager in the days following the defeat by the O’Moore County and as the fifth manager in seven years and the Corduff man leaves behind him a team languishing in the realms of mediocrity. Meath enjoyed a promising start to their NFL Division 2 campaign with wins over Monaghan and Westmeath but things went rapidly downhill after that and defeats by Kildare, Galway, Derry, Tyrone and Louth delivered the ignominy of relegation to Division 3 to the Royal County’s doorstep. The Royals got their season up and running with home wins over Wexford (1-13 to 1-10) and Louth (0-11 to 0-5) on home soil in the O’Byrne Cup. The highlight of the latter victory was the introduction of Graham Geraghty as a 54th minute substitute but the 1999 All-Ireland winning captain failed to make an appearance in the 0-6 to 2-8 semi-final defeat by the students of DCU six days later.

7

McEnaney faced his native county, and former charges, Monaghan in the opening round of the NFL Division 2 campaign at Pairc Tailteann and, although he didn’t admit it publicly, he must have derived great satisfaction from Meath’s 1-15 to 1-9 success. Stephen Bray took the scoring plaudits with six points, four from play, but the end scoreline disguised the fact that Monaghan – who had former Meath manager Eamonn O’Brien as a member of their backroom team this year should have been a lot closer at the final whistle. The hosts found themselves 0-10 to 16 ahead at the half-time whistle but the Farney County dominated the third period but were let down badly by their shooting. The team in white and blue clocked up ten wides and Meath were 0-13 to 1-7 in front with twelve minutes to play. Having weathered the Monaghan storm, Meath finished strongly, despite having Paddy Gilsenan sent off for a second yellow card offence in the 65th minute. Shane McAnarney sealed the two points for the Royals when getting on


Seamus Kenny is under pressure from Wicklow duo Daragh O'Sullivan and Leighton Glynn

the end of move involving Joe Sheridan, Bray and Cian Ward before finding the back of the Monaghan net. Meath’s away league form had proven to be their Achilles Heel in recent seasons but they secured a second win away from Pairc Tailteann in five years at the expense of Westmeath in Mullingar in round 2. Nine different players got the scoresheet as the Royals romped to a convincing 0-17 to 0-5 victory over our next door neighbours. Westmeath lined out minus their Leinster club winning Garrycastle contingent and were forced to play the last seventeen minutes with fourteen men but Meath showed no mercy to Pat Flanagan’s side. The midfield partnership of Mark Ward and Brian Meade laid the foundations for the runaway success and the Comer Group sponsored outfit were full value for their 0-10 to 0-4 interval lead. Their task was made all the more easier when Westmeath captain Michael Ennis was sent for an early shower after picking up a second yellow card in the 53rd minute. There was a big turnout at Pairc Tailteann for the round 3 for the latest instalment of the Meath v Kildare rivalry and those in attendance got value for money but, unfortunately from a Meath point of view, the hosts failed to come up with the desired outcome.

Ollie Lyons’ injury-time fisted point brought Meath’s unbeaten league start to an end with Kieran McGeeney’s men finishing on the right side of the 0-18 to 2-11 scoreline. It was a case of so near and yet so far for the home side who were not impressed with referee Michael Collins for not awarding a free in to Shane McAnarney immediately before Lyons’ late winner. The Clann na nGael player appeared to be pushed as he attempted to send over what would have been a matchwinning point for the team in green and gold. His effort rebounded off the woodwork and Kildare broke down the field to claim the spoils against Meath for the fifth time in succession. The performance in round 4 away to Galway was not up to the standard that McEnaney would have demanded of his players and the narrow 1-11 to 1-12 loss was compounded afterwards when news of Joe Sheridan’s departure for Boston was made public. Lightning struck twice in the space of just eight days as Meath fell to an injurytime Paul Conroy point. Galway corner-forward Nicky Joyce was the main architect of the Royal County’s downfall as he tormented a succession of Meath defenders and registered seven points, from open play. Despite many of the players enduring below-par displays Meath were very

9

much in contention with ten minutes remaining thanks to a parting gift from Sheridan. The Seneschalstown player came off the bench in the 30th minute and flicked a Cian Ward delivery to the net. Both teams missed chances to gain the initiative in the time remaining before Conroy sent over the game’s decisive score. The slide continued in the next round when Derry came away from Pairc Tailteann with a 0-13 to 0-10 win under their belt. Minus the services of Sheridan, Meath were a pale shadow of the side that had secured two opening round wins and were always playing second fiddle to the John Brennan managed Oak Leaf County. With Paddy Bradley making a nuisance of himself, Derry held a slender 0-7 to 0-6 half-time advantage but they extended their lead to three points with twenty-two minutes remaining. That gap proved insurmountable for the home team and the spectre of relegation loomed large over the horizon. Omagh is the last place you want to be travelling to in desperate need of league points. Tyrone had won all five of their games at that stage and they made it six when comfortably disposing of the Royal challenge by 1-12 to 0-5.


It was very much a case of men against boys as Mickey Harte’s team lorded all areas of the field and, truth be told, Tyrone’s ten-point winning margin flattered the visitors. The Seamus Kenny captained side played into a stiff wind during the opening period and trailed by 0-3 to 1-6 at half-time but all they could muster in the second half was an additional two points. The 52nd minute dismissal of full-back Kevin Reilly added to Meath frustrations. Meath renewed their recent rivalry with Louth with both teams’ Division 2 status hanging in the balance but it was the Wee County who displayed a far

greater appetite for the battle and inflicted an embarrassing 2-14 to 1-8 defeat on the home side. A damning indictment of the Meath display was that the game was over as a contest after just 28 minutes with Louth 1-11 to 0-1 ahead. Things didn’t improve after that and Louth’s large travelling support revelled in Meath’s misery. The midfield pairing of Brian Meade and Mark Ward were sent to the line for second yellow card offences as McEnaney’s team completely lost their shape and discipline. “I have been involved in a lot of fights in my life, both in business and in my personal life, but I’ve never walked

BEST WISHES TO MEATH GAA IN 2013, FROM

10

away from a fight in my life,” was the manager’s reaction when quizzed on his future after the Wee County defeat. “This is certainly a fight now and it is a fight we will have to get one with.” The Management Committee of Meath GAA was the first to pick a ‘fight’ with McEnaney when they sought his resignation as manager of the team in the days following the defeat to the Wee County. Banty was true to his word when he rejected an approach from chairman Barney Allen to stand aside despite the fact that Sean Boylan was waiting in the wings to take over on a temporary basis. The Management Committee subsequently proposed a motion to clubs seeking the manager’s removal but it failed to attract the two thirds majority required at a specially convened meeting in midApril. 43 clubs voted in favour of the motion, ie in favour of McEnaney’s removal, while 31 clubs voted against. And so it was back to affairs on the football field and preparations for the county’s Leinster SFC opener against Wicklow in Dr Cullen Park on Sunday, May 28. Banty made some alterations to the make-up of his backroom team with former Tipperary manager John Evans coming on board along with Trevor Giles who acted as a forwards coach. The return of Joe Sheridan from Boston also offered some respite for Meath’s beleaguered manager. Against the backdrop of relegation from Division 2 and the off-the-field shenanigans, Meath approached the Garden County with a certain amount of trepidation. The county’s fans worst nightmares apepared as though they could come true early on as their team fell 0-0 to 0-5 behind after just fourteen minutes but they recovered from that shaky start to record a 0-16 to 0-11 victory. Midfielder Graham Reilly was the star of the show, hitting five points from play from his new midfield role but the win came at a cost as captain Seamus Kenny sustained a cruciate ligament injury that would bring his season to a premature end. Wind-assisted Wicklow shaded the first half and led by 0-7 to 0-8 at the halfway stage but their chances of pulling off an upset were


handicapped by the forced withdrawal of captain Leighton Glynn with an ankle injury early in the second half along with the 67th minute sending off of midfielder James Stafford. From a Meath perspective, aside from the outcome, the main plus was the performances of newcomers Alan Forde, Mark Collins and, in particular, Donal Keoghan who made the most of his chance to impress after Kenny’s participation was cut short. Carlow stood between the Royals and a potential re-match against Kildare but the Barrowsiders failed to read the script when catching Meath offguard with a late goal to secure a replay in their quarter-final encounter. A David Gallagher error gifted JJ Smith a 73rd minute equalising goal as the sides finished level on 1-12 apiece the first day out. Despite a sub-standard first half showing, Meath led by 1-6 to 0-7 at the change of ends thanks to Cian Ward’s goal. The impressive Graham Reilly extended his team’s lead with the first point of the second half but they were unable to shake of a Brendan Murphy inspired Carlow side during the second half. Still, entering added-on time,

It’s Leinster final day and Seamus McEnaney shakes hands with referee Marty Duffy prior to throw in

McEnaney’s team – who had midfielder Conor Gillespie sent off towards the end - looked to have done just enough only to be undone by Smith’s late green flag. Normal service was restored six days later when the Shane McAnarney captained side scored a convincing 221 to 1-9 replay victory at Tullamore. Carlow led by 0-4 to 0-3 at the end of the opening quarter but Meath soon took control of proceedings and strangled the life out of their opponents’ challenge when registering 1-7 without reply in the remainder of the first period. Substitute Peadar Byrne netted his team’s opening goal in the 28th minute

Eoin Harrington with Dublin's Michael Daragh Maculey

11

and the Ballinlough player raised another green flag in the second half. It was a much more accomplished performance from Meath with nine players making the scoresheet. Brian Farrell topscored with eight points, five of which came from placed balls. Nobber’s Farrell was again the top scorer as Meath produced their best championship performance since the semi-final win over Dublin two years ago to finally bring their losing streak against Kildare to an end. The Royals ripped up the formguide to end Kildare’s hopes of provincial glory with a 1-17 to 1-11 and the beauty of the victory was the contributions of youngsters like Donal Keogan, Bryan Menton, Donnacha Tobin, Conor Gillespie, Alan Forde and Damien Carroll to the success. Kildare will point to the 52nd dismissal of midfielder Daryl Flynn as a reason for their defeat but, truth be told, there could be no debate about the final outcome as the better team evidently won. Meath went in at the break 0-8 to 0-7 ahead following a first half that ebbed and flowed throughout. Kildare edged the early second half exchanges but with Gillespie growing in


12


Proud Sponsors of the

MEATH TEAM

WWW.TAYTOPARK.IE ASHBOURNE CO. MEATH - 01 835 1999


influence around the middle third of the field, the team in green and gold soon began to assert their authority. Points from Farrell and Joe Sheridan (‘45’) had Meath back on level terms – 0-11 apiece - before Flynn was sent for an early shower by Cork official Michael Collins after picking up a second yellow card. Farrell pointed the resulting free but they were knocked back on their heels when Mickey Burke scored an own goal at the other end of the field. The Longwood man was in the wrong place at the wrong time when David Gallagher pulled off a fine save from Mikey Conway but the rebound ricocheted off Burke and finished up in the Meath net. Undeterred, the Royal County responded with points from Farrell and Graham Reilly to level the game up for the sixth time and Peadar Byrne, once again, came off the bench to telling effect. Carroll showed great awareness after winning a ‘hop ball’ to release Byrne in the direction of the Kildare goalposts and the experienced substitute made no mistake to give his team the advantage. Byrne’s fellow substitutes Stephen Bray and Jamie Queeney (2) also made the scoresheet as Meath finally got the Kildare monkey off their back. And so it was on to a mouth-watering Leinster final against arch-rivals, and reigning All-Ireland champions, Dublin. Memories of 1996 came flooding back when an inexperienced Meath side dethroned the then Sam Maguire Cup holders before going on to claim the county’s sixth All-Ireland title. Unfortunately, history didn’t repeat itself on the third Sunday in July this year as Pat Gilroy’s team withstood a strong second half showing from the Royals to record a 2-13 to 1-13 victory. On several occasions, the game looked like getting away from Meath but they showed commendable fighting spirit to keep the contest alive right up until the final whistle. Two Dublin goals in the space of a minute proved to be Meath’s downfall and they came about as a result of two defensive just before half-time. A stray handpass by Conor Gillespie led to Dublin’s first goal with Eoghan O’Gara setting up Bernard Brogan who got the better of David Gallagher. The Meath defence was again caught napping 45 seconds later as Paul Flynn’s long ball found the unmarked Denis Bastick who gave Dublin an eight

David Gallagher with Colm Kelly of Laois

point cushion – 2-7 to 0-5 – at the break. At the end of the third quarter, the team in sky blue had moved into a 2-11 to 0-7 lead but they appeared to take their foot off the gas and points from Farrell (2 frees), Donnacha Tobin and Graham Reilly made it 0-12 to 2-12. A move involving Graham Reilly, Peadar Byrne, and Mark Collins resulted in Jamie Queeney raising a green flag. Bernard Brogan and Graham Reilly exchanged points but the game was up for McEnaney’s men after an ambitious 20m free attempt by Brian Farrell was saved by Stephen Cluxton. Following a brave battling second half performance there was some honour in defeat for the Comer Group sponsored side and they returned to Tullamore the following Saturday with high hopes of progressing through the qualifier stages. Laois had other ideas, however, and dumped Meath out of the Sam Maguire Cup race when inflicting a 1-15 to 1-12 defeat on the Royals. The end scoreline didn’t accurately reflect the O’Moore County’s dominance as Peadar Byrne’s 69th minute goal took the bad look of the scoreboard from Meath’s point of view. For the second game in succession, the Royal County found themselves ten points in arrears at one stage. Meath lost the toss and had to play into a strong wind in the first half and were left with a mountain to climb when going in trailing by 0-5 to 1-9 at the

13

interval. Ross Munnelly raised the O’Moore County’s green flag via the penalty spot after David Gallagher unceremoniously hauled Colin Kelly to the ground. The Meath custodian won’t care to be reminded about the concession of the penalty as he initially surrendered possession to Kelly. Earlier, the Dunboyne netminder had allowed a long range effort from Brendan Quigley hop over his crossbar. Any chance of a Meath comeback depended on a positive start to the second half but they were unable to wrestle control of the game from Laois who extended their lead to 1-12 to 0-5 within just three minutes of the resumption. Frees from Stephen Bray and Brian Farrell along with an Eoghan Harrington effort from general play gave Meath a glimmer of hope but they weren’t overly convincing in trying to chase down Laois’ lead. Byrne’s goal arrived too little too late and Meath could have few complaints at the final whistle after none of the six starting forwards managed to score from play. The Meath team which lost the AllIreland SFC qualifier to Laois in Tullamore was as follows: D Gallagher; D Keogan, B Menton, M Burke; D Carroll, S McAnarney, D Tobin; C Gillespie, G Reilly; A Forde, S Bray, B Meade; B Farrell, J Sheridan, C Ward. Subs: P Byrne for Forde, E Harrington for Keogan, J Queeney for Ward, M Collins for Gillespie.


The Meath squad for the quarter-final of the Christy Ring Cup against Kildare at Pairc Tailteann, front l/r: Danny Gleeson, Damien Healy, Shane McGann, Paddy Conneely, Stephen Donoghue, Cormac Reilly, Steven Morris, Colm O Mealoid, Anthony Donnelly, Derek Doran, David Raleigh, Peter Durnin. Back: Nicky Horan, Aaron Ennis, Willie Mahady, Enda Keogh, James Toher, Noel Kirby, Enda Fitzgerald, Shane Brennan, Stephen Clynch, James Kelly, Ciaran Fitzsimons, Paul Fagan, Eoin Potterton, Conor Murray

SENIOR HURLERS 2012


SENIOR HURLERS

Eoin Marsh tries to get past Kildare's Paul Divilly during the NHL game at Navan

Meath opened their Christy Ring Cup SH campaign with victory over London at Pairc Tailteann but it was the Exiles who had the last laugh when they claimed outright honours. The Royal County fell at the penultimate hurdle while there was final heart-break in the NHL Division 2B. By Shane O’Brien.

C

illian Farrell’s charges went one step further than 2011 in this year’s Christy Ring Cup competition but a semi-final defeat at the hands of Wicklow - 3-17 to 2-12 was their lot. After just fifteen minutes of the last four clash at Arklow, the Enda Keogh captained outfit looked a beaten docket when trailing by 0-0 to 1-6 but, to their credit, they mounted a comeback and battled back to trail by just 2-6 to 2-10 at the break.

SO NEAR AND YET SO FAR The sending-off of substitute Stephen Donoghue proved to be a knock-out blow from which they failed to recover. The Kiltale man was just on the field five minutes as a replacement for midfielder Stephen Morris when he received a straight red card from referee Tony Carroll of Offaly for an innocuous challenge in the run up to the half-time break. It was a harsh call on Donoghue and Meath and turned out to be a call that changed the complexion of the game. Stephen Clynch got the visitors off the mark with a free from a point and contributed 1-4 to his side’s total. Derek Doran was Meath’s second top scorer with 1-3 and his 30th minute kicked goal initiated the Royal

revival. Clynch’s green flag arrived just before the break when Wicklow goalkeeper Joe Murphy was left redfaced after letting the Kilmessan player’s ‘65’ slip through his fingers. The wind was knocked out of Meath’s sails a minute later, however, when Donoghue received his marching orders. Despite their numerical disadvantage, the team in green and gold stayed in touch during the third quarter but they were hit with a sucker punch in the 54th minute. Wicklow’s Christy Moorehouse evaded the attentions of a couple of Meath defenders before slipping the ball past Shane McGann. At the final whistle, Meath’s woes were compounded by the fact that they hit ten wides compared to their

Log onto www.dlynchpics.com to view more club photos

15


DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH YOUR GOALMOUTHS? Most clubs have to re-sod their goalmouths on an annual basis which is quite expensive and results in the pitch being unavailable for a period of time. Installing a synthetic turf goalmouth is more economical, the goalmouth lasts longer and there is no disruption of training or games as the pitch remains open during installation.

COYLE SPORTS .... SPECIALISTS IN THE INSTALLATION AND MAINTENANCE OF SYNTHETIC SURFACES

Contact COLM or SEAMUS now for a free quotation or pitch surface assessment. Coyle Sport Surfaces, Ardlaun House, Navan, Co. Meath. Tel 046 9293020.Email: info@coylesportsurfaces.ie

www.coylesportsurfaces.ie 16

BEST WISHES TO MEATH GAA IN 2013


opponents’ four but there could be no disputing the end result as the Garden County were the better team throughout. It was case of what might have been had Donoghue not been red-carded. Substitute Peter Durnin came to Meath’s rescue in their Christy Ring Cup opener against London in Pairc Tailteann in early May. The Royals appeared destined for an opening round loss but a dramatic late goal by Durnin capped a sensational recovery and gave the hosts a 4-8 to 3-10 win. Cillian Farrell’s charges were miles off the pace in the opening period and were left with a mountain to climb following the concession of three goals and staring at a 0-6 to 3-8 halftime deficit. Durnin and dual player Mickey Burke were sent on at half-time as part of a rescue mission and Meath received an early boost when the influential Stephen Clynch goaled within seven minutes of the resumption. A Sean Heavey goal cut the deficit to five points – 2-8 to 3-10 – early in the final quarter and seeds of doubt were sown into London minds when

Paul Fagan has Niall Arthur of St Patricks College for company during the Kehoe Cup game at Pairc Tailteann

they were reduced to 14 men following the dismissal of full-back Brian Costello for a second bookable offence eight minutes from time. Clynch rose in stature as the game progressed and Meath's hopes turned to optimism three minutes later when he belted home his second goal. Suddenly, the deficit was down to just two points and Durnin completed the comeback with a dramatic winning goal.

Down threw a spanner in the works when inflicting a 2-23 to 1-19 defeat on the Royal County in round 2 at Pairc Esler, Newry. Meath twice threw away big leads and, this time around, were on the receiving end of a second half revival. The dismissal of Sean Heavey, following an altercation with a Down opponent, was debatable as both players merited no more than yellow cards. That would have meant a second caution for the Down man. Heavey's powerful presence in attack was sorely missed by a Meath side that tired significantly in the final 20 minutes and saw all their good work unravel. They overwhelmed Down in the opening 10 minutes and raced into a 1-6 to 0-0 lead while, early in the second-half, they stole another march to pull 1-13 to 1-6 clear. Down's ability to close out the Meath attacks and counter on the break proved decisive as they hit 113 in the final 29 minutes to give an unfair reflection on the scoreboard. After losing twice to Kildare in league tussles earlier this year, the Royal County turned the tables to book their place in the semi-final of

Colm O Mealoid goes to ground but retains possession during the quarter final of the Christy Ring Cup

17


Best wishes to Meath GAA from

STRUCTURAL STEEL FABRICATORS & ERECTORS 4 Hemlock Drive, Congers, NY 10920 Tel: 845 268 3600 Fax: 845 2683200


the Ring Cup in a well-contested encounter at Pairc Tailteann. The all-important goal which separated the sides at the end arrived after 26 minutes when James Kelly fired to the net at the hospital end following a pass from Paddy Conneely. That score left Meath leading by 1-6 to 0-7 and Kildare were unable to regain the advantage after that. The sides had been on level terms five times before the green flag finish with Stephen Clynch and Paul Divilly prominent in point-taking. Clynch hit seven points overall with two of his scores in the opening five minutes coming from play, the second of them being a terrific longrange effort. Kildare appeared to be taking control when hitting three successive points, from Conor Kenny, Johnny Enright and David Harney, to leave them 0-7 to 0-5 to the good but they didn't register again in the first half. Noel Kirby's first of four converted frees was followed by Kelly's goal and then the young Kiltale clubman added two points to leave the scoreboard reading 1-8 to 0-7 at the break.

Two more converted frees by Clynch soon after the restart steadied the home side with the second of them leaving the margin five points. Kildare did get the margin down to two but Meath displayed admirable resilience to keep their noses in front. There was a different outcome when the two counties met in the NHL Division 2B decider a month earlier at Parnell Park as Kildare denied Meath the silverware, and promotion, on a scoreline of 3-13 to 1-12. Wins over London, Roscommon, Armagh and a draw with Mayo saw the Royals finish second behind Kildare in the table with seven points. An opening round defeat to the Lilywhites at Pairc Tailteann – 0-13 to 1-12 – was the only blot on the record sheet en route to the decider. Kildare repeated the dose in the decider when Meath were left to rue the concession of three second half goals. The Royals also had cause for complaint after referee Eamonn Hasson of Derry disallowed Ciaran Fitzsimons’ 52nd minute ‘goal’. The Clann na nGael youngster

James Toher with London's Henry Vaughan at Pairc Tailteann

19

Manager Cillian Farrell

floated a long ball in from the left and the sliotar ended up in the back of the Kildare net. The referee, however, awarded a free out for the team in white for a supposed infringement by a Meath player on netminder Paul Dermody. Another reason for Meath’s demise was the sixteen wides they accumulated compared to their opponents’ nine. Colm O Mealoid’s 30th minute goal helped establish a 1-5 to 0-7 half-time lead for the M Donnelly sponsored side but they spurned a couple of good goal scoring opportunities in the second half and Kildare took full advantage. The Lilywhites issued a statement of their intent with a Tony Murphy goal in the 43rd minute and a further two goals in the final five minutes gave them a seven point victory. The Meath team which lost out to Wicklow in the Christy Ring Cup semi-final was as follows: S McGann; C Reilly, E Fitzgerald, W Mahady; J Toher, D Healy, E Keogh; S Morris, S Clynch (1-4, 02 fs, 1-0 '65'); C O Mealoid, S Heavey, J Kelly; D Doran (1-3), N Kirby (0-2, fs), P Durnin (0-2). Subs - N Horan (0-1) for Kelly, S Donoghue for Morris, P Fagan for Fitzgerald, P Conneely for Durnin, D Raleigh for O Mealoid.


All-Ireland Junior Camogie champions, front l/r: Ann-Marie Fagan, Katie Hackett, Maggie Randle, Louise Donoghue, Aine Keogh, Aoife Thompson, Fiona O'Neill, Jane Dolan, Elizabeth Lynch, Aileen Donnelly. Back: Claire Coffey, Ann Cole, Edel Guy, Holly Geraghty, Laura Maguire, Lizzy Oakes, Cheyenne O'Brien, Aoife Maguire, Adrienne McCann, Sinead Hackett, Kristina Troy, Hazel Coleman, Lisa Foley, Shona White, Emily Mangan, Ashling McLoughlin. Mascot: Erin Troy

JUNIOR CAMOGIE CHAMPIONS 2012


CAMOGIE

Prior to the National Camogie League Division 2 decider against Derry at Pairc Tailteann, front l/r: Niamh Kirby, Emily Mangan, Katie Hackett, Aine Keogh, Lizzie Lynch, Edel Guy, Fiona O'Neill, Aoife McGuire, Aileen Donnelly, Laura McGuire. Back: Clare Coffey, Rachel Browne, Amy Crosby, Cheyenne O'Brien, Lizzie Oakes, Lisa Foley, Jane Dolan, Aoife Thompson, Kristina Troy, Sinead Hackett, Aisling McLoughlin, Maggie Randle, Stacey Duignan, Hazel Coleman

The scenes of joy and elation which followed the final whistle made it abundantly clear how much winning the All-Ireland Premier Junior Camogie Championship meant to the Meath players, management and supporters.

T

he 1-11 to 1-9 final victory over Down capped a great year for a team managed by John Davis and was a fitting reward for all the hard work the players have put in. The success was essentially the culmination of six years of dedication work which saw the Royal County rise through the ranks of the National League and eventually triumph on the game’s biggest day at Croke Park. Davis, the former Meath senior hurling coach, has transformed the team and the Westmeath native, along with selectors Sharon Raleigh, Valerie Curtis and Tom Walsh, are due warm congratulations after helping to guide the county to its greatest camogie triumph. After losing semi-finals in 2009,

ALL-IRELAND CAMOGIE GLORY 2010 and 2011 Meath must have started to wonder if they would ever take their place on the big Croke Park programme, but they were rewarded for their sheer determination and never say die attitude this year. It was a wonderful sight when captain Jane Dolan received the Kay Mills Cup. Meath’s quest for the junior crown followed a highly encouraging first year in Division 2 of the National League, where they lost the final to Derry, and retention of their Leinster junior title with a comprehensive victory over Kildare in the decider. The long road to Croke Park began with a 2-9 to 0-12 victory over Laois at Pairc Tailteann. It was a hardearned success which gave Meath the ideal start to the divisional campaign, despite the absence through injury of full-back Aoife Thompson who was replaced in the Number 3 jersey by regular midfielder Claire Coffey. All of Meath’s scores came from play, including an early goal from Lizzy Oakes, but Laois held a windassisted 0-5 to 1-0 lead by the 25th minute. Points from Sinead Hackett

21

and Edel Guy (two) edged Meath to the front, but the scores were tied (06 to 1-3) at the break after Louise Mahony had pointed for the visitors. Meath scored three of the next five points courtesy of Dolan, Aoife Maguire and Sinead Hackett to lead by the minimum with 20 minutes remaining and aided by Oakes’ second goal the Royal County were ahead by 2-7 to 0-11 five minutes from the end. The exchanges remained tight, but late scores from Hackett and Dolan saw Meath through. A 2-15 to 1-9 victory followed against Armagh at the Athletic Grounds where Meath led by 1-7 to 0-7 at the break after Maguire had scored the goal. The home team found the net within 30 seconds of the restart, but Meath pushed clear with a succession of points and Dolan added a second goal near the end. First half goals from Dolan, Aileen Donnelly, Elizabeth Lynch and Hackett boosted Meath to a commanding 4-18 to 0-4 half-time lead against Roscommon at Pairc Tailteann and they ran out winners by


Liam Keane & Partners SOLICITORS

The Old Toll House, Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath Telephone: 01-8250825 | Fax: 01-8250824 | Email: law@keanelaw.ie

Best Wishes & Contined Success To Meath GAA & Meath Camogie Best Wishes to Meath GAA from

Best Wishes & Continued Success To Meath GAA In 2013

Navan Road, Trim, Co. Meath.

Tel: 046-9483994 WISHING ALL LOCAL CLUBS EVERY SUCCESS IN 2013 Congratulations To Meath Camogie & All The Best To Meath GAA,From

ENJOYING LIFE IN HILLVIEW NURSING HOME

HILLVIEW N URSING HOME Rathfeigh, Tara, Co. Meath. Tel: (041) 9825698 Best Wishes to Meath GAA in 2013 22


4-27 to 1-4 as Dolan rowed in with a personal contribution of 1-12. Down, who had beaten Meath at the semi-final stage last year, were edged out by 1-10 to 1-9 in the fourth round at Downpatrick and when a 310 to 1-7 victory followed against Kildare at Pairc Tailteann Meath had topped the division and were safely through to the last four. Kildare were aided by the wind in the first half and led by 0-5 to 0-2 at the interval after Hackett and Donnelly had scored the Meath points, but the introduction of Oakes and Kristina Troy for the second period gave the home team a boost and they scored 1-3 in the opening six minutes of the half, including a Hackett goal. They were rocked when Susie O’Carroll replied with a goal for Kildare and the visitors edged into a 1-6 to 1-5 lead. However, Meath finished strongest and boosted by a brace of goals from Dolan they eased to a comfortable victory. Kildare and Down finished tied in the division and had to play off to decide third place, with the loser facing Meath in a semi-final. That turned out to be Kildare and when the sides met once again at St Peregrine’s in Mulhuddart the Royal County broke their semi-final jinx by recording a 0-14 to 0-5 win. A good start against the wind proved decisive as points from Dolan (two frees), Troy, Guy, Hackett and Maguire eased them into a 0-6 to 0-1 advantage before the end of the first quarter. By half-time the lead stood at 0-8 to 0-3 after Hackett and Dolan (free) had added to their tally. Meath pushed on to be ahead by 013 to 0-4, but on a worrying note they failed to scores for the last 11 minutes and tallied 13 wides over the hour. However, there was justifiable elation at the end as they were through to the final where they would come face to face with Down again after the Mourne County girls had beaten Laois by 2-8 to 2-5 in the other semifinal, despite failing to score in the second half. Meath camogie’s greatest day was just around the corner. On the third Sunday of September they completed the job with that gutsy victory over Down, overcoming the

quarter stage and Dolan and Fionnuala Carr then traded points. Meath started to find their range and points from Donnelly, substitute Lizzy Oakes and Hackett pushed them three clear. But there was plenty of tense action to come. Nicola Braniff and Fionnuala Carr split the uprights at the other end and Down were only one in arrears. They pressurised in search of an equaliser, but Mangan made that great fetch and belted the sliotar clear. A free followed which Dolan slotted over and Meath only had to wait a few seconds to be crowned AllIreland champions. The Meath team in the Premier Junior final was: E Mangan; H Geraghty, C Coffey, F O’Neill; A Keogh, A Thompson, L Donoghue; AM Fagan, K Troy (0-1); E Guy, J Dolan (0-3), A Donnelly (0-3); A Maguire (0-1), S Hackett (1-2), K Hackett. Subs – L Oakes (0-1) for Guy, E Lynch for Maguire. Jane Dolan raises the All-Ireland Junior Camogie Championship Cup at Croke Park

setback of conceding a goal just after half time to claim the Premier Junior title. The ‘player of the match’ award went to Dunboyne’s Sinead Hackett thanks to her personal contribution of 1-2, but Meath had stars all over the field, including goalkeeper Emily Mangan who came to the rescue on a number of occasions. She was particularly effective close to the end when Down were just a point in arrears, making a telling catch and clearance which led to a free which Dolan converted to close the scoring. Fionnuala Carr opened the scoring with a pointed free for Down, but Hackett goaled in the third minute to settle the Royal County. Worryingly, they tallied eight wides in the first half, but points from Donnelly (two), Hackett, the tightly marked Dolan and Troy helped them to a slender 1-5 to 0-6 interval advantage. Meath shipped a big blow on the restart when Sara Louise Carr goaled for Down and with Davis’ team continuing to miss chances things didn’t look particularly promising. Aoife Maguire pointed to leave the teams level (1-6 each) at the three-

23

Meath’s hectic year had commenced in brilliant fashion with a National League Division 2 victory over Cork’s intermediate team at Pairc Tailteann. A Colette Desmond goal helped the visitors to a 1-5 to 07 interval lead, but Meath scored 10 points in the second half to come out on top by 0-17 to 1-7. Donnelly topped the scoring charts with four points. Hilltown was the venue for a first meeting of the year with Down and a 0-16 to 2-8 win was the outcome. They led by 0-8 to 0-6 at the break after playing against the wind and were ahead by 0-14 to 0-8 with six minutes left, before a brace of Karen Gribben goals for the home county set up a tense finish. But gutsy Meath dug out a merited victory on a day when Dolan scored nine points and Troy starred at centre-back. Meath maintained their winning form when beating Kilkenny’s second string by 2-12 to 2-1 at Pairc Tailteann. They made a dream start when a Troy delivery ended up in the net after just seven seconds and with Dolan adding another goal their advantage stood at 2-9 to 0-1 by halftime. Kilkenny got two late goals, but the issue was decided by that stage. A fourth successive win followed


away to Tipperary at Ragg, near Thurles, where the 2-7 to 0-7 success yielded a place in the final. First half goals from Troy and substitute Maggie Randle proved decisive, while goalkeeper Emily Mangan maintained her good form with a number of important saves. The final against intermediate side Derry at Pairc Tailteann proved a step too far for Meath as they went under by 0-6 to 2-11. Points from Dolan (two) and Guy enabled the hosts to lead by 0-3 to 0-2 after 25 minutes as Derry missed chances, but a goal from Karen Kielt helped the visitors to a 1-5 to 0-3 interval advantage. Dolan and Grainne McGoldrick traded points early in the second half and Dolan then reduced the gap to four from a free. However, her next point from a ‘45’ was Meath’s last and Derry eased to victory, with Katie McAuley notching their second goal. It was disappointing, but the league campaign in general was hugely encouraging. The Meath team in the league final was: E Mangan; C O’Brien, A Thompson, F O’Neill; A Keogh, K Troy, L Foley; L Oakes, A Maguire; E Guy (0-1), J Dolan (0-5), A Donnelly; E Lynch, S Hackett, K Hackett. Subs

– C Coffey for Lynch, M Randal for Oakes, A McLoughlin for K Hackett. Defending champions Meath opened their Leinster Junior Championship campaign with a 2-15 to 1-10 victory over Westmeath at a very windy Pairc Tailteann where Dolan missed a first half penalty and Nicola Fagan then goaled for the visitors who were aided by the elements. Westmeath were on top for much of the opening half, but a scrambled goal from Elizabeth Lynch kept Meath in touch and they trailed by only1-5 to 1-8 at the break. Dolan found the net on the restart to leave the Royal County level and they soon took over as the points flowed. Dolan made a fine personal contribution of 1-9. A trip to Bagenalstown followed for a semi-final meeting with Carlow who played very well in the first half. They got a goal courtesy of Ciara Quirke on six minutes, but Oakes replied with a goal at the other end and the teams were tied on 1-2 each at the change of ends. Meath took complete control in the second period and led by 2-7 to 1-3 at the three-quarter stage, the goal coming direct from a Dolan ‘45’.

Elizabeth Lynch scored the third goal in the closing stages as the visitors won easily to set up a repeat of last year’s final against Kildare. The outcome was the same as Meath won by 1-16 to 1-6 at Monasterevin thanks to a dominant display against the National League Division 3 winners. Kildare got the first two points and were deprived of further scores by impressive Meath goalkeeper Emily Mangan. But Meath soon settled and led by 0-4 to 0-2 at the end of the first quarter and by 1-6 to 0-4 at the break after Aoife Maguire had scored their goal. The advantage stood at 1-11 to 0-4 by the three-quarter stage and it was all over bar the shouting. The chief point scorers were Dolan with six, Donnelly with four and Sinead Hackett with three. From there it was on to greater things in that memorable journey to Croke Park and All-Ireland glory. The Meath team in the Leinster final was: E Mangan; N Guy, A Thompson, F O’Neill; A Keogh, K Troy, H Geraghty; A Donnelly (0-4), C Coffey; J Dolan (0-6), A Maguire (10), E Guy; E Lynch, S Hackett (0-3), K Hackett (0-2). Subs – M Randle (01) for Lynch, R Browne for N Guy.

A determined Sinead Hackett moves in to block Grainne O'Higgins of Down during the All-Ireland final at Croke Park

24


YOU KNOW WHEN YOU ARE IN

THE ZONE! Paintball KARTING Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting Paintball Laser Tag

QUASAR

LAZER Maze!

Archery

Birthdays, Events, Stag & Hens, Clubs and Teams, Corporate Outings and So Much More!


UNDER 21 HURLERS

The Meath panel which lost to Kildare in the Leinster final, front l/r: Andrew McGreeney, Sean McGee, David Foley, James Kelly, Mark Sullivan, Adam Gannon, Tommy Raleigh, Padraig Maguire, David McGee, James Reilly, James Toher. Back: Fionn Ferguson, Jim Bird, Adam Hynes, Brendan Wright, Stephen Morris, Conor Murray, Padraig Kennelly, Shane Brennan, Ross Bergin, Ciaran Fitzsimmons, Killian O'Brien, Anthony Healy, Damien Healy

Meath’s under-21 hurlers, who were managed by Mike Cole and with Neil Hackett and Noel Keating acting as selectors, scored a runaway victory over Wicklow in their Leinster ‘A’ HC semi-final, but there was heartbreak when Kildare beat them in the final with a late, late point.

T

he Royal County probably expected a searching test when they travelled to Arklow to play Wicklow, but once they got on top of the home county this turned out to be a surprisingly one-sided encounter which the visitors won by 4-22 to 0-4. Meath’s chief marksman was Killyon’s Adam Gannon who finished with a personal contribution of 3-4, while the other goal came from Mark O’Sullivan in the early stages. That score set Meath on their way and they pushed clear as Wicklow failed to score in the second period. O’Sullivan helped himself to 1-6. It was always going to be significantly tougher when Meath made the trip to Newbridge to play

U21S CAUGHT BY LATE FINAL SURGE Kildare in the final in late July and that’s exactly how it turned out as the home county pounced late to secure the title on a 2-14 to 1-16 score line after a very entertaining encounter. Meath started well with points from Damien McGee and Stephen Morris during the first three minutes, but a brace of scores from a free and a ‘65’ by Conor O’Hehir – a grandson of legendary commentator Micheal – got Kildare back on level terms. O’Hehir gave Kildare a significant boost when he goaled from close range, but three points from top scorer James Toher had Meath level (0-5 to 1-2). Things got even better thanks to a surge coming up to halftime, including an Anthony Healy goal, and that helped the Royal County to be in front by 1-10 to 1-6 at the change of ends. It might have been a bigger lead, but O’Sullivan saw his shot hit the butt of an upright. Toher slotted over a free to stretch the advantage to five points within three minutes of the restart and

26

Meath went close to pushing further clear when a Healy goal attempt went wide off a post. The lead stood at 114 to 1-10 as the end drew near, but Philip Cocoman revived Kildare’s hopes with a goal. A brilliant point by team captain Thomas Raleigh left Meath two ahead, but Kildare found their range to edge to the front. As the excitement intensified the impressive O’Sullivan appeared to have forced extra-time when he equalised for Meath, but there was further drama when Conor Kenny snatched victory for the Lilywhites with a very late point. To say it was disappointing was putting it mildly. The Meath team in the final was: C Murray; P Maguire, D Foley, N Weir; J Kelly (0-1), D Healy, T Raleigh (0-1); J Toher (0-9), S Morris (0-1); M O’Sullivan (0-3), S Brennan, D McGee (0-1); A Gannon, A Healy (10), P Conneely. Subs – C Fitzsimons for Foley, A Hynes for A Healy.


County U21 and senior star Damien Healy

James Toher scores a point for Meath past Shane O’Flynn of Kildare in the Leinster U21 'A Hurling Championship final at St. Conleth's Park, Newbridge

27


Leinster and All-Ireland MFC finalists, front l/r: Brian Harnan, Jack O'Sullivan, James O'Malley, Paul Donnellan, Paddy Kennelly, Cillian O'Sullivan, Jason Daly, Padraic Harnan, Ruairi O'Coileain, James McEntee, Shane Gallagher, Conor Carton, David Toner, Niall Kane. Back: Harry Rooney, Shane McEntee, Jack Hannigan, Caoimhin O'Griofa, Alan Garry, Adam Flanagan, Anthony Neary, Stephen Coogan, Fiachra Ward, Brian Power, Ciaran Gillespie, Barry Dardis, Declan Smyth, Robert Burlingham, Jason Dowdall, Conor O'Brien, Seamus Lavin, Jamie McDonnell

MINOR FOOTBALLERS 2012


MINOR FOOTBALLERS Dublin’s Graham Hannigan has a firm grip of Meath’s Padraig Harten’s jersey during the Leinster MFC at Croke Pake

Meath football received a much-needed shot in the arm with the minors march to the All-Ireland decider but, unfortunately, a strong Dublin team proved to be the main stumbling block on more than one occasion this year.

P

layed twelve, won nine, lost three. That is the Meath minors’ record for 2012 between the Leinster MFL, Leinster MFC and All-Ireland competitions. In any other year, this year’s crop would have got their hands on silverware of some description but, unluckily for them, in the opposite corner was an exceptional Dublin team that proved to be the rock on which their championship winning aspirations perished. The Royal youngsters’ three defeats came in finals at the hands of Dessie Farrell’s team who bridged a twentyeight year gap to the capital’s last

VOYAGE ENDS AT THE FINAL HURDLE Tom Markham Cup success. The 1-9 to 2-10 reversal in the Leinster MFL decider back in April was a sign of things to come and the Dubs came back to haunt Meath in both the provincial and All-Ireland deciders. Nevertheless, this year’s team delivered plenty of memorable moments – most notably wins over Tyrone and Mayo – and, now that the dust has settled, it’s evident that they have provided some much needed optimism for the future. There was no shame in losing the All-Ireland final by 1-5 to 0-14. As manager Andy McEntee commented afterwards: “If I had offered them a place in Croke Park on this day at the beginning of the year they would probably have ripped my arm off.” McEntee took over as minor boss from Davy Dalton and brought with him a backroom team that included Kevin Foley, PJ Cudden, Padraig

29

Coyle and Breen O’Grady. Former county players Nigel Crawford and Anthony Moyles were also brought on board to share their experience as were current players Seamus Kenny, Cian Ward and Conor Gillespie at various times throughout the year. Wins over Louth, Wexford, Carlow and Longford set up a Leinster MFL final date against Dublin. Manager McEntee watched from the Pairc Tailteann stand as his team fell to a 1-9 to 2-10 defeat in early April. The hosts made a bright start and raced into a 1-5 to 0-2 lead after 17 minutes courtesy of an Eamonn Wallace goal and points from Stephen Coogan (2), Cillian O’Sullivan, Barry Dardis and Patrick Kennelly. Coogan spurned the opportunity to net a second goal via the penalty spot three minutes later and Meath only


BEST WISHES TO MEATH GAA IN 2013 www.qway.com.au


Stephen Coogan gains possession ahead of Dublin's Conor Ryan during the Leinster MFL Final at Pairc Tailteann

added a further four points to their tally in the remaining 40 minutes. The visitors shuffled their pack and the changes yielded the desired results with Shane Cunningham and Conor McHugh raising their green flags. The team in green and gold passed their opening championship assignment against Longford in Pearse Park on a scoreline of 1-11 to 0-11. Barry Dardis’ converted 28th minute penalty – following a foul on team captain Padraig Harnan – proved to be the difference between the two teams at the final whistle. The visitors led by 1-4 to 0-6 at the half-time interval and were far from convincing during the second half. Four second half points from right half-forward Cillian O’Sullivan sent McEntee’s charges through to a last eight clash with Offaly. The team produced a much more polished performance to see off the Faithful County by 3-11 to 1-8 in the quarter-final at O’Connor Park Tullamore in mid-May. Goals from Barry Dardis (2) and

Paddy Kennelly helped put Offaly to the sword but the win was achieved without the services of Eamonn Wallace. The promising Wallace – who caught the eye in the opening round win over Longford - didn’t travel to Offaly due to athletics commitments and the Ratoath player wouldn’t feature during the remainder of the campaign. Meath made light of Wallace’s absence to book their Leinster final ticket with a 3-14 to 1-7 semi-final win over next door neighbours Westmeath at Cusack Park, Mullingar. The thirteen point winning margin flattered the Comer Group sponsored outfit somewhat but they were no denying that the better team had won. With ten minutes remaining of the contest and Meath 2-11 to 1-7 to the good, goalkeeper Jack Hannigan shut the door on a potential Westmeath comeback when he saved a Ger Leech penalty. Barry Dardis gave the visitors the perfect start, goaling after a minute

31

but the maroon and whites – who were managed by former Dublin star Tommy Carr – replied with a goal of their own soon after. A Fiachra Ward goal placed Meath in the driving seat once again and they led by 2-8 to 1-4 at the interval. Westmeath enjoyed the better of the third quarter exchanges but they were let down by bad shooting and Hannigan’s penalty save ultimately broke their spirits. A few weeks after some of them sat their Leaving Cert exams, the Meath players were on the receiving end of a harsh lesson in the provincial decider when they slumped to a 3-17 to 1-11 defeat to Dublin. It was the second year in a row that Dublin proved far too strong for the Royals in the provincial showdown and, like in 2011, there could be no complaints from supporters of the green and gold. The young Dubs eased into a 0-6 to 0-1 lead by the end of the opening quarter with Patrick Kennelly putting his name to Meath’s solitary score during that period in the 6th minute. Stephen Coogan registered his


team’s second point in the 16th minute but McEntee’s charges went in at the break trailing by 0-5 to 1-10. Cormac Costello found the back of Jack Hannigan’s net. Cillian O’Sullivan scored a consolation goal for Meath midway through the second half but there was no let up from Dublin and they ran out comfortable 12-point winners. “We didn’t play at all, it’s very disappointing when that happens, we didn’t do ourselves justice today,” a dejected Andy McEntee commented afterwards. “We are better than the scoreboard showed, we now have to go out and prove it the next day.” McEntee’s players responded the ‘next day’ against Tyrone in Pairc Esler Newry to put the disappointment of the Leinster final defeat behind them. The Padraig Harnan captained side booked a return to Croke Park when edging a drama-packed All-Ireland quarter-final tussle against the Ulster champions by 2-12 to 1-14. Behind by a point entering the last minute of normal time, Meath were

staring at the exit door but Stephen Coogan got on the end of a Cillian O’Sullivan centre to fist the ball to the back of the Tyrone net. Tyrone pulled a point back in the three minutes of added-on time but Meath held out for a morale boosting victory. Barry Dardis goaled after just 12 seconds of play but the sides went in level at the break on 1-7 apiece. The second half followed a similar pattern with both teams evenly matched but Coogan emerged as his team’s hero with his late matchingwinning goal. Coogan’s Dunderry club-mate Patrick Kennelly inherited that mantle following his injury-time winning goal against Mayo in the All-Ireland semifinal. Meath’s traditional never-say-die spirit surfaced again as the young Royals sent Mayo packing on a 2-10 to 1-11 scoreline. Just as in the quarter-final against Tyrone, Meath looked to be on the way out but two late goals injected a new lease of life into their challenge.

Trailing by three points with five minutes to, Meath were thrown a lifeline when referee Cathal O’Hagan awarded them a penalty for a ‘foot block’ by Mayo full-back Adam Gallagher on Cillian O’Sullivan. It was decision that caught even the most biased of Meath supporters by surprise and Fiachra Ward exhaled a sigh of relief when his poorly struck spot-kick evaded the dive of Mayo goalkeeper Conor O’Malley. The ties were scored at 1-10 apiece and Kennelly broke Mayo hearts when volleying the ball to the back of their net moments later. A couple of refereeing decisions went the Royal County’s way in the dramatic closing stages but, overall, they had played well and would have ran out more clear-cut winners were they not guilty of some poor shottaking as well as decision-making during the course of the sixty minutes. “We kicked a lot of wides, but sometimes those chances will go over and sometimes they won’t,” observed Andy McEntee afterwards.

Fiachra Ward gets past Wexford's Peadar Cody during the Leinster MFL at Navan

32


“We kept trying to do the right thing and that was important, we got there, but we left it late.” Meath renewed acquaintances with Dublin in the Tom Markham Cup decider and, although they kept the damage to a more respectable six points, the final outcome was the same as the Leinster final. McEntee and his selectors adopted a blanket style defence tactic with wing-forward James McEntee playing a sweeper style role between the fullback and half-back lines. The gameplan worked to a degree insofar as Dublin had to work very hard for the scores that came their way but, at the other end of the field, Meath failed to carry a scoring threat as all their energies were invested in keeping the Dubs out. The Royals were five points adrift at the break – 0-2 to 0-7 – but they clawed their way back into contention during the third quarter when outscoring their opponents by 1-2 to 0-1 to bring the deficit back to the minimum. Fiachra Ward (free) and substitute Patrick Kennelly sent over the points and the latter was then fouled for a penalty in the 42nd minute which Ward duly converted. At that stage, Meath supporters might have expected that the players would be released from their defensive shackles but the sideline team stuck with the tactic and Meath failed to register another score until James McEntee’s injury-time point. A late goal chance came their way but full-back Brian Power was the wrong man in the right place at the right time. When quizzed on his defensive gameplan afterwards, Andy McEntee explained: “We had been beaten twice by Dublin already this year by trying to play conventional style football, so to go out and do the same thing for a third time and expect a different result just didn’t make sense. “We had to try something different. I think it worked to a large degree, but unfortunately it just didn’t work enough.” The Dunboyne clubman was fulsome in his praise of his players and predicted bigger and better things to come from them.

Manager Andy McEntee's reaction to Paddy Kennelly's late match winning goal against Mayo in the All-Ireland MFC semi final is plain to see. Also in picture are r/l: Nigel Crawford, John Kavanagh (minor board chairman) and PJ Cudden

“The future is bright for Meath because there are loads of excellent young footballers in the county, so this isn’t the end for these young lads, it’s only the beginning.” The Meath minor team and substitutes that featured in the AllIreland MFC final defeat was as follows: Robbie Burlingham (Simonstown); Ruairi O Coileain (Navan O’Mahonys), Brian Power (Ratoath), Shane Gallagher (Simonstown); Declan Smyth (Dunsany), Padraig Harnan (Moynalvey), Seamus Lavin

(Dunboyne/Kilbride); Shane McEntee (Dunboyne/Kilbride), Adam Flanagan (Clonard); Cillian O’Sullivan (Moynalvey, 0-1), Jason Daly (Dunboyne/Kilbride), James McEntee (St Vincent’s/Curraha, 0-1); Barry Dardis (Summerhill), Fiachra Ward (Wolfe Tones, 1-2), Stephen Coogan (Dunderry). Subs: Patrick Kennelly (Dunderry, 0-1) for Dardis, Harry Rooney (Skryne) for Coogan, Conor Carton (Donaghmore/Ashbourne) for Smyth, Caoimhin O Griofa (Clann na nGael) for Ward, Conor O’Brien (Skryne) for Daly.

Jason Daly makes a great catch against Mayo in the All-Ireland semi final

33


MEATH 1987 ALL-IRELAND WIN

THE WONDER OF 1987 How time flies. It’s hard to believe that it’s over 25 years since that wonderful day in Croke Park in 1987 when Meath won the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship for the first time in 20 years and Mick Lyons became the last captain to be presented with the old Sam Maguire Cup.

Mick Lyons raises the Sam Maguire Cup in 1987

34


The 1987 and ’88 squad were guests of honour before this year’s All Ireland decider between Donegal and Mayo, front l/r: Finian Murtagh, David Beggy, Padraic Lyons, Terry Ferguson, Colm Coyle, Bernard Flynn, Liam Smith, Frank Foley, Packie Henry, Gerry Cooney, Barry Ferguson, Brendan Reilly. Back: Mattie McCabe, PJ Gillic, Brian Stafford, Colm O'Rourke, Liam Hayes, Liam Harnan, Gerry McEntee, Martin O'Connell, Mick Lyons, Joe Cassells, Mickey McQuillan, Bob O'Malley, Donal Smith, Des Lane, Michael McDonnell

I

t had been a long road to that fabulous triumph under the guidance of Sean Boylan who took over as coach in the autumn of 1982 at a time when Meath had been eliminated from the Leinster Championship at the first round stage in successive years – by Wexford in 1981 and Longford in 1982. By 1983 they were fit to take Dublin to a replay which they lost by only two points after extra time and the following year they lost the Leinster final to the Dubs by four points in the absence of Lyons. They appeared to be learning fast, but 1985 brought a painful 10-point defeat suffered at the hands of Laois at Tullamore. The future looked bleak once again after that reversal. It was clear that the panel needed to be strengthened and the emergence of talented players like Terry Ferguson, Liam Harnan, PJ Gillic, David Beggy and Brian Stafford was to play a hugely significant part in a memorable breakthrough the following year when Meath won their first Leinster senior title since 1970. Carlow and Wicklow were beaten en route to the final where Meath edged out Dublin by 0-9 to 0-7 and the Royal County supporters were singing in the rain at Croke Park as Joe Cassells raised the cup to signal Meath’s return to the top of the provincial tree. The dominance of Dublin and Offaly had been broken. Meath lost the All-Ireland semi-final to Kerry by 0-12 to 2-13, a match which is recalled for the goal scored by Ger Power after Cassells, Lyons and Mickey McQuillan collided in the air. It was a disappointment, but Meath knew they weren’t too far off

the required standard to make the biggest breakthrough of all. However, things didn’t look overly encouraging in the spring of 1987, particularly in the National League match against Mayo at Charlestown when they scored only three points. By the time they played Laois in the first round of the championship Martin O’Connell had left the panel and Colm Coyle had departed to Chicago. The signs weren’t exactly good. After what happened in Tullamore two years earlier the match against Laois at Portlaoise was eagerly anticipated. Meath upped their game in the second half to win by 1-11 to 25, but on the negative side Kevin Foley and Colm O’Rourke retired with shoulder injuries, joining Paraic Lyons on the injury list. Cassells played at centre-forward that day and impressed, while Stafford contributed seven points. When Meath beat Kildare by 0-15 to 0-9 in a semi-final at Tullamore Foley and O’Rourke were absentees, but a haul of 10 points from Stafford demonstrated that the team possessed a seriously good freetaker. By the time the final against Dublin came around O’Connell was at left half-back and he went on to be one of the finest players in the country in that position over many years. Mattie McCabe, a replacement for Cassells who had hamstring trouble, scored the goal in a 1-13 to 0-12 victory, while that immensely skilful forward Finian Murtagh came off the bench and scored two points. Foley and Charlie Redmond were sent off, but the important thing was

35

that Meath had retained their provincial title and were back in the All-Ireland semi-final again, this time against Derry. Coyle had returned to strengthen the panel at this stage, but his clubmate McCabe was an absentee with a broken leg and that left the way open for Cassells to return. Foley demonstrated what a brilliant marker he was when he curtailed the influence of the potentially lethal Dermot McNicholl and the comprehensive 0-15 to 0-8 win meant Meath were back in the AllIreland final for the first time since they lost the first 80-minute decider to Kerry in 1970. There to meet them were Cork who had ended Kerry’s reign in Munster and then beaten Galway by 11 points in an All-Ireland semi-final replay. The Royal County was gripped by football fever between the semi-final and final and those too young to remember 1970 had never experienced anything like it before. But the final still had to be won. The signs weren’t great early on as Meath missed chances and Cork opened up a 0-7 to 0-2 advantage after 21 minutes. The situation could have been a great deal worse as Mick Lyons made a brilliant block from a Jimmy Kerrigan goal-bound shot. Encouragingly from a Meath point of view there was no sign of panic. They had learned to stay calm in difficult situations. A huge boost arrived after 24 minutes in the shape of a palmed O’Rourke goal when he followed up after Bernard Flynn’s initial effort had been saved. Meath had recovered sufficiently to lead by the minimum (1-6 to 0-8) at


the interval and they pushed clear in brilliant fashion in the second half as they steadily grew in confidence. Cork managed only a pointed free from the off form Larry Tompkins in the first 31 minutes of the second period and Meath led by eight points with five minutes remaining. When Limerick referee Pat Lane sounded the last whistle they were six to the good, 1-14 to 0-11, and what seemed improbable just over two years earlier when they were heavily beaten by Laois at Tullamore had happened. They were worthy AllIreland champions. Meath had solid performers all over the field, including midfielders Liam Hayes and Gerry McEntee, while Stafford contributed seven points, four of them from play. “What happened against Laois in 1985 is impossible to explain,” said Hayes. “We walked into that game with our heads in the clouds. We had beaten Kildare easily in the first championship game in Navan. Maybe that had something to do with it. “We had also reached the Leinster final in 1984 and maybe we felt we had a God-given right to be there again. Of course, we had also won the Centenary Cup in 1984. That defeat to Laois gave us the kick up the backside we needed. “We avoided Laois in the 1986 championship when we beat Carlow and Wicklow to reach the Leinster final. The rain came down in torrents during the final. I remember we changed our jerseys at half-time. It was a game that could have gone either way, but I think we had turned the corner mentally at that stage. “I remember kicking a ‘45’ wide in the second half when we were a point or two ahead. It looked like a crucial wide in such a tight game. But our defending in the last 15 minutes was incredible. It was fabulous to finally beat Dublin. That was the best day we had in Croke Park, the best by far.” Meath suffered the disappointment of losing the 1986 All-Ireland semifinal to Kerry, but great days lay ahead. “We weren’t playing well in the early part of 1987,” Hayes added. “I remember we faced two games in Portlaoise in quick succession which would define our year. Galway beat us by three or four points in a National League quarter-final and the

second game was in the championship against Laois. “I felt nervous heading down for that game. They got a goal midway through the second half and we were in trouble, but we took off after that and won by three points. That was a big win. Colm O’Rourke didn’t play in the semi-final against Kildare, but we played really well that day. It was a very good performance. Our confidence was building.” Stafford contributed 10 points in that match and Hayes believes the emergence of the Kilmainhamwood player was hugely important. “The emergence of Brian Stafford was a huge factor in our successes after that,” he said. “I took the frees before that, but Staff must have had a success rate of 80 or 90 per cent. If you push the clock forward to 1991 and the four games against Dublin I remember him converting a free into the wind that he had no right to get. “All the leading teams have had a top class free taker, like Jimmy Keavney and Barney Rock with Dublin and Mikey Sheehy with Kerry. You don’t win anything without them. Staff got us out of many holes. “The earlier emergence of new faces, including Staff, Terry Ferguson and David Beggy, had strengthened the panel, freshened things up. Our confidence had grown too. We were on automatic pilot for two years. You just didn’t see yourself losing. It’s 90 per cent mental and 10 per cent physical. “We knew we could beat Dublin at that stage. The win in 1986 taught us that. I remember Mattie McCabe scored a goal in the 1987 final and we won by four points. We played poorly in the All-Ireland semi-final against Derry but won comfortably. It was a

lazy performance, but at that stage we could play well and win or play badly and win.” Meath’s first All-Ireland victory in two decades was a matter of weeks away and after a less than encouraging start to the final against Cork, they won very comfortably. “We started slowly in the final,” Hayes said. “We were ball watching and game watching. It took Mick Lyons’ block from Jimmy Kerrigan to waken us up, get us going. Colm O’Rourke got a goal. We grew in confidence, but Cork went the opposite way. “We had no stand-out performances, but it was a very solid team display. Obviously, it was great to win our first All-Ireland, but the games I remember with most satisfaction are that 1986 Leinster final and the 1988 All-Ireland final replay. To hold onto the title that year was so important. The 1987 win was a bit of a novelty, but we really wanted to win it again. “That was a very talented Cork team. They were better in 1988 than in 1987. They had a great squad, wall to wall talent. But at that time we felt Cork didn’t have any right to beat us.” Cork went on to prove just how good they were by winning the next two All-Ireland titles, beating Meath in the 1990 final. Hayes was captain in 1991 when Dublin were eventually overcome after four amazing games and the Leinster title was clinched with a final victory over Laois. Heartbreak lay in store when Meath lost their 10th game of the championship – the All-Ireland final – to Down and the following summer Hayes played his last game for the county when he was introduced as a substitute during the loss to Laois at Pairc Tailteann.

The men of ’87, All Ireland SFC winners, front l/r: PJ Gillic, Colm Coyle, Terry Ferguson, Joe Cassells, Bernard Flynn, Bob O'Malley, Liam Harnan. Back: Colm O'Rourke, Mick Lyons, Gerry McEntee, Mickey McQuillan, Martin O'Connell, Brian Stafford, Liam Hayes, David Beggy

36


MICK O’DOWD New Meath manager Mick O’Dowd

Putting in a solid platform for Meath football over the next few years is the mission of Mick O'Dowd and his management team. 'Playercentred management' will be central towards achieving that goal. By Liam O’Rourke.

M

eath may have fallen somewhat from the level they were at when O'Dowd made his only senior championship appearance for the county. However, the Skryne-man is hopeful that with the management team he has assembled improvements in the county's standing in Gaelic Football can be brought about. However, they won't just 'happen'. His address to the October meeting of the Meath County Committee meeting further unlined the potential of this new management team to

O’DOWD WANTS UNITY FOR MEATH improve the county's standing in the game. The new manager emphasises that much work need to be done but also sees grounds for optimism, that significant progress can be achieved in the long term. "I'm very positive about that. Meath is a traditionally strong footballing county. There is good work being done at lots of club and at lots of levels. "It's a three-year term and hopefully there will be progress made every year. As I said to the county board delegates, I've no problem coming back into them later in the year, outlining some of the things we're doing and how they are working. At the end of the day it's the clubs of Meath that make appointments," the new Meath manager acknowledges. Being 'first among equals' is widely regarded as the essence of good leadership. Surrounding yourself with a quality management team

37

emphasises this quality. Even though O'Dowd held a longterm ambition to manage Meath, 'things' had to be right for him to pursue his goal. Fortune also played a role. "It's just the way things fell this year. The lads that I wanted to work with me were available. So, I was happy to let my name go forward," which underlines the value of a strong management team. His management teams includes Sean Kelly (who along with Sean Barry guided Navan O'Mahonys to an SFC title in 2008). Kelly went close to leading Donaghmore-Ashbourne to this year's senior football final, losing to eventual winners O'Mahonys at the penultimate hurdle by the narrowest margin. Colm Brady, another former county player has had spells as team trainer under Sean Boylan and Eamonn O'Brien. O'Dowd's clubmate and good friend


Trevor Giles is also on board having been involved with the previous managerial set-up. O'Dowd rightly feels that the term 'selector' does the members of his management team a disservice. "They are not selectors, they are coaches. They have areas of responsibility. One person has to make the call, there are definite areas of responsibility for each of the lads." Promotion from the NFL Division 3 is an immediate priority for this Meath team. The 'Champions League' format of the O'Byrne Cup guarantees participants at least three matches. The competition won't be about experimentation: The manager elaborates: "From the start it will be about getting hold of the jersey and holding onto it. It's about everybody earning their jersey." In his matter-of-fact manner, O'Dowd elaborates on his gradual graduation towards managment. As a player, having the dressing room 'right' was always a major concern for him at all stages in his career. "I was always comfortable being captain or having some input how settled the dressing room was and having things done right within it. That's the most important thing, to have absolute unity inside the dressing room," he explains. O'Dowd had the full backing of Skryne when he went for the Meath job. However, he was happy to be nominated by another club in the county, St Colmcille's. Being nominated by a club other than one's own sends out a positive signal about the strength of the candidacy. O'Dowd, who turned 39 in November, is only interested in managing a Skryne team or a Meath county team. Over the past three years he oversaw the transition of an under-16 side to minor level within his own club. As a player O'Dowd captained UCD for in 1994 and 1995. The following year he remained in college to complete his Masters and helped the Belfield outfit win the Sigerson Cup for the first time since 1985. When Skryne defeated Dunshaughlin in the 1999 SFC final, O'Dowd lifted the Keegan Cup. 'Player-centred management' is central to the man who works with Rabobank. O'Dowd was playermanager of the Skryne team that won

the SFC for the 12th time with victory over Simonstown in 2004. That team went on to reach the Leinster Club SFC final where they lost to Portlaoise by four points, 2-4 to 1-11. He stayed at the helm the following year when the Skryne won the Feis Cup. In 2006, Mick O'Dowd concentrated on playing before resuming his dual role as player-manager for the next campaign when Skryne won the Division 1 FL. Trevor Giles took charge again in 2008 which marked O'Dowd's last year as a player. Nearly two decades had passed since Mick was a member of the St Patrick's Classical School, Navan side that brought the Leinster Colleges SFC title to Moatlands for the first time. Trevor Giles also featured on the winning-side. Hopes of Hogan Cup glory ended at the final hurdle when St Fachtna's, Skibbereen prevailed by eight points, 2-9 to 0-7. A few weeks later the new Meath manager was part of the county minor side that cashed in its provincial and All-Ireland titles when losing a Leinster MFC first round replay to Dublin after extra time at Walterstown. It proved to be the prelude to the senior saga between the counties that started a month later. O'Dowd's county minor career was sandwiched between two All-Ireland MFC wins for Meath. However, in 1993 he was a sub on the Royal County side, managed by Paul Kenny, that defeated Dublin in the Leinster Under 21 FC final at Croke Park in May. By the time the All-Ireland series played in August, a back injury sidelined the Skryne man as Meath went on to win their only All-Ireland Under 21 FC title with a narrow win over Kerry at Portlaoise. Over the next decade, Mick a number of appearnances with the county senior side in league and subsidiary competitions. His sole championship outing was as a substitute in the emphatic All-Ireland SFC semi-final win over Kerry on the first Sunday of September 2001. Three weeks later the Royals endured a heavy loss to Galway in the final. Meath haven't been in an All-Ireland SFC final since. Some might say that the fourth Sunday of September of that year marked the beginning of the end of

38

the Boylan era and of Meath as a force in Gaelic Football. Thirty years ago, Meath appointed a man in his late Thirties who was relatively unknown outside the county to take charge of the senior side. There are some similarities with the new manager. Mick O'Dowd doesn't dwell on such matters. Listening to him you get a strong sense of man with his own vision of how a team should be run. One phrase stood out in his address to the County Committee in October when he set out his stall as manager of the county side: "putting in a solid platform for Meath football over the next few years". That suggests a realistic approach to the task in hand by the new management team who are aware of what is required to achieve sustainable success. One way towards achieving that goal is to have a good working relationship with the minor and under-21 managements, which is part of O'Dowd's plan. Returning Meath to the glory days of the 1980s and 1990s is the aim of the new management team. However, he is well aware matching the achievements of those decades won't be easy. "I imagine there will be ups and downs along the way, highs and lows, and I ask you to stick with us once you're happy that we are doing things right. “People in Ireland have a tendency to be unnecessarily negative at times and maybe undermine people but I ask and urge you, if you are happy that it is being done right, stick with it and stand up for the way it is being done,� - were key points of his address at that county committee meeting. He has no problem with expectations and believes that all associated with the team have to learn to live with them to ensure delivery on big days. It is said pressure makes diamonds. Above all, Mick O'Dowd emphasises those who are central to improving Meath's standing in Gaelic Football. "It's about getting the players that have the real desire to play with Meath, improving them and getting that team ethic. When you have all those things, you have to be hopeful about what it can lead to."


Best Wishes To All Local Clubs

Details must be filled In To Avail Of This Offer

Best wishes to Meath GAA, from

The Pain Relief Centre David Murphy Physical Therapist

FREQUENCY SPECIFIC MICROCURRENT F.S.M. • PHYSICAL THERAPY • SPORTS MASSAGE FSM@The Pain Relief Centre Experience Dramatic relief from your pain. FSM is a unique treatment for sports injuries and pain. No other treatment has proven to be as effective for pain relief from acute soft tissue injury. FSM can rehabilitate an injured muscle or soft tissue in a very short period of time sometimes in as little as 2 sessions.

F.S.M. ..... Fixes Sore Muscles Bridge Street, Kilcock, Co. Kildare Tel: 01-6519935. Mobile: 086-2463797. www.painreliefcentre.ie Bestwishes to all local clubs and Meath GAA, from

Flower Hill, Navan

085-2778423 39


On duty for the opening round of the Leinster JFC against Wicklow in Pairc Tailteann, front l/r: Stephen Clynch, Bobby O`Brien, Harry Newman, Paudge Muldoon, Cathal Hilliard, Rory Maguire, Cormac Rowe, Sean Mallon, Stephan Crosbie, Eoin Lynch,Brian McMahon, Mark Brennan, Padraig Young. Back: Justin Carry Lynch, Ciaran Lynch, Phelim O`Reilly, Danny Quinn, Shane Geraghty, Andrew Tormey, Davy Murtagh, Paudge Geoghegan, Shane Crosbie, Gerard Crehan, Gearoid Rennicks, Darragh McNamara

JUNIOR FOOTBALLERS 2012


JUNIOR FOOTBALLERS

Danny Quinn keeps his eye on the ball

Meath’s wait for a first Leinster JFC title since 2006 goes on after this year’s team made a disappointing exit at the hands of Kildare in the semi-final.

A

Jekyl and Hyde performance cost Meath dearly in the semi-final of this year’s Leinster JFC away to Kildare in Newbridge back in June. The Rory Maguire-captained side appeared destined for a place in the provincial decider when they held a seven point half-time lead – 0-8 to 01 – but they fell apart in the second half and conceded nine points. At the other end of the field, all they could add to their tally was a solitary

JUNIORS SUFFER SECOND HALF BLOW-OUT point and they made their exit. Curraha’s Pat Coyle was ratified as manager of the juniors for a second year at the April meeting of the County Committee along with his management team of Paul Clarke, Richie Cahill and Damien Griffin. That left him with just two months to assemble a squad for the opener against Wicklow at Pairc Tailteann in late May which Meath won comfortably on a scoreline of 1-16 to 2-4. Coyle used nineteen players as the hosts eased to a convincing ninepoint win with Drumbaragh’s Darragh McNamara helping himself to 1-4 of the winners’ total. Indeed, all the starting six forwards made the scoresheet and the team in green and gold led by 1-8 to 1-3 at

the interval. Points from McNamara (2), Stephen Crosbie, Sean Mallon, Podge Geoghegan and Danny Quinn extended Meath’s advantage to 1-14 to 1-4 by the three quarter hour mark and the best the Garden County could muster in reply was a late consolation goal. Afterwards, Pat Coyle expressed satisfaction with his team’s display: “That was a pleasing performance, the players stuck to the plan, we wanted the ball moving fast and they did that. “We kicked some great points in the opening 10 minutes and we had Wicklow on the rack at that stage. It was a great start.” He added: “The players knuckled down in the second half, we

Log onto www.dlynchpics.com to view more club photos

41


BEST WISHES TO MEATH GAA, FROM

Clinstown, Stamullen, Co. Meath, Ireland. Tel: +353 (0)1 841 3262 Tel/Fax: +353 (0)1 841 6613. Mobile: +353 (0)86 259 3086 Email: info@clarkesfreshfruit.ie

For over 50 years we have been growing strawberries on the family farm. You will find our produce in the major supermarkets including Dunnes Stores and Superquinn.


continued with the fast ball and that made it difficult for Wicklow.” An injury ruled McNamara out of the starting fifteen for the last four encounter with the Lilywhites but the Royals made light of his absence to race into a 0-8 to 0-1 half-time lead. Meath started positively with points from Andrew Tormey (2) and captain Maguire before Kildare got off the mark in the 21st minute. Full-forward Tormey brought his tally to six by the end of the opening 30 minutes while Danny Quinn also got in on the scoring act. The wheels came off the wagon, however, following the resumption and four points from Kildare centre half-forward Seamus Hannafin and a point apiece from Barry Lawlor and substitute Aidan Dunne changed the complexion of the game. Meath’s lead was reduced to the narrowest of margins by the threequarter stage before Tormey sent over their one and only second half point from a placed ball with thirteen minutes left on the clock.

Kildare substitute Emmet O’Keefe struck for two points and Cathal McNally also raised a white flag to dump the Royals out of the competition. McNamara was introduced as a last throw of the dice by Coyle and his selectors and the Drumbaragh player was denied an equalising point by the woodwork. “I said it at half-time that Kildare would have a period of dominance and they came out and reeled off three quick points” manager Coyle opined after the final whistle. “Maybe our lads thought they had done enough, but we just didn’t perform in the second half and we also made some silly mistakes.” He continued: “We also had two chances to force extra-time and it didn’t happen. Darragh McNamara was carrying an injury and that’s why he didn’t start, he was unlucky to hit the post and we had another chance after that. “The players showed great heart and determination, but we didn’t win

enough possession at midfield, unfortunately we’re out now for another year.” The Meath team and substitutes that featured in the Leinster JFC semi-final defeat to Kildare was as follows: Shane Geraghty (Na Fianna); Harry Newman (Kilmainham), Shane Crosby (Navan O’Mahonys), Paudge Muldoon (Ballinlough); Cormac Rowe (Syddan), Padraig Young (Syddan), Padraig Geoghegan (Ballivor); Felim O’Reilly (St Michael’s), Stephen Crosbie (Drumconrath); Mairtin Doran (Ballivor), Rory Maguire (Longwood, 0-1), Stephen Donoghue (Moynalvey); Danny Quinn (Ballinabrackey, 0-1), Andrew Tormey (Donaghmore/Ashbourne, 0-7, 3 frees), Sean Mallon (Curraha). Subs: Gary Coyne (Cortown) for Geoghegan, Brian McMahon (Ratoath) for Mallon, Stephen Clynch (Dunsany) for Crosbie, Darragh McNamara (Drumbaragh) for Donoghue, Anthony Forde (Moynalvey) for McNamara.

Drumbaragh’s Darragh McNamara was outstanding against Wicklow in Pairc Tailteann

43


The senior squad prior to the Leinster semi-final clash with Westmeath at The Downs, front l/r: Fiona Mahon, Orla Sheridan, Katie O’Brien, Vivienne McCormack, Shauna Bennett, Jenny Rispin, Aedin Murray, Sinead Coyle, Orla Byrne, Aine Bennett, Marie Masterson. Back: Shauna Ennis, Eileen Rahill, Bridgetta Lynch, Hazel Dennedy, Kate Byrne, Helen Regan, Irene Munnelly, Monica McGuirk, Laura Dempsey, Colleen Jordan, Cliona Murray, Michelle Peel, Aideen Guy, Emma Troy, Aoife Weston, Mary Sheridan

LADIES FOOTBALLERS 2012


LADIES FOOTBALLERS

Eileen Rahill cleans up in defence against All-Ireland champions Cork at Ashbourne

Laois shattered Meath’s hopes of provincial glory when snatching a dramatic final victory in 2011, but this time there was no denying that the Royal County were second best in the Leinster SFC decider as Dublin won decisively to gain a measure of revenge for last term’s semi-final reversal.

A

nd the Meath girls didn’t have much to cheer about in the All-Ireland qualifiers either as outsiders Clare ended their ambitions of a prolonged back door journey when winning a round two encounter with a late point. Paula Cunningham’s team had started 2012 on a very promising note when marking their return to Division 1 of the National League with an impressive 1-12 to 1-7 victory over Tyrone at Ashbourne where they were well on the road to the win at the interval as a fisted Shauna Bennett goal boosted them to a commanding 1-9 to 1-1 advantage.

HOPING TO REALISE TRUE POTENTIAL But that triumph was followed by a bit of a slump as Meath lost three games on the bounce and drew once, before finding their winning form again and recording back to back victories which enabled them to qualify for the semi-finals. The early win over Tyrone was followed by a meeting with Dublin, also at Ashbourne, where the team in blue won by 0-10 to 0-7. On a sad note, St Ultan’s player Geraldine Doherty sustained a double break to a leg and was set for a lengthy spell of football inactivity. This was a poor Meath performance and Dublin led by 0-5 to 0-4 at the interval en route to a merited win. A trip to Tyholland brought further disappointment as 2011 All-Ireland SFC runners-up Monaghan won by 1-8 to 0-8 despite a superbly committed effort from the visitors who were bang in contention at the break when trailing by the minimum (0-6 to

45

1-4). It was back to Ashbourne for a fourth round meeting with All-Ireland champions Cork and the concession of three goals of the soft variety proved costly for Meath as the visitors won by 3-8 to 2-8. Two of those goals arrived in the first half, at the end of which Cork led by 2-1 to 06, and when another went in early in the second period the writing was on the wall. To their credit, Meath battled away courageously after they fell well behind and played some very good football. Their efforts were rewarded with late goals from Katie O’Brien and Vivienne McCormack who slotted home a penalty. Meath recovered from an eightpoint (0-4 to 1-9) interval deficit to draw with Kildare (0-13 to 1-10) at Ashbourne and at that stage their chances of making the knockout stages didn’t look promising.


Best wishes to Meath GAA, from

Ashbourne Golf Club

Castlemartin, Kells Road, Navan, Co. Meath

Tel: 046-9021949

O T R E F F O E M O C L WE Ses with DthEeirRnam A E R H T A E M r te eople to regis will each receive a The first 5 p .ie kellycarsales Fiona@John r Eu1000 voulidcfohr oene month purchase, va toward a car voucher issue date from

Why not enjoy a round of golf on our enjoyable yet challenging course. You will love our smooth and true greens and immaculate fairways. After your round, enjoy the best pint of Guinness around and sample our delicious menus.

www.johnkellycarsales.ie Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm - Saturday 10am to 4pm EVENINGS BY APPOINTMENT

BOOK YOUR ROUND TODAY Contact Ciara on 01 835 2005 Ext: 20 or ciara@ashbournegolfclub.ie and quote Meath GAA to take advantage of our special GAA Golf Society and Green Fee rates. Ashbourne Golf Club, Archerstown, Ashbourne, Co. Meath

www.ashbournegolfclub.ie BEST WISHES TO MEATH GAA IN 2013

Best Wishes To Meath GAA From

OXY-ARC LTD SIP AIR COMPRESSORS MUREX WELDING EQUIPMENT BOSCH POWER TOOLS

WWW.OXYARC.IE FOR ALL YOUR EQUIPMENT AND TOOLS Coes Road, Dundalk | Tel: 042 9331137

Best Wishes To Meath Senior Ladies From

At Pain Relief.ie our aim is to treat patients of all ages with a holistic approach to healthcare through Osteopathy, Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine focusing on the specific needs of the patient. Dunshaughlin Osteopathy Cooksland, Navan Rd. Dunshaughlin Co. Meath Phone: 01-8240663 www.painrelief.ie Email: paul.carolan@hotmail.com or paul@painrelief.ie

46


However, it got significantly better for Meath after that as they recovered sufficiently to book a place in the last four of the league. A trip to Crettyard yielded a 3-7 to 1-9 win over Laois and a measure of revenge for last year’s Leinster final defeat. Kellie Allen scored a first half goal for Meath, but they trailed by 1-6 to 17 at the break, before goals in the second period from substitute Bridgetta Lynch and Vivienne McCormack pointed them in the direction of a win which reignited their hopes of reaching the knockout stages. Goalkeeper Monica McGuirk was one of their star performers. A 4-6 to 2-8 victory over Donegal at Convoy earned Meath a semi-final place, but that was as good as it got and Cork won by 3-10 to 0-10 at Crettyard. A disastrous start when aided by the wind proved their

undoing and goals from Rhona Buckley and Ciara O’Sullivan helped Cork to lead by 2-3 to 0-1 after only eight minutes. The Royal County played well subsequently as they battled against the odds and had cut the deficit to 06 to 2-4 by the interval. O’Brien was denied a goal when Cork ‘keeper Elaine Harte produced a brilliant save, before the introduction of Laura Dempsey for the final quarter boosted Meath. Dempsey went close to goaling, but Meath still reduced the gap to four points. However, the killer blow arrived when Valerie Mulcahy scored Cork’s third goal. Katie O’Brien was the losers’ top scorer with three points. After the disappointment of that defeat it was a matter of concentrating on the more important

Vivienne McCormack is under pressure against Westmeath

47

matter of the Leinster SFC and a semi-final meeting with an emerging Westmeath team which won the AllIreland IFC title last year and claimed the National League Division 3 crown this year. This proved to be a searching test of Meath’s credentials at The Downs, but they came through it on a 2-7 to 0-8 scoreline. They missed a lot of chances and Maud Annie Foley – a niece of former Meath footballers Kevin and Frank Foley – gave Westmeath the lead with a pointed free in the fifth minute. The Royal County hit back with a goal when Fiona Mahon’s centre dropped under the crossbar and they led by 1-3 to 0-3 at the change of ends, their points coming from frees courtesy of Katie O’Brien (two) and Shauna Bennett. A fisted goal from Mary Sheridan and two more O’Brien


points pushed the lead out to 2-5 to 06 by the three-quarter stage. Meath had Eileen Rahill sin-binned with 10 minutes remaining, but they had done enough by that stage and the teams shared four points as substitute Laura Dempsey sent over two brilliant scores for the winners. Goalkeeper Irene Munnelly also made a telling contribution to the victory with two fine saves in the closing stages. Dr Cullen Park, Carlow, was the venue for the final and there was no denying Dublin’s supremacy as they won by 3-9 to 0-9 to frustrate Meath’s bid for a first Leinster title in 12 years. Munnelly was again a star performer between the posts, while it also took solid defending from Aedin Murray, Orla Sheridan, Orla Byrne and Eileen Rahill to prevent further damage. Meath started positively as a superb move ended with Emma Troy forcing a great save from Dublin ‘keeper Cliodhna O’Connor and despite having Katie O’Brien sin-binned they moved into a 1-2 to 0-2 advantage, thanks largely to Jenny Rispin goal. But Dublin gradually found their rhythm and were in front by 2-3 to 1-4 at the break after Sinead Ahern and Amy Ring had found the net. O’Brien scored three first half points for Meath and Shauna Bennett also split the uprights, but they managed to add only two in the second period from substitute Laura Dempsey and O’Brien. Dublin got a third goal courtesy of Natalia Hyland and had gone close to netting a short time earlier when Munnelly saved well from Ring. There was further heartbreak for Meath in the All-Ireland qualifier against Clare at Birr when Naomi Carroll snatched victory for the Munster side with a point in the last minute. A tally of just three second half points was damaging for the Royal County and left them vulnerable in the closing stages. O’Brien was in devastating form and her contribution of 1-7 earned her the player of the match award, but it was significant that she was the only

Meath forward to score. She gave her team the lead with a point after just 40 seconds and the star attacker and Shauna Bennett added two more as Meath held a 0-3 to 0-2 advantage. A goal from Maria Kelly helped Clare to open up a 1-4 to 0-3 lead, but when Bennett passed to O’Brien the St Ultan’s player goaled in brilliant fashion, before her accuracy enabled the Royal County to edge into a 1-7 to 1-6 interval cushion. Clare were aided by the wind in the second half, but Bennett stretched Meath’s lead with a point. However, they didn’t score for the following 15 minutes as the Banner County girls defended heroically. By the three-

The new look jersey was launched before the league game against Kildare

quarter stage they had moved ahead by 1-10 to 1-8, before Mahon reduced the deficit to the minimum with a mighty point. O’Brien had a rare miss from a free, but she then found her range again to level things up with five minutes remaining. Meath suffered a telling blow when Rispin was sin-binned soon after and with seconds remaining Carroll snatched victory for Clare. The Royal County were out and it hurt, but they can still reflect on a year which included a good league showing. “We were very happy with the way the league went,” said manager Paula Cunningham. “One of our big goals was to stay in Division 1 and getting to the semi-finals in our first

48

year was a big bonus. We were delighted with that. We had some very good wins in the league, including against Tyrone in our first game, and against Laois and Donegal. “We should have beaten Monaghan away, but lost by a goal. Dublin and Cork, who are qualify sides, both beat us by only three points. I thought we played very well against Cork in the league semi-final. They won comfortably, but I thought the scoreline didn’t reflect how well we performed in that game.” After a lengthy break from competitive action it was Leinster Championship time and a potentially tricky assignment away to Westmeath. “It was a very good win over an emerging Westmeath team in the Leinster semi-final,” Paula added. “The long gap between league and championship is a factor. It can be hard to get up to championship pace. We set out to beat Westmeath and we were happy with the way it went. “Losing the final to Dublin was a massive disappointment, mainly because we didn’t play to our potential. We had a couple of injuries going into that game. We had also lost Geraldine Doherty earlier in the year when she sustained a broken leg in the league game against Dublin. She was a big loss to us. Kellie Allen had an ankle injury, but we brought her on. We took a gamble and it didn’t pay off. Losing that game was a big disappointment. “Again, we expected to beat Clare in the All-Ireland qualifier. There were a lot of stop starts going into that game due to club fixtures. We also had injuries to factor in. We were beaten by a late point. It was another big disappointment. “We just didn’t reach our potential in the championship. Maybe we peaked too early. We had injuries which we gathered in the league. I believe if we had beaten Clare we would have gained the momentum to push on. But I believe the talent is in the county. It needs to be nurtured. There are a lot of very good players who haven’t even played for the county.”


FOOTBALL TEAM OF THE YEAR

FOOTBALL TEAM OF THE YEAR 2. STEPHEN O’TOOLE (NAVAN O’MAHONY’S)

O’Toole was given the job of curbing the influence of county minor Fiachra Ward in the Keegan Cup decider and he proved to be more than up to the task. An unheralded member of the O’Mahonys team, he is one of the stickiest corner-backs in the county and there are not too many forwards who will recall being marked by the Brews Hill

1. MARCUS BRENNAN (NAVAN O’MAHONY’S) It remains a mystery as to why the Navan team’s custodian has yet to be given a chance with the county senior team. The honour of captaining O’Mahonys to a 18th Meath SFC title fell to Brennan who has been a model of consistency for the Brews Hill outfit between the posts for a number of years now. Though small in stature, he is a commanding presence between the posts and rarely puts a foot wrong. Honorable mentions: Shane Geraghty (Na Fianna), David Nolan (Wolfe Tones), Brendan Murphy (Trim).

3. NIALL MCKEIGUE (NAVAN O’MAHONY’S) The former county defender has been plagued by injury in recent years but his well-being proved to be a vital ingredient in O’Mahonys winning formula. When things were going against Davy Nelsons’ charges during the semi-final against Donaghmore/Ashbourne it was McKeigue who provided the inspiration for his team’s comeback. A leader in every sense of the word, the full-back position was the easiest to select.

side’s number 2 with fondness. Honorable mentions: Richie Brady (Wolfe Tones), Eoin Riordan (Donaghmore/Ashbourne), Davy Dalton (Summerhill).

4. DIARMUID BAILEY (NA FIANNA) The former Meath minor and UCD footballer held Trim dangerman Neil Heffernan scoreless in the IFC decider and was a reassuring presence in defence throughout their victorious campaign. A reliable corner-back, Na Fianna will look to the likes of Bailey to make the step up to the considerable challenge of senior football in 2013. Honorable mentions: Sean Curran (Donaghmore/Ashbourne), Ian Matthews (Navan O’Mahonys), Gerry Sheridan (Seneschalstown).

Honorable mentions: Robbie Brennan (Trim), Cormac McGill (Donaghmore/Ashbourne), Damien Sweeney (Dunboyne)

5. MICHAEL FOLEY (NA FIANNA) The former Leitrim footballer has been a great addition to the Na Fianna intermediate team and was one of the reasons why they savoured a special triumph at Trim’s expense. The 31 year old teacher wore the number 6 jersey in the decider against their town opposition. He proved to be the rock on which many an opposition’s attacks perished during the course of the year. Honorable mentions: Niall McLoughlin (Wolfe Tones), Brian Dillon (Navan O’Mahonys), Brian Power (Ratoath)

49


6. SHANE CROSBY (NAVAN O’MAHONY’S) Like O’Toole, Crosby wouldn’t be one of the names that trip of the tongue when the subject of O’Mahonys strength in depth is the topic of discussion but he proved his worth this year with a string of impressive displays. He was eligible to line out for the Meath junior team earlier in 2012 having not played senior football with O’Mahonys in 2011. Stephen Sheppard got little change of the Brews Hill team’s number six in the county final. Honorable mentions: Conor McGill (Ratoath), Eoghan Harrington (Wolfe Tones), Brian Menton (Donaghmore/Ashbourne)

9. STEPHEN CORRIGAN (WOLFE TONES) The Wolfe Tones team failed to fire on all cylinders in the SFC final defeat by O’Mahonys but inspirational midfielder Corrigan was one of the few players who did himself justice. He has been a colossal figure around the middle third of the field for the Oristown parish club during their glory years and remains one of the best midfielders in the county. Honorable mentions: Frankie Murphy (Trim), Craig Berrigan (Dunboyne), Daniel Queeney (Na Fianna).

FOOTBALL TEAM OF THE YEAR

7. PAUL GILLIGAN (DONAGHMORE/ASHBOURNE) The left half-back helped himself to 1-3 (1-2 from play) in Donaghmore/Ashbourne’s FL Division 1 final victory over St Patrick’s in Simonstown in October and was also one of his team’s most consistent performers during the course of their run to the semi-final stages of the Keegan Cup race. He beat off stiff competition from Navan O’Mahonys’ Gary O’Brien for the number 7 jersey. Honorable mentions: Gary O’Brien (Navan O’Mahonys), Ronan Fitzsimons (Trim), Adrian Kenny (Summerhill).

8. JAMIE QUEENEY (NA FIANNA) The county man was one of the main architects of Na Fianna’s Mattie McDonnell Cup success. His finger prints were all over most of their best moments in the first half of the decider against as they raced into a 1-9 to 0-2 half-time lead. He was less prominent after the resumption as their town opponents produced a comeback but he used his experience to telling effect throughout their victorious campaign. Honorable mentions: Cian O’Brien (Ratoath), Sean Tobin (Simonstown Gaels), Brian Meade (Rathkenny).

10. PADDY SMYTH (NAVAN O’MAHONY’S) It has been a pity that the versatile O’Mahonys players had failed to make himself available to the county senior squad because he remains one of the top footballers in the county. Club comes first for Smyth, however, and he showed yet again how important a player he is for O’Mahonys. He intelligently linked defence with attack and popped up with some crucial scores for Davy Nelson’s charges Honorable mentions: Damien Carroll (Ballinabrackey), Ciaran Ellis (Donaghmore/Ashbourne), Alan Fox (Wolfe Tones)

50


11. STEPHEN SHEPPARD (WOLFE TONES) The number 12 didn’t enjoy the best of outings in the Keegan Cup decider but was a key player in the Tones’ march to the decider. His sixth minute goal set the tone for Paddy Martyn side’s five point semi-final victory over Seneschalstown while his combative style makes him a handful for opposing defenders and he ruffled many a feather as the Tones reached the last two. Honorable mentions: Bobby O’Brien (Ratoath), Niall Mooney (St Patrick’s), Joe Sheridan (Seneschalstown).

14. STEPHEN BRAY (NAVAN O’MAHONY’S) Bray was unlucky to lose out to Shane Gillespie for the ‘manof-the-match’ accolade in the senior final after firing over five points, three from play. He led the line expertly for the champions and gave Wolfe Tones opponent C i a r a n McLoughlin his fill of it in the decider. Royal County followers will be hoping he can carry his club form onto the intercounty scene in 2013 after an injury interrupted 2012. Honorable mentions: Brian Sheridan (Seneschalstown), Francis Coyne (Ratoath), Andrew Tormey (Donaghmore/Ashbourne)

FOOTBALL TEAM OF THE YEAR

12. DAVID MORGAN (DONAGHMORE/ASHBOUNRNE) Morgan normally lined out at midfield for Donaghmore/Ashbourne at midfield this year but was also deployed in the forwards at times. One of the top performers in the club championship in recent years, he helped steer Sean Kelly’s charges to the FL Division 1 crown while no portion of the blame for the championship semi-final defeat at the hands of O’Mahonys could be placed at his door. Honorable mentions:, Mickey Lowther (Trim), Alan Forde (Navan O’Mahonys), David Lynch (St Michael’s)

13. BRYAN MCMAHON (RATOATH) A county minor last year, McMahon was on target with eight points, four from play, in Ratoath’s dramatic JFC final victory over Donaghmore/Ashbourne’s second string. He displayed commendable character to send over the matchwinning free from 40m out in the third minute of injury time. He is an emerging talent and don’t be surprised if he is called up to the Royal County senior squad in the not too distant future. Honorable mentions: Shane Barrett (Na Fianna), Jake Regan (Navan O’Mahonys), Donal Lenihan (Dunboyne).

15. CIAN WARD (WOLFE TONES) Wolfe Tones’ hopes of gaining a second SFC triumph in six years rested largely on the shoulders of Ward but he was well marshalled against O’Mahonys. It was surprising to see the county man so far removed from the scoring area during the decider but there can be no disputing the fact that the Oristown parish outfit would not have qualified for the final were it not for the contribution of Ward. His ten point semi-final haul against Seneschalstown springs to mind. Honorable mentions: Shane Gillespie (Navan O’Mahonys), Dalton McDonagh (Na Fianna), Andrew Kearney (Simonstown Gaels).

51


UNDER 21 FOOTBALLERS

Bryan Menton

It was a year to forget for Meath’s U21 footballers, who crashed out of the championship at the first hurdle when losing to 14man Offaly by 1-9 to 0-9 at Gracefield on Wednesday, February 29th. It may have been ‘leap’ day but there was no ‘get up and go’ in Liam Harnan’s strangely-subdued side as they made a tame exit. Looking back, goalkeeper Conor McHugh is as bemused as anyone…

T

here was plenty of stability at management level as Moynalvey clubman Liam Harnan was retained as county U21 manager for a second year, with his backroom team of John Henry, Des Lane and Felim O'Rourke also remaining on as selectors. When Meath named their side to face Offaly in the first round of the Leinster U21 FC, they included three players who had experienced senior intercounty action – Skryne’s Ciaran Lenehan, Donaghmore/Ashbourne’s

BAD (LEAP) DAY AT THE OFFICE Bryan Menton and Mark O’Sullivan from Moynalvey. In an interesting backdrop to the game, Offaly manager Pascal Kelleghan from Rhode was a former Ballinabrackey boss, while the Meath supremo had previously managed Edenderry in the Faithful County. The game went ahead in Gracefield on the last day of February and the visitors looked to be in with a great chance of success when Offaly were reduced to 14 men before the interval, with corner forward Paul McPadden seeing red for an off-theball incident. Meath led by 0-5 to 0-4 at the time but they conceded the levelling point before the short whistle and were left reeling by a run of 1-3 from the 14 men after the restart. It was 1-9 to 05 after 45 minutes and a trio of Shane Gillespie (Navan O’Mahonys) points got the Royals back into contention but they could never quite match their

333

hungrier opponents and the late dismissal of wing back Daragh Maguire compounded their woes on a dismal day for Meath football. Points from captain Damien Carroll (Ballinabrackey) and Gillespie had the losers up and running first and substitute Alan Forde pointed after the Faithfuls had crept in front. Wing back Paddy Fox and Carroll both struck lead points before the break but the hosts replied on both occasions. As well as Gillespie, Forde and Carroll, Bective’s Ciaran McConnell enhanced his reputation with a great display at corner back but in general there was little to crow about after the final whistle sounded, with the manager admitting rather candidly to a local journalist: “I don’t think there is anything good to come out of it from a Meath perspective. It went horribly wrong for the entire second half.” Reflecting on the defeat,


Summerhill’s David Larkin

goalkeeper Conor McHugh is at a loss to work out what exactly went wrong: “I don’t know. We had been playing well in training and in challenges but there was just something missing on the day. Last year, we had Paddy Gilsenan on the team and fellas who gelled the team together but I felt that this year we were lacking someone who could really take the game by the scruff of the neck. “We played a lot of challenges and we were going well. A few of us were involved in Sigerson Cup football around the same time as well – myself and Fergal Toolin were both on the NUI Maynooth side that got to the final - but we couldn’t use that as an excuse because the two managers worked closely together. All in all, our build-up to the game was good but Offaly had us on their home patch and I think they caught us on the hop.” The fact that – compared to minor and senior football – U21 fare is almost in a sort of no man’s land, threatening to slip between the cracks, doesn’t help. Although, in fairness, this problem is universal, applying to all counties. “After minor football, nobody really thinks about anything else apart from senior. They don’t seem to care about U21. Of course, it’s hard to look after every age group and something has to give, but I just feel there’s no major emphasis on U21 football,” the Meath

goalie notes. That’s not to say the players treat it with anything less than the utmost respect. “The players and management went of it 100%,” confirms Conor. “We had full panels out at training every night and you couldn’t fault anyone for effort. Those who were involved loved it and they all gave it everything. Just, on the day, we didn’t perform. “We got together in January and you then have a month and a half to prepare for the championship and it can be hard, especially with lads from so many different age groups involved. Unlike minor football where everybody is more or less the same age, you could have lads who are three or four years apart…” At half time, Meath had to be the happier team in the respective dressing-rooms. With an extra man for the next half hour, they must have been feeling confident for the second half? “You don’t get complacent, though. I’ve played in games before where the 14 men seem to come together and the team with the extra man often has to put their heads together and concentrate more. “Offaly worked better in the second half and they knew what they had to do. We were a bit surprised to have the extra man and it can be hard to adapt to. To be honest, we didn’t seem to know who was supposed to be doing what and it was strange in the second half, for example, when they had only one man in their fullforward line and we weren’t sure how best to respond to that, whether we should keep an extra man back or put an extra body up the field…” Conor has been involved with a succession of Meath underage teams since U14 Development Squad level and enjoyed two years with the Meath minors as well as playing in goal for the U21s in 2011 and 2012. He’ll be eligible for U21 football again next year and is hoping to get the nod again, pointing out that any time you get to wear a county jersey is a major honour. One day, he also hopes to get a call from the county senior selectors: “I’d love to play senior for Meath. It’s every young lad’s dream to play at

333

the highest level for their county in Croke Park, so I’m going to keep ticking over and see what happens. I’ll keep the head down and you never know what might come up.” Whatever happens down the line, the Oldcastle clubman will probably never forget the sinking feeling he experienced leaving Gracefield at the end of February 2012… “We were devastated,” he comments. “We knew we were out of the championship straight away and we were all heading back to our clubs again. You love playing for the county and when it just ends so suddenly like that it’s absolutely gut-wrenching. A lot of these lads might never get to pull on the Meath jersey again. It was a long journey home.” Meath, 2012 Leinster U21 FC V Offaly: Conor McHugh; Ciaran McConnell, Brian Dillon, Johnny Quigley; Patrick Fox (0-1), Ciaran Lenehan, Daragh Maguire; Bryan Menton, Sean Tobin (0-1); David Larkin, Mark O’Sullivan, Damien Carroll (0-2, one free); Shane Gillespie (0-4, two frees), Niall Murphy, Padraig McKeever. Subs: Alan Forde (0-1) for Murphy (22), Conor Devereux for Larkin (half time), D Keoghan for Quigley (56), Fergal Toolin for Tobin (56).

Alan Forde was hampered with injury during this year’s U21 campaign


On duty against Antrim in the Leinster MHL game at Pairc Tailteann, front l/r: Philip Carey, Jack Fagan, Shane Witty, Liam Ferguson, Conor Darby, Chris Reilly, Jack Regan, Johnny Murray, Gary Ryan, Dylan Keenan, Gavin McGowan, Liam Kane. Back: Josh Wall, Vincent O'Brien, Sean Doyle, Luke Rickard, Daragh Kelly, Colm McGrath, Gareth Rooney, Senan Kiernan, Connell Stafford, Charlie Bird, David O'Reilly, Shane Lenehan, Sean McGrath, Vinny Moore, Sam Benville

MINOR HURLERS 2012


MINOR HURLERS

Vinny Moore sets of for the Kerry goals at Pairc Tailteann

Meath lost to Offaly by two points when the counties clashed in the Leinster Minor Hurling Championship at Tullamore, but there was enough in the Royal County performance to suggest that the tremendous work being carried out towards the promotion of the game in the under-age ranks is paying off. By Paul Clarke.

A

controversial Offaly goal in the closing stages inflicted serious damage to Meath’s prospects of advancing to the quarter-finals and when the panel regrouped and played Kerry in the All-Ireland B Championship in August there was more disappointment when they were undone by an injury time goal which gave the Kingdom lads a narrow victory. Meath, who were managed by Brendan Fitzsimons, had their first

ROBBED AT THE DEATH competitive outing of the year in the Leinster League at the Navan venue back in March when eventual winners Antrim won by 0-18 to 1-8. A poor start proved a hindrance to Meath as they conceded five points and hit as many wides. Sambo McNaughton’s Antrim were the better team, particularly when it came to taking scores from long range, but this was still an encouraging performance from Meath who replied to those early points for the winners with scores from Vinny Moore and a Darragh Kelly free. Antrim pushed five clear again, but Meath got moving and trailed by only two (0-6 to 0-8) at the change of ends, with Jack Regan firing over three times during a purple patch late

in the first half. When substitute Dylan Keenan scored a mighty point from a line puck three minutes after the restart the home team were the minimum in arrears, but the Saffrons took over again and tallied 0-8 in a 15-minute spell to secure victory. Meath kept battling away and were rewarded when Regan goaled from a 20-metre free. Meath’s only other match in the Leinster League brought a 0-14 to 221 defeat suffered at the hands of Carlow, while their scheduled match against Laois didn’t materialise. At the business end of the competition Antrim demonstrated how strong they were by getting the better of Westmeath on a 2-15 to 2-13 score line in the final.

Log onto www.dlynchpics.com to view more club photos

55


UPDATE

Best wishes to Meath GAA from

Electrical Contracting

GIFT VOUCHERS AVAILABLE

42-35 Katonah Avenue, Bronx, New York

Sean Murtagh New York & Athboy, Co. Meath Would Like To Wish Clan na nGael GFC The Very Beat For 2013 56


After the league it was a case of looking forward to the Leinster Championship for Meath and they opened up with a trip to Wicklow where they defeated the hosts by 213 to 2-9, despite conceding a goal and a point in the early stages. They soon got back on level terms thanks to points from Jack Regan (two), Gavin McGowan and Vinny Moore and made a serious charge towards victory when McGowan and Josh Wall goaled in quick succession to help them to a useful 2-7 to 1-5 lead at the break. Wicklow applied strong pressure on the restart and scored two points, followed by a goal, but Meath settled into a rhythm again and the impressive Darragh Kelly sent over a brace of long range points to aid their cause considerably. Regan got in on the act by firing over two more and after that it took stout defensive work by Liam Ferguson, Shane Whitty and Sam Banville to keep the Wicklow attack at bay. Meath had to play away from home again next time out when they met Offaly at Tullamore in what was always likely to be a more serious test of their ability. They weren’t helped by the absence of key players who were also part of the county minor football panel, including Cillian O’Sullivan, Adam Flanagan, Jason Dowdall, Caoimhin Griffin, James Andrews and Conor O’Shea. Regan finished with a personal haul of 10 points (eight frees) and his first two scores gave Meath a fine start. However, Offaly’s Cillian Kelly was gifted a goal as a result of poor defending and the host county began to take a grip on proceedings. Meath were thankful that goalkeeper Charlie Bird was in inspirational form as Offaly threatened to push well clear and they hit back with points from Regan,

Conor Darby has Antrim's Gary Lennon for company

Ratoath under-16 player Kelly and Regan again to revive their hopes. McGowan then had a goal chance saved, but a brace of points from Regan had the visitors level (0-7 to 14) early in the second quarter. Offaly replied with the next three points, but Meath trailed by only 0-9 to 1-8 at the interval, with their other points coming from Regan and Moore. A good start to the second

Manager Brendan Fitzsimons

57

period was important for Meath, but it was Offaly who got it as they pushed their lead out to five points. Boosted by points from Regan (two) and substitute Dylan Keenan Meath were adrift by only 0-12 to 1-12 with 10 minutes remaining, but they suffered a huge blow when the referee didn’t award a free which they should have got and Kevin Dunne goaled to put Offaly firmly in the driving seat. To their credit, Meath kept battling away against the odds. Regan went close to finding the net, before he and Stefan Kelly pointed, but by the time Keenan got in for a goal the clock was against the Royal County. They were behind by 1-14 to 2-13 at the end, but their effort and attitude had to be admired. “I thought the second Offaly goal could have been a free out for overcarrying,” said manager Fitzsimons. “It was very unfortunate. We also could have won it in the last minute with a goal and when we conceded the first goal, we could have avoided that also. Charlie Bird made a brilliant save


Best Wishes To Meath GAA In 2013


Jack Regan was one of the stars for the minor hurlers and his club Kiltale

and we didn’t clear the danger. We were punished for that and it cost us at the end. “I’m very proud of the players, the way they played. The commitment since January has been 100 per cent. I couldn’t have asked for any more. We lost Darragh Kelly through injury. He brought a knee injury into the game and he just didn’t last, but Darragh is a very good player with a bright future. We were also without a number of players who are involved with the minor football panel and they could have made a difference to us also. “We kept battling. We kept coming back at Offaly. It was great to see a Meath team compete so well. We gave Offaly no easy ball.” Further disappointment lay in waiting for this dedicated group of players when Kerry hit them with a late goal to win an All-Ireland B quarter-final by 310 to 0-17 at Pairc Tailteann. Kerry scored their first goal after 12

minutes when Michael O’Leary charged through and netted, but Meath enjoyed a highly productive second quarter as the accuracy of Regan, who top-scored with seven points over the hour, Sean Doyle and Gavin McGowan helped them to open up a 0-12 to 1-3 interval lead. The visitors got on top around midfield in the second half and their second goal arrived on 57 minutes when Philip Lucid inflicted serious damage to Meath’s prospects. But they were still a point to the good two minutes into injury time when disaster struck. Cian Hussey used his height to telling effect to direct a Tommy Casey centre to the net and the Kingdom, who had O’Leary sent off in the closing stages, had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. It was another disappointment for the players, manager Fitzsimons and selectors Philip O’Brien and Ken McKenna, but on the positive side several of the team are eligible to play

59

at minor level again next year. “From that team out there today we have nine who will still be minor for next year,” said Fitzsimons after the defeat. “Thank God we have the under-16s and under-17s coming up all the time and they make up the backbone of your team at the end of the day. “I’m just so proud of the lads. They gave 100 per cent in training and challenge games and you could see out there that they gave it everything until the last minute.” Meath had clearly lost to a strong Kerry team which went on to beat Kildare by 1-20 to 3-12 in a semi-final and Roscommon by 4-17 to 1-7 in the final. The Meath team was: C Bird; L Ferguson, S Whitty, S Banville; C O’Shea, D Kelly, C Darby; S Kelly, L Rickard; S Doyle (0-3), V Moore, G McGowan (0-4); J Regan (0-7), J Andrews (0-1), J Fagan (0-2). Sub – D Keenan for Doyle.


MAY CAFFREY

May Caffrey couldn’t have chosen a more perfect day to make her first visit to Croke Park. It was a truly special Sunday in September, 1949 when Meath made their breakthrough in the AllIreland SFC and a county celebrated in style.

A

decade after losing the final to Kerry and the huge disappointment which resulted, the Royal County got the better of neighbours and great rivals Cavan in the decider. May was part of the official attendance of 74,460 people who witnessed history being made and Brian Smyth become the first Meath player to be presented with the coveted Sam Maguire Cup. Since then the sprightly 80 year-old Kells woman has witnessed good times and bad times for the county’s footballers – the best being the AllIreland senior successes of 1954, 1967, 1987, 1988, 1996 and 1999 – but that glorious day in the early autumn of 1949 occupies a very special, treasured place in the heart and mind of a truly dedicated GAA follower. She has attended a phenomenal amount of matches of every description over the past 60 years or so, travelling all over the country, but her passion for football and hurling remains as strong and vibrant as ever and her support for Meath teams continues to be a hugely important part of her life. At the time of her interview for ‘Royal County’ she was eagerly looking forward to Meath’s clashes with Dublin in the 2012 Leinster senior and minor championship finals and yet another trip to Croke Park – almost 63 years after her first on AllIreland final day in ’49. May was born in Kells in 1932, daughter of Bernard from Suffolk Street in the town and Mary, a native of Kilskyre, a few short miles out the road. She still lives with her sister

MAY’S FIRST GAME WAS IN 1949 Phillo in Suffolk Street, while her brother Benny sadly died in January, 1982 at the age of 62. Benny served Meath GAA with tremendous loyalty, filling the role of Minor Football Board secretary for a lengthy spell. When Meath made the historic breakthrough at under-age level by winning the All-Ireland MFC in 1957 – beating Armagh in the final on the same day that Louth defeated Cork in the senior decider – Benny was a selector along with Dick Snow, Ned Giles, Jackie Maye, Brother O’Sullivan, Tommy Million, Liam Creavin and Mick Cummins. That was a tremendous day for football in the north-east as the neighbouring counties captured the two titles and 50 years later May was on hand to accept an award on behalf of her late brother when the minor triumph was marked in fitting fashion before the SFC final between Seneschalstown and Navan O’Mahonys at Pairc Tailteann. “He believed in doing things right,” said May as she recalled Benny’s

The All-Ireland winning Meath minor team of 1957 were honoured at Pairc Tailteann before the 2007 SFC final. May represented her brother Benny at the presentation

60

years of GAA involvement. “I remember he used to say ‘if you’re in something, be in it’. He lived for the GAA. It was a huge part of his life.” May is a familiar figure as she walks her dogs around Kells each day and also while attending GAA games at various venues, but she is also fondly remembered as the proprietor of Caffrey’s shop in Cannon Street up until June of 1986. To this day people still describe her ice cream as the best they ever tasted! From an early age she developed a love and a passion for Gaelic games and that hasn’t diminished in any way with the passing years. “I suppose I grew up with the GAA,” she said. “I was more interested in what my father and my brother were up to than playing with dolls. What they were doing always looked to be more interesting.” Her support for Meath teams at various levels has taken her to a variety of locations, but she has particularly fond memories of her first time to see the county’s senior footballers in action. And why wouldn’t she. “My first memory of seeing the Meath footballers play was a very special one,” she recalled. “It was the All-Ireland final against Cavan in 1949. Seven of us travelled to Dublin in a Baby Ford car, including my father, my brother and Kitty Butler. There was tremendous excitement. It was a huge occasion for all of us. “I remember I had a doll at the time but, as I said, I didn’t have much interest in dolls. A few nights before the final the doll went missing, but I later discovered it dressed up in the Meath colours, all ready for the final. We brought it to Croke Park, attached to the front of the car. I still have the green and gold dress the doll was wearing to this day, but there’s no sign of the doll. “It was such a big adventure going to Croke Park for the first time. There


No better place to be on Leinster Final day

was a very early Mass in Kells that morning and we headed off to Dublin bright and early. There weren’t too many cars on the roads in those days, but there was still a huge queue of traffic on the way into Dublin. I can also recall that Jack Barrett flew a green and gold kite over the town for three or four days before the final. “When we got to Croke Park we were queuing outside the ground for a long time and by the time we got in the area along the sideline was full. You could sit along the sideline in those days. But I saw two stretcher bearers opening the gate to bring a stretcher in and I saw my chance. I walked in after them. Benny got in after me when they were going back out, but my father was left outside with our food.” On the field of play Bill Halpenny scored Meath’s goal in the second half and they won by 1-10 to 1-6 to signal wild scenes of joy and jubilation. The county had never witnessed anything like it before. “The whole day brings back such great memories,” May added of her first visit to Croke Park. “It was marvellous to win the All-Ireland. I remember all the Meath people around us were crying with joy. There was so much happiness. There were huge celebrations in the county afterwards and bonfires blazed the whole way home. “The win was made extra special because Meath goalkeeper Kevin

Smyth was a Kells man. That team had some great players, like Kevin, Paddy O’Brien, Peter McDermott, Frankie Byrne and Brian Smyth who was the captain. It was a really great team.” All these years later it’s clear from talking to May just how much that breakthrough win meant to her, the other passengers in that Ford car and the county in general. “It was a huge thing,” she said. “To win the All-Ireland for the first time was so special. It was just great to see how happy it made people. What a day to be in Croke Park for the first time.” There were many other memorable trips to Croke Park over the decades which followed, with May tending to remember the successful days better than the ones which brought disappointment. “The All-Ireland wins in 1954 and 1967 brought great joy too,” she added. “They were also memorable days out. And then there was all the success Meath enjoyed while Sean Boylan was the coach. Sean did wonderful things for Meath football. He brought the county back to the top, winning four All-Irelands and many other titles too. “They were great, great years for Meath football. The players had great respect for Sean and he knew how to handle them. I was at all those AllIreland finals. They were tremendous times to be following the team.”

61

Sadly, 1991 didn’t bring the AllIreland title Meath surely deserved after their marathon march to the final which included four pulsating matches against Dublin. On the day that mattered most Down triumphed on what was Meath’s 10th outing of the championship. “I was at every one of those games,” May recalled. “It was an incredible championship. I still have the cushion I used to bring to Croke Park to prop myself up. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to see anything.” May is also a very keen hurling follower and has been fortunate enough to attend a few All-Ireland finals. “I love hurling,” she said. “It’s such a brilliant, fast game. I attended a few All-Ireland finals and was lucky enough to see Christy Ring in action. He was a tremendous player. I remember him scoring a brilliant goal when he pulled on the ball in the air. I also saw the Rackards playing. They were great hurlers as well. “I went to see the Meath hurlers playing for years, but they get very poor support. I would dearly love to see them getting more support because they try hard when they’re out there.” On the playing front May had a brief but highly enjoyable career as a camogie player. “I played camogie with Kilskyre for a few years,” she recalled. “It was very enjoyable, a great game. I played with Kilskyre because there was no camogie team in Kells. Five or six of us used to cycle out to Kilskyre to play. We would have a game every third or fourth Sunday. I remember we won a county championship, but we never got the medals.” At the age of 80 Gaelic games remain a huge part of May’s life and the trips to various venues around the country, particularly Croke Park, are still a special treat. “I usually go to Croke Park on the bus these days,” she added. “But a group of us who are friends will take turns to drive to other places. We get great enjoyment out of it. I can’t understand people who don’t enjoy sport. I don’t know what I’d do without it.”


U17 SEVENS FINALS AT DUNGANNY

John Kavanagh, Minor Board Chairman and Pat McMahon present the Matt McMahon Cup to Donaghmore Ashbourne captain Kevin Fenton

Longwood

Winners Donaghmore Ashbourne

North Meath Gaels

Navan O’Mahonys

Shield winners Dunshaughlin

Gaeil Colmcille

62 Rathkenny

St. Cuthbert’s


HANDBALL

All-Ireland doubles champions Brian Carroll and Tommy Sheridan

Growing up in the shadow of the ball alley in Kells, it was no surprise that Tom Sheridan chose handball as his number one sport. From the time he won his first AllIreland title at the age of about 10 until this year when he called time on a wonderfully successful senior career he has contributed enormously to the sport.

S

heridan

has

competitive about

30

played

HANDBALL: AN HISTORIC YEAR large portion of his life to the sport

O’Connor

would be putting it mildly. It has been

Approximately 2,000 players from 27

a huge part of his life.

countries took part, including from

He participated at the wonderfully successful World Championships at

from

Kentstown.

Meath clubs Kells, Crossakiel and Ashbourne.

the City West Exhibition Centre

The games took place in a purpose-

during October of this year and was

built arena with 21 courts and a glass

still winning medals, two silvers to be

show court. The big hope is that

handball

for

precise as he teamed up with Tyrone

handball will be included in the next

years

and

player Niall Kerry in the 40 x 20 and

Olympic Games as an exhibition

one wall codes.

sport and the City West event

obviously possesses a house full of trophies and medals and a treasure

The

championships

were

an

certainly

showed

it

off

in

a

throve of great memories which

outstanding advertisement for the

include 74 All-Ireland triumphs and a

sport of handball, thanks in no small

A match-up between Ireland and the

couple of world titles for good

way to the enormous contribution of

United States got the championships

measure. To say he has dedicated a

GAA Handball

under way and Tom Sheridan and

president

63

Walter

spectacular way.


Best Wishes To Meath GAA In 2013

& Valeting Service Trim Car Wash Centre & Valeting Service Offers A

HIGH QUALITY PROFESSIONAL SERVICE and great value for money ....whether its a quick car wash or a full valet- we do it all!

TRIM RETAIL PARK, NAVAN ROAD, TRIM

FOR A PERSONAL SERVICE Please Contact Prop

Ian Kavanagh Tel: 087 2731581 IRISH OWNED PERSONALLY ATTENDED COLLECT & RETURN SERVICE

(Beside Crinion’s Furniture & Bedding)

Opening Hours

Monday- Saturday 8.30am- 6.00pm

Best wishes to Meath GAA, from

Best Wishes To Meath GAA In 2013 From

Trevor Mulvany

Sports Therapists MS.PT. SCS.Dip. SMT

Trigger Point Therapy Sports Injury Massage Therapy Deep Muscle Massage Swedish Massage Therapy • First Aid Training PNF Stretching • Pro-Argine+ Castlepole, Carnaross, Kells, Co. Meath

Contact Trevor Mulvany on 085 1654492 Email: trevormulvany@gmail.com

Best Wishes To Meath GAA In 2013, From

Priestown, Drangan, Thurles, Co. Tipperary T:- 00353 52 91 52260 M:- 00353 86 8376412 E-Mail:- obrienhurleys@gmail.com

Sunday August 11th, 2013

Check out our On-Line Shop www.obrienhurleys.com

www.moynaltysteamthreshing.ie 64


Brian Carroll featured on the Irish and was so determined. He was and a great leader within the club. I team, while Kells Community School think he served for about six years as never beaten. The bigger the took part in an Olympic-style chairman of the club. He was part of challenge the more he liked it. He tournament with other schools from our team which won the All-Ireland could always rise to the occasion. I around the country. Inter-Club Championship this year. must say he has the best handball Apart from Sheridan’s medals, there We have won eight or nine of them.” brain I have ever come across. He’s a were other Meath successes. Carl Sheridan continued to be highly genius.” Browne’s dedication was rewarded competitive during 2012 and an While Sheridan enjoyed a very when he won the men’s open singles undoubted highlight came during late lengthy and highly successful playing title and he also teamed up with summer when he linked up with career, he has always been willing to Jerome Willoughby from Wicklow to clubmate Brian Carroll to beat Dessie lend a helping hand and give take the silver medals in the doubles. Keegan and Joe McCann from Mayo valuable advice to other players, Carl Joe Lynch and Christy McGovern in the All-Ireland 60 x 30 doubles among them. enjoyed a World Championships to championship final at Abbeylara. “He has also been great for giving remember when they struck goal in They had got the better of Dublin advice,” he added. “When he spoke the masters’ doubles, beating the duo Eoin Kennedy and Egin Jensen you listened because you knew it was Canadian champions in the final. 21-4, 21-8 in the quarter-finals, good advice from somebody who They were adding this title to the Alldefeated defending champions Barry knows the game of handball inside Ireland masters’ crown won earlier in Gough and Colin Keeling of Wexford out. The juvenile players in the club the year. 21-18, 10-21, 21-13 at the have always looked up to him. From Robert Fox teamed up with Daniel penultimate hurdle and finished the kids up to masters’ players he has Curry of Wicklow to take silver in the job with a 21-12, 21-6 win over the always been there to offer advice and under-15 doubles. Mayo combination in the final. encouragement. The championships finished on a It was a record 13th senior doubles “Tom has been a huge help to me. high for Kells and Meath when John title for Sheridan and was the third He gave me lots of advice coming up ‘Boy’ Molloy beat Melbourne player success in the space of five years for through the juvenile ranks. He took Joe Santilli to claim the masters one he and Carroll. It was also the perfect me under his wing when I was 17 or wall crown. way for Sheridan to bow out of the 18. He was with me when I travelled Tom Sheridan’s passion for senior game. to Winnipeg in Canada for the World handball is enormous. Late last year Earlier in the year Sheridan and Championships in 1997 and had Carroll had lost to Cavan pair Paul he was manager of the official Irish coached me on the run-up to it. I got Brady and Michael Finnegan in a team at the USHA Junior Nationals in to the under-17 final but lost to Paul thrilling 40 x 30 All-Ireland senior Tuscon, Arizona, when fellow Kells Brady from Cavan. That was his first doubles final in Cappagh. The Kells club members Robert Fox and Evan world title. Look what he went on to men won the opening game 21-9, but Sheridan (Tom’s son) reached the 15 achieve Brady and Finnegan bounced back and under doubles final, only to lose “Tom is also a tremendous clubman well to win the 6-21, 16-21 to second 21-11. Johnny Woods and Sheridan and Colin Corbett. Carroll were Carl Browne, who looking good when has been part of they led 15-8 in the successful Kells’ decider, but the teams with Breffni County duo Sheridan, was recovered to win it glowing in his 21-20 and claim praise for a man he their eighth title in described as a the code. “handball genius”. There was “Tom’s dedication success for and his will to win Sheridan at City helped to make him West in July when such a great he won the One player,” he said. Wall National “He was always Medal winners at the World Championships in the Citywest, l/r: Karl Browne, Robert Fox, Tom Masters title to hungry for success Sheridan, Christy McGovern and Joe Lynch. Missing from photo: John Boy Molloy

65


Best Wishes To Meath GAA In 2013, From

NORTH EAST LARGEST SELECTION OF SPORTS SUPPLEMENTS SPECIAL OFFERS TO ALL GAA CLUBS STRENGTH - HEALTH - VITALITY Preston Place, Navan, Co. Meath | Tel: 083 137 9977 Facebook: vitaminshop navan | Email: vitaminshop1@hotmail.com

Best Wishes To Meath GAA In 2013, From

Best Wishes To Meath GAA, From

Fine Food Friendly Service Live Music Complimentary bus to take you home

Ideally situated on the N3 between Dublin & Cavan.The Silver Tankard is the perfect meeting place, if its a cup of coffee with friends or a meal in our Martry Restaurant. Telephone: 046 902 1994

DIRECT INSURANCE BILLING Windscreens Door Glasses Rear Windscreens Tow Bars

www.silvertankard.ie

Continued Best Wishes To Meath GAA In 2013 From

David McGrane

Ashbourne | Athboy | Clonee | Duleek Dunboyne | Dunshaughlin | Navan Kells | Ratoath | Trim | Kildalkey | Ballivor Longwood | Oldcastle | Castlepollard | Moynalty

Family Butcher Suppliers of Beef, Lamb, Pork & Bacon, Poultry, Homemade Sausages & Supplier to the Catering Trade 42 Trimgate Street, Navan, Co. Meath Telephone: 046 9028284

Balmoral Industrial Estate, Navan, Co. Meath

1850 200 409 087 2696613 | 046 9074932 navanautoglass@eircom.net

66


Kells handball club celebrate Tommy and Brian's All-Ireland doubles success

book his place on the Irish team for the World Championships. He beat Carlow player David King 22-14 to clinch the title. On the team front Sheridan was a member of the Kells side which won the All-Ireland Senior Club 60 x 30 title. They got the better of Ballina from Tipperary in the semi-finals and scored a comfortable victory over Ballaghaderreen in the final, despite the absence of Gary McConnell who had twisted his ankle just 24 hours before the event was due to start. Christy McGovern stepped in to replace him and proved a very able deputy. Carl Browne and McGovern shaded the opening doubled game 38-37 against Dessie Keegan and Joe McCann and when Sheridan and Carroll beat Vinny Moran and Stephen Cooney 46-24 the title was on its way to Kells.

and they later won bronze medals at

Conor Condon 15-13, 15-13 in the

the nationals in Athlone.

Leinster under-13 doubles final at

Also on the team front, there was

job with a 2-0 victory over a Tyrone

tournament

Community Games’ success for the

opponent in the final. There was more under-age success for the Royal County when Joe Stewart and Patrick Browne beat Kilkenny duo Conor Murphy and

undoubtedly enhanced the profile of

Kells side of Daniel Farrelly, Kyle Cussen, Kyle Dardis and Patrick Browne when they defeated Wexford opposition in the under-13 category

At the Irish 40 x 20 National

Ballymore-Eustace, while Robert Fox

Championships three Kells players

and Dylan Sheridan defeated JJ

claimed titles. Carl Browne beat

English and Emmet Landy, also from

Wicklow player Jerome Willoughby in

Kilkenny, 21-5, 21-14 in the provincial

the men’s A final, Peter Reilly

under-16

defeated Brendan Burke of Kilkenny

Garryhill, Co Carlow.

doubles

decider

at

in the category C decider and Robert

Robert Fox came through four

Fox beat Daniel Hayes of Tipperary in

tough matches to claim his place on

a tie-breaker to claim the 15 and

the

under title.

Championships, culminating in a 16-

Irish

team

for

the

World

There were final losses suffered by

21, 21-12 11-2 win over Daniel Hayes

Brian Carroll when he went under to

in the final. Brian Carroll and his

Robbie McCarthy from Mullingar in

partner

the open singles and Tom Sheridan

booked their place at City West when

who was defeated by Michael ‘Duxie’

they

Walsh of Kilkenny in the masters.

Michael Finnegan from Cavan in the

Earlier in the year Evan Sheridan, who

was

representing

Kells

Robbie

defeated

McCarthy Paul

Brady

also and

senior doubles. The successes meant they could

Community School, won the All-

look

Ireland Colleges’ junior singles title

handball extravaganza that was the

when he beat Daniel Hayes 2-1 at the

World Championships in Dublin.

semi-final stage and completed the

67

forward

to

that

wonderful

The staging of such a successful at

City

West

has

a sport with is suitable for people of all ages. How great it would be to see it find a permanent place in the Olympic Games.


U14 SEVENS FINALS AT DUNGANNY

Brian Joyce and Curraha celebrate

Curraha captain Brian Joyce receives U14 Sevens Cup from Anthony Monaghan, Meath Juvenile Secretary

Winners Curraha

Blackhall Gaels

Skryne

Moynalvey

Nobber

68 Clann na nGael

Shield winners St. Vincent’s


ENDA KEOGH

Enda Keogh drives out of defence

After finally putting the Kildare hoodoo to rest, a Christy Ring Cup semi-final exit wasn’t part of the script for the Meath hurlers. Captain Enda Keogh shared the frustration of followers of the small ball code in the county but predicts better things to come from Cillian Farrell’s youthful squad.

I

f the GAA are serious about promoting the Christy Ring Cup competition as the second tier championship, neutral venues should be used for semi-finals. That is the message from Meath hurling captain Enda Keogh. This year the Kildalkey clubman and his team-mates had to make the trip to Arklow to take on hosts Wicklow in the last four of the Christy Ring and they came home with the tail between the legs after a 2-12 to 3-17 defeat. Keogh readily admits that he and his team-mates failed to perform up to scratch on the day and that was the main reason behind the loss but you can’t argue against his assertion

BIGGER AND BETTER THINGS TO COME that the familiar surroundings of the venue gave the Garden County an unfair advantage. “It was a huge advantage for Wicklow,” he pointed out. “Every ball they pucked went over the bar, even from the corner flag. They knew the ground so well. If we were in Navan it would have been the same thing for us. We’d have our routine and there wouldn’t be the same nerves as there was having to go to Arklow. “I think the GAA are going to have to do something about that, especially for a semi-final. It’s too much of an advantage for one team to have in a semi-final.” Keogh singled out the sending-off of Meath substitute Stephen Donoghue as a turning point in the game. The team in green and gold were powerless to prevent their opponents from racing into a nine point lead after just 15 minutes but displayed commendable resilience to claw their

69

way back into contention and trail by just four points at half-time. The dismissal of Donoghue just before half-time hammered the final nail into Meath’s coffin. “Stephen’s sending-off was harsh and that kind of finished it off. The Wicklow player basically slipped and he fell into Stephen, he was just standing his ground and the Wicklow lad made a meal out of it and got him sent off. “It was a big blow, Stephen was just after coming on it, he was fit and had been playing well all year. He would have made a big difference.” The 25-year old accountant continued: “They got a really good start, every shot they took went over the bar. I’m not sure but I think they only had one or two wides during the game. It just didn’t work out on the day. Everything went right for them and nothing went right for us!” The semi-final defeat brought Cillian


Continued Best Wishes To Meath GAA

Go n-eirí go geal le Cumann Lúthchleas Gael na Mí i 2013 o

PEADAR TÓIBÍN Navan Office: 45a Flower Hill, Navan Trim Office: Unit 1 Haggard Mews, Haggard Street Car Park, Trim Kells Office: Suffolk Street, Kells

Phone: 046 9021345. Email: meathsf@gmail.com For all your professional photographic requirements in the North East and beyond * Wedding Photography * Portrait Photography * Valuables Photography * Event Photography

D M C

DECLAN MANNING

hy rap otog Ph

* Product Photography

ROYAL FLOORING

For more information, contact DAVID McLEAN on 086-0684415 email: davidmclean152@gmail.com www.dmcphotography.ie

Moylagh, Oldcastle. Tel: 049-8541930 Mobile: 086-8309289

WOODEN FLOOR SANDING SERVICE Sanding, Staining, Lacquering, Installation DOMESTIC • COMMERCIAL Best Wishes to Moylagh, Oldcastle & Meath Football teams in 2013

Best Wishes To Meath

70


Farrell’s charges crashing down to earth after the high of their last eight victory over their bogey team Kildare. “Maybe that’s what happened. We were on such a high after the Kildare win, maybe, in hindsight, we didn’t knuckle down as much as we should have. Nerves also could have been a factor on the day as well because we had a lot of young lads on the team. “Getting the Kildare monkey off the back was the highlight of the year. We had been close in a couple of previous games. I think we beat the favourites really, they probably would have won it out if we didn’t beat them.” Meath’s woes were compounded when London – who they beat 4-8 to 3-10 in the opening game in the competition – went on to claim the silverware with a 4-18 to 1-17 final success over Wicklow at Croke Park. Did the Exiles’ outright success rub salt into Meath wounds? “Definitely, we didn’t even play that well against London. If we had have got another go against them we would have given them a bit more respect. “I’m not saying we would have beaten them but we definitely would have given them a better game than Wicklow did. Wicklow looked slow and tired on the day. We had a young team and lads were flying, Croke Park would have suited us.” Earlier in the year, Kildare denied Meath promotion when Kildare pipped them to the NHL Division 2B title. Again, it was a case of what might have been for the team in green and gold as they took their eye off the ball in the second half of the final at Parnell Park and conceded three goals. “We had a great performance in the first half that day. We had enough chances but we didn’t make the most of them. “Kildare only really came into after they got the first goal. I don’t want to be given about referees but Colm O Mealoid, who had an absolute brilliant game that day, caught a pucout, he only took about four steps and he got done for over-carrying. “Kildare got the goal of the resulting free and the whole thing changed. It’s amazing how a game can turn on such a little detail like that. “Inexperience might also have cost

us that day. If we had taken a couple more of the chances that came our way we would have beaten them. They got two goals in the last five minutes were a killer but they were there for the taking and it was a massive disappointment.” Now that 2012 has been consigned to the history books, the 2007 Christy Ring All Star has turned his attention to the year ahead and he is bullish about Meath’s prospects in 2013. The infusion of new blood into the squad this year augurs well for the future and the youthful enthusiasm of the likes of Ciaran Fitzsimons, James Kelly and James Toher has rubbed off on the elder statesmen of the panel. “Cillian (Farrell) decided he was going to freshen the whole thing up this year and see how the young lads could cope. He brought in some very talented young players and they are what you are going to be building on going forward. “Everyone was enthusiastic. We were training three nights a week with a game at the weekend. Nobody missed training. It was a great set-up and everyone bought into it.” The team’s left half-back is therefore delighted with Offaly native Farrell’s decision to stick with the Royal County hurlers for a third year.

“He’s the right man for it, he knows how to get the best out of lads. It’s also good from a continuity point of view. Everyone knows what they are going back into and what is expected of them. “It’s a big commitment for Cillian but I’m delighted he is staying on for a third year.” On the club scene this year, Keogh’s and Kildalkey’s bid for a fourin-a-row of Jubilee Cup successes was scuppered by Kiltale in the semifinal. There was widespread shock within Royal County hurling circles when the reigning champions were dethroned by 1-16 to 0-13 in the last four. “Kiltale were the hungrier team, they wanted it more and were hunting in packs,” was Keogh’s reply when asked ‘what went wrong?’ “We were probably that used to winning that maybe we thought it was just a case of going through the motions but, having said that, we knew Kiltale were going to be a big challenge. Their forwards were flying. They just wanted it more and were the best team. There’s nothing more I can say about it.” Expect Kildalkey to return with the batteries recharged in 2013. As for the county team? Whisper it, Keogh is quietly optimistic.

A sweet strike from Enda Keogh

71


RATOATH COLLEGE

The squad on duty on All-Ireland final day at Hawkfield, front l/r: Brian Daly, Conor Ward, Joey Wallace, Conor Rooney, Brian O'Connor, Ben Newe, Eamon Wallace, Andrew Kiernan, Andrew Flinter. Back: Glen O'Reilly, Gavin McGowan, Keith McCabe, Eoin Doody, Eoin Halpin, Conor Joyce, David Toner, Robert Watters, Shane Clayton, Daragh Kelly, Adam Griffiths, Ross Gillen, Gerard Brennan, Brian Power, Aaron McDonnell

Ratoath College have emerged as a new force in colleges football as their historic All-Ireland Vocational Schools Senior ‘B’ title success testifies. Here, Royal County looks back on a fantastic year for a school that has only been in existence since 2005.

I

n a year when the senior footballers of St. Pat’s, Navan failed to live up to their usual high standards, their Ratoath College counterparts stole the limelight by storming to an historic All-Ireland Vocational Schools ‘B’ championship success last March. A hugely impressive 1-12 to 0-4 victory over Colaiste Chill Mhaintain at the Hawkfield grounds in Newbridge secured All-Ireland glory for a school which draws its players mainly from the local Ratoath club, but also from the surrounding clubs of Curraha, Dunshaughlin and Na Fianna. And Dublin was even represented in the form of full back Shane Clayton from Ballyboden St. Enda’s. Gaelic football has made remarkable strides in Ratoath College since it first opened its doors

HISTORIC FIRST FOR RATOATH COLLEGE in Fairyhouse Racecourse with just 66 students in 2005. For two years, the new school continued to operate out of the home of the Irish Grand National before moving to a new state-of-the-art building at nearby Jamestown. Today, Ratoath College is a bustling and thriving school catering for over 850 students and more than 70 staff. Such has been the school’s rapid growth that plans are in the pipeline to increase its capacity to cater for 1,300 students in the coming years. From the outset, the GAA has played a significant role in the extracurricular activities of Ratoath College. As well as catering for Gaelic football, the school fields hurling, ladies football and camogie teams. In 2011, Ratoath College captured its first GAA title when beating Heywood Community School of Laois in the Leinster Vocational Schools Junior (U16) football ‘C’ final, and many of the same players were involved in this year’s All-Ireland win. The historic success was masterminded by Declan Qualter and Ger Carey, who both teach Business Studies at the school. A native of

Galway, Qualter played senior hurling for Dublin in 2007 and 2008, while Carey hails from Tipperary. After the All-Ireland final, both were lavish in their praise of every player on the panel. They also expressed their gratitude to school principal Maire Ni Bhroithe and vice-principal Oonagh Prendergast, as well as to Ratoath GAA club, for their support. “It’s a work in progress, we’re only a new school, but at the end of the day it all comes down to the players, we’re only facilitating them. It comes down to the players and in fairness Ratoath GAA club also gave us great support the whole time,” Carey said. Ratoath College played six games en route to the All-Ireland final. Competing in the Leinster Vocational Schools Senior ‘B’ championship for the first time, they defeated Coolock’s Colaiste Dhulaigh 1-10 to 1-7 in the first round before accounting for Tullamore College (1-17 to 1-7), O’Carolan College, Nobber (1-14 to 2-7) and Offaly’s Killina Community School (1-16 to 2-6). In the Leinster final at Belfield, they overcame Colaiste Chill Mhaintain 2-14 to 3-8 in an All-Ireland final dress rehearsal.

Log onto www.dlynchpics.com to view more club photos

72


Conor Rooney and Andrew Flinter raise the All-Ireland Vocational Schools Senior B Cup at Hawkfield

Despite playing against a strong wind in the first half, the Meath outfit raced into an early five-point lead. Their Wicklow opponents responded with two goals in quick succession, but Ratoath recovered to go into the break only a point adrift, 0-9 to 2-4. Ratoath’s first ever Leinster final appearance at this level looked set to end in disappointment when Colaiste Chill Mhaintain restarted with three unanswered points. But they refused to wilt and hit some great scores to take the title in style. The men in the black and red hoops booked their place in the All-Ireland final thanks to an emphatic 3-9 to 0-4 victory over St. Brendan’s, Belmullet in Ballinlough, Co. Roscommon. Despite the involvement of a number of their players in a schools soccer final just 24 hours earlier, Ratoath were much too strong for their Mayo opponents who spent much of the game penned back in their own half of the field. The victors dominated the first half to lead by 0-7 to 0-0 at the break. Indeed, they would have been out of sight but for a tally of nine wides. It continued to be one-way traffic after the restart when goals from brothers Joey and Eamonn Wallace extended Ratoath’s advantage to 2-8 to 0-2 after 46 minutes. Glen O’Reilly brought his tally for the afternoon to 0-5, while Eamonn Wallace added a third goal to add gloss to the scoreline. All roads led to Hawkfield for the All-

Ireland final rematch with Colaiste Chill Mhaintain on Saturday, March 24. Another close contest was expected, but from about the midway stage of the first half it became apparent that Ratoath would prevail. County minor Eamonn Wallace, Glenn O’Reilly and Robert Watters finished with 0-3 apiece, team captain Conor O’Reilly chipped in with 0-2 from play, while Eoin Halpin applied the coup de grace with the only goal in the dying seconds and not long after he had been sprung from the subs bench. No doubt eager to avenge their Leinster final defeat, the Wicklow school were first to score through their captain Ross O’Brien. Despite playing against a strong breeze, Ratoath replied with points from Eamonn Wallace (two), David Toner and Robert Watters to lead by 0-4 to 0-1 after 20 minutes. The margin was the same at half-time, 0-5 to 0-2 in favour of the Meath side, but Colaiste Chill Mhaintain had their goalkeeper Gary Browne to thank for keeping them in the game when he produced a brilliant point-blank save to deny Conor O’Reilly. With the wind to their backs in the second half, Ratoath took over completely. Conor Rooney posted their sixth score and by the end of their third quarter, the lead was stretched to 0-9 to 0-3. Robert Watters converted a brace of ‘45s’ and Wallace grabbed his third point before Halpin netted with his first

73

touch following another fine move to put the seal on a famous victory. Following the final whistle and amid wild celebrations, Ratoath captain Conor Rooney and vice-captain Andrew Finter were presented with the All-Ireland trophy. The challenge now for Ratoath is to establish themselves in the ‘A’ grade alongside the likes of Ashbourne Community School and St. Peter’s College, Dunboyne in 2013. Ratoath’s joint-manager Declan Qualter explained: “We’ve got a small panel of 23 players and if you’re going in trying to compete against the Dunboynes and the Ashbournes it’s a major task. They have bigger schools, bigger picks, they’re more established. What we’re trying to do is establish Gaelic football in the school and winning the ‘B’ All-Ireland is going to do a lot to help us.” Ratoath College’s All-Ireland winning line-up was: Andrew Flinter (Ratoath); Brian Daly (Ratoath), Shane Clayton (Ballyboden St Enda's), Brian O'Connor (Ratoath); Ben Newe (Ratoath), Brian Power (Ratoath), Andrew Kiernan (Dunshaughlin); David Toner (Curraha) 0-1, Darragh Kelly (Ratoath); Robert Watters (Ratoath) 0-3, Conor Rooney (Ratoath) 0-2, Glenn O'Reilly (Na Fianna) 0-3; Joey Wallace (Ratoath), Eamonn Wallace (Ratoath) 0-3, Adam Griffins (Ratoath). Subs used: Conor Ward (Ratoath), Eoin Halpin (Ratoath) 1-0 and Aaron McDonnell.

Eoin Halpin and Eamonn Wallace celebrate a great win


Continued Success To Meath GAA, From

OPENING HOURS Lunch 12-3 | Evenings 5 till late | ALL DAY SUNDAY Early Bird Menu Available Telephone: 046 90 71755 EVERYBODY NEEDS SECURITY Protect Your Home Or Property - Put Your Mind At Rest

J.V.L

.

ALARMS LIMITED

• INSTALLERS OF HIGH QUALITY BURGLAR ALARM SYSTEMS • FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS • OBSERVATION CAMERA SYSTEMS

ALL TO 24 HOUR SERVICE REGISTERED WITH EOLAS N.S.A.I.

PHONE: JOHN IN DUNDALK AT 042-9339044 OR 087-2548278 Wishing Meath GAA The Best Of Luck in 2013

BEST WISHES TO MEATH GAA FROM

RICHARD LYNCH

16 Fonthill Industrial Park, Fonthill Road North, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, Ireland. Tel: +353 1 626 1144 Fax: +353 1 626 2588 E-mail: info@llynch.com Web: www.llynch.com

Stickillen, Ardee, Co. Louth.

Tel: 087-2869583

Email: richardlynch1@eircom.net Specialising in:

With Best Wishes to MEATH GAA

CRIMPING DRY ROLLING GRAIN PROCESSING

ON BOARD WEIGHING SYSTEM 74


1962 JUNIORS

Honoured at half time during the senior football final at Pairc Tailteann, front l/r: Joe Rochford, Padraig McCormack, Mick White, Barney Allen (county board chairman), Jimmy Walsh, Jack Kane, Gerry Quinn, Peter Price. Back: Jim Curtis (committee), Sean McCormack, Cianan Black (representing Peter Black), Tom Flynn, Michael Mulvany (representing Paddy Mulvany), Cormac Ward, Jim Ryan, Michael Clarke, Jack Quinn, Bill Eiffe, Paddy Hanley, Ollie Kealy, Tom Muldoon, Darragh Monaghan (representing Tom Monaghan), Paddy Christie, Toss Gibney, John Carolan, Tommie Collins (committee).

Meath have won the AllIreland JFC title on five occasions and while each of those successes was memorable and significant in its own right, the competition also provided a stepping-stone to success at senior level for many Royal County players down through the years.

T

hat was certainly the case in 1962 when Meath won their third All-Ireland title in the junior grade with a highly talented panel which included five players who would help the county to Sam Maguire Cup success five years later – Jack Quinn, Sean McCormack, Jimmy Walsh, Gerry Quinn and Peter Black. Meath beat London in the final that year and it had been the same 15 years earlier when a side captained by Nobber clubman Larry McGuinness claimed the county’s first All-Ireland football title in any grade. The team included Paddy Connell and Des Taaffe who were later to become household names

GIBNEY RECALLS 50 YEARS AGO with the seniors. Kevin Lenehan, Tom O’Brien and Tom Moriarty were key players when Meath won a second All-Ireland SFC title in 1954 and they had tasted junior success two years earlier when London were again the beaten finalists. The 1952 team included Castletown’s John Donegan who had also been part of the victorious 1947 side. The importance of the junior grade in blooding future senior players was never more evident than in 1962 when Meath once again clinched AllIreland honours with a final win over London. Jack Quinn, who was to play a starring role at full-back in the senior triumph five years later, played at left corner-back with the juniors in 1962, while Sean McCormack, later to be an outstanding goalkeeper for the seniors, was in the opposite corner. Jimmy Walsh started the All-Ireland junior final at left half-forward and was a substitute for the 1967 senior success. He was captain for the ’62

75

junior triumph. Gerry Quinn and Peter Black were both introduced during the junior decider and added All-Ireland senior medals five years later when they were important members of the panel which completed a memorable campaign by defeating Cork in the final. Ashford provided the setting for Meath’s first outing in the 1962 Leinster JFC and it proved to be a successful trip to the Garden County when they defeated Wicklow by 2-9 to 1-6. Things got considerably easier next time out when Carlow were beaten by 3-13 to 0-5 at Navan and that was followed by another comprehensive victory at the same venue when Longford were beaten by 3-11 to 0-6 in a semi-final. Meath had built up a serious head of steam at this stage and provincial honours were annexed with a 2-11 to 1-4 victory over Wexford in the final at Croke Park. It meant they were three wins away from a third national title in the junior


grade and another obstacle was cleared when Leitrim were defeated by 3-4 to 1-3 in an All-Ireland semifinal. A serious test followed in the ‘home’ final against Cavan at Ardee, with the Breffni County side leading by a point in the closing stages. But Meath found most subsequently and Tom Muldoon raced upfield to send over the winning point as it finished 1-11 to 3-4. A newspaper report of the game described it as one of the most courageous performances ever produced by a Meath team. The input of the half-back line was hugely significant in a very tight contest. That victory earned Meath a place in the final proper against London at Pairc Tailteann on a beautifully sunny October Sunday and an attendance of approximately 5,000 witnessed a scrappy game which the Royal County won by 1-13 to 3-5 as their superior fitness told in the end. However, their performance in the first half was probably their poorest of the entire campaign and it was fortunate that London were so wasteful in their shooting as they missed several good chances, including some from 14 yard frees directly in front of the posts. Meath’s half-back line was key to their victory and in Bill Eiffe they had one of the best players on the field. Centre-back Toss Gibney embellished a fine display with a superb point when he tipped a ‘50’ over the crossbar and Pete Price played extremely well on the left wing. Full-back Jim Ryan made some great catches, while at midfield Meath had a mixed hour. Tom Muldoon did well before being replaced by Jack Kane who played a starring role in the second half. The attack mixed the good with the not so good, though Ollie Kealy scored a brilliant goal and captain Jimmy Walsh, Paddy Christie and Patsy McCormack showed up to good effect. Walsh top scored with five points and McCormack contributed four in the second period. Meath, who wore red to avoid a clash of colours, played with the aid of a slight wind in the first half and took the lead when Walsh pointed a

free, but they were rocked soon after when leading marksman D Mullins goaled for the visitors. Their lead was short-lived, however, and Kealy surged through to blast home a goal at the other end. Mullins scored a second London goal in the second quarter when he netted from the rebound after Mick Clarke had made a brilliant save from a penalty, but Meath led by 1-6 to 2-1 at the interval after Walsh (two frees) and tremendous scores from Tom Mongey, Tom Muldoon and Toss Gibney had added to their tally. Sheehan pointed for London early in the second half and Meath then kicked a number of wides, before Patsy McCormack edged them two ahead again with a well taken score. Frank Smith replied with a London point, but McCormack found his range again after being set up by Paddy Hanley. When Mullins completed his hattrick of goals London were ahead by 3-3 to 1-8, but Meath responded positively as Walsh pointed twice and McCormack also split the uprights to leave them two clear again. Mullins pointed to cut the lead to the minimum, but the Royal County looked the sharper team in the closing stages and Paddy Christie and McCormack (free) completed their tally, before Smith concluded the scoring at the other end. Mongey scored only a point in the final, but his contribution in the campaign as a whole was phenomenal as he tallied 8-12, all of it from play. Crossakiel native Toss Gibney was a key member of the Meath team and won his All-Ireland junior medal five years after helping the county to their first national title at minor level when they scored a very comfortable victory over Armagh in the final on the same day that Louth won their last senior title. “It was great to win it, a big thrill,” said the centre half-back of the junior success. “Centre half-back was my favourite position, but I played at midfield for Ballinlough. I played at corner-back when Meath won the AllIreland minor championship in 1957 and played at right half-back for the Meath seniors for a few years.

76

“Winning the All-Ireland minor and junior medals was very special, but my one regret from football was not winning an All-Ireland senior medal. I was in England when they won it in 1967. I came home to see the final against Cork. I was looking out at the team I had played with up until early that year. “I was over and back to England during the 1960s. I didn’t like the idea of being a farmer. I lived in different places over there each time I went over. I played football with Warwickshire, Herefordshire and Lancashire. I went to New York in the 1970s and played with the Carlow team over there.” Recalling his early years in Crossakiel, Toss said football was a huge part of his life. “My father always made sure that we had a football,” he added. “Football kept me going. I would practice on my own by kicking the ball up in the air and catching it, or sometimes it would be with my brothers and neighbours.” He teamed up with some very talented players on that Meath team which won the junior title in 1962. “The 1962 junior team had some very good players who went on to play with the Meath senior team and win All-Ireland medals,” he said. “Because I had played junior football in England I was eligible for that grade. “We beat Cavan in the All-Ireland ‘home’ final. I was marking a friend of mine Larry Mulvany. Cavan were strong, but we beat them by a point. Winning the final against London was a big thrill. It was great to have won All-Ireland minor and junior medals, but not adding a senior medal was a big regret.” The Meath team in the All-Ireland final was: M Clarke; S McCormack, J Ryan, J Quinn; B Eiffe, T Gibney (01), P Price; T Monaghan, T Muldoon (0-1); P McCormack (0-4), P Hanley, J Walsh (0-5); P Christie (0-1), O Kealy (1-0), T Mongey (0-1). Subs – J Kane for Muldoon, G Quinn for Hanley, P Black for Monaghan.


U12 SEVENS FINALS AT SIMONSTOWN

Shield winners St. Colmcilles

Winners - Na Fianna

Kilmainhamwood

Simonstown

Drumconrath Meath Hill

Clann na nGael

Na Fianna captain Sean Martin receives the Conlon Cup from Josephine Conlon and Paul Mooney, Juvenile Board Chairman

Skryne

77

Dunboyne


U15 SEVENS FINALS AT DUNGANNY

Mary McDonagh presents the McDonagh Cup to O’Mahonys captain Darren Byrne as Peter O’Halloran, Minor Board Secreary looks on

Dunboyne

Winners - O’Mahonys

Skryne

Wolfe Tones

Shield winners Nobber

Seneschalstown

78 Oldcastle

St. Patricks


333


LADIES UNDERAGE The Leinster U14 champions

The dedicated work being carried out towards the promotion of ladies’ football at underage level in the county brought two Leinster titles during 2012 as under14 and 16 teams triumphed, while the minors were just edged out by a strong Dublin team in their final.

A

solid underage structure is essential to the task of bringing players through to adult county teams and achieving provincial success in the U14 Championship was a great boost as a team managed by Michael Griffin and with Tracey Hamilton, Sean Whelan and Frank Foley also part of the backroom set-up enjoyed a memorable campaign. In their first competitive outing of the year they defeated Wexford by 2-13 to 1-1 at Bective where they used wind advantage to open up a 1-6 to 00 lead. The advantage was down to six points (1-7 to 1-1) at the interval, before they held the visitors scoreless in the second half and added 1-6 themselves. Marion Farrelly topped the scoring charts with 1-4 and substitute Kelsey Nesbitt helped herself to 1-1. There were goals galore next time out when Meath beat Wicklow by 5-9

GREAT WORK AT LADIES UNDERAGE to 4-9 and it was back to Bective for a meeting with Laois where a goal from Elizabeth Moreland helped Meath to lead by 1-6 to 1-3 at the break. Laois started the second period well and moved into the lead, but the Royal County did enough subsequently to win by 4-8 to 3-9. Megan Thynne was top scorer with two goals, Moreland got 1-2 and Farrelly contributed the same. Meath’s winning run came to an end when Dublin defeated them by 1-11 to 1-8 at Boardsmill where the losers started well with a goal from Eimear Cooke and points by Thynne and Regina Hand. They pushed into a sizeable lead, but the visitors received a timely boost with a goal from a penalty late in the first half. With a 1-7 to 1-1 lead at the change of ends Meath were still in a strong position, but their only score of the second half was a point from Katie Bellew as Dublin gained the upper hand and added 10 points to their tally. A runaway 10-10 to 2-9 win over Kildare at Trim booked a place in the final for Meath who led by 4-9 to 1-1 at the break after Moreland, Hand, Farrelly and Cooke had scored the

79

goals. The visitors hit back with 1-4 early in the second half, but with Cooke bagging three more goals and Thynne, Hand and Lela Carolan also finding the net the Royal County coasted home. The Leinster title was regained when Dublin were beaten by 3-10 to 0-9 at Clane. A goal from Cooke and points by Farrelly (two) and the impressive Nesbitt helped Meath to hold a 1-3 to 0-4 advantage at the interval and with Florence Smith and Vicky Wall proving particularly effective in the second half Meath triumphed. Farrelly and Moreland scored points soon after half-time and with midfielders Rebecca McIntyre and Katie Bellew impressing the forwards continued to enjoy a plentiful supply of possession. Goals from Farrelly and Hand sealed a comfortable victory and the provincial title. Despite a brave effort Meath were subsequently beaten by Cork (2-4 to 3-10) in an All-Ireland semi-final at Birr. Cork, in turn, defeated Mayo by 2-9 to 0-2 in the final. The Meath team in the Leinster final was: S McNerney; N Martyn, V


DR. GERALDINE HONAN B.D.S.

Bedford Dental Surgery The Family Dental Practice • Custom-made gumshields fitted • Emergency appointments available • Full range of general and cosmetic treatment • Dental hygienist, periodontic and implant treatment

Surgery Hours: Mon-Thurs 8.30-5pm Friday 8.30-4.30pm

Tel: 046-9021348 Email: reception@bedforddental.ie www.bedforddental.ie

BEST WISHES TO MEATH GAA IN 2013 80


Meath’s successful U16 squad

Wall, P Owens; K Hannon, N Mullen, F Smith; K Bellew, R McIntyre (0-1); E Moreland (0-2), R Hand (1-0), M Thynne; E Cooke (1-1), M Farrelly (13), K Nesbitt (0-3). Subs – K Leavy for Hannon, A Cleary for Thynne, H Mulvaney for Hand, N Cassidy for Nesbitt.

U16 TEAM CLAIMS TITLE IN STYLE Among the victories for Meath’s under-16 team en route to the Leinster final was a 6-10 to 0-7 success over Longford at Newtownborbes where Alicia Curtis top scored with 3-1 and the same two counties contested the final at Portarlington. This was an impressive performance by the Royal County girls who won by all of 17 points on a 6-16 to 2-11 score line. They conceded the opening point, but replied in emphatic fashion when Stacey Grimes scored a goal to give them the lead. The Royal County continued to pile on the pressure and added three more goals in the first half to open up a very useful seven point advantage at the change of ends. Another goal early in the second half copper-

fastened Meath’s position of supremacy and there was never going to be any way back for Longford after that. Sarah O’Brien was the winners’ top scorer with a highly impressive personal contribution of 2-2, while Stacey Grimes wasn’t too far behind her with a fine tally of 2-1. There were other notable scoring contributions from Eleanor Lane with 1-3, Kelly Harris with 1-1 and Alicia Curtis with four

points. It was a very good team performance from a dedicated group of Meath players, with Niamh Sheridan, Kate Flynn, Eleanor Lane, Aisling Cassidy, Curtis, Grimes and O’Brien proving particularly impressive. The Meath team in the Leinster final was: N de Graaff (0-1); E Devine, N Sheridan, K Flynn; S Halpenny, N Dalton, L Byrne; A Cassidy, E Lane (1-3); K Harris (1-1), C Keoghan (0-1), G Malone (0-2); A Curtis (0-4), S O’Brien (2-2), S Grimes (21). Subs – D Maughan for Devine, A Flattery for Malone, H Callaghan for Keoghan, S Goodwin for Halpenny, S Kealy for Harris.

MINORS JUST MISS OUT ON LEINSTER TITLE

Leinster Council President Victoria Wall and U14 captain Marie Hickey

81

Meath’s campaign in the Leinster Minor C h a m p i o n s h i p commenced with a runaway 5-11 to 1-8 victory over Wicklow at Ashbourne. Sinead Coyle scored two goals in the early stages and with Adrienne McCann also netting the home side were


Best Wishes & Continued Success To Meath GAA, From

For 70 Years VELUX have been manufacturing and continuously improving our roof windows, designing and engineering products that are widely available, reliable and durable with the highest quality finish that offers real value for money Tel: 01 8488775 Fax: 01 8488787 Email: sales@velux.ie

www.velux.ie

Would like to wish Clann Na nGael & The Meath Football & Hurling Teams every succcess in 2013

BEST WISHES TO ALL LOCAL GAA CLUBS IN 2013

Ardsallagh, Navan, Co. Meath T: 046 9023205 • F: 046 9072768 • Email: pmeehan@indigo.ie Best Wishes To Meath GAA In 2013 82


in a very strong position. Leinster final at Newbridge when Aine Bennett goaled, However, the visitors but Dublin replied with a goal applied a lot of pressure after of their own. Impressive that and it was only when the point-taking enabled Meath Meath management to be in front at the break and introduced Ellen Hennelly to with Shauna Ennis finding the defence that the ship was the net and Dempsey, Coyle, steadied. The Royal County Aoife Weston, Regan and enjoyed a 10 point (3-7 to 1Downey scoring points they 3) advantage at the break were six to the good entering and despite playing against the closing stages. the wind in the second period But disaster struck when they added goals from Dublin got in for a brace of Maedbh Downey and goals which forced extra Shauna Ennis to run out time. From a position where comprehensive winners. they looked certain to claim That was followed by wins the Leinster title Meath had over Wexford (1-8 to 1-4) and been caught by that late Kildare (2-8 to 2-4) which salvo and it finished 2-10 to secured a semi-final place. 3-7. Dublin edged ahead in Laois provided the opposition extra time and with a Coyle at Boardsmill and an penalty hitting the crossbar impressive 2-14 to 2-5 Meath missed the chance to victory earned Meath a place Leinster Council President Victoria Wall presents the U16 trophy salvage the situation. Dublin to Meath captain Niamh Sheridan in the final against Dublin. finished with two points to Coyle was a real star of the another asset, Meath were creating spare (3-11 to 2-12) and it hurt, but it show with 1-5 and there were also plenty of chances and they retired had been a very encouraging very good performances from with a 1-10 to 2-0 lead at the change campaign from the Royal County defenders Laura Bagnall, Emma Troy of ends, with Laura Dempsey getting side. and Michelle Peel. the goal. The rain started to pelt down just as Coyle scored a goal in the second The Meath team in the Leinster the game was about to start and half when her free from distance final was: C Donoghue; A Sheridan, Meath shipped an early blow when rebounded off a defender and ended N Lister, E Hennelly; L Bagnall, E Laois got in for a goal. Coyle’s up in the net and that helped to push Troy, M Peel; K Byrne, H Regan (0impressive free-taking soon had the the winners into a commanding 14 1); S Ennis (1-0), L Dempsey (0-4), S Royal County ahead, but when Laois Coyle (0-3); M Downey (0-1), A point advantage. With such a healthy scored a second goal the sides were Bennett (1-0), A McCann. Subs – A cushion the Meath selectors were level. Weston (0-2) for McCann, L able to give valuable game time to With Kate Byrne and Helen Regan Buchanan for Coyle, K Callaghan (0dominating in the middle third of the several substitutes. 1) for Downey. field and Troy’s constant running Meath made a great start to the

The Meath minor squad which took on Wexford

83


SPECIAL FEATURE

Tayto Park is the new official sponsor of Meath football. We met up with Largo Foods founder and CEO Ray Coyle to discuss the exciting new partnership as well as the extraordinary success of Curragha’s unique visitor attraction.

H

istory will be made on Sunday, January 6th, 2013 when Meath travel to Longford for their O’Byrne Cup opener. The group match will represent the Royal County’s first competitive outing since Tayto Park was unveiled as official sponsor of Meath football and the players will don their Tayto Park gear for the first time. Located at Kilbrew, Curragha, just outside Ashbourne, Tayto Park has established itself as one of Ireland’s most popular theme parks in little over two years. Winner of the Best in Tourism category at the third annual

SNACK ATTACK Meath Business and Tourism Awards, Tayto Park was unveiled as official sponsor of the Royals’ senior, U21, minor and junior football teams in October, 2012. When the sponsorship deal was launched, Meath County Board chairman Barney Allen stated: “Securing this sponsorship will enable the county to continue to invest in talent and facilities. Tayto Park has been great for our county and I hope we will have some great days ahead in the new jersey.” And new Meath senior football manager Mick O’Dowd added: “It is a new chapter in Meath football and I look forward to working with the county committee, the players and with Tayto Park.” Tayto Park has been a phenomenal success story since its inception in 2010 and Mr Tayto will soon welcome the 500,000th visitor through the gates at Kilbrew. The veritable host of

84

attractions on site – which is expanding all the time – currently includes The Lodge, Teahouse in the Treehouse, the Tayto Factory Tour, Pow Wow Playground, Native American Village, the Eagle Sky Adventure Zone, the Geronimo Thrill Zone and a wide range of animals (buffalo, rabbits, ducks, geese, turkeys, peacocks, Dexter cattle, Jacob sheep, Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs, miniature donkeys, wildcats (including mountain lions and Amur leopards), racoons, skunks, emu, porcupines, wallabies, monkeys and leopards. Tayto Park recently announced the opening of the first mega zip line attraction in Ireland, featuring eight zip lines, all of which can operate simultaneously. Meanwhile, a new menu has been launched in The Lodge Restaurant showcasing breakfasts, brunches and carvery lunches prepared by executive chef


Chris Allen. Tayto Park is the brainchild of Largo Foods CEO Ray Coyle, a proud Curraha man who is more than doing his bit to put the Royal County back on the map! Regarding his decision to sponsor the Meath footballers from 2013 onwards, he enthuses: “I’m absolutely thrilled that Tayto Park is the new Meath football sponsor. I had tried for the sponsorship on two previous occasions and it didn’t work out, so it’s a case of third time lucky It’s a two-year deal, with an option of a third year and the Tayto Park logo will be carried on all the team jerseys.” It’s a good deal for Meath GAA and Ray has his fingers crossed that the arrangement will also benefit Tayto Park and the Tayto brand in general. “I think it will be good for us, too,” he notes. “This is a commercial decision first and foremost but, apart from that, it’s a great privilege as a Meath man who lives and works in Meath to be sponsoring the county football teams. It’s something I’m very proud of. “I don’t claim to be the biggest GAA follower in the world but I do try to go to as many of Meath’s games as possible, whenever I’m not too busy with work. I firmly believe that Meath are going to do well with the new manager and the new system in place and that’s the main reason why I’ve gone with the sponsorship. I think I’m backing a winner and that I’ll get plenty of mileage out of it.” Ray founded Largo Foods in 1983 and the company will celebrate its 30th anniversary next September. Largo Foods is Ireland’s leading snack food manufacturer, boasting an outstanding portfolio of branded and own label crisps, snacks, popcorn and nuts, which are distributed throughout Ireland, the UK, Continental Europe, Australia, Asia and Middle East. Largo Foods has production facilities in Ashbourne, County Meath; Gweedore, County Donegal; and Barnsley, UK. The Meath factory produces all potato-based products and the company sources over 30,000 tonnes of potatoes from Irish farmers annually (predominantly in Meath, Louth, Dublin and Wexford),

which equates to approximately 10% of the nation’s annual potato crop. Largo Foods represents some of the most iconic snack-food brands including Tayto, Hunky Dorys, King and Perri. Together, these four brands account for almost a 50% share of the Irish market. A total of 1,000 people are employed – 620 in Ireland and a further 380 in the UK and Eastern Europe. Regarding Tayto Park – the most unlikely of success stories – Ray adds: “I built the educational and activity park about two years ago. I took a chance building it in a recession but it is doing fantastic so far. Visitor numbers for 2012 have been up 22% on the previous year and the concept seems to be really catching on. It’s a good family day out and we will have a number of special events taking place around Christmas.” Excluding the land, Ray has spent €15m on developing Tayto Park so far and that investment is ongoing. During high season (June-August), Tayto Park employs approximately 180 people, mostly students from within a ten-mile radius of Ashbourne / Curragha. “Full-time, we employ 47 or 48. It’s nice to create the jobs but we couldn’t do that without the public’s support of Tayto Park. It’s demand that drives the jobs so hopefully that will continue. We’re not going to rest on our laurels. We’re going to keep

adding to the activities and to the animals. For example, we have eight different cats in Tayto Park at the moment.” At just €40 entry for a family of four, Tayto Park also represents exceptional value for money. “We have a food and crafts market starting in the first week of December, which we will be running for four weeks through Christmas, with about 50 stalls, all indoor.” Ray is proud of the fact that he has been able to bring such a novel and exciting attraction to his home village. A Curragha man all his life, he has been sponsoring the local GAA club for the past 15 years. Next year, he will find himself in a unique position, as Largo Foods – through its Hunky Dorys brand – is also sponsoring the Tyrone footballers. “Hunky Dorys is very popular in the North of Ireland and I was happy to get that sponsorship as well. Again, it’s a two-year deal with an option on the third year. Like the Meath sponsorship, I’m confident that we’ll also get a good run from Tyrone.” Ray Coyle seems to be the man with the winning touch, so don’t be surprised if Meath and Tyrone are squaring up to each other at Croke Park come August - or even September. What a way that would be to celebrate Largo Foods’ 30th anniversary!

At the launch of Tayto Park’s sponsorship of Meath football teams are, l/r: Graham Reilly, Mick O’Dowd, Mr Tayto and Seamus Kenny

85


HURLING TEAM OF THE YEAR

HURLING TEAM OF THE YEAR ann 1. Shane McG n rto te ot P 2. Eoin hue og on D ig ra ad 3. P ry 4. Brian Per rde 5. Anthony Fo ly ea H n ie 6. Dam gh ei al R as om 7. Th ly el 8. James K r 9. James Tohe y ve ar G lip 10. Phi ee cG M n ie am D 11. an liv ul 12. Mark O'S ely ne on C 13. Paddy e ol C k ic 14. M an 15. Jack Reg

(Kiltale) (Kildalkey) (Kiltale) (Killyon) (Kiltale) (Longwood) (Killyon) (Kiltale) (Trim) (Kiltale) (Trim) (Kiltale) (Kildalkey) (Rathmolyon) (Kiltale)

2 - EOIN POTTERTON (KILDALKEY)

1 - SHANE MCGANN (KILTALE) Without question the best goalkeeper in the county. His shot stopping has been breath taking at times, while his distribution has launched many an attack for Kiltale. Set to be Meath's number one for many years to come. Honourable mentions: Mark Brennan (Kilmessan), Conor Flynn (Kildalkey), Brian Carley (Trim).

Has forced his way into the side following some solid displays in the Kildalkey rearguard. Ever dependable and rarely makes a mistake without being too spectacular as many of the county's top forwards will testify too.

3 - PADRAIG DONOGHUE (KILTALE) Lead by example from the edge of the square. Played a real captain's role throughout the year and was rewarded by lifting the Jubilee Cup. His confidence under the high ball inspired his fellow defenders as their defence was rock solid all year. Honourable mentions: Charlie Keena (Kilmessan), Richie Hogan (Navan O'Mahony's), Paul Fagan (Dunboyne)

H o n o u r a b l e mentions: Anthony Donnelly (Kiltale), A Feeney (Killyon), Fergal Smith (Boardsmill)

4 - BRIAN PERRY (KILLYON) More noted as a full back, but had to be slotted into this team. Was one of Killyon's most consistent players all year and has been for the past few years. A tough, physical player, who has pace to burn also and could surely still do a job for the county. H o n o u r a b l e mentions: Cormac Reilly (O'Mahony's), Enda Dixon (Longwood), C McCabe Kiltale, David Foley (Trim)

5 - ANTHONY FORDE (KILTALE) May be more noted as a footballer, but Forde was outstanding at wing back for Kiltale, his surging runs and inspirational points spurred on his team mates and was tenacious in the tackle. Can only get better as he is only out of minor last year Honourable mentions: Shane Crosby (O'Mahony's), Maurice Keogh (Kildalkey), Ray Dorran (Longwood)

86


7 - THOMAS RALEIGH (KILLYON)

6 - DAMIEN HEALY (LONGWOOD) A n o t h e r youngster that impressed this year, Longwood surprised many by reaching this year's county semi final and one of the main reasons for that was the displays of this young man. Already established on the county team and is set for a bright future in the game.

The future of Meath hurling looks good indeed as yet another young player makes the team of the year. Raleigh has thrived from moving back from the forwards to defence and he was a free scoring forward during the campaign, while not neglecting his defensive duties. Honourable mentions: Mairtin Doran (Kildalkey), Ryan Andrews (Trim), David Donoghue (Kiltale)

8 - JAMES KELLY (KILTALE) The freedom of midfield really suits Kelly. For such a young player, he has a wise head on his shoulders and his decision making is quite exceptional. Was the catalyst for many of Kiltale's scores this year and is well able to take his own also.

Honourable mentions: Paddy Ryan (Killyon), Willie Mahady (Kiltale), Eamonn Regan (Rathmolyon)

9 - JAMES TOHER (TRIM)

Honourable mentions: Stephen Morris (Blackhall Gaels), Padraig McKeown (Killyon), Rory Maguire (Longwood)

10. PHILIP GARVEY (KILTALE) Could have been named in several different positions, but gets the nod at wing forward. Garvey had one of his best years for the club and was outstanding in the county final. His surging runs caused defences huge problems.

A dual player of considerable talent, Toher is one of the best hurlers to come out of Trim in some time. A very athletic player that has no problem getting up and down the field and is equally at home in defence or attack.

Honourable mentions: Padraig Geoghegan (Kildalkey), Darren Reilly (Kilmessan), Gary Cole (Rathmolyon)

Honourable mentions: Michael O'Grady (Dunboyne), Martin Horan (Kilmessan), David Kennedy (Killyon)

HURLING TEAM OF THE YEAR 87


11. DAMIEN McGEE (TRIM) The loss of Alan Douglas meant that Trim were looking for a scorer in chief, step up McGee who was his side's top scorer during the championship. He was deadly accurate from both placed balls and from play.

12. MARK O'SULLIVAN (KILTALE) A man of the match display capped a fine year for O'Sullivan, who really made a return to form and it was no coincidence that Kiltale lifted the title. His ability to score on the run and from anywhere on the field were highlights of the campaign. Honourable mentions: Eanna Harrington (Wolfe Tones), John Donoghue (Kiltale), Paddy Skehan (Navan O'Mahony's)

13 - PADDY CONNEELY (KILDALKEY) In a year that Kildalkey failed to fire on all cylinders, Conneely’s displays at times were irrepressible. He took over the free taking duties from Noel Kirby and was equally as good as the county man from placed balls, notching up some impressive scores during the campaign.

Honourable mentions: Stephen Donoghue (Kiltale), Ray Massey (Killyon), Thomas Reilly (Boardsmill)

14 - MICK COLE (RATHMOLYON)

Honourable mentions: Gannon (Killyon), John (Rathmolyon), Stephen (Dunboyne)

15 - JACK REGAN (KILTALE)

Amazingly only two players that were on last year's Team of the Year made it on to this XV, Padraig Donoghue being one and Cole being the other. It is a testament to the player's dedication so late in his career as he once again was one of the stars of the show for Rathmolyon as they made up for last year's defeat. Honourable mentions: Nicky Horan (Kilmessan), Neil Heffernan (Trim), David Troy (Drumree)

What an entrance on the senior stage, finished the year with a senior medal in his back pocket and emerged as one of the best hurlers in the county. Regan was trusted with the free taking duties and he did not disappoint as he showed coolness beyond his years. Honourable mentions: Anthony Healy (Longwood), David Raleigh (Killyon), Tom Shine (Kilskyre)

HURLING TEAM OF THE YEAR 88

Adam Farrell Moran


Best wishes to Meath GAA, from

Best Wishes To Meath GAA, From

Take the Hassle out of the kitchen this Christmas with our Fully cooked ready to reheat Christmas Dinner Hampers including Turkey Crown, Baked Ham, Gravy, Stuffing, Soup. Having a party? No Problem let JM Food look after all your catering requirements, all parties catered for whatever the size!

Full Deli shop open to the public Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturday from 9am to 2pm. Lots of special offers available SINGLE AND MULTI PORTIONS ALSO AVAILABLE, PRODUCTS INCLUDING LASAGNE, PIES, QUICHES, SOUPS, SALADS AND A WIDE RANGE OF DESSERTS. All products produced daily on the premises... Call now or email for brochure 046 9051800 | E: info@jmfoodservices.com Unit 18, Mullaghboy Ind Est., Navan, Co. Meath

WHATEVER YOUR EVENT, BUSINESS OR PLEASURE, BOYNE HILL HOUSE ESTATE OFFERS YOU A VENUE WITH A DIFFERENCE

89


KEN RENNICKS

The 1970 Leinster champions, front l/r: Ken Rennicks, Bertie Cunningham, Terry Kearns, Sean McCormack, Jack Quinn, Mick White, Pat Reynolds, Mick Mellett. Back: Ollie Shanley, Tony Brennan, Peter Black, Vincent Foley, Mattie Kerrigan, Vincent Lynch, Joe Murphy

Since the GAA All-Star awards were initiated in 1971 a total of 25 Meath footballers have been honoured. Of the two dozen, just two of them have not played on an All-Ireland senior winning team. By Noel Coogan.

S

tephen Bray is the only All Star in the current Royals class, having been selected in 2007, and over 30 years before that in 1975 Bohermeen stalwart of the time, Ken Rennicks, was given the centre half-forward berth after spearheading Meath to a memorable National League triumph at the expense of reigning All-Ireland champions Dublin. While Rennicks was far from ‘a one hit wonder,’ his display in that game is the fondest memory of a playing career

INTERVIEW: KEN RENNICKS that had its shares of ups and downs. In the ‘70s there were defeats in All-Ireland and county senior finals, to Kerry in 1970 and on the club scene to the emerging Summerhill in the Keegan Cup decider four years later. Ken Rennicks had a proud football background. Granduncle Sam was goalkeeper on the famous Bohermeen team which won six Meath SFC titles from 1909 to 1914 and supplied most of Meath’s Croke Cup winning team when Waterford were defeated in the final at Jones’s Road in 1912. Francie, father of Ken, played football with Bohermeen and Martry and was a well-known referee, taking charge of two Keegan Cup deciders in the ‘50s, Skryne v Kells Harps in 1954 and Syddan v Skryne in

90

Ken Rennicks


’56. So it was not surprising that Ken became a footballer and he turned out to be the best of the clan. The youngster from Durhamstown initially showed his ability as a juvenile in the early ‘60s when Bohermeen qualified for four successive Under-14 FC finals. Bohermeen won the 1960 title with a victory over Dunboyne in the decider and the following year Yellow Furze got the better of the boys in black and amber in a replay. Ken Rennicks was one of the stars of the 1962 juvenile triumph when Rathkenny were defeated on a rather odd 2-1 to 0-3 final scoreline. Bohermeen and Rathkenny again qualified for the 1963 Under 14 FC final. However, the game did not take place. One of Bohermeen’s key players was injured and the team mentors decided, on a majority vote, not to fulfil the fixture and Rathkenny were awarded the title. Looking back at that final, Ken said: “I have no doubt we would have won that one too and not being allowed to play in the final was a big disappointment.” After representing the county in the minor grade, Rennicks played for both the Meath junior and senior teams in 1969. The juniors reached the Leinster final in which they lost to Wicklow by 0-5 to 2-5 at Croke Park. Wicklow went on to defeat Kerry in the All-Ireland home final but lost the title decider to London. “That was a strong Wicklow junior team, nearly as strong as their seniors. I was playing in a wing halfforward position, they had some good players including Moses Coffey, who became a well-known senior star, at centrefield,” recalled Ken. The Bohermeen man made his senior inter-county competitive debut in a National League game against Louth at Drogheda in the autumn of 1969. He recalled being marked by Paul Kenny, later to become an AllIreland under-21 winning manager with Meath, in that match and for the up-and-coming youngster it was the beginning of a memorable few years during which he became a big

favourite with Royal County supporters. “Another player who marked me in that league was Joe Lennon of Down and I was delighted to score five points off him. He had captained Down to win the All-Ireland the previous year and was a good, strong player,” Ken said. The first few months on Micheal Campbell’s team were exciting and after failing to make an impact in the two previous Leinster campaigns but with a good sprinkling of the 1967 AllIreland winners still in the green and gold, Meath’s 1970 championship campaign was quite memorable. Victories over Carlow and Kildare earned a place in the Leinster final against Offaly and the provincial decider turned out to be the most remarkable in the long history of the competition. Offaly led by 10 points (4-7 to 0-9) at the break and increased the lead to 11 points before Meath staged an astonishing comeback. It was the first year of 80-minute matches and Ken Rennicks contributed three points of the sensational winning total. As well as the 1967 stalwarts, other young players like Vincent Foley, Vincent Lynch and Mickey Fay made their mark. Fay came on as a half-time substitute and scored two goals while Tony Brennan scored 10 points,

including a dramatic winning score. One of the match reports the next morning suggested that if someone suggested that a team would score 512 in a provincial final and lose, he would be recommended for a lunatic asylum. There were also stories of Meath supporters leaving Croke Park at half-time and later realising what they had missed. Looking back at that amazing match, Ken said: “Even though Offaly were leading by 10 points at halftime, there wasn’t that much between the teams in the first half, they were getting the goals and we weren’t. We then went 11 points behind but Mickey Fay, who had come on as a substitute, got two goals and we were back in the game. “Tony Brennan had his shooting boots on, he scored 10 points, including the winner. It was an incredible game and after appearing to be in an impossible position, we kept battling and ended up as winners. The Offaly players couldn’t believe they were beaten, they had some great players and showed how good they were by winning the next two All-Irelands.” Meath then laid the Galway bogey by beating them for the first time in the championship at the fourth attempt with four points to spare (015 to 0-11) to earn a clash with holders Kerry for the Sam Maguire

Pictured before the 1974 Meath SFC final, l/r: Bohermeen captain Ken Rennicks; county chairman Colum Cromwell; Christo Hand, who performed the ceremonial throw-in; Summerhill captain Austin Lyons and referee Brendan Gogarty

91


Best Wishes to Meath GAA from

St. Mary’s Navan Credit Union • Attractive Dividend on Savings • Low Interest Rate on all Loans • Free Loan Protection & Life Savings Insurance • Payment Protection Insurance • Foreign Exchange • Travel & House Insurance • Current Account Facility Available • Direct Debit, Standing Order and Payroll Deduction • Laser Payments Accepted • Members Car Draw -

Tel: 046-9021395 Fax: 046-9022493 www.navancu.ie info@navancu.ie

‘Win a car a month for a euro a week’

Open 6 days a week 9.30am-5pm

Best wishes to Meath GAA, from

Cll. Caoimhe Ni Shluáin

Best wishes to Meath GAA in 2013, from

12 Kilberry Heights, Kilberry, Navan, Co. Meath Tel: 085-7621051

CHARTERED PHYSIOTHERAPIST AND LICENSED ACUPUNCTURIST Monday to Saturday by appointment. Email: leephysio@gmail.com

Phone: 087 235 4775 www.franceslee.ie

CORDNERS SHOES LTD.

Best Wishes to Meath GAA from

BILLY FLOOD Agricultural Contractor Rathdrinagh, Beauparc, Navan, Co. Meath.

AGENTS FOR CLARKS, DUBARRY, TIMBERLAND, LOTUS, BARKER AND VAN DAL 16-17 Trimgate Street, Navan. Tel: 046-9021578 Best Wishes to Meath GAA In The Coming Year

Tel: 086-2700370 92


Cup. Kerry won by 2-19 to 0-18 with Mickey Fay scoring 10 points of the losers’ total. Meath were well in the game until midfielder DJ Crowley netted the second goal in the closing stages. “There was only a goal in it before that clinching score. I didn’t like playing at right full-forward, I was moved out to the half-forward line with about 10 minutes to go and caught a couple of balls above Tom Prendergast, who was the Footballer of the Tear that year. It’s a pity I wasn’t moved out earlier. “I was only 20 in 1970 and didn’t expect to be playing in an All-Ireland final so soon. Even though we lost, it was a great experience and, while I loved playing in Croke Park, I never got to play there in September again.” After wearing the number 13 jersey in 1970, Ken Rennicks played most of his best football in subsequent years at centrefield or centre-forward. He figured in three more Leinster finals in the ‘70s but the outstanding Dublin team of that era won all three, in 1974, ’76 and ’77. The defeats in ’76 and ’77 (by two and four points) were frustrating for the Royal County contingent as Meath had enough possession up front to win both games. In the 1976 final Dermie Rennicks (younger brother of Ken) was at centrefield

alongside Joe Cassells but injury prevented Ken from joining the action until the last few minutes. “Dermie and Joe were winning a lot of ball but a few scoring chances were missed. We got a penalty and the usual penalty taker, Gerry Farrelly, had been taken off and Colm O’Rourke drove the kick wide. It was only Colm’s first year as a county senior and maybe it was unfair to ask him to take it. I came on with about five minutes to go when Cormac Rowe got injured. It was a game that should have been won. “The following year, after coming back from injury, I scored 1-9, all from play, in the Leinster semi-final against Laois. I was at centre-forward in the final against Dublin with Dermie at left corner-back, Dublin went on to win the All-Ireland in both of those years but we were unlucky not to beat them at least once,” said the elder Rennicks. Another provincial final loss for Ken Rennicks was in the 1971 Leinster Under-21 FC final when Offaly defeated Meath by 1-9 to 0-11 in Mullingar. Other rising stars on that Meath team included Mickey and Jimmy Fay, Dermot Dalton, Billy Bligh and Oliver ‘Jackser’ Kavanagh. In 1973 Ken played a big part in Bohermeen’s IFC triumph when Moylagh were overcome in a thrilling final and the following years the men

in black and amber went all the way to the SFC title decider only to lose by 0-7 to 0-9 to the emerging Summerhill side which went on to achieve a remarkable four-in-a-row sequence of success. One of the main talking points after the 1975 SFC final was the persistent fouling of Ken, who was the Bohermeen captain. “It would have been grand to get a senior championship medal but the rules did not favour me and I didn’t get fair play on the day and if I did it could have been the difference between winning and losing. “There were no yellow and red cards then but there was a personal foul rule. I did not bear any grudge against the man as he was probably playing to instructions. He told me a while after the final that he regretted fouling me so much,” recalled Ken. But it was not all disappointment for Rennicks in 1974. On St Patrick’s Day he helped Leinster defeat Connacht in the Railway Cup final at Croke Park, having been on the losing side against Munster in the replayed final in Cork two years earlier. At the end of ’74 the Bohermeen stalwart became the recipient of the first Meath Footballer of the Year award. Although Meath lost three Leinster finals to Dublin in the ‘70s, there was some compensation in the memorable National League final

The 1970 squad was honoured before the 2010 Meath SFC final at Pairc Tailteann

93


victory over Kevin Heffernan’s side in 1975. After wins over Kerry and Mayo, the men in green and gold recovered from a deficit of six points early in the second half to record a stunning 0-16 to 1-9 success. While Meath had heroes all over the pitch, the main inspiration came from Ken Rennicks, who turned in a magnificent display in the number 11 jersey. The late and great Con Houlihan, who passed away earlier this year, wrote that the name of Rennicks was like a war cry for Meath supporters. Houlihan continued: “Ken Rennicks has often been a scapegoat, his great ability at gaining possession has not always been matched by his wisdom in making use of it. Yesterday all was forgiven, he had one of those days when everything suddenly falls into place “In the air he caught or broke down in a manner which left Alan Larkin empty-handed, nor had Dublin any answer to his straight and powerful runs. Yesterday he elevated common sense to near genius and his fortitude during Meath’s distress was of infinite value. “There were times in the third quarter when took the entire Dublin defence almost on his own. He kept battering away at what seemed a hopeless cause and in the end he was gloriously rewarded. Fortune sometimes favours the brave.” Although Meath were shocked by Louth in their opening Leinster SFC game in 1975, there was recognition for the NFL triumph at the end of the year with Ken Rennicks and Mattie Kerrigan being picked on the AllStars team. For Ken, there was a second trip to San Francisco as he went to the American city as a replacement All-Star the previous year. Although persistently troubled by injuries, Rennicks continued to assist Meath until 1982. “I played at centreback against Dublin at Pairc Tailteann in the 1980 championship but I had a hamstring problem and only lasted 10 minutes. After missing 1981 Mick O’Brien brought me back in ’82 but Longford beat us in Tullamore and

that was my last game with Meath. “In the next couple of years I was training hard and was happy enough with my form in club football. Some of Sean Boylan’s selectors went to a game to have a look at me but I pulled the hamstring that day. I would love to have played under Sean,” he said. Although success eluded Ken on the inter-county front after 1975, he was player-manager of the Harps team which gained IFC honours in 1985, defeating St Mary’s in a replayed final. The Harps club (an amalgamation of Bohermeen and Martry) was formed a few months after the 1974 SFC final and they reached the senior semi-finals in ’75 when Navan O’Mahonys beat them by the minimum margin in Kells. That day a knee problem prevented Ken from joining the action until the closing stages but after being taken down for a penalty, Dessie Murtagh drove the kick wide. “We led by five points in that game

Ken Rennicks in full flight

94

but then things started going wrong for us. I think if we won that day, we could have beaten Summerhill in the final,” he said. After that year, the ‘marriage’ encountered some problems with both Bohermeen and Martry reforming. However, Harps recovered from the setbacks to reach IFC finals in 1980 and ’82 in which they lost to Nobber and Kilmainhamwood before regaining senior status in 1985. Ken continued playing long enough to wear the colours of current parish club, St Ultan’s in their first year, playing his last game at the age of 41 in 1991 when Trim defeated them in the Junior B FC final. Fast forward to 2008 when Ken was a selector for the IFC triumph and son Shane was a member of Sean Kelly’s winning side when parish rivals Cortown were overcome in the final. Looking at the modern game, Ken Rennicks feels there is too much emphasis on running and not enough on skill. “Running is for horses and greyhounds, it is ridiculous to see teams doing warm-ups for about 20 minutes before games, some players coming on to county squads don’t enough skills of the game. “Football is a simple game. I don’t mind the short passing game but it should be mixed with the long game which is Meath’s traditional style. I would love to see more county teams adopting the Crossmaglen style of play,” he said. Ken has found a new sporting interest over the last few months in cycling. He is a member of the Bohermeen club and seems to be as competitive as during his football playing days, going away on long spins on Sunday mornings as well as pedalling on other days during the week. Ken Rennicks had a long and eventful playing career which he enjoyed very much. “I was proud to wear the county and club jerseys. The highlights were the 1970 Leinster final and the 1975 National League victory. The biggest disappointment was not getting to another All-Ireland final, I loved playing at Croke Park on big days,” he concluded.


MICKEY KELLY Mickey Kelly is a familiar figure in Pairc Tailteann on match days

Curraha’s Mickey Kelly has devoted almost thirty years to the GAA in Meath after moving to the Royal County. A familiar face at County Board meetings as his club’s delegate, he is also wellknown in refereeing circles having umpired approximately 700 games.

B

orn and reared in north county Dublin, Santry to be precise, Mickey Kelly played football with the Starlights club in his younger years. He moved to his father’s native county Meath in 1979 after buying a site in Loughlinstown, which is located between Ratoath and Skryne, just a quarter of a mile from new Meath football sponsor Tayto Park. Dublin’s loss has been Meath’s and Curraha’s gain because he has been actively involved with county and club since August 1983. He has given the east Meath club distinguished service as chairman,

KELLY NOT WAVING THE WHITE FLAG JUST YET secretary and treasurer and today he is the club’s County Board delegate, a role that he has held for the past 28 years. “The late, great Kevin O’Connor introduced me to football in Meath,” Mickey recalled. “I was coming out of mass one Sunday morning and he asked me what I was doing that day. He explained that a friend of his – Niall Foran – was looking for an umpire so I headed off with him to a game in Skryne. That was my first introduction to Meath as an umpire.” After that chance first outing, the affable Kelly has performed umpiring duties with many of the county’s top referees – Seamus McCormack, Martin Mannering, Cormac Reilly, Jim Smith, Frank Gallogly, Liam O’Brien, Pat Clarke, Barry Gorman, Joe Sinnott and, most recently, David Coldrick to name but a few.

95

Since he joined Coldrick’s team, Mickey has been close to the thick of the action of some of the biggest games on the GAA calendar. This year, for instance, he was an umpire for the Munster SFC semifinal between Cork and Kerry and for Donegal’s All-Ireland SFC semi-final defeat of the Rebel County in Croke Park. He took up his regular spot on the green flag at the hospital end in Pairc Tailteann for this year’s Keegan Cup decider between Navan O’Mahonys and Wolfe Tones. “David has set the standards,” Kelly said of the Blackhall Gaels official. “He is the top referee in the country without a shadow of a doubt.” He added: “I’m also out twice a week with a fellow clubman, Patrick Coyle, who is a promising young referee. I’d love to see him go all the way to an All-Ireland semi-final or


Continued Success & Best Wishes to Meath GAA In The Coming Year from

RUSSELL

BLAKE & MURRAY

THE RUSSELL RESTAURANT Ludlow Street, Navan, Co. Meath Tel. 353 (0)469031690. Fax : 0469031608 info@russellrestaurant.com

Ltd.

OPENING TIMES WED & THURSDAY 6pm-9pm FRI & SATURDAY 6pm-10pm - SUNDAY 5pm-9pm

C2 REGISTERED CONTRACTORS • FULLY INSURED • PAINTING, WALLPAPERING, AIRLESS SPRAYING INDUSTRIAL • DOMESTIC • COMMERCIAL CONTACT: MICHAEL BLAKE OR PAT MURRAY Ladyrath, Wilkinstown, Navan, Co Meath

FOLLOW US ON Wishing Meath Meath GAA GAA every every success success in in 2013 2013 Wishing

Tel: 046-9029715 • Mobile: 087-2316668/086-8538200

TOMMY DOWD Oil Distributors Limited.

88 Acres, Trim Road, Athboy, Co. Meath. Tel: (046) 9487222 • Fax: (046) 9487220 Mobile: (086) 6002035

BEST WISHES TO THE MEATH TEAM IN 2013 Wishing Meath GAA Every Success in 2013 from

THE HUNTING COMMUNITY OF COUNTY MEATH 97


final.” One match, in particular, stands out in Mickey’s memory. “Roscommon were playing Galway in the Connacht SFC in Ballinasloe. Seamus McCormack was the referee and the other umpire was Cormac Reilly. “Shane Curran was the Roscommon goalkeeper and he was a real character. Seamus awarded Galway a penalty and Padraig Joyce picked up the ball to take it. Curran, of course, was dancing around and he said to me ‘I bet you €20 he’ll miss it! “Of course Joyce kicked the ball straight into Curran’s hands and he went off down the field on a solo run. Joyce was disgusted. I never paid Curran his €20!” Refereeing is often described as a thankless task within the GAA and whistlers don’t often get the credit they reserve. Without referees there would be no games. The same can be said for umpires. What attracts Mickey to the role? “It gets me out of the house and keeps me out of harms way,” he joked. “But, seriously, I really enjoy it. I’d say I have umpired at over 700 games so far. I’d like to do it for another year or two. “Croke Park are talking about bringing in a fitness test for umpires. Pat McEnaney, head of the National Referees Committee, wants all umpires to be under the age of 50 so that would rule me out by 23 years,” explained Mickey who turned 73 in August. When he’s not umpiring, a fair portion of the popular Curraha clubman’s time is taken up with sitting on the County Board’s Hearings Committee. He is considered an expert on the complexities and intricacies of the GAA’s Official Guide. “I’ve been on the Hearings Committee for about 15 to 16 years. I was on the first disciplinary committee that was set up by Fintan Ginnity and the first chairman was James Reilly from Ballinlough. “For the first couple of years the members of the Disciplinary Committee were elected by club delegates at the first meeting of the County Board following Convention.

Mickey Kelly (fourth from left) acting as an umpire with David Coldrick

Nowadays, the members are appointed by the chairman. “Tommy Mulvaney from Seneschalstown is the chairman and Simonstown’s Pat O’Reilly the secretary of the current Hearing Committee.” Mickey lists Martin O’Connell, Tommy Dowd, Colm O’Rourke, Mickey McQuillan and current referee Donal Smyth as the best players he has seen during his time umpiring and watching football in Meath. Fintan Ginnity, meanwhile, stands head and shoulders above the rest as the best administrator. There wasn’t a dissenting voice when Mick O’Dowd was appointed as the new Meath senior football manager back in October and Mickey has high hopes for the Royal County under the new management set-up. “I’ve every confidence that ‘Micko’ will do a good job. He has assembled a very strong backroom team in Trevor Giles, Sean Kelly and Colm Brady and I think they will do an excellent job. “It’s going to be very hard to get the county team back to where it was and they will have to be given time to do that. “At the moment there are players in junior clubs who are crying out to be given a chance with the county team. I’m not saying that because we are a junior club, but these players have to

98

be looked at it. “’Micko’ and his selectors know the local scene inside out and I have no doubt that they will get the raw material together for a successful county team in the future.” As regards Curraha, they missed out on a place in the knock-out stages of this year’s Meath JFC when finishing third behind Cortown and Dunsany in Group B but Kelly predicts bright things for the future. “The club is going fairly well at the moment, we’re flying at underage levels,” he said enthusiastically. “You have to keep the flag flying but we have some very good young players coming through so you would have to say that the future looks good for the club.” Curraha is Mickey’s first love but he also takes more than a passing interest in the fortunes of the Kildalkey hurlers. His father – Mick senior – hailed from the Village before moving to Dublin in the 1950s. “I have a lot of cousins still living there and I have a great allegiance to Kildalkey and the hurlers. They have enjoyed great success over the last couple of years and long may it continue.” And, no doubt, Mickey Kelly will continue to put his shoulder to the wheel for the good of the GAA in Curraha and the Royal County.


MEATH COLLEGES

Scoil Mhuire Trim, All-Ireland Post Primary Senior B winners

There was plenty to be proud of as far as the secondary schools of Meath were concerned, with football, hurling and camogie titles annexed.

ALL-IRELAND GLORY FOR TRIM GIRLS

S

coil Mhuire Trim captured their first ever All-Ireland title when they defeating Presentation College Athenry in the Tesco Post Primary All Ireland Senior B final at Kinnegad, on a 5-9 to 1-6 scoreline. The Trim girls set themselves up for a memorable victory ten minutes from the end of the opening half. Up until then Athenry were well in contention but three quickfire goals from Laura Dempsey, Emma Troy, and Aoife Minogue swung the game firmly in Scoil Mhuire's favour. Presentation were first on the scoreboard but Trim responded with

MEATH COLLEGES EXCEL a Laura Dempsey point and a well taken goal from Laura Griffin after being set up by the very influential Dempsey. Scoil Mhuire then hit the Galway girls for a quick fire hat trick and went in at the break ahead 4-3 to 0-5. Trim continued to dominate in the early exchanges of the second half. Points from Laura Griffin, Laura Bagnall and Aoife Minogue pushed the winners ahead 4-6 to 0-5. Shauna Ennis got in for her sides fifth goal after fifteen minutes before Athenry scored their only goal of the game. Further points from Dempsey, Bagnall and Troy gave the Meath school a very comfortable victory. After the game Scoil Mhuire captain Shauna Ennis was presented with the cup while full foward Emma Troy was voted player of the match. In a very emotional speech Ennis paid special tribute to the team mentors Frances Nugent, Niamh Guy and manager Barri Brennan. Scoil Mhuire Trim - Ciaran Donoghue (Moynalvey), Sarah Bagnall (Boardsmill), Cliona Murray (Boardsmill), Suzy Kennedy

98

(Boardsmill), Cara Foley (Boardsmill), Grainne Whelehan (Clann Na nGael), Sarah Blake (Balyna), Laura Bagnall (Boardsmill) 0-2, Helen Regan (Boardsmill) 0-1, Aoife Minogue Clann Na nGael) 1-1, Shona White (Trim), Laura Griffin (Boardsmill) 1-1, Laura Dempsey (Boardsmill) 1-2, Emma Troy (Boardsmill) 1-2, Shauna Ennis (Na Fianna) 1-0. Other panel members: Susan Kealy (Boardsmill), Becky O'Toole (Boardsmill), Emma Coffey (Na Fianna), Raina Griffin (Boardsmill), Toni Hannon (Boardsmill), Hannah McKeown (Ballivor)

LEINSTER SHC C TITLE FOR BOYNE CS Boyne Community School reached their first Leinster SHC final since their formation and it prved to be a memorable day for the Trim side. On the journey Boyne CS defeated Scoil Mhuire, Clane in the North Leinster Final and went on the defeat Grennan College, Thomastown, Kilkenny in the Leinster semi-final by double margins.


Scoil Mhuire captain Shauna Ennis with the All-Ireland trophy

The final against Dublin side St MacDara was in Leixlip.. Boyne CS, led by Captain Dylan Keenan started the strongest with centre half forward Jack Regan splitting the posts with three points from frees. MacDara's answered the Boyne CS strength with two goals and a point. Wing Forwards Jack Fagan and James Andrews scored one point each from play to answer St MasDara's good fortune. At the break the Dublin side led by 2-3 to 0-7. Second half witnessed a different Trim side emerging from the dressing room, with exceptional performances from the back six holding St MacDara's to just two second half points. With David Harmon and Dylan

St Patrick’s CS captain James O'Malley raises the Leinster Junior A Cup at Russell Park

Keenan delivering quick ball to the forwards, Boyne shot three points from play and a sweet goal scored by Jack Fagan, which was set up by Jack Regan. Four more points scored by midfielder Steffan Kelly, Jack Fagan and Jack Regan put the game out of MacDara's reach. In the final moments Regan grabbed the winners’ second goal. Afterwards there was great praise for the all players and mentors involved, especially Mr Peter Durin for coaching and guiding team to victory, and Ms Niamh Guy, the team physio. Boyne CS - Charlie Bird (Boardsmill), Kevin Ryan (Kiltale), Luke Rickard (Kildalkey), Conor Darby (Boardsmill), Eamonn Ryan (Kiltale), Dylan Keenan (Dunderry), David Harmon (Kildalkey), Steffan Kelly 0-1 (Kilyon), Shane Lenehan (Trim), Jack Fagan 1-2 (Rathmoylan), Jack Regan 1-11 (Kiltale), James Andrews 0-1 (Trim), Gary Ryan (Rathmoylan), Adam Farrell (Kilyon), Jack Payne (Rathmoylan). Subs David Schlider (Kiltale).

LEINSTER HONOURS FOR ST PATRICK’S JUNIORS St Pats of Navan recorded a comfortable win over Clonkeen College(1-12 to 0-2) to claim the Leinster Junior A Football title at Russell Park, home of St Brigid's, Castleknock. Remarkably this was the Pat's first Leinster title at this level since 1996. The Navan school totally dominated the early exchanges and led at half time 0-6 to 0-1. Full forward Chris O'Neill got the game's opening score and further points from Jack Gore and Ben Hoey had the eventual winners 0-3 to 0-0 to the good after 15 minutes. Two brilliant points from Robbie McDonnell and another from Gore left St Pat's five to the good at the break. Clonkeen enjoyed a greater share of possession in the second half but could not find a way through a very solid Pat's defence. James O'Malley and Niall Kane were outstanding in the full back line. Clonkeen got the opening score from the boot of Andrew Murphy. It took St Pats fifteen minutes to register their opening

99

score of this half, McDonnell kicking his third point. From there on the Navan school took over. Corey Leddy was introduced to the Pats attack and he kicked three great points. The talented O'Mahony's forward, who didn't start because of injury, was also on hand to get the game’s only goal before the final whistle. After the game Tom O'Donnell presented the Leinster Junior A Football Championship Cup to St Pats captain James O'Malley St Patricks Navan: Colm Honan (Simonstown), Brian McGrath (O’Mahonys), James O'Malley (O'Mahonys), Niall Kane (Simonstown), John Smith (Seneschalstown), Christy Meade (Rathkenny), Declan McGuinness (O'Mahonys), Niall Lyons (Seneschalstown 0-1), Eamonn Sheridan (Seneschalstown), Lee Kelly (Walterstown), Robbie McDonnell (Walterstown 0-3), Jack Gore (Rathkenny (0-3), Paraic McGowan (Slane), Chris O'Neill (Simonstown 0-1), Ben Hoey (Simonstown 0-1). Sub: Corey Leddy (O'Mahonys 1-3)

DUNSHAUGHLIN CC LAND LEINSTER CAMOGIE CROWN Dunshaughlin CC captured the Leinster senior camogie C title after a thrilling win over their Kilkenny opponents Colasite Mhuire, on a 5-2 to 3-3 scoreline. Dunshaughlin started well and an early Emma Kennedy goal was followed by one from the impressive Tara Murphy which had the Meath girls two goals to no score ahead after ten minutes. Midfielders Kelly Gorman and the outstanding Cliona Murphy were dominating at this stage but Johnstown were always dangerous and struck back with a goal and point in response. Stylish centre forward Louise Griffin with a goal had the Dunshaughlin girls 3-1 to 2-0 ahead at half time. Johnstown had the better start to the second half and after 17 minutes the game was tied, 3-1 each and the Kilkenny girls seemingly with all the momentum. The Dunshaughlin defence were under severe pressure but held out brilliantly. Sisters Cheyenne and Fia O'Brien repelled


Continued Best Wishes to Meath & Simonstown GAA From

SC C

Seamus Connolly Catering Catering For Your Every Need Specialists in Weddings, Supper & Dinner Dances | All Kinds of Parties and All other Functions in your Home, Office, Club, Marquee, etc. | After-Funeral Hospitality

ALL TYPES OF MENU AVAILABLE HOT OR COLD MEALS 113 Abbeygrove, Navan Tel: 046-9023056 LO CALL 1890 905858 Mobile: 087-2525996 • 087-6720877 Email: joaneconnolly@eircom.net Best Wishes & Continued Success To Meath GAA From

Best wishes to Meath GAA in 2013 from

BUDGETGATE LTD Specialist in Diamond Saw Cutting Civil Engineering Contractors

82 Roman Road, Failsworth, Manchester M35 9LE. Tel: 0161-682 7451. Fax: 0161-684 3900. Mobile: 07860 531409. Email: budgetgateltd@hotmail.com

Best Wishes To Meath GAA, From

Newtown, Trim, Trim, Co. Meath

Unit 36, Kells Business Park, Cavan Road, Kells, Co. Meath T: (046) 9293272 F: (046) 9293275 E: mgmofficessupplies@eircom.net

SHOP ONLINE @

www.mgmofficesupplies.ie 100


St Patrick’s CS, North Leinster and Leinster Junior A Football champions

all attacks along with the full back line of Christine Grimes, Anna Fagan and Emer Keane. An outstanding save by goalkeeper Cliona Ni Riordain kept the Dunshaughlin girls in the game and they then went in front with a Cliona Murphy goal. Johnstown immediately replied with a goal of their own tying up the scores again. It was at this point that corner forward Tara Murphy decided the game with a goal immediately followed up with a point and when Louise Griffin hit a long range point it left the Meath girls five points ahead at the final whistle. Dunshaughlin CC - Cliona Ni Riordain, Christine Grimes, Anna Fagan, Emer Keane, Allanah Chawkey, Cheyenne O'Brien, Emma Magill, Cliona Murphy (1-0), Kelly Gorman, Fia O Brien, Louise Griffin(1-1), Shannon Thynne, Emma Kennedy (1-0), Lauren McCann, Tara Murphy (2-1) Subs: Megan Thynne, Aine Brennan, Catherine Carroll, Catriona Bolger, Enya Flynn, Lauren

Gorman, Chloe Mahon, Nadine Doyle, Juliet Wall, Ruth Fagan.

U14 PROVINCIALS HONOURS FOR DUNSHAUGHLIN Dunshaughlin CC captured their second Leinster camogie title of the year when they overcame their Wexford opponents in this U14 C final played in Portlaoise, winning out by 6-8 to 5-3. Fia O Brien opened Dunshaughlin's account with a goal and a point but the Wexford girls led by 3-1 to 1-3 at half time. With a quarter of an hour remaining Dunshaughlin trailed by 1-4 to 4-2, but the Meath side then went on a scoring spree. Full forward Nadine Doyle with two goals and a point led the fight back and with the brilliant Fia O Brien adding a goal and point from the half forward line the scores were level at the final whistle, 4-5 to 5-2. In extra time Nadine Doyle had the

ball in the net twice more to finish with a tally of 4-1 Dunshaughlin CC - Amy Duffy, Sarah Wilde ,Ruth Byrne, Ruth Fagan, Saidbh Muiri, Alannah Chalkey, Chloe Mahon, Ciara Jones 0-1 Megan THynne 0-1 Fia O Brien 2-2 Juliet Wall, Kevagh Slater 0 -2 Caoimhe Rooney Nadine Doyle 4-1 Chloe Pordage 0-1. Subs - Liadan Riordain, Eadaoin Slattery, Brona Gavin, Kerri Moran, Holly Murphy, Orlaith Moyles, Hayley Reynolds, Rebekah Farrell.

NORTH LEINSTER HONOURS FOR RATOATH COLLEGE

Ratoath College claimed the North Leinster Junior Hurling D final with a 3-7 to 3-5 win over Ardscol Chiarain Clara at Dunganny in February. After ten minutes Ratoath forged ahead with a point from Brian Daly and 1-1 from the very impressive Darragh Kelly. Clara hit back with two goals and the teams went in at the break level 2-1 to 1-4. A low fog descended upon Dunganny but that didn't affect the quality of play. A goal from Sean O'Hanrahan early in the second half put Ratoath 2-4 to 2-2 up. But after twenty minutes the sides were level again 2-6 to 3-3. Seamus O'Brien got in for Ardscol Chiarain's third goal to set up an interesting final ten. The Offaly school retook the lead but Ratoath responded Ratoath College before the North Leinster Junior D Hurling Final against Ardscoil Chiaran of Clara at Dunganny

101


G. BLEAKLEY FARTAGH, LISDUFF, VIRGINIA, CO. CAVAN

family butchers since 1960

Fabrication of:

Sheds - Agri & Commercial, Gates, Barriers, Railings, Trailers, Truck Bodies, Lintels, Steel Stock Holder

Prime local beef, lamb, pork, poultry, homemade sausages, burgers.

“Quality meat at Quality prices”

LARGE SELECTION OF ANGLES, BOX SECTION R.S.J.S FLAT BAR, FLAT SHEETS, GALVANISED MESH,

Unit 25A Navan Town Centre Telephone: 046 9074521

GALVANISING AND POWDER COATING SERVICE AVAILABLE

Tel: 046-9245222 Mobile: 087-2251428 Best Wishes To Meath GAA In 2013

Continued Best Wishes to Meath GAA In The Coming Year

TARA SAND & GRAVEL

D. FITZSIMONS & DAUGHTER

We have the best building sand, plastering sand. Also: White Sand, Yellow Sand, Decorative Pebble, Top Soil, Filling, Crushed Stone, 804. WE CAN DELIVER ANYTHING FROM 1 TON TO 30 TON LOADS TO YOUR DOOR.

SITE CLEARANCE, WASTE COLLECTION PERMIT, LOW LOADER, PLANT HIRE & TIPPER HIRE

Call us now on: 046-9060026 or call Damian on 087-2246949

GRANGE, BECTIVE, NAVAN, CO. MEATH. TEL: 046-9060026 FAX: 046-9060027 EMAIL: damianfitzsimons@ireland.com Continued Success to Meath GAA

GRANGE,BECTIVE, NAVAN, CO. MEATH.

Wishing Meath GAA Every Success In 2013

CAROLAN COACH HIRE

LUXURY EXECUTIVE COACH & MINIBUS HIRE PROPRIETOR: JAMES CAROLAN SCHOOLS, DISCOS, FOOTBALL MATCHES, CONCERTS, DAY TOURS,WEDDINGS AND OVERSEAS TRIPS ETC . ETC . MAIN SUPPLIER OF TRANSPORT TO MEATH GAA Spiddal, Nobber, Co. Meath. Tel: 046-9052336 Fax: 046-9052552 Mobile: 087-2527086 Int. Tel: +353 (46) 9052336 Int. Fax: +353 (46) 9052552

Wishing Meath GAA Continued Success in 2013

Best of Luck to Meath GAA in 2013 102


The CP Rathcairn St Fintina's Longwood squad before the North Leinster Senior D Football final against Athboy CS in Dunganny

with a Kelly goal from the penalty spot after Gavin King was fouled in the square and the Meath school were ahead 3-6 to 3-5. Kelly rounded off a magnificent display converting a free for the last score of the game. After the match Jenny Rispin presented the North Leinster Junior D Hurling trophy to Rotoath College captain Conor Ward. Ratoath College - Jonathan Shiels,

Andrew Battersby, Brian Murphy, Neil O'Dowd. Chris McLoughlin, Conor Ward, Shane Clayton, Gavin King, Gavin McGowan, Sean O'Hanrahan (1-0), Darragh Kelly (2-5), Ciaran Phelan, Tom Fadden, Brian Daly (01), Donal McLarnon. Senior honours for Rathcairn/St Fintina's against Athboy It was a local affair in the North Leinster Senior D Colleges final at

Dunganny, as CP Rathcairn/St Fintina's held off the challenge of Athboy Community School by 2-9 to 2-6. Athboy made all the early running and were two points up after ten minutes courtesy of Brendan Roe and Aaron Rogers. Indeed the community school could have been further ahead but for some very wayward shooting. Fintina's got their first score of the game when Ciaran O'Rourke shot over and the game was level shortly after courtesy of a Ryan Moore pointed free. Moore put his side ahead for the first time before Athboy's Caoimhin Griffin found the net and a minute later centre forward Darragh Griffin had his team's second goal to put Athboy ahead 2-2 to 0-3. Just before the

St Pats, North Leinster and Leinster Juvenile winners

The Athboy CS squad defeated by CP Rathcairn St Fintina's Longwood in the North Leinster Senior D Football final

103


The Boyne CS squad that were defeated by St Mary's Edenderry in the North Leinster Junior B Football Final at St Lomans Mullingar

break Rathcairn / Fintina's got a crucial goal when Ronan McDonagh sailed through the Athboy defence to leave the half time score 2-2 to 1-3. Athboy had to wait till the 15th minute for their opening score of the second half. In those opening fifteen minutes Fintina's pushed ahead by three points. Ryan Moore goaled within a minute of the restart. Further points from Moore and Ciaran O'Rourke put them into a very comfortable position. But Athboy fought back and totally dominated the game for the remaining ten minutes. Three pointed frees from full foward Caoimhin Griffin left the teams level 2-5 each and extra time was required. Longwood made all the running in extra time. Athboy failed to score in the opening half while Fintina's had points from Sean Coloe and Moore.

In between those scores Athboy keeper Aaron Ryan produced a brilliant save to deny Nathan O'Neill a certain goal. Griffin gave Athboy some hope at the beginning of the second period but that proved to be their only score in extra time and points from Sean Dalton and Moore again made sure the title was heading to Rathcairn / Fintina's CP Rathcairn / St Fintina's: Evan Mullally, Darren Ryan, Andy Lee, Vincent O'Brien, Nathan O'Neill, Albin Morkowski, Dara McGrianna, Conor Keenan, Ciaran O'Rourke (0-2), Adam Dowdall, Ronan McDonagh (10), Jake Byrne, Ryan Moore ( 1-5), Sean Coloe (0-1), Sean Dalton (0-1). Athboy CS: Aaron Ryan, Dean McGourty, Mark Chesser, Conor Dunne, David Conneely, Alan Garry, Shaun Smith, Senan Kiernan,

Anthony Swaine, Aaron Rogers (0-1), Darragh Griffin (1-0), John Murray, Luke Swaine, Caoimhin Griffin (1-4), Brendan Roe (0-1).

CP Rathcairn St Fintina's Longwood captain Albin Morkowski raises the North Leinster Senior D Football Shield at Dunganny

The Colaiste Na hInse squad with coach Kevin Reilly that defeated Gallen CS in the North Leinster Juvenile C Final at St Lomans Mullingar

104


CLUB NA MI

The Club Na Mi committee, front l/r: Mena Geraghty, Ann Farrell (secretary), Raymond Finnegan (chairman), Jack Kiernan (treasurer), Laura Duggan. Back: Tony O'Brien, Patsy Farrell, Rose Moore, Declan Burns, Martin O'Halloran, Simon Farrell, Declan Black, Bridget O'Sullivan, Derek Duggan

The Meath Supporters Club, now known as Club na Mi, will mark a significant milestone in 2013 when the 25th anniversary of its founding will be celebrated.

S

ean Boylan, the man who helped to guide the Royal County out of the football wilderness during the 1980s, will launch the club’s anniversary celebrations and various events will be planned to mark this special year. These are tough and expensive times for the majority of people and those involved in the preparation and fielding of GAA teams in both football and hurling in all grades of competition are feeling the pinch as well. That’s where organisations like Club na Mi play a very active and important role as they carry out the valuable voluntary work which helps to generate badly needed funds. So much effort is put in by people who have a passion for Meath GAA

CLUB NA MI GOES FROM STRENGTH and who are only too happy to give of their time free of charge for the betterment of Royal County teams. The financial assistance plays a very important role in this regard, whether the money is used to purchase training gear or to offset the day to day costs of getting teams ready for action. A good example of this came ahead of this year’s Leinster SFC final against Dublin when training gear was handed over to County Board chairman Barney Allen. Among those in attendance was team captain Shane McAnarney who undoubtedly appreciated the kind gesture of Club na Mi. Fielding inter-county teams is an expensive business and anything that can be done to lessen the financial burden on the County Board has to be welcomed. In that regard organisations like Club na Mi play an

105

important and much appreciated role. A Supporters Club was originally set up in the county back in the 1980s and it was thriving in the latter years of that decade when Meath, under the guidance of Boylan, were at the height of their powers. Football fever was gripping a county which had been starved of success for many years and there was a tremendous feeling among the supporters of pride in their players, their team and their county. From the time Meath defeated Dublin in the 1986 Leinster final and Royal County fans sang to their hearts content as the rain lashed down at Croke Park the county was on a high and in that sort of climate the Supporters Club was bound to go from strength to strength. The back to back All-Ireland successes in 1987 and 1988 added to that football fever. Many


YOUR FIRST CHOICE FOR BUILDING MATERIALS At Chadwicks you'll find the widest range of Timber, Building Materials and Plumbing & Heating Supplies, all at genuinely competitive prices. We also hire and sell Scaffolding & Access Equipment What's more, with a team of knowledgeable, experienced staff, our service is second to none!

Best Wishes & Continued Success to Meath GAA in 2013 CARRIAGE ROAD, NAVAN. TEL: (046) 9021999 FAX: (046) 9021008 EMAIL: navan@chadwicks.ie TM

Best Wishes to

MEATH GAA in 2013 from Advanced Environmental Solutions Ireland) Ltd.

Midland Waste Recycling Specialists in Domestic, Commercial & Industrial Waste Skips Roll-On/Roll-Off Collection Service Industrial/Commercial Construction & Demolition Waste Domestic Wheelie Bins Waste Consultancy Midland Waste Recycling Proudstown, Navan, Co. Meath. Tel: 046 9022222 Fax: 046 9027899 Email: info@aesirl.ie Web: www.aesirl.ie

Princess Park Manor, Friern Barnet Road, Friern Barnet, New Southgate, London N11 3FL

A New Contract With Nature

Tel: +44 (0) 20 8361 2424 Fax: +44 (0) 20 8361 3856 Email: info@comerhomes.co.uk

A subsidiary of the Bord na Mona Group

BEST WISHES TO MEATH GAA

KILBRIDE MOTORS CRASH REPAIR SPECIALISTS

24 Hour Recovery Service Mayne, Clonee, Co. Meath.

Patsy Farrell :: 01-8255631 EVERY SUCCESS TO THE MEATH TEAM IN 2013 Tel:

106


supporters couldn’t remember the county winning an All-Ireland before; now two came along in the space of a little over a year. There were also appearances in finals in 1990 and 1991 and the marathon saga against Dublin in the latter year which not alone gripped the county, but the whole country. More All-Ireland titles arrived in 1996 and 1999 as Boylan’s influence helped to develop the talents of new heroes who took the place of previous ones. They were wonderful times and with so much success the Supporters Club enjoyed good times as well. But when less successful times were experienced subsequently it disappeared in the early part of the present decade, before being reestablished approximately eight years ago during Brendan Dempsey’s term as County Board chairman. Martin O’Halloran from Rathmolyon, one of those people with a tremendous passion for all things GAA in Meath, is the PRO of Club na Mi and he pointed out that they are planning a major membership drive to coincide with the 25th anniversary of its founding. “The Supporters Club was rebranded as Club na Mi last year in an effort to give it its own identity,” he said. “That was the reason for the change of name. The club will mark its 25th anniversary in 2013. We are planning to get more hurling clubs involved. The idea of Club na Mi needs to be sold to these clubs. We need to break down the barriers. Whether they are football clubs or hurling clubs, they are all GAA clubs. That has to be a priority looking to the future. “I believe we have to get out there on big match days at Pairc Tailteann, wear our shirts and meet people going in to watch games. We need to use big match days to sell membership. That’s the way to get people on board. Another way is through the use of social media networks, like Facebook and Twitter. “You would then hope that with a new senior football management team in place we would get their co-operation. The same applies to Cillian Farrell with the senior hurlers. We need to get them on board. I think that’s very

important.” Young people are the future of the GAA and are the future supporters. In that regard the Junior Royal initiative for under-14 children was a very welcome development when it was launched and the PRO feels it has a hugely important role to play. “We hope to have opportunities for Junior Royals to meet the Meath players, both footballers and hurlers,” he added. “This is a very good initiative and it will have to be one of our main priorities in 2013. There will be a big emphasis on that. We need to have evenings where these young supporters can come in and get the opportunity to meet the players and the team management. In the past the management have been very cooperative in this regard.” On the way into big games at Pairc Tailteann in Navan, whether there be rain, hail or snow, members of Club na Mi are regularly to be seen collecting money and that continues to be a valuable source of finance. “The car park at what used to be known as the swimming pool end of Pairc Tailteann continues to be manned by our members,” Martin said. “They work hard on big match days and raise valuable money. They provide a valuable service at Pairc Tailteann.” Of course, the club also organises bus transport to away games in the National League and the championship and many lasting friendships have been established among supporters on their journeys around the country. This service has its regulars who find it a very convenient way to get to matches at various venues. Another of its roles is to find the

Raymond Finnegan and Declan Black presents the Club na Mi Player of the Year award to Brian Farrell

107

Supporters Club ‘footballer of the year’ towards the end of each year, with members nominating who they think was the Royal County’s top player. Membership of Club na Mi starts at a very reasonable €20 for adults and €10 for juniors. There are also other membership packages on offer, with exclusive Club na Mi merchandise and access to All-Ireland final tickets on offer. Meath supporters wishing to join up and play their part for the betterment of Royal County teams can do so by contacting members or through the official Meath GAA website where they can register and pay the subscription fee by credit card, debit card or cheque. Jacksie Kiernan has been a prominent member of the Supporters Club since it was first formed and he was one of those elected when it held its annual meeting at Aras Tailteann in Navan in early September of this year. At the meeting hopes were expressed of broadening the appeal of the club and increasing its membership. Dunshaughlin based solicitor Raymond Finnegan, who is a member of the Gaeil Colmcille club in Kells, was re-elected to the position of chairman for another year, while the vice-chairman is Simon Farrell from Dunshaughlin who was a prominent footballer with that club in the past. Ann Farrell from the Kilbride club, who is one of the Royal County’s most loyal supporters, was elected to the post of secretary and the assistant secretary is Derek Duggan from the St Patrick’s club in Stamullen. Jacksie Kiernan was elected as treasurer and he will be joined in that position by the new treasurer of the County Board. R a t h m o l y o n ’s Martin O’Halloran, who is a former PRO of the Hurling Board in the county, was elected to the same position on Club na Mi, while the new role of social media officer was filled by Declan Burns who is a member of the Duleek / Bellewstown club. The committee elected at the annual meeting is made up of Tony O’Brien (Navan O’Mahonys) and Laura Duggan (Dunboyne).


GERRY REILLY TOURNAMENT

The Meath U16 squad that took part in this year’s Gerry Reilly Cup

The Gerry Reilly Memorial U16 tournament was once again a great success in 2012, with Meath, Dublin, Westmeath and Louth competing for the title.

GERRY REILLY FT TO CELEBRATE 25 YEARS IN 2013 unanswered points to put them up by

play. Daragh Rowe then landed two

two up at the break, 0-7 to 1-2.

frees to put Meath ahead. Declan

A goal by Daragh Rowe regained

McGuinness added to Meath s tally in

he competition was first ran

the lead for Meath. Another Robbie

the 15th minute. Louth fought back

in 1989 and is in honour of

Curley point had the sides level again

and reduced the gap between the

the late Gerry Reilly, who

before another Daragh Rowe goal.

sides to the minimum. Dylan Brady

died in December 1987 at sixteen

Westmeath piled on the pressure and

put Meath up by 2 points with a point

years of age.

regained the lead with a point and a

from play. In the 29th minute Daragh

Meath made it to the final of this

goal from their top marksman,

Rowe got a point from play and Louth

year s competition, where just like

Robbie Curley. Declan McGuinness s

quickly responded with an Emmet

their minor team, Dublin proved to be

point had the sides level for the fourth

Kirk point as Meath led by 0-6 to 0-4

their nemesis.

time. Meath s wing back, Dylan Brady

at the break.

T

In Round 1, four Meath goals saw

edged Meath ahead again with a

Meath stretched their lead to six

the home side to a 4-4 to 1-10 win

point, but Westmeath s Captain,

between the sides with points from

over Westmeath in Millbrook.

Darren Keena pointed from a free to

Brain Harnan, Stephen Duffy and

have the sides level yet again. Man of

Daragh Rowe.

Meath s Daragh Rowe opened the scoring with a point, but Westmeath

the match

Daragh Rowe got his

Louth fought back and a burst of 1-

were then denied a goal by a great

fourth goal, which turned out to be the

1 left just two between the sides.

save from Meath s keeper, Jonathan

deciding score.

Louth were piling on the pressure on

Lynch who put it out for a 45. Robbie

Scorers for Meath: Daragh Rowe 4-

Meath and further reduced the lead to

Curley got a terrific point from the

2, Declan McGuinness and Dylan

a single point. It looked likely that the

resulting 45. A pointed free by Daragh

Brady 0-1 each.

sides might at least finish level at this

Rowe put Meath in front and he

Round

2

saw as

an

improved

added to the lead with a fine goal.

performance

This was to be Meath s last score of

despatched by 0-15 to 1-7. Philip

through

the half. Westmeath then got six

Darcy got Meath s first point from

Rowe, Brian Harnan and Jordan

108

Louth

were

stage. However it was Meath who added four points to their tally Stephen

Duffy,

Daragh


McLoughlinwhile Louth failed to add

same points. Dublin advanced to the

from Stephen Duffy by the 38th

to their score. Meath s Brian Harnan

final

defeated

minute before Dublin opened their

got the Man of the match award.

Westmeath 3-12 to 0-9 in a play off to

account with a goal from Warren

set up a rematch with the Dubs in the

Egan.Rowe eventually took his tally

decider.

of points to six and then laid on the

Scorers for Meath: Daragh Rowe 0-

while

Meath

5, Declan McGuinness, Philip Darcy,

The final was a more closely-fought

final pass for Shane Cumiskey to find

Brian Harnan, and Stephen Duffy 0-2

encounter with opening half goals

the net on 53 minutes. (That left it 3-

each, Jordan McLoughlin and Dylan

from Sean O'Meara and Colm

7 to 1-11 and set up a lively finish but

Brady 0-1 each

Basquel proving decisive for the

it was the physically stronger Dubs

In round three Dublin proved too

winners. Dublin laid the foundations

who ended deserving winners, 3-8 to

strong for Meath. The Dubs led at the

for victory throughout that first period,

1-11.

break 2-10 to 1-2. Corey Leddy got

at the end of which they led 2-6 to 0-

Claire Reilly (mother of Gerry Reilly)

the Meath goal. The young Royals

5. The hosts were left to rue a

presented the cup to Dublin's captain,

fared better in the second half and

number of missed chances during the

Colm Basquel after the final whistle.

goals from Corey Leddy and Daire

opening half but enjoyed a good spell

(Martin

Rowe painted a better picture on the

in the second quarter during which

Leinster Council, presented the 'Man

scoreboard. In the end Dublin won

they reduced a five point deficit to just

of the match' award to Dublin's

comfortably 4-15 to 3-9.

two by the 20th minute. (Dublin

Alasdair Fitzgerald. Barney Allen,

Meath scorers: Daire Rowe 1-6,

finished the half stronger with the

Chairperson of Coiste na MhĂŒ,

Cory Leddy 1-1, Daire Boylan 1-0,

lively Basquel finding the net on 25

presented the medals to both teams.

Shane Cumiskey 0-1, Ronan Maguire

minutes and Glenn O'Reilly adding a

Next year will mark the 25th

0-1.

point. Meath fared much better in the

anniversary of the tournament and

Westmeath, Meath and Dublin

second half with three points from

the Oldcastle club hope to celebrate it

finished the round robin series on the

Daire Rowe (two frees), and another

in style.

Corey Leddy against Dublin

109

Skelly,

Chairperson

of


Damien English TD

Best Wishes To Meath Camogie In 2013, From

Pelletstown Riding Centre

Aire Approved

Meath West Constituency Office: 20 Watergate Street, Navan, Co. Meath.

Ponys/Horses Available To Lease or Buy. Gift vouchers Available. Birthday Parties and School Tours now catered for. Pelletstown, Drumree, Co. Meath. Tel: 01 8259435 Mob: 087 4164997

Tel: 046-9071667 Mobile: 086-8143495

Email: damien.english@oireachtas.ie www.damienenglish.ie

www.pelletstownridingcentre.com

Best Wishes to Meath GAA

Best Wishes To Meath GAA, From

Best Wishes To Castletown, Rathkenny & St. Michaels GAA In 2013, From All At

OPENING HOURS 10AM TO 9PM

Knightstown,Wilkinstown, Navan, Co. Meath.

M: 086 2441971 | T: 046 9054520 F: 046 9054520 Email: cfhoeyconstruction@eircom.net

Kilmurry, Trim, Co. Meath Tel: 046 9567917 | 086 2465163

Looking For Somewhere to Rent?

ANTHONY BYRNE

Drogheda: 041 98 49930 Dundalk & Navan

www.anthonybyrne.ie info@anthonybyrne.ie.

PROPERTY LETTING & MANAGEMENT AGENT

Continued Good Wishes To Meath GAA In 2013 110


HOLLY GERAGHTY Holly Geraghty steadies for the strike

Two words sum up 2012 for Holly Geraghty and her team mates and mentors: "Absolutely brilliant". For the first time a Meath camogie team graced Croke Park on All-Ireland final day and the icing on the achievement was winning the Premier Junior Camogie title.

T

he manner of the final win over Down was notable in that Holly and her fellow defenders withstood a final quarter onslaught from the Mourne women before closing out on a 1-11 to 1-9 win with a late Jane Dolan pointed free.

ALL-IRELAND JOY FOR HOLLY “Our goal for the year was to get to Croke Park and we did it. It was our first time playing there and it didn't faze us. We came out with a win which was brilliant. It was what we wanted. "It was great for us to play in Croke Park. It was a huge achievement. We took in the atmosphere of Croke Park for a few minutes, but then we had to get on with the game. "It was a reward for the hard work the girls and John Davis put in over the years. It paid off and it's a credit to the team and to the management", Geraghty assesses. The manager's role in the

111

development of the team has been crucial. “John Davis has put in a lot of work. We wouldn't have won it without him. His dedication and preparation were important. Since 2008, with former Meath senior hurling manager Davis at the helm, the county camogie team gradually graduated towards this significant achievement at GAA headquarters on the third Sunday of September. “We started training (for the year) in December (2011). John wouldn't have missed a training session. His dedication kept us going. It kept the team together and kept us


motivated," Holly acknowledges. Resilience is quality associated with all Meath teams, but this team displayed that essential attribute in large quantities having endured a frustrating few years since joining the Premier Junior ranks in 2009. Three All-Ireland semi-final defeats followed including a narrow one to Down in 2011 at Clontibret. Despite those setbacks self-belief wasn't lacking in 2012:"“We were full on confidence in ourselves. We played really well together as a team. “We had beaten them twice before the final, but only by a point or two. We always knew they were going to be a strong team. They've got some pretty sharp forwards as well. We knew we were going to have a tough game.” A Sinead Hackett (sister of Dunboyne hurler Neil) goal earned Meath a 1-5 to 0-6 interval lead. Sara-Louise Carr's goal shortly after the restart restored Down's lead. However a tenacious defence and some crucial scores from Dolan, Aileen Donnelly and sub Lizzie Oakes helped Meath over the line. Meath's bid to secure possession of the Kay Mills Cup was enhanced by a tenacious defence that withstood a strong Down challenge in the latter stages. "They really put the pressure on. We were tested in defence. We had to stand up to them. The back line held on" the Meath right-full-back acknowledges. Playing in the National Camogie League Division 2 was a benefit, Geraghty believes. Building on the previous year's Division 3 success, Meath reached the Division 2 decider by virtue of wins over Cork, Down and Kilkenny's second team and two points to spare over Down. Derry proved too strong for Meath in the final, played at Pairc Tailteann, prevailing on a 2-11 to 0-6 scoreline. It proved to be the only competitive defeat the Royals would endure in 2012. Holly didn't play in the league final but recalls that "they were just that bit stronger than us". Derry went on to win the All-Ireland intermediate camogie title, beating Galway's second string side in the final replay at Ashbourne by 2-10 to 2-9. Meath played 15 competitive games

in 2012, winning 14 including wins over Westmeath, Carlow and Kildare en route to retaining the Leinster Junior Camogie crown. The six-match trek towards Croke Park included a minimum margin win over Down as well as victories at the expense of Laois, Armagh and Roscommon. There also two in succession over Kildare, the latter one being in the semi-final. Holly acknowledges the contribution of her fellow Blackhall Gaels club members, high-scoring forward and team captain Jane Dolan, energetic midfielder Kristina Troy and very effective goalkeeper Emily Mangan. Blackhall Gaels' contingent of four on the starting 15 for the All-Ireland final was matched by Dunboyne. Geraghty offers a succinct summation of the contribution made by her club mates: "Jane is brilliant and she continues to be our main scoring forward. We depend on her very heavily in the club. In recent times we've got more younger players who are starting to take their own scores as well." For a time Meath seemed to be too dependent on Dolan for scores: Geraghty offers her assessment: "It's something we've had to work on with Meath, because we did really depend on Jane a lot for scores at county level." She continues her appraisal of her club mates: "Kristina Troy, she is a power house. She has really come on in the last couple of years. "Emily really showed it on All-Ireland final day. She's confident and she knows what to do. She's very brave as well. She'd dive into anything. Any full-forward is vary of her as well.” The progress of the BatterstownKilcloon club in recent years has been notable. Winners of the intermediate title in 2007. They claimed the senior crown the following year with a one point, 3-7 to 2-9, win over Kilmessan in the final. Jane Dolan posted all of the winners' tally. "It was great to get to senior and then to win it straight away,” Geraghty recalls of the achievement. Troy and Mangan lined out along with Dolan and Geraghty on the September day at Ashbourne. “We train three nights a week. Then we might have a challenge match. It is quite hard, but you've got to accept

112

it. It paid off in the end," points out the woman who comes from a sporting family not averse to hard work. Barry Geraghty is a brother of Holly's while the family is steeped in equestrianism. Her parents have an equestrian centre at Pelletstown. “Barry has put in a lot of hard work to get where he is now. He can't take his foot off the pedal, even in his current position. "I think he has shown me that if you work hard you can get where you want to go. It's the same with any sport. It's about what you put in. That's what happened to us this year with the camogie." Camogie is not Holly's only sporting pursuit: "I've an amateur jockey's licence. I've ridden in point-to-points. I had two winners last year. I could have ridden more this year, but breaking my collar bone recently has set me back. It definitely hasn't put me off point-to-points.” The break occured in a point-topoint race in October: "I'd never broken a bone before. A broken finger is common in camogie, but I'd never done anything like that," she adds. The break has prevented Holly from joining her team mates in pre-season training for 2013, a year when Meath will operate in the intermediate ranks. Holly's introduction to camogie came in secondary school at Loreto Convent, Navan and she acknowledges the contribution of teachers Sheila O'Carroll and Mark Leacy to her development as a player: "They looked after us from first year up to sixth year.” She added: "I started playing on the school teams. We did a lot of camogie in school. It was great fun," adding that they school teams were very successful as well. Then Jane (Dolan) with whom I was friendly for years got me into Blackhall Gaels," added the woman whose 'home' club, Drumree, doesn't have a camogie team. Holly has just taken up a post with Alltech at Dunboyne. This global company specialises in animal health and nutrition and ties in with her interest in horses. Appreciative of what she has learned about camogie at Blackhall Gaels, Holly concludes: "We've built a pretty strong team there and I enjoy playing at senior (club) level. Hopefully, it's something I'll be doing for the next few years."


SPECIAL FEATURE

The Arabian Celts GAA Club was set up in Bahrain in 2008 by Ballinabrackey man James Kennedy along with Corkman Peter Finnegan.

ARABIAN CELTS GAA CLUB

K

Moylagh’s Joe Melia in action during the Gulf Gaelic Games finals

ennedy is chairman of the Club and has seen them through their most successful period winning a number of tournaments in the Middle East as well as an Asian title at the Asian Gaelic Games in 2009 in Bangkok. In 2011 the Club received the honour of being voted the All Asian Club of the Year which was a tremendous achievement in such a short period of time since the Club was first set up. In addition, fellow Meathman and Team Captain, Joe Melia from Moylagh won an All Asian All Star award in 2011, for outstanding performances at midfield for the Arabian Celts. Joe went on to receive the Arabian Celts Player of the Year award. Another Meath player, Siobhan Traynor also from the Moylagh Club signed up with the Arabian Celts Ladies this season. Siobhan, daughter of the great Paddy Traynor, added a bit of Meath steel into the Celts defence which has helped them secure two Cups this season in Dubai in October and in Bahrain in

The Arabian Celts

113

Arabian Celts chairman James Kennedy

November. Kennedy was also instrumental in setting up the Middle East League along with fellow Meathman Paddy Darcy from Dunderry along with Liam McAuliffe, Barry O’Sullivan and Gary Tracey which has seen Gaelic Football in the Middle East go from strength to strength over the last 3 years. “My hopes for the year ahead are to see the Arabian Celts to win the Middle East Championship, Meath back to winning ways in Croke Park and to oversee the setting up of the Middle East County Board in 2013”.


CAFFREY BROTHERS HAULAGE

The Arabian Celts GAA Club “Uniting the Kingdoms” Bahrain & Saudi Arabia

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL HAULAGE & CONTAINER HANDLING

Would like to wish the Meath Football Team the best of luck in the Championship in 2013. Also a special good luck message to the Clubs of Ballinabrackey & Moylagh for the season ahead.

Riverstown, Rathfeigh, Tara, Co. Meath. Tel: 041-9825126 Fax: 041-9825939 Mobile: 087-9598728

See you for the Gathering in 2013 Celts Abu

Wishing Meath GAA & All Local Clubs Continued Success In 2013

www.arabiancelts.com Best Wishes To Meath GAA In 2013 From

Best Wishes to Meath GAA from

PRECISION TREE SURGERY

Ciaran O Carthaigh • Tree Maintenance Removal • Hedge Maintenance • 24 Hour Emergency Service • Fully Qualified & Insured

Financial aid for job creation in the form of capital, employment and feasibility study grants. Business information, advice, counselling, training and mentoring Navan Enterprise Centre, Trim Road, Navan, Co. Meath. Tel: 046-9078400 Fax: 046-9027356 Email: mhceb@meath.com Web: http://www.meath.com

Allenstown, Kells, Co. Meath

085 1606850 • 046 9240300 www.precisiontreesurgery.ie

Bestwishes to all local clubs and Meath GAA, from

DONOGHUE’S BAR FOR BEST DRINKS, IN A COSY ATMOSPHERE BAR FOOD SERVED ALL DAY ALL TYPES OF PARTIES CATERED FOR Woodtown, Drumconrath, Navan. Tel: 046-9053119 Best Wishes to Meath & All Local Clubs in 2013

Flower Hill, Navan 114

085-2778423


KILMESSAN V KILTALE

The Kilmessan squad that completed a three in a row of Jubilee Cup wins in 1978, front l/r: Larry Doyle, Bobby White, Eugene O'Neill, Fintan Murphy, Jimmy Walsh, Cyril Maguire, Gerry Hynes. Back: Patsy Murtagh, Mattie Killion, Sean Horan, Patsy McGovern, Ollie Collier, Sean Reilly, Paddy O'Brien, Niall O'Riordan

Kilmessan’s tally of 28 Senior Hurling Championship titles leaves them a distance clear of Boardsmill on six, but there was a time when an intense rivalry existed between the clubs which added spice and intrigue to the annual battle for possession of the Jubilee Cup.

F

ootball was the more prominent game in the Kilmessan club in the early days of the GAA, being organised in the parish from 1896, and the first of three senior football titles was achieved in 1903. The hurling section had been formed a year earlier and after going close to gaining outright honours in 1905 and 1906 a first senior hurling triumph arrived in 1907 when Athboy were beaten by 7-8 to 0-1 in the final. Kilmessan didn’t regain the title until 1922 and that decade also brought senior successes in 1925 and 1927. Hurling was obviously thriving in the club at this time because three successive minor titles were won in 1928, 1929 and 1930. These burgeoning players provided the backbone of the team which gave the club its golden era in the 1940s when six successive senior crowns were garnered between 1943 and 1948. Eight O’Growney Cups were also won in this decade. The 1930s hadn’t been bad either,

GREAT RIVALRIES: KILMESSAN & KILTALE with senior successes recorded in 1933, 1934, 1937 and 1939, with the footballers making it a magnificent double of senior championship triumphs in the last of those years. There had also been a football success in 1936. Key figures in these magnificent years for the Kilmessan hurlers included Tony, Pat and Willie Donnelly, Joey Loughran, Paddy Kane, Mick Kane, Niall Collier and Jack Fitzgerald. The 1950s, by comparison, brought lean times and with most of the stars of previous successes calling it a day, Kilmessan returned to the junior ranks. However, they did amalgamate with Dunshaughlin, Oberstown, Ratoath and Batterstown to form St Patrick’s and they won back-to-back senior hurling titles in 1953 and 1954. The seeds of a club revival were sewn with an under-14 championship success in 1952 and an under-16 triumph two years later, with talented players of the calibre of John Curtis, Sean Collier, Seamus Smith and Jack Kane offering great hope for the years which followed. Kilmessan won the inaugural intermediate championship in 1960 and that provided the impetus for a revival in the top flight, with senior

115

titles following in 1961, 1962, when Boardsmill were beaten by 2-13 to 03 in the final, 1965 and 1969. They also annexed the O’Growney Cup in 1961, 1962, 1963 and 1966. Prominent names during this era of Kilmessan success included Dinny Donnelly, Jimmy Walsh, Dom O’Brien, Sean Collier, Eanna Giles, Bobby White, Paddy O’Brien, Jack Connor and Seamus Smith. The Boardsmill club was formally affiliated in 1944, but had participated in hurling championships as far back as 1912. Junior titles were won in 1947 and 1956 and the big breakthrough was just around the corner. That came in 1958 when the club won its first senior championship courtesy of a 7-4 to 3-7 victory over Kiltale in the final. Boardsmill had earlier demonstrated their intent when beating Trim by 4-5 to 2-9 in the O’Growney Cup final and the big double was completed in that goal feast against Kiltale. Paul Daly netted three times for Boardsmill, Nicky Higgins got two and Sean Garrigan and Dick Connolly also registered majors on a day when Patsy Brady had the honour of being the first man from the club to receive the Jubilee Cup. A second senior title arrived in 1964


Boardsmill, O'Growney Cup winners 1977, front l/r: Sean Garrigan, Vincent Guy, Michael Garrigan, Luke Gibbons, James Regan, Eamonn Cosgrave, Sean Garrigan (junior), Ben Kelly. Back: Louis Gunning, Mick Payne, Danny Fay, Michael Mooney. Joey Grehan, Larry McLoughlin, Seamus Carney, John Connolly, TJ Reilly

when Dunboyne were the beaten finalists and by the time Boardsmill won their third in 1971 the great rivalry with Kilmessan was up and running. They had met in a much delayed semi-final the previous year when Kilmessan triumphed. The ‘Mill had won five successive Under-21 HC titles between 1966 and 1970 as the Trojan work carried out in the juvenile ranks under the guidance of men like the late Peadar Lehane bore fruit, so it’s easy to understand why they soon became such a powerful force at senior level. That 1971 senior final was the first meeting of the clubs at the ultimate stage since Kilmessan’s runaway success in 1962 – though there had been other less significant clashes – and it took place in late November at Trim where Boardsmill came out on top by 2-5 to 2-3. Defences were generally on top in a well-contested final and a true star of the show for the ‘Mill was full-back Sean Garrigan who turned in a magnificent performance. Not far behind him was 17 year-old David Perry at right half-back who demonstrated tremendous assurance for one so young. Boardsmill made the best possible start when Mick Payne scored an early goal and they had opened up a 1-2 to 0-1 advantage by the end of the first quarter. However, with Dinny Donnelly and Bobby White proving influential Kilmessan rallied and boosted by a goal from Jimmy Walsh they edged to the front, before Vinny Guy pointed at the other end to leave the teams level on 1-3 each at the break. Kilmessan had suffered a big blow late in the first half when Niall O’Riordan was forced out of the

action due to injury. Goalkeeper Joey Grehan was another hugely important player for Boardsmill in the opening half as he pulled off three great saves and the ‘Mill were in front early in the second period when team captain Guy found the net. Mickey Mooney and Seamus Carney added points to leave them in control with a 2-5 to 1-3 lead. Kilmessan were in deep trouble and their only score of the second half – a late goal from White – just wasn’t enough. It’s interesting to note that Boardsmill also made an impact in football in 1971, reaching the JFC final where they lost to Donaghmore. They were still promoted and played at intermediate level for three years. There was further disappointment for Kilmessan when they lost to Athboy in the 1972 SHC final which wasn’t played until spring of the following year at Pairc Tailteann and by the time the 1973 competition was ready for its conclusion Boardsmill and Athboy were the finalists. There was no doubting Boardsmill’s superiority as they won a fourth Jubilee Cup thanks to a 5-8 to 0-7 victory. TJ Reilly bagged three of the goals, two of them in the first half which helped his team to a 2-3 to 0-4 interval advantage. Two more goals from Vinny Guy in the closing stages sealed a runaway success. Seamus Carney rowed in with six pointed frees. Carney was top scorer in the 1974 final when Boardsmill defeated Kilmessan by 4-15 to 4-6 at Trim. TJ Reilly gave Boardsmill the lead after 30 seconds with a point and they were never headed in a disappointing decider which they led by 2-8 to 1-4

116

at the interval. The in form Carney made a telling personal contribution of 2-5 and Danny Fay and Sean Garrigan contributed 1-2 each. Eugene O’Neill and Charlie Killion both registered 12 for Kilmessan and Jimmy Walsh and Mattie Kerrigan got the other goals. The honour of captaining the victorious Boardsmill team went to Mick Payne. Boardsmill made it three SHC titles in succession in 1975 when they again defeated Kilmessan in the final at Trim. This was an extraordinary year for the club as they also won the O’Growney Cup earlier in the year with a final victory over Athboy, defeated Kilmessan in the JHC decider and claimed the MHC when beating Athboy in the final which acted as a curtain-raiser to the senior showdown. Despite suffering a defeat at the hands of keen rivals Athboy in the group stages Boardsmill advanced to the semi-finals where they defeated Kildalkey by 3-12 to 2-6 and that set up yet another tussle with Kilmessan in the final on the last Sunday of October. Boardsmill made many great comebacks in 1975, including turning around a 10-point deficit in that O’Growney Cup decider, and they had to do so in the SHC final as Kilmessan raced into a 3-5 to 0-8 interval advantage after Eugene O’Neill, Charlie Killion and Jimmy Walsh had goaled. Cyril Maguire, one of the most gifted hurlers ever to grace the playing fields of Meath, and Niall O’Riordan were controlling midfield for Kilmessan and it took some superb


goalkeeping from Joey Grehan to prevent Boardsmill from falling further behind. But that all changed dramatically in the second period when TJ Reilly and Noel Perry took over at midfield for the champions and Seamus Carney and Danny Fay proved hugely influential in attack. It was a disastrous period for Kilmessan who failed to add to their tally. Fay gave his side a significant boost with a goal two minutes after the restart and Boardsmill were on level terms at the three-quarter stage. Fay added a second goal and Carney scored some brilliant points to push the David Perry-captained team firmly in the direction of the title and they were in front by 2-16 to 3-5 at the end. Fay and Carney accounted for all of the winners’ second half scores. Kilmessan gained revenge for defeats suffered at the hands of Boardsmill in the previous two finals when they won the 1976 decider at Trim by 0-10 to 0-7 despite being without Dinny Donnelly and Charlie Killion. It was a particularly sweet success because they had been beaten in five of the previous six finals, three of them to the ‘Mill. It was a poor game, with only six points coming from play, and Kilmessan held a 0-8 to 0-6 interval lead. They defended heroically in the second period to hold onto their advantage, with Sean Horan a real star at full-back. Other key figures were Fintan Murphy, Ollie Collier, Bobby White, team captain Niall O’Riordan, John Curtis and top scorer Eugene O’Neill. Kilmessan retained their title in 1977 when defeating Athboy in the final at Trim, thus avenging an earlier divisional loss to the same opposition. Boardsmill had been beaten by 1-10 to 0-3 at the semifinal stage and the job was completed with a 3-7 to 2-6 triumph over the O’Growney men in the decider. Boardsmill and Kilmessan had clashed in the O’Growney Cup final earlier in the year, with the ‘Mill winning by 2-10 to 0-9. This was a hugely successful championship year for Kilmessan because they also won the JHC thanks to a final win over Dunboyne. Kilmessan made it three successive SHC triumphs in 1978 when easily beating Boardsmill by 4-8 to 0-7 in the final. This was the club’s 21st senior title and brought veteran Paddy O’Brien his seventh medal in the top grade. He had won his first back in 1961 when Longwood were the beaten finalists.

Boardsmill enjoyed a measure of compensation in ’78 when defeating Kilmessan by 2-10 to 1-7 in a replayed O’Growney Cup final. This was the third successive year that they clashed in the decider, providing further evidence of the tremendous rivalry which existed between the clubs. An emerging power was about to storm onto the Meath hurling scene in the shape of Killyon. Kilmessan had beaten them at the semi-final stage in 1978, but the Hill of Down men were learning fast and went on to win three successive SHC title in 1979, when they beat Boardsmill with ease in the final, 1980 and 1981. The great rivalry between Kilmessan and Boardsmill was over, but it still generates great memories to this day. TJ Reilly captained Boardsmill when they lost the 1968 final to Athboy, but went on to share in so much success. “Rivalry like that is created when two teams come together who are very strong,” he said. “So many of the Boardsmill players from that era came up through the under-age ranks. Peadar Lehane started underage hurling in the school. A lot of under-age titles were won in the 1960s and early 1970s. Peadar was a fantastic man. So was Tommy Murray. They did tremendous work. “The senior team also had three or four older lads, like Sean Garrigan. They stayed on playing and the team really started to develop when the younger lads came along, talented players like Noel and David Perry. “I remember Kilmessan beat us in the 1970 senior semi-final. Meath reached the All-Ireland football final that year and because Mattie Kerrigan was playing for Kilmessan we had to wait 12 weeks to play the game.

Former Boardsmill greats, father and son Sean Garrigan senior and Seanie Garrigan pictured in 1978

117

“We beat them narrowly in the 1971 final and again in 1974 and 1975. That was a tremendous year for Boardsmill. We also won the junior and minor championships and lost the under-21 final to Killyon by a point. It’s hard to believe that we haven’t won a senior championship since.” The great rivals also crossed swords on many occasions in the O’Growney Cup during those memorable years. “The O’Growney Cup was a big thing back then,” TJ added. “The final was played along with the Feis Cup football final. I remember in 1976 Kilmessan beat us in the championship final, but we beat them in the O’Growney Cup final. “Kilmessan came back well to win the championship three years in succession between 1976 and 1978. They also beat us in the 1978 final. They were a great team and were always able to get the odd outsider in, like Ger Hynes from Galway and Larry Doyle from Wexford. “Dinny Donnelly was a very strong hurler and Eugene O’Neill, Cyril Maguire, Niall O’Riordan and Charlie Killion were other key men, to name a few. All those games bring back great memories. No-one was ever odds-on to win. There was rarely more than a bounce of a ball between us.” Patsy McGovern captained Kilmessan in the 1975 senior final when Boardsmill came from behind to win and claim their third successive title. That was a disappointing day, but the goalkeeper enjoyed many happy ones too. “The rivalry with Boardsmill was very strong, but very fair and sporting too,” he said. Boardsmill were strong, but we were strong too. It all brings back great memories of great days. You lived for those days. “There were some great hurlers on both teams. Boardsmill had players like Seamus Carney and TJ Reilly and many others too. Kilmessan had Cyril Maguire, Niall O’Riordan, Fintan Murphy and Sean Horan and many others as well. They were two strong teams.” Boardsmill inflicted senior final defeats on Kilmessan in 1971, 1974 and 1975, but Kilmessan came back to win three successive titles between 1976 and 1978, beating their great rivals in two of those finals. “It meant a lot to win those finals,” Patsy added. “We were wondering would we ever win it again. Winning the three in-a-row was great.”


CUMANN NA MBUNSCOL HURLING & CAMOGIE FINALS

Log onto www.dlynchpics.com to view more club photos

St Dympna’s Kildalkey, Division 1 Hurling winners

Cannistown NS Division 1 hurling finalists

Ratoath Senior Primary School Division 1 camogie winners Baconstown captain Sean Martin

Kildalkey captains Brin Kelly and Evan Fitzgerald

118 Gaelscoiol Eanna captain Laoise Nic Dhiarmada

St Finian’s captain Mikie Mullen

St Joseph’s captains Katie Buchanan and Tara Fay


Dunboyne Senior Primary School Division 1 camogie finalists

Baconstown Division 2 Hurling winners

Dangan Division 2 Hurling finalists

Scoil Eanna Division 2 Camogie winners

Baconstown Division 2 Camogie finalists

Gaelscoil Na Boinne Division 3 Hurling winners

St Columbanus NS Diivision 3 Hurling finalists

119


Scoil Mhuire Coolronan Division 4 Hurling finalists

St Finians Killyon Division 4 Hurling winners

St Joseph’s NS Boyerstown Division 3 Camogie winners

Kilmessan NS Division 3 Camogie finalists

120


Allianz Croke Park Team A4 ad PQ1.pdf

1

29/11/2012

17:05


SPECIAL FEATURE

The Kiernan family is synonymous with the Pig farming industry for many, many years and their expertise in this industry sees them at the forefront of this business.

Brianie lined out for both St Brigid’s and Ballymachugh

SUPPORTING THE LOCAL COMMUNITY

P

atriarch of the Kiernan family was Patrick 'Buddy' Kiernan who unfortunately passed away in 2010. Buddy became involved in pig farming in the 1950's and built up a business that produces 330,000 finished pigs every year and which currently has pig farm units in Cavan, Longford, Westmeath, Sligo and Tipperary. Buddy had four daughters and eight sons and seven of those are involved in Pig Farming. One of the sons Brian or Brianie as he is more commonly known and he speaks to the Royal County Yearbook about the business and his love of Gaelic football. The Kiernan family hails from Ballymachugh in Co Cavan and that is where the father and sons played their football. Brianie was part of the Ballymachugh panel that won the intermediate football championship in 1981, while his brother Padraig played at wing half back. Other brothers John, Brendan and Kevin all lined out for the club in later

The Kiernan family celebrate with Sam Maguire. From, l/r: Anne, Ciara Geraghty, Killian, Karl (in cup) and Oisin

122

years. However, having moved to the Westmeath/Meath border, Brianie threw in his lot with Ballinacree outfit St Brigid's where he enjoyable some memorable years playing with the club. Serious illness on two separate occasions ended his football career, but the Cavan native was still 39 when he finally hung up the boots. “I would have played for Ballymachugh for years and was a sub on the team that won the championship in '81. We would have won a few league titles and things like that after that, but we never got to win another championship,” revealed Brianie. “I have some great memories from football and I always use to love playing. I went to St Brigid's for a few years before going back to Ballymachugh and then I finished up playing with St Brigid's and enjoyed my time playing with them as well. I had cancer on two separate occasions and that put an end to my career in the finish, but I can always look back with fond memories.” Situated in Mullaghmeen, near Castlepollard, Brianie and family are just a few miles from the St Brigid's pitch and that is where his sons now play their football. For the past three

How the years have passed, l/r: Oisin, Killian and Karl along with Declan McCabe


The St Brigid’s squad that lined out against Moylagh in the 2012 JFC

years, Kiernan Pig Farms have been the main sponsor of the Ballinacree club and Brianie is delighted to be able to help the club out in any way possible. “I have four sons playing for the club and I was happy to sponsor St Brigid's when I was asked to do so. For a rural club they have a great set up and there is a great spirit in the club. They are not too far off winning a junior

championship. There have some very talented players and if they can keep them together, they can do well. “Emigration is a problem now though for all clubs and especially small rural ones like St Brigid's. Work is not as plentiful as it was in the last few years and you can't blame lads for feeling the need to head off.” Despite, being born and breed a Cavan man, Brianie

Best Wishes To Kiernan Farms, From

Matty Reilly Tractors Lely Welger Dealer New Inn, Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan Telephone: 049 854 4498 New and Used Matty Reilly Farm Machinery Mobile: 087 2135432 Sales and Service

123

Looking to the future, l/r: Aron and Karl


Continued Best Wishes To Kiernan Farms, From

Best Wishes to Kiernan Farms From

B. Donnelly Agri Equipment

Chartered Accountants CAVAN 049-4361444 LONGFORD 043-3354028

SPECIALISE IN VENTILATION & FEEDING

EQUIPMENT FOR THE PIG & POULTRY INDUSTRY Killnacreeva, Stradone, Co. Cavan T: 049 4330565 |F: 049 4330578|M: 087 2514010 email: brendandonnelly@iol.ie Continued Success To Kiernan Farms, From

Wishing Continued Success To Kiernan Farms, From

CD AIR COMPRESSORS

JMQ

Sales & Service Of All Makes Of Air Compressors & Air Dryers

Agricultural | Industrial | Domestic

ELECTRICAL

Cornashesk, Virginia, Co. Cavan

Eadestown, Naas, Co. Kildare Tel/Fax: 045 862988 | Mobile: 086 2520416 Email: cdcompressors@hotmail.com

Jimmy on 087 9545232

Email: jmq.electrical@gmail.com

Wishing Continued Success To Kiernan Farms, From

KIERAN O’REILLY LTD Truck Repairs & Maintenance

would like to wish Kiernan Farms many more years of success

Roebuck, Mountnugent, Co. Cavan

Tel: 087 2779186 Fax: 049 8540079

Email: kieranoreilly@live.ie

Continued Success To Kiernan Farms, From

GEORGE V. MALONEY & CO Solicitors 6 Farnham Street, Cavan

ELECTRICAL LTD.

FOR A COMPREHENSIVE LEGAL SERVICE

DOMESTIC & INDUSTRIAL SUPPLIES Telephone: 049 8553641 Contact Gene or Michael Granard Rd., Ballyjamesduff, Co.Cavan Email: bjdelectrical@eircom.net www.bjdelectrical.ie

Specialists In Accident Claims | Litigation | Debt Collection Conveyancing & Probate Tel: 049 4331 444 (8 Lines) | Fax: 049 4332237 Email: law@gvmaloney.ie

Best Wishes to Kiernan Farms From All At BJD Electrical

124


is an ardent Meath supporter and he admires the type of football that the Royal County tries to play, as well as the hunger that they show unlike his native county. “Meath players all want to wear the jersey, and they are a determined breed in fairness to them. Meath football is going through something of a transition period at the moment, but they still have the tradition behind them and as I said they want to play for the county, which is all you can ask of any player.” Having grown up surrounded by the pig industry, it was no surprise that Brianie followed in his father's footsteps and became involved in the family business. From his units in Mullaghmeen, Brianie and his staff of 24 farm over 2.34 litters of sows continuously. With the pig industry in the midst of escalating feed prices, lack of credit and low pig meat prices, Brianie admits that these are turbulent times in the sector. However, he insisted that retailers, and even more so feed costs, are also to blame for the current pig industry crisis. "There is no commitment to Irish pig meat," he said. “The farmer's share is down to 17pc of the shelf price -something has gone wrong somewhere." “We produce 2.34 litters on a continuous basis and this is done by Hermitage A.I and P.I.C whose expertise has allowed us to produce such a high number. It is a difficult industry to be involved in at the moment, but in saying that we are pleased with the way things are going.”

Oisin Kiernan surges up the field during the Division 6 B League final

Best wishes to Kiernan Farms, from DESMOND GERAGHTY

LISHENRY MOTORS Lishenry, Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan Tel: 049-8544449 - 087-2520242

SERVICES • BODY & MECHANICAL REPAIRS • NCT PREPARATION etc.

Karl Kiernan comes out on top in this battle for possession

The St Brigids squad that defeated Kilbride in the B League Division 6 final

125


OBITUARIES

FRIENDS WE LOST Liam Creavin (Navan) The passing of Liam Creavin in December 2011 marked the end of an era in Meath GAA. Aged 91, the Navan O’Mahonys clubman was one of the most accomplished administrators ever produced by the county and served as secretary of Coiste na Mi for a remarkable 44 years. The following is an interview with Liam that appeared in the 2007 edition of Royal County Yearbook: Loyalty that knows no bounds The development of the GAA at all levels since its foundation 123 years ago has been dependent on the efforts of individuals who have worked to make it what it is today vibrant, thriving and a glowing example of what dedicated voluntary input can achieve. There are examples all over the country of people who have been key to the association’s development during the best part of a century and a quarter, from those who have cared for that most important unit, the club, to those who have taken on the demands of positions on County Boards and all the challenges, headaches and rewards that accompany them. Meath, without question, has had its share of such people who have helped shape the direction the GAA has taken, individuals who have been part of a team effort designed to keep the great organisation alive and very, very well in the county. Without this type of people the association couldn’t function in the manner that it does. One of them has been Liam Creavin whose record of loyalty to the Royal County and to the association in general is second to none. To say he has dedicated a huge chunk of his life to the promotion of Gaelic Games in Meath would be putting it very mildly; he has been a wonderful ambassador for the GAA in our county and the efficiency and proficiency with which he tackled the position of secretary over a long number of years unquestionably played a key role in the smooth running of the County Board. He possessed outstanding organisational skills, the sort of attributes which are essential in the role of secretary, and has unquestionably been one of the most tireless workers for the promotion of the GAA in the Royal County in the long and proud history of the association. Liam was born in Lucan in 1920 and moved to Bective with his family in 1932 when he was 12 years old. He attended the De la Salle School in Navan and, ironically, he was later to serve as principal of the school. He held temporary teaching posts in Kilkenny, Carrick-on-Suir and Waterford and his first permanent teaching position was in Dublin. He commenced teaching in the De la Salle School, Navan, in 1953 and was principal there for nine years until his retirement in 1985. His only GAA involvement in a playing capacity was as a footballer when he attended St. Enda’s in Galway, but it soon became very apparent that he was destined to

fill key administrative positions. That started in earnest in 1953 when he was elected the first assistant-secretary of Meath County Board and that set in motion a life of involvement with the board. The secretary during his three-year stint as assistant was none other than Peter McDermott, a man who had already tasted All-Ireland SFC success with the Royal County in 1949 and who was to captain Meath to their second such triumph in 1954 when, astonishingly, he was County Board secretary. Just imagine a situation like that arising today - the secretary of the board playing in an All-Ireland SFC final! Not likely. Liam succeeded the ’Man in the Cap’ as secretary and treasurer in 1956 and remained in that role until he was succeeded by long serving assistant-secretary Barney Allen at the annual convention in January of 2001. There had been a sense of shock at a County Board meeting the previous November when Chairman Fintan Ginnity announced that there would be a vacancy for the position of secretary at the forthcoming convention. A recurrence of some health problems meant Liam wouldn’t be seeking re-election. He was well on the mend by the time the convention took place early in the New Year, but was unable to be present because of a bout of ’flu. A presentation night was held later in the year when tributes were paid and his tremendous work over a long number of years was recognised. Liam also served as treasurer of the Navan O’Mahonys’ club for a quarter of a century and had a term as chairman of the Brews Hill club. He had honed his secretarial skills when secretary of the Meath Minor Football Board for a three-year spell in the early 1950s, so it was something of a natural progression when he became assistant-secretary of the County Board in ’53 and secretary in ’56. That he remained in the position for the best part of a half century has to be one of the truly remarkable statistics in the proud history of the GAA in Meath and during that amazing spell of hard work, loyalty and dedication he worked with six different chairmen - Fr. Pat Tully, who was at the helm from 1949 to ’68, Jack Fitzgerald (1969 and ’70), Colum Cromwell (1971 to ’75), Pat O’Neill (1976 to ’78), Brian Smyth (1979 to ’86) and Fintan Ginnity who was chairman from 1986 until succeeded by the current man at the helm, Brendan Dempsey. He witnessed an enormous amount of change in Meath and in the GAA in general during his marathon spell as secretary. There were great times and not so great times on the playing field and vital developments within the county like improved club facilities and the wonderful work that made Pairc Tailteann in Navan what it is today - a home to be proud of. Liam has happy memories of fabulous days in Croke Park while secretary, most notably the All-Ireland success of 1967 and the four

126

Sam Maguire Cup annexations during the glorious Sean Boylan era - 1987, ’88, ’96 and ’99. There were massive disappointments too on those sad days when a team travels to Croke Park full of hope and heads home dejected and empty-handed. Days like 1991 when so many people thought Meath had their name already engraved on the most famous piece of silverware in Gaelic Football before they ever kicked a ball against Down in the final. After a most spectacular marathon journey to the All-Ireland final, including four matches against Dublin, Meath lost their 10th game of the campaign - the one that mattered most. It was shattering. But as he looks back on his time as secretary, it’s comforting that there were so many great times. Apart from the All-Irelands, there were National Football League successes in 1975, ’88, ’90 and ’94, the Centenary Cup in ’84, when Boylan was attempting to put together a championship-winning panel, and Leinster senior titles in ’64, ’66, ’67, ’70, ’86, ’87, ’88, ’90, ’91, ’96 and ’99. There was also the historic trip to Australia in 1968 and all the organising that went with such a massive undertaking. That tour Down Under is still talked about today with tremendous pride and joy by all who were fortunate to be part of such a pioneering adventure. It was a colossal undertaking and one that helped put Meath and the GAA in general on the map on the other side of the world. It was one of the many major happenings that occurred during Liam’s remarkable long tenure in the role of secretary. Those years necessitated a great deal of hard work and long hours, but you still know from talking to him that he loved every minute. "I enjoyed every minute of it and I still love the GAA," he said. "They were all great days, thoroughly enjoyable days. There were some very busy times, like leading up to an All-Ireland final and the pressure with tickets. It was very time consuming, but I didn’t look on it that way. I loved it." Coming up to the annual convention was another very hectic time, with wife Ita recalling so much paper on the floor in the living room and the children helping to put things together. "We were all involved," she said. "A family affair." She also recalls the demand for tickets ahead of an All-Ireland final, describing the pressure as "fierce," and adding that there was "a stampede at the door of the house" when clubs were looking for their allocation. That situation eased when tickets were distributed at Pairc Tailteann after County Board meetings. Indeed wife Ita, a sister of the great Frankie Byrne, could be described as the Meath assistant secretary long before the role was officially created, such was the amount of work she carried out. She was often Liam’s public face, opening their front door to all types of GAA callers. The couple had four


sons, Damien, Timmy, John and Freddie and one daughter Colette. Timmy, who died tragically at a young age was an outstanding defender and won numerous senior football championship medals with Navan O’Mahonys. There were many great games and many great successes during Liam’s time as secretary, but he singles out June and July of 1991 for special mention. "The four games against Dublin in the 1991 Leinster Championship were something else," he said. "It was a truly remarkable saga and an incredible few weeks." The Sam Maguire Cup made its way to the Royal County five times while Liam was secretary and he said that "winning AllIrelands brought so much joy. An All-Ireland is an All-Ireland. They are not easily won and each one is equally special. Each one during my time as secretary meant a great deal." By comparison, losing an All-Ireland final represents a massive disappointment after getting to the last hurdle. "Losing a final is a huge disappointment," he added. "Getting to a final isn’t easily achieved and the defeat against Down in the 1991 final was a massive disappointment, especially after playing 10 matches in the championship." There were many amazing aspects to Sean Boylan’s incredibly long reign as Meath manager - the four-match marathon against Dublin and that year’s mammoth championship campaign among them - and Liam is quick to praise the Dunboyne man for the manner in which he lifted Meath out of the dreadful state they were in to a team that was able to compete with the very best and win All-Ireland titles. "Meath had experienced some very bad days before Sean’s arrival as manager," he said. "He completely transformed things, turned it around. He was a brilliant organiser and a great motivator. They were truly wonderful years under Sean’s management, great years that brought so much success to the county." Liam’s organisational skills were surely tested to the full during the planning of the tour to Australia back in 1968. It was an enormous undertaking, but like everything else he took it in his stride and the whole wonderful adventure Down Under proved to be an enormous success. He recalls the huge amount of work that went into organising the great adventure, including "writing letters at 3.0 in the morning to people like Harry Beitzel" who was the central figure at the Australian end of things. "It was very tiring," recalled Ita. "It involved a huge amount of work. I remember when Liam finally departed to Australia thinking ’thank God he’s gone, I can have a rest now’. But they were really great times too and the bottom line is that you wouldn’t do it if you didn’t love it. It’s as simple as that." Liam saw a huge number of players don the Meath jersey during his incredible association with the County Board, including the men who brought the county its third AllIreland senior crown in 1967 by defeating Cork in the final. "The 1967 team was an exceptional bunch of players," he recalled with tremendous pride. "Pat Reynolds was a truly great footballer who always played his heart out. Peter Darby

was a great leader. And there was the ’Red’, Bertie Cunningham and Jack Quinn. I could go on and on. They were all superb footballers." He says the same of the 1987 and ’88 team that brought Sean Boylan his first two AllIrelands, ending a two decade famine without an All-Ireland title that stretched back to that triumph in 1967. That team was packed full of quality players who brought so much joy to Royal County supporters who had experienced a lot of disappointment over a long period of time, but Liam singles out the great Colm O’Rourke for particular praise. "Colm was a really exceptional footballer, an immense talent," he said. "The determination he showed to come back from his serious knee injury was amazing. That took some effort, some dedication. He was one of so many fabulous footballers on that team. It too was an exceptional side, full of outstanding footballers." Liam is quick to pay tribute to the County Board chairmen he worked so closely with while secretary, saying that "they were all great men, with prime interest in the GAA and the job of Meath chairman." Among them was that tremendous worker and visionary Fintan Ginnity who was chairman of the board for approximately 20 years, during which time Meath enjoyed its greatest period of success on the football playing fields and tremendous work was carried out to improve facilities in the county. Pairc Tailteann is a venue the county can be proud to call home, while the developments at the County Board’s Centre of Excellence at Dunganny, between Navan and Trim, is a superb addition and will play a hugely important role in the preparation of various Meath teams in the years to come. "They are fantastic facilities and Fintan did tremendous work in that regard," he said. "He is such a brilliant worker and possesses tremendous foresight. That was vital." While on the subject of facilities, Liam has marvelled at the transformation of Croke Park into the stunning venue it now is and spoke with great pride and satisfaction about the way an amateur organisation like the GAA could develop a ground into something so fabulous. "Croke Park is a place to be truly proud of," he added. "It was built on voluntary effort. Every club in the country was levied for it. Opening it up to other sports means we can show it off to the world." Liam Creavin’s lifetime of devotion to the association he loves would provide sufficient subject matter for an enormous book - not just a single article. He has seen it all and through it all his work for the GAA in Meath has been exceptional. People like Liam have helped make the GAA what it is today. Phil O'Brien (Lobinstown / Crossakiel) A hugely modest and very popular figure, Phil came from a family heavily immersed in all things GAA around the Lobinstown area. For years and wearing his usual midfield jersey, he lined out for his beloved Syddan. With cousins and brothers also involved, he was a vital part of the great Syddan team which scooped Meath senior football championships in 1951, 52, and 1956. Add in

127

a Feis Cup medal in 1952. Phil married Bernadette Donegan from an equally well known GAA clan in Rathkenny and came to farm in Crossakiel in 1963 Their sons Ciaran and Philip were outstanding underage players with Ballinlough. Subsequently Phil became more and more involved with his second club. At the time of his death Phil was Life President of Ballinlough GFC. And such was the man’s popularity that he held the same role as President of his first love Syddan. As Ciaran and Philip matured into men they were to the fore as an exciting group of youngsters propelled Ballinlough through the junior and intermediate ranks. They reached the knockout stages of the Keegan Cup (called after a Syddan club mate and neighbour of Phil's, Tom Keegan) on numerous occasions but lady luck often deserted them when the big day arrived. Ballinlough and the O'Briens had some consolation as Senior League titles were gained in 1997 and '99. Ciaran was good enough to play with the Meath juniors in 1989. Phil O'Brien had numerous relatives. Included are his nephews and former Meath stars Cormac Rowe and Gerry McEntee. Another nephew is the well known Fine Gael TD Shane McEntee as is Andy McEntee the present Meath minor manager. Phil's grand nephews Shane and James McEntee (cousins) starred with the Meath minors right through the summer. Phil has one daughter, Deirdre, who is married to Tommy Maguire. Tommy played with the old Robinstown team. Nowadays the Maguires are involved with their parish club, Rathkenny. Deirdre, a physiotherapist, often acted in that capacity for the Meath senior football team. Phil was a role model to everybody in the parish of Kilskyre and those involved with the Ballinlough club. Always unassuming, kind and courteous, his parting makes this area of north Meath so, so much the poorer. His memory for games past, scores, players and their kin folk knew no rival. Phil O'Brien was a life long member of the PTAA and like all of his family was a huge Meath supporter. For decades Croke Park and the O'Briens went hand in hand. It was a regular sight to see Phil and relations and friends (he simply had no enemies) in the vicinity of Jones Road on a summer's afternoon holding their post-mortem on the events of the day. Phil and Bernadette, as a couple were also big followers of the club scene. Be it at Pairc Tailteann on a cold drab Sunday afternoon in November or in Oldcastle during a humid summers evening for underage fare or up in Nobber for some Feis Cup game. The O’Brien’s were there. Phil, with the trademark cap and the long coat under his arms. Bernadette always by his side. Football was a huge part of their lives. A huge number of sympathisers visited the O’Brien household and many more turned out for Phil’s funeral mass and burial as Kilskyre Church housed its largest crowd for years. Ballinlough GAA formed an impressive guard of honour while his old friend and Meath legend Paddy Meegan, who sadly also passed away later on in the year, recited a beautiful and tear churning poem at the graveside. Go ndeana Dhia trocaire ar a anam uasal.


Dinny McCarthy (Grangend, Dunshaughlin) One of Dinny McCarthy’s life passions was Dunshaughlin Gaelic Football Club, and it was only fitting that in death, his remains were carried form Dunshaughlin Church by members of the club’s senior county football championship-winning team of a decade ago. The church of St Patrick and Seachnall was overflowing for the funeral Mass of the man who was known the length and breadth of the county for his following of GAA. The passing of Dinny at the age of 65 on 26th September last came just two years after the death of his wife, Patricia, in September 2010, his father, Hugh, in 2008 and mother, Josie, in 2005. Dinny lived all his life on the family farm at Grangend. He played underage football with St. Martin’s GAA, the local set-up in Dunshaughlin and Drumree, and was on the team that won the championship in 1959, completing a three-in-a-row. His love of the game saw him on the umpiring teams of club referees Paddy O’Dwyer, Jim Smith and, in recent times, Frank Gallogly, up until his last months when illness prevented him. Dinny was a familiar figure at club and county games, travelling far and wide. And wasn’t slow in letting a referee know his views either. In her book, ‘I Remember When- Memories of a Childhood in Dunshaughlin’, launched as part of the Dunshaughlin Harvest Festival on the day of Dinny’s funeral, Bernadette Carey recalls her old Grangend neighbour. “Dinny McCarthy has always been a great follower of football, especially of Dunshaughlin. He played every match from the sideline, with his shirt sleeves rolled up to the elbows and his hands on his hips as he paced up and down to the delight of the other supporters around him, and Dinny was never afraid to tell the referee what he thought of his decision, be they right or wrong!” Dinny was also an avid race goer and enjoyed the annual Dunshaughlin pilgrimage to Listowel, as well as attending local race meetings. The McCarthy house was also famed for card-playing, with Dinny particularly strong at 25s. He was involved for a period helping with the Dunshaughlin Hurling Club during the 1980s. In the Offertory Procession at his funeral, a Dunshaughlin jersey was brought to the altar by Dunshaughlin GAA Club president Patsy McLoughlin; Dinny’s cattle stick for herding by his grandson, Luke; his umpiring jacket by referee Frank Gallogly; his Fairyhouse Racecourse badge by John Brady of Woodpark Stud; and his hurl by his match travelling companion, Peadar Lynam. The bread and wine were brought by granddaughters, Megan and Ellie. Dunshaughlin GAA Noel Reilly (Drumconrath) Noel Reilly was a larger than life character within Drumconrath GAA. He was a dedicated club man and served as Chairman and selector for several years. North Meath was in deep shock when the news of his sudden death spread on News Year’s Day 2012. He had overseen much development within the club as chairman, and was always there

to advise the committee when his tenure was over. Noel had been a selector with the team when the side was intermediate and never missed a club or county game. He is survived by his wife Mary, sons Sean, Leo and Mark, his grandchildren and is sadly missed by Droim Conrach CLG. Joe Lynch (Kells and Dublin) Joe was the former director of the Artane Boys’ Band and was best remembered for conducting the band at Croke Park on final days from the early 1960s to his retirement in 1995. He moved to Dublin at a young age. The band’s long association with the GAA, dating from 1886, when it played at the association’s first major function in Dublin, brought Joe to Croke Park at least a dozen times a year. John Monaghan (Dromone) John was an avid reader and a big GAA fan. He was part of the initial Moylagh team formed in 1947. Indeed he scored the first competitive point for the north Meath club in a game that took place on his own land, known as “Monaghans Bottoms” Martin Murphy (Liscarton, Navan) Martin was fond of all sports, including GAA. His family have a long association with Navan O’Mahonys. His brother Paul was an outstanding player on the Meath side which gained Leinster minor honours in 1972 and was a vital part of the successful O Mahonys combination of the 1970’s Doreen Kelly (Dundalk/Navan) Doreen, nee Kavanagh, had a great interest in GAA affairs, both hurling and football, and was a regular at Navan O’Mahonys’ games. She was married to the late Christy Kelly, a Tipperary native and Garda and who was one of the driving forces behind hurling in Navan. Christy also played hurling with Kilskyre while stationed in Crossakiel. Doreen’s sons in law, Oliver Murtagh and Padraic O Brien, are heavily involved with the O’Mahonys club. Ann Bennett (Carlanstown/Dunsany) Ann was an avid follower of the Meath football team and attended Royal County games as often as she could. She was in Croke Park for the 2010 Leinster SFC final win over Louth. She also enjoyed playing bingo in Kilmessan and Skryne regularly as well as Summerhill and Navan on occasions. Mary Kate Vahey (Mayo/Martry) Mary Kate lived to the great age of 98. A native of Swinford, she moved to Bohermeen parish many years ago. A woman of great faith, one of her six sons, John was a very useful footballer for the old Martry club during the 1970’s. George Smith (Kells) George was a member of one of the oldest and most respected families in the north Meath town. He was the popular circulation manager of the Meath Chronicle for years and acted as Vice President, President and Captain of Headfort Golf Club on various occasions. George was also a great GAA supporter and a number of his relations are involved with the local Gaeil Colmcille club. Sadly, his son Derry also passed away later on in the year while living in the U.S.

128

Pat Markey (Julianstown) Pat ran a very successful law practice at Quay Street in Drogheda and took an active interest in the fortunes of St Patrick’s GAA club. Along with his partner in the practice, Fergus Minogue, he oversaw the legal aspects of the club’s move from Whyte Park to their new grounds on the Cockhill Road in Stamullen. John Renehan (Kilkenny/Kilcloon) John was a native of Danesfort and supported the Cats on the hurling fields. The black and amber flag was a regular fixture outside his house in recent years. Larry Dunne (Gormanston) Larry was a keen GAA fan and followed the local St Patrick’s club and the Meath team. His son Noel played at all grades for St Patrick’s and Larry and his wife, Ann, would always have been there to cheer the team on. Larry was a founder member of the Stamullen Cycling club and rode in the 1959, ’60 and ’61 Ras Tailteann’s. He was a member of the Meath team when fellow clubman Ben McKenna won the Ras in 1959. Larry also achieved success in many intercounty races and Meath championships, as well as at official sports meetings across the country. Marie Mitchell (Johnstown) Marie had a keen interest in sport and followed the Meath senior football team wherever and whenever they played. Nee Duffy, she was a talented camogie player for the local Johnstown club in her youth. Brigid Donnelly (Longwood/Tara) A member of the Dixon family, Longwood, Brigid was wife of the late great Pat ‘Red’ Donnelly who was a renowned Meath footballer and hurler in the 1930s and 40s and a member of the famed Donnelly family. Liam Molloy (Kells) Representing the Royal County, Liam won an All Ireland Senior 60x30 Handball Doubles title in 1967. His partner was Dessie McGovern. Liam was very popular in the locality and at the Kells Town Council meeting following his death many tributes were paid. Patricia Clarke (Longwood) Nee Murtagh, Patricia was a retired National School teacher. Her husband Patrick passed away in November 2009. Both were very keen GAA followers. Patrick acted as Vice Chairman of the Ballivor club. Patricia was heavily involved in Longwood ICA, Ballivor Horse Show and the Pioneer Centre. One of her daughters Karen Fox is the present secretary of Navan O’Mahonys GAA. Thomas Cahill (Bective) Thomas was well-known for his association with Bective GAA and was also an ardent fan of Tottenham Hotspurs soccer club. A number of his sons played with Bective while Davy successfully managed clubs like Bective, St Ultan’s and Nobber in recent years. Joe Wogan (Navan) Joe Wogan played football with the now defunct Commons GFC and was regarded as


a tough and skilful footballer. He also played soccer with Flowerhill and Windtown Village. Shay Lane (Duleek/Ardcath) It’s hanging over us. We wish we could huff and puff and make it go away. It wasn't there when we woke up last month. That cloud still hovers since it enveloped our community on January 17th, with the death of our wonderful friend, Shay Lane, Irishtown, Ardcath, Co Meath. There was widespread sadness following the sudden death of Shay in Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown. He had been on an errand in Ashbourne when he suddenly took ill. Shay was medically assessed and treated in the High Dependency Unit over a number of days. Those were very trying days for Mary, Niamh and Shay's family and extended families. Shay's son, Darren travelled from Australia where he had been domiciled since September 2011. Shay married Mary Andrews in 1982 and they have two children, Niamh and Darren. Shay was very proud of his family and he took great pride in his home and garden. Shay was devoted to his parents Seanie and Dodie, visiting them on a regular basis, it's said he spent as much time in Duleek as in Ardcath. Shay was also very close to his father-in-law Paddy Andrews, attending games and socialising and having Sunday lunches together. He had a great sense of belonging and was inspirational in conversation with his positive attitude and good humour. He was well organised, with specific routines planned for each day. Shay worked in Saica Pack, formerly Union Camp, for 30 years. Staff and management had great respect for Shay and his input into harmonious working conditions, as the Health and Safety Officer. Shay, the gentleman, was very loyal with a pleasant word for everyone; and everyone had a unique story about him.Last June (2011) he became a grandfather, following the birth of Niamh's baby daughter, Kacey. He adored Kacey and loved tending to her and supporting Niamh and Keith. She was his shining light and a brilliant role model for her parents. He was a gifted sportsman with excellent balance and a unique ability to master the skills of which ever sport he played. He excelled in Gaelic football, rugby and was also a keen golfer. He starred for Delvin RFC at fullback and was their place kicker for years prior to the formation of Boyne RFC. He introduced gloves to rugby. Shay and Mary enjoyed a spin out on their bikes with the local cycling club and for charity events. He played all his underage football with Duleek, while his father Seanie was the backbone of the juvenile club for years. Shay won U-14, U-17 and Intermediate championships medals with Duleek. In 1978 he scored the winning point from 30 yards in the dying stages of the Intermediate final, defeating Kilmainhamwood, as a 20-yearold. He also officiated as a linesman with Malachy Cullen and Kevin Campbell in the county final of 1977. Shay transferred to St Vincents in 1987 and continued playing with us right up to this New Year, never missing a playing season. He also served the club as secretary, treasurer, insurance officer and team selector

over a number of years. As treasurer he was responsible for all transactions in relation to All Ireland tickets during Meath's most uplifting years. This he did meticulously, ensuring everyone was accommodated. As a player Shay had a brilliant sense of space, with a lightning quick football brain and precision timing. Always unselfish, setting up scores he could have executed himself. As a team selector he was ever present in the dressing room, his wit and good humour putting the players at ease on match days. He was an excellent role model for our younger impressionable players. We think this quotation epitomises Shay's life 'This is a person of surpassing integrity; a man of the utmost sincerity; somewhat larger than life,' (Joyce Carol Oates). His family's generosity in donating Shay's organs will ensure needy recipients will have the 'gift of life' following transplantation. Shay is survived by his loving wife Mary, daughter Niamh and son Darren, granddaughter Kacey, father Seanie, mother Dodie, brother Joe, father-in-law Paddy Andrews, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, extended family, relatives and friends. Tributes and a guard of honour was provided by Duleek/Bellewstown GAA club comprising the 1978 Intermediate championship team members and St Vincents GAA Club committee, members and players, with both clubs sporting their club coloured arm bands. Delvin RFC past players and officials were also well represented. Shay's colleagues from his workplace also attended in great numbers. Shay's popularity and standing in the community and further afield was evident from the huge numbers that paid their respect at the house and were present at his funeral. Fr Phil Gaffney PP gave the family immense support throughout Shay's final days attending his pastoral needs and engaging in long and frequent visits to Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown. Fr. Phil also delivered a very reflective homily on the life and times of Shay. Relay teams from the family and extended family, Saica Pack (Union Camp), Duleek /Bellewstown and St Vincents carried his remains on his final journey for internment. To Mary and her family a supportive quotation, 'God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with him.' Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis St Vincents GFC Andy Dolan (Lobinstown) It was with great sadness and loss that the people of Lobinstown and the surrounding area, and particularly anyone involved with Syddan GFC, heard of the passing of Andy Dolan. Andy was a member of the Syddan club committee from an early age and served as club treasurer for 26 years until 2005. On the playing fields, he is best remembered as the club goalkeeper and standing well over six feet tall, he was a formidable opponent to beat. Andy was a fanatical supporter of both Syddan and Meath football, and could always be seen at many other matches in the county, especially when adjoining clubs around north Meath were playing. His trademark at matches was his radio, always beside his ear, keeping track of the

129

other matches that were on in the county or across the country. If he wasn’t on the terraces, he was more than likely running the line using his hankerchief instead of a flag. Every time Andy did the line, it was the Syddan supporters who would generally get incensed because Andy would always do it right, and never gave any questionable decisions, especially coming near the end of a game. It was fair play with Andy at all times, no matter what teams were in action. Whenever Syddan hosted a game, be it league or championship, Andy could be relied on to stand at the gate along with his brother, Sean, two men that were always there to help on a match day and didn’t need to be asked twice. Whenever Meath were playing in Croke Park, Andy always looked for tickets for the top of the Cusack Stand, because he knew they would be in the middle of the stand – the only decent tickets the club would get! Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis. Syddan GFC John Boyle (Drumree) John played juvenile football with St Martin’s GFC and won a Community Games medal. He was a member of the Drumree team that achieved Division 3 success in 1988 and, a decade later, was goalkeeper on the Drumree team which won the Meath JFC when defeating St Mary’s in the county decider before going on to clinch the Leinster title at the expense of Ballyroan of Laois. John also served the Dunshaughlin parish club at administrative level and was secretary for several years. He was also a proud supporter of the Meath football team and was a keen racegoer. He was involved setting up the Drumree Racing Club in 1995, which enjoyed successes with French Project and Honeyschoice in Ballinrobe. Later, John joined the Neighbours Racing Club which also proved to be very successful. This syndicate, based around Dunshaughlin and Drumree, saw Lights and Music winning at both Fairyhouse and Punchestown in the same year. Its greatest triumph was undoubtedly the victory of More Rainbows in the Galway Hurdle in 2005, with Robbie Power on board. Mary Horan (Moynalvey/Summerhill) Mary played women’s football with Moynalvey in her early years and was an avid supporter of Meath Gaelic football teams. Sean Carrigy (Athboy) The death occurred in late February of Sean Carrigy (78), of Cloran, Athboy, well known across the county and beyond for his involvement in the GAA, greyhound racing, farming and politics. He performed the ceremonial throw-in of the sliothar at the 2011 county senior hurling final between Kildalkey and Navan O'Mahonys. The Carrigy family of Cloran has a long tradition in Gaelic games in Athboy and deceased played his part in maintaining that tradition. Like his father, Tommy senior, Sean Carrigy served the club has both player and chairman. His father won senior hurling championship medals with Athboy in the late 1920s, and an all Ireland junior hurling championship with Meath in 1927 and was


elected chairman in the 1950s. Sean played both hurling and football in the 1950s and '60s. In 1955, Athboy won the Junior A and Junior B hurling championships and in 1957, the Junior A football championship, and deceased was a member of all three panels. His brothers, Tommy and Pat were on senior hurling winning teams in the 1960s and '70s. When his playing days ended in the 1960s, he got involved at committee level and served as chairman and vice chairman at various periods in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. During this time, he also served as selector and mentor to numerous adult and underage Athboy teams. He was a selector for Clann na Gael's most recent success, the Junior A football championship of 2007, where his nephew Thomas Carrigy was in the half back line. Sean represented Athboy and Clann na nGael for three decades at county board level, hardly ever missing a meeting. On match days in Athboy, he was always one of the first men to be seen helping out at the GAA grounds. He was also active in fundraising and development, and a familiar sight selling club lottery tickets in the town on a Saturday night. In 2003, he presented the Carrigy Cup to the County Board in memory of his late father, to be played for in the under-21 hurling championship. At the time of his passing, he was vice-chairman of the club and a selector with the intermediate team. Another sport he was greatly involved in was greyhound racing, and he owned numerous dogs, breeding his own with the Cloran prefix. One successful dog he was involved with was Athboy Lass, owned in partnership with Georgina Horan of Kilmessan. Deceased was a well-known figure at the greyhound tracks in Longford, Mullingar and Newbridge. John McDonnell (Ashbourne) John was an active member of Donaghmore/Ashbourne GAA club and was involved with the 1979 minor championship winning team. He was a lover of outdoor pursuits, particularly hunting, and enjoying racing and horses. Phil Carolan (Boyerstown) Phil was an ardent follower of Gaelic football, particularly the Meath senior football team. During his primary school years in Moyaugher he never missed a day. Phil also had a big interest in athletics, a sport at which his children excelled. His grandson Alan Watters was an outstanding underage footballer with Simonstown. John Anthony (Tony) Monaghan (Navan/Canada) Tony was a member of an old Navan family. In his younger days he was an outstanding footballer and was a self declared Irish Ambassador for over fifty years in his adopted town of Sudbury. Thomas (Tucker) Cahill (Navan) “Tucker”, who worked in Navan Carets for many years, was a very popular figure around Navan. He was interested in many sports and always followed the fortunes of the Meath footballers. Mary Sweeney (Athboy) Mary was a member of the McElhinney clan and worked in the well known family business. A number of her brothers were

heavily involved in Athboy GAA affairs.. Tom Duignan (Navan) Tom was the last surviving founder member of Navan O’Mahonys GAA club. In the late 1940s, football in Navan was in the doldrums before an impromptu meeting was held in the house of Peter Hughes in Rathaldron outside Navan. Nine men – Jack Callaghan, Paddy Cahill, Jackie Carroll, Eddie Duignan, Tom Duignan, Benny Gartland, Peter Hughes, Terry O’Dea and Patsy Reilly – attended and then eleven were present at the first AGM in the old AOH Hall, Watergate Street on 28th October, 1948. Tom was left full-back on the O’Mahonys side that defeated Drumree to win the 1949 Meath JFC crown. He was a selector when O Mahonys won the SFC title for the first time in 1953 when Trim were defeated in the decider. He was also a selector when O’Mahonys claimed a SFC five-in-a-row from 1957 to ’63 and also acted as a club delegate to the County Board. Tom served as O’Mahonys’ vice-chairman for five successive years from 1954 to ’58, under Ned Giles for two years and then under Peter McDermott for three years. He returned to the position in 1965 for one year when Brendan Cahill was chairman. One of his brothers Michael Duignan, who moved to Duleek, was a huge driving force behind juvenile football affairs in the county during the 1970’ and 80’. Past and present members of Navan O’Mahonys turned out to bid Tom a final farewell at his funeral. Martin Landers (Foxford/Gainstown) Martin was a very popular gentleman in and around the town of Navan. He was born in Lissycasey Co. Clare and, as his father worked on the old river drainage scheme, the family moved to Foxford in Mayo when Martin was at a very young age. There in a football mad county he became a fervent supporter of the green and red. When work on the Moy River ceased, Michael Landers brought his family to Meath during the late 1960’s, as a similar operation commenced on the Boyne. Mayo was always Martin’s first choice on the playing fields and he endured many an agonising moment as the Westerners were often prone to throwing away late leads. But he also developed a passion for Meath GAA and was a regular at big games, club and county, at Pairc Tailteann and Croke Park. Not that he was confined to GAA affairs and Martin Landers attended many internationals at Dalymount Park and Lansdowne Road or Thurles for big games, especially when Clare were playing. A Leeds supporter, Martin worked in Navan Carpets for over 25 years. He became an active member of the community, spending many years as treasurer of Navan Pitch and Putt club. Martin also worked tirelessly with Navan St Vincent De Paul until his disability meant he could no longer do so. He suffered from MD and spent many of his later years on crutches or in a wheelchair. But Martin was a man of action, these handicaps never hindered his positive attitude and after joining the local wheelchair association became its chairman. He loved a good chat and could remember things from times long past, matters that others had long forgotten. Martin liked to read and had a wonderful mind. He was also

130

a well known figure at St. Mary’s Church Navan and attended the monthly Padre Pio Masses. His brother Michael played with the old Commons club. Martin’s sister Marian married local man Jim Reilly and the family has a long association with the Simonstown club. Their son Paul starred in the Simonstown senior defence over a number of years while another son David has acted as the sponsor of the Leading Scorer in the Meath senior football championship. The large crowds that turned out at Martins removal and funeral showed how popular and how much the adopted Mayo man had meant to the people of Navan and Meath. Sometimes the following words are used when such obituaries are penned, often a little beyond the top and perhaps over describing the person in question but in the case of Martin they really apply. “The man had not one enemy”. Nobody had any type of bad words to say about Martin Landers. Kitty Shiels (Lobinstown) Like her late husband Patsy, Kitty was a great supporter of Syddan GFC and together they travelled to matches throughout the county. They witnessed Syddan win the Keegan Cup for the only time in the club’s history on the eve of their wedding in 1956. Bridgie McClorey (Athboy) Bridgie had a great interest in sport, particularly the GAA. She loved to listen to the Meath matches on the radio or watch them on the television and was known to have said many novenas during the games in the hope that the Royals would win. Bridgie’s son Oliver was an outstanding underage footballer and played at juvenile level for Meath. A grandson David Miller won a number of underage awards with Simonstown in recent years. May Nolan (Dunboyne/Harristown) May lived to the fine age of 88 years and was an outstanding camogie player during the 1930’s and 40’s with her native Dunboyne. Peadar O Liatháin (Lehane) / (Cork and Boardsmill) Many words of appreciation have been spoken and written already about the late Peadar Lehane; at his funeral down in west Cork, at our club’s opening day last week, on LMFM and in the wonderful obituaries in the Meath Chronicle. As a club we want to publicly state our appreciation. Since Peadar became secretary in 1956 he has been one of the guiding lights and inspiration for all of the activities that has taken place within our club. He along with Tommy Murray started the underage structure in 1957, a set up which continues to this day. All through the 1960s our underage teams were winning hurling championships and this continued into the 1970s, with club teams winning u-14, 16, minor and u-21 titles on many occasions. All of this hard work resulted in the emergence of the great senior team of the 1970s that reached two Leinster club semifinals. This was all done without outside trainers or coaches, without hurling walls or drills. We just listened to Peadar and enjoyed every session and when we did have a bad day and were well beaten he would say: “There will


be another day.” Because he taught our generation and the following one, he knew everyone of us, our moods, our rashness, our ability, our skills even our thoughts and what we might do next and was able to inspire us to give our best. He would always preach: don’t let yourself or the club down. His work with Paul Daly in providing our own playing field and a home began around 1974 with the purchase of a piece of land from the land commission. His guiding hand was there all the time and it was officially opened in the Centenary Year of 1984.This was developed and put there with hard work, led by Peadar. He got ANCO in to do the building work, ran the 300 club to raise funds and all of the other duties that were involved in bringing the project to fruition. Shortly after that he became chairman for a few years before stepping down and as he said himself: “we have to work hard at underage again and I would like to do that.” This he did and by bringing in new people built up the structures again and resulted in a big push at underage which brought a lot more success, it also brought us our first ever underage titles in football during the nineties, a feat which laid the foundation for our opening ever adult football titles in the early 2000s. This he was very proud of as he himself was from a football area in West Cork and played a little football before he moved up to Meath. Despite all we have now written it barely touches on what he has done for our club. So much more could be said. People might wonder how could he achieve all of this and yet be so involved in all of the other areas of the GAA in Meath. We have not even mentioned his deep involvement in all of the other organisations in our community, Legion of Mary, Pioneers, drama group, question time teams. He organised the camogie club and led them to win many championships, even a three-ina-row of senior titles in the mid-1960s. Sometimes on a Sunday evening they would have to wear the same jerseys that the lads had worn during the day and they certainly had to pick their hurleys out of the lads bag, all of which were stored in his VW Beetle. I believe his achievements were accomplished because of his interaction with people, young and old. His kind word, his encouragement, his gentleness, his helpfulness (I don’t believe he ever said no) and his numerous acts of charity, led to people wanting to help with whatever Peadar was doing or was involved with. He was very proud of all achievements of Boardsmill people and those that he taught no matter what their field of achievement was in. During our open day last week word came through that Seamus Kennedy had died. Seamus was another of Peadar’s underage players from 1957 and a great friend of Peadar’s and he of Seamus.He was proud of his achievements as a cyclist and his winning of the Ras Tailteann. Our club has indeed been honoured and privileged to have Peadar as a leader for so long and I hope that we cane carry his principles and aspirations forward and pass them on to the next generation. Boardsmill GAA club

We also reprint a little piece on our good friend Peadar, taken from Hoganstand.com. Peadar Lehane was a native of Cork who had immersed himself in Meath GAA affairs since the early 1950s. Peadar was born into an old Republican family in Coolea just outside of Ballyvourney in West Cork. Indeed those staunch republican views inherited as a child were to remain with Peadar for his entire life. He attended St. Pat’s teaching school in Drumcondra at the same time as the great Micheal O Muircheartaigh and after a short spell teaching in Roscommon arrived in Boardsmill, some four miles south of Trim as principal in 1951. The Cork man was to remain in this part of rural Meath for the remainder of his teaching days. Peadar immediately became involved in local GAA affairs, not least at Boardsmill N.S. where all the youngsters became expert at the playing of our national games and especially with their ability to use the piece of ash. When Boardsmill swept to a number of Meath senior hurling championship successes in the 1960s and 70s the one man named in every victory speech was Peadar Lehane, as each captain was quick to point out that without their local teacher such an achievement would merely have been a pipe dream. Perhaps hurling itself would not have existed in the Mill. Peadar Lehane was also to help his adopted county for decades. He had played football in his youth but while Boardsmill are a dual club their main sporting emphasis is hurling and representing his club it was to the old Hurling Board that he was to first visit for meetings and then to serve on faithfully for decades He was a long time Treasurer of the Meath Hurling Board and amongst a host of other roles and activities Peadar acted as Meath's Leinster Council representative and was highly involved with the setting up of Cumann na mBunscol in the county As to sides taken when Meath and Cork crossed swords many times in the late 80s and early 90s? Well his long time friend and present Boardsmill chairman T.J. Reilly was quick to point out "that Peadar supported his native county as every man should do but after that it was always Meath" He was very proud of his nephew Donal who had starred for the Rebel junior footballers. T.J. went on to add that Boardsmill opened up their fine new facilities in May, facilities which Peadar Lehane had played a huge part in creating and they had hoped that the Corkman would be present as a special guest for the day. In recent years Peadar had retired to his native west Cork but on many occasions made the long journey north to his other home. Regularly he visited our offices and we will miss him, his wit, his love of all thing Irish and his knowledge of GAA affairs. But rest assured Peadar, the legacy lives on. Go ndeana Dia trocaire ar a anam uasal. Peter Kearns (Ardcath) There was a deep sense of loss and sadness in our community with the untimely passing of Peter Kearns, Curraghawalls, Ardcath. He died peacefully in his 63rd year after a short illness. Peter lost his brave battle with illness in the loving care of his partner, Angela Lynch, on

131

8th February last in Navan. He was a proud and hard working man with a real love for life. Peter played all his underage football with St Vincent’s and minor with St Patrick’s GFC. He wore the St Vincent’s number three jersey at senior level for years. It was an open secret that Jack Quinn was the only player that stood between Peter and the same jersey for Meath. He won a Feis Cup medal in 1970. He was on the St Vincents team that was beaten by Moylagh in 1973 at the semi-final stage, while in1974 they were overcome in the final by St John’s and in 1975 were defeated at the semi-final stage, again by Moylagh. Injury curtailed his career and he retired prematurely after that. Peter and his brothers, with the Cromwell, Byrne and White brothers were the backbone of the team during those years. His brothers, Terry and Micheal, represented Meath at senior level for a number of years. Terry of course scored the only and match winning goal for Meath in the 1967 All Ireland final. Peter and his six brothers were ever-present on the St Vincent’s teams over the years. Peter was a very powerful footballer and gave full commitment as a player, be that in training or in the ‘white heat’ of championship football. His two nephews, Alan and Thomas, are on the current St Vincent’s team, continuing the Kearns footballing line. Peter was waked in the house of his brother Tommy in Garristown where family, friends and local community, with the GAA, paid their respects. Members of the community along with St Vincent’s GFC provided a guard of honour with past and current members present in force. Fr Phil Gaffney, PP, delivered an enlightening homily recounting Peter’s life. Peter is survived by his partner, Angela, brothers, Micheal, Jimmy, Tommy and Terry; sisters, Bridie and Cepta, nephews and nieces along with aunts, Ann and Bridgie and his many friends. He was predeceased by his brothers, Podgie and Danny and sister, Kathy. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis. St Vincent’s GFC Emily and Therese Dillon (Cortown) Emily was the mother of Pat Dillon while Therese was his wife. Mother and daughter in law died three weeks apart. Pat Dillon played with Cortown in the junior final of 1970 and was on the panel that won the Division 3 Championship in 1981. Emily was also the mother of Ben Dillon who likewise played for Cortown. Kathleen Rennicks (Cortown) Nee McHugh, Kathleen was an ardent supporter of the Cortown club and her sons Joey and Liam donned the club colours with distinction, winning junior and intermediate medals. Her husband Billy won a senior championship with Colmcille Gaels. He also played with Cortown and Fordstown. Cortown GFC Cathal Meehan (Fordstown/Kells) Cathal was the son of Johnny Meehan, who was on the successful Meath panel in 1949. Jim (Red) Meehan of Meath and Louth fame was an uncle. Cathal won an under 21 medal with Cortown in 1990 and played junior with


the club. He remained a big supporter Cortown GFC

has acted as an efficient and hard working secretary over many years for Ballinlough.

Patrick (Paddy) Maher (Boltown, Kilskyre) Paddy with his late brother Tommy had a close association with Drumbaragh GAA Club and in later years he was a good follower and supporter of Kilskyre hurling, Ballinlough football and the Meath team. He was also a proficient card player and well known for his playing in the North Meath area.

Mary Margaret Farrelly (Crossakiel) Mary was a member of the popular McNamee family from Balgree, Carnaross. Married to Sean, she was a great GAA, Meath and Ballinlough supporter. Her son Raymond was an outstanding underage footballer and played for Ballinlough against Slane in the 1977 under 12 final. Mary’s brothers Paddy, Seamus, Jack, Gerry and Christy all lined out for Ballinlough with Gerry playing for Meath seniors during the late 1970’s.

Louis Gaughran (Killallon) A farmer all his life, Louis with his brother Kieran played with the old Killallon club. He was a driving force in reforming the club in later years. Kieran also played for many years with Ballinlough. All Louis’ family take an active part in community activities. His son Sean played hurling with Kilskyre and football with Ballinlough and later became a selector with the club. Eugene O’Reilly (Patrickstown, Ballinlough) Eugene was a farmer and a lifelong member of local club Ballinlough, playing for many years with his brother James. Later Eugene remained a great supporter of Ballinlough and Meath. His son Eugene also played with the club and is a talented handballer with Crossakiel club and Meath at top levels, winning many competitions. Gerry Smith (Crossakiel) Gerry had a great interest in all sports and a number of his family played underage and adult football with Ballinlough. Tommy was an outstanding goal keeper for years with Ballinlough at Junior, Intermediate and Senior level and acted as a selector with Moylagh in 2012. Gerry’s son John also wore the red of Ballinlough while his daughter Mary is married to former Gaeil Colmcille player Michael Rennicks, a selector with Ballinlough in 2012. Catherine Connelly (Crossakiel) Catherine died in January of this year. A number of her sons played for Ballinlough at underage level. Oliver Connelly was good enough to gain a place on the Meath juvenile team in the mid 1970’s. Kitty Reilly (Carnaross/ Crossakiel) Nee Farnan, Kitty was the matriarch of a well known Crossakiel GAA family. Her late husband Seamus was a native of Kilskyre and with his brothers played hurling with the local club. Their father, along with Brian O Higgins, after whom the Kilskyre pitch is named, formed the first hurling club in Kilskyre. Seamus also lined out in the Ballinlough colours. He was the mainstay in the rebuilding of the open handball alley in Crossakiel in the early 1950’s and was the driving force behind the reconstruction of the new enclosed alley during the mid 1980’s. Kitty and Seamus’ son Noel was a regular player with the Ballinlough senior and then intermediate teams before he emigrated to Canada. Noel also hurled regularly with Kilskyre. Another son Kevin was an outstanding underage footballer with the north Meath club. Kitty’s daughter Ailish is married to Cavan man Donal Crossan who

Jim Roche (Ballinlough) Jim Roche died in April of this year aged 91. Up until the time of his death he was a President of the Ballinlough GAA club. He gave great service to Ballinlough and played with the club in the 1940s. Jim was a member of the Meath All Ireland junior winning panel of 1947. In 1998 he was presented with the "Sean Gael" award for a lifetime of service to the Association. He was an enthusiastic Meath supporter and rarely missed a match. Jim was very popular in the community which was evident at the time of his funeral. A guard of honour was formed by members of the Ballinlough club and his coffin was draped with the jerseys of both club and county. Our sincere thanks to Peadar Byrne (Senior) for all his help with obituaries connected to the Kilskyre and Ballinlough clubs. Audrey Gibney (Navan) Audrey and her parents, Noel and Margaret Proctor, were great supporters of Navan O’Mahonys. Cormac Doyle (Kilmessan) There was great sadness in Kilmessan and surrounding areas following the unexpected death of Cormac Doyle on 17th April last. A talented young hurler, Cormac was due to celebrate his 19th birthday on Wednesday 9th May. He had played underage hurling with Kilmessan and Meath, and minor hurling with his local club. In 2006 he won the Meath skills competition to represent the Royal County at the national Feile competition, as the Feile Skills Star winner, receiving the Paul Barry Perpetual Trophy. As Kilmessan, with whom he was playing, was also representing Meath in under fourteen team competition the same year and because the events were clashing, the runner-up in Meath took part in the national final. The same year Cormac won the Christy Ring Tournament Counties Skills competition in Ballincollig, Cork. Cormac was one of the goalscorers when Kilmessan won its first under14 title in almost twenty years at the expense of Navan O’Mahonys in 2005. That same year, his goal was instrumental in an Under 13 final victory over St Martin’s. He was a member of the Kilmessan side that reached the 2009 minor final against Gaeil Colmcille. Cormac played with various Meath underage hurling teams between 2004 and 2009 and took part in the DJ Carey School in 2007. He also won numerous underage football medals with Dunsany GFC. At a meeting of Meath County Committee, he was remembered during a minute’s silence

132

following a tribute from minor committee official Michael Mullaly. Cormac’s father, Colm, is a former county Under 14 trainer while his brother Sean was a member of this year’s Meath minor hurling team. Members of the local hurling and camogie clubs formed Guards of Honour at Cormac’s funeral. Thomas Ward (Dulane/Crossakiel) Thomas was a loved member of an old Dulane GAA family who have made a massive contribution to club and county football in Meath. Carnaross GFC said it was with sadness that it learned of the passing of Thomas Ward, Kells Road, Crossakiel on 24th April last, describing him as “one of the heroes of our Junior and Intermediate winning team of the early nineties”. The club tribute read: “A versatile player, Thomas lined out at centre-back in the Junior final of 1991 when we beat Drumree 1-14 to 0-5. By 1993, he had made the move to centre-forward and played a vital role in our Intermediate success. He scored a crucial goal before landing a last minute matchwinning point to beat Kilmainhamwood 1-8 to 0-10 in the final. Two weeks later he scored another vital goal to help complete a memorable championship and league double for the club, beating Simonstown 2-6 to 2-5 in the Division 2 final.” Thomas was married to Noeleen Gaughran. Noeleen’s father Gerry played for and acted as Chairman of Ballinlough for a number of years. Thomas and Noeleen’s daughter plays underage football with the Ballinlough club. Sadly Thomas’s father Mick Ward also passed away later in the year. Mick Ward (Dulane) Mick was the father of Thomas (see above) and was a GAA institution around the Dulane and Carnaross areas of the county for decades. From a football mad family he and his brothers and their kin played and spread the GAA gospel far beyond the tiny crossroads that is Dulane. Mick played most of his football with Dulane but for a period during the 1940’s when Dulane did not affiliate he lined out for parish neighbours Carnaross.He played in almost every position on the field but was happiest in the forward line. Mick’s sons carried on the family tradition and have played with distinction, at all levels for Carnaross. Anthony was an outstanding county minor in 1976. Mick had been an Honorary President of Carnaross GFC for a long number of years as well as Club Trustee since 1984 Kieron King (Carnaross) Kieron was a former juvenile player with Carnaross. A well known traditional musician, he represented the Moylagh club in the 2011 Scor competition and won titles for Set Dancing and Solo Singing. Peter Yore (Carnaross/Chicago) Peter was a member of a very old and respected Carnaross family who have made a big contribution to the local GAA scene. He emigrated to America many years ago. Thanks to Carnaross GFC and Damian McArdle for obituaries included Michelle O’Connor (Navan) From a well known Navan family, Michelle


was a big supporter of the local Navan O’Mahonys. Philomena Tully (Kentstown) Nee Floyd, Philomena was the wife of the late Donie, a former member of the Seneschalstown club. John Wall (Kentstown) John’s grandson’s David and John Matthews play for Seneschalstown Maureen Farrelly (Brownstown) Nee Caffrey, Maureen was originally from Ashbourne. She was a huge supporter of the GAA and rarely missed a Meath match. Eileen Duffy (Brownstown/Kilberry) Nee McDonnell, Eileen was married to Sean Duffy from the well known Wolfe Tones GAA family. Sean represented the county at minor and under 21 level. Eileen was a talented camogie player in her younger days. Her nephew Damien McDonnell plays football for the Seneschalstown club. Helen Regan (Brownstown) Helen was always a keen supporter of GAA affairs. George McKeown (Brownstown) George’s son Donal played for Seneschalstown as do his grandchildren at present. Imelda Murphy (Dollardstown) Imelda, Nee Byrne, was a keen follower of Seneschalstown. Her brothers played and were active in the club. Hillary Byrne (Bective/Dollardstown) Hillary’s son Declan is a member of Seneschalstown GFC and his grand children Seimi and Beibhinn play with the juvenile section of the club. Obituaries kindly supplied by Elaine Battersby and Seneschalstown GAA. Tommy Brennan (Dunshaughlin) It was with great sadness in April of this year that Dunshaughlin GAA heard of the tragic death of Tommy Brennan while holidaying in Spain. Tommy hailed from Carbury, Co. Kildare and was a great supporter of the club, sponsoring many events over the years. He was a keen golfer and was a member of the club’s Golfing Society. Fionan O’Kane (Dunshaughlin/Kingscourt) Fionan was tragically killed in a road accident. He played all his under age football with Dunshaughlin and Fionan’s father Tim was an underage mentor with St Martin’s for a number of years. Our thanks to Caroline Malone and Dunshaughlin GAA for all their help. Joseph (Joe) Ging (Ballivor) At the time of his passing, Joe was a vicepresident of Ballivor GFC. A lifelong member, he was one of the club’s most loyal and dedicated supporters, always willing and ready to help out with fundraising and any other job he was asked to do. In a tribute, Ballivor GFC said: “He will be sadly missed by all our members, both young

and old, as when anyone spoke of Joe Ging, it was with a smile on their face as he only evoked goodness and friendliness.” Joe was a loyal follower of the Meath senior football team. “Joe was always first to order and collect his tickets for these games,” continued the club’s tribute. “If Croke Park was the venue, he always had a full picnic basket to enjoy in the grounds at Clonliffe College before and after the match. The memories of his outright willingness to help everyone will live on for many years”. Joe was also a founder member of Ballivor Horse Show and one of its driving forces over the years. Con O’Dwyer (Dunshaughlin) Con was a member of the prominent O’Dwyer family of Dunshaughlin GAA club and he was a vital member of the Dunshaughlin teams that won Meath JFC and IFC honours in 1967 and ’77 respectively. Con played his early football with Dunshaughlin National School and the Vocational School and the 1967 team included his brothers Michael, Tommy, the late Johnny and the late Davy, who was captain. As winners of the Junior A final, they met Skryne, winners of the Junior B final, for the outright title and the Black and Ambers annihilated their neighbours by 5-3 to 0-4. As well as setting up Brian O’Sullivan for one of his three goals, Con also found the back of the Skryne net. A decade later, Conor was a member of a full-forward line that also included Noel Curran, the club’s All-Ireland medalist of ’67, and his brother Paddy when Nobber were defeated in the IFC final. En route to the decider, Con scored five points against Navan O’Mahonys and two goals in the semi-final win over Donaghmore. He notched a point in the final which was described as “a beautiful effort, kicked with the left foot from 45 yards out on the right wing.” Con was also heavily involved in the famous Dunshaughlin carnivals of the 1960s, an annual entertainment event which went on for a week in the summer to raise funds for the club development on the Drumree road. He was a member of the committee which oversaw the far seeing development of the Dunshaughlin GAA pitch, which opened in 1967. Con was club chairman in 1978 and carried out two stints as secretary, including the GAA centenary year of 1984. His son, Neil, was to assume the same role a quarter of a century later. Con won two Kickham Cup inter-firm football medals when working in Clery’s of O’Connell Street. In more recent years, he enjoyed his umpiring duties with Dunshaughlin referee Frank Gallogly, travelling to fixtures throughout the county. He was also a horseracing fan and enjoyed following the local hunt. He was also an ardent follower of the Meath football tea Willie McGuirk (Navan) Tributes were paid at the June County Committee meeting of Meath GAA to the late William (Willie) McGuirk who was an accomplished player with Navan O’Mahonys and also donned the green and gold jersey of the Royal County.

133

An outstanding left full-back, Willie won seven Meath SFC medals with Navan O’Mahonys. He was a substitute when O’Mahonys became the first holders of the Keegan Cup in 1953 and wore the number 4 jersey when O’Mahonys claimed a five-in-arow of SFC titles from 1957 to ’61. He had the distinction of captaining the Brews Hill outfit for the 1958 replayed final victory over great rivals Skryne in Kells. Willie’s medal collection also included four Feis Cup medals and he earned his seventh SFC medal when O’Mahonys defeated St Vincent’s of Ardcath in the final. Willie represented Meath at minor and junior levels in 1954 and ’55 and made his senior debut in a National League game in the autumn of 1955. He played senior football for the county for the best part of a decade but it turned out to be a lean spell for the Royal County on the intercounty front. Willie lined out in the National Football League final in 1956 when Cork got the better of Meath on a scoreline of 0-8 to 0-7. He was a member of the Meath senior panel up to 1964 and was a substitute that year as Meath regained the Leinster SFC crown after a lapse of ten years. His son Fergal played underage and senior football with O’Mahonys and later played with Navan Rugby club. Willie’s nephew Kenny captained O’Mahonys to Keegan Cup glory in 1997 while his brother Sean was a member of Meath’s All-Ireland winning MFC panel of 1957. Phyllis Kiernan (Kells) Nee Carty, Phyllis came from a well known Kells family. She was an avid follower of the Meath team and her son Jacksie is Treasurer of the Meath GAA Supporters Club. Jim Fay (Trim and Celbridge) Following a barren period for Trim hurling in the 1920s and early 30s, Jim Fay played an influential role in returning the club to championship winning glory. Alongside contemporaries such as George Caffrey and Ollie O’Reilly, he graduated from a squad of promising minors to become the lynchpin of a highly successful senior team. He had the distinction of playing at county level on numerous occasions but his greatest achievements came with his club. Between the late 1940s and 1960, Trim dominated Royal County hurling and Jim Fay won ten senior hurling championship medals. He was also a member of the Trim team that lost out to Navan O’Mahonys in the 1953 Meath SFC final. Jim and his wife Elizabeth (Cissie) Murphy and their two sons, Liam and Tommy, lived just outside the village of Kiltale from the early 1970s onwards and, not surprisingly, Jim became heavily involved with Kiltale GAA as a player, coach and selector. Trim secretary Seamus Brennan paid tribute to the late Mr Fay: “Whenever people reminisce about past games and former players, the name of Jim Fay is always foremost in the conversation. He is regarded as one of the most outstanding hurlers and footballers ever to grace our fields. Indeed, his contribution to our club as a committee member and coach after his playing days was also enormous.” Pat McElroy (Cork, Summerhill and Dublin) Pat was a prominent member of the great


Summerhill team of the seventies. Originally from Coachford in County Cork, he had initially moved to Dublin and competed in the Dublin county championship with Post Office Engineers. He came to live in the Summerhill area and threw his lot in with the local club at the end of the 1973 season. His arrival coincided with the ‘Hill’s rise up the senior football ranks and he was an integral part of that. He played a prominent role in the retention of the Feis Cup in early 1974 and was to the fore in the final victory over Seneschalstown. But bigger things were to come and Summerhill claimed their first SFC title later that year and Pat was an ever present in the half-forward line. In one particular game, against Ballivor, Summerhill were struggling but Pat popped up with a superbly taken goal to prompt a marvellous recovery. Later in the year, he scored two of the nine points in the final victory over Bohermeen. As well as Feis Cup and championship, Pat was part of the Martry and Na Fianna (Dublin) tournament winning teams that year. Summerhill’s success continued into 1975 and he again played a leading role. Interchanging between right half-forward and the corner he was a constant threat to opposing defences. Pat wore the number 13 jersey in the 1975 final against Navan O’Mahonys, notching two points in an epic decider. His player career was prematurely cut short, however, when he suffered a bad break to his leg at the end of that year and despite efforts to get back on track the injury curtailed his participation at the highest level. Affectionately known as ‘Sammy’ because of his surname coinciding with a famous soccer player of the era, Pat was enormously popular with and respected by his playing colleagues. Soon after, Pat relocated to the Blanchardstown area of Dublin. He was involved at underage level with St Brigid’s and managed junior championship side Erin go Bragh. He was an uncle of current Cork senior football star Daniel Goulding. Members of Summerhill GFC formed a guard of honour at his removal. Sr. Nancy Hilliard (Drogheda) and Kathleen Hughes, nee Hilliard (Navan) Nancy and Kathleen were sisters and daughters of former government minister Mick Hilliard. Sister Nancy died on Thursday August 2nd while Kathleen, who was a year older, sadly passed away on the following day, Friday August 3rd. From an old O’Mahonys GAA family, they were sisters of the late TD Colm Hilliard who was a member of the famous 5-in-a-row championship winning side of 1957-’61 and who served in a variety of administrative roles at club and county level. Mary Farrelly (Crossdrum/Kells) Mary was an enthusiastic member of the Gaeil Colmcille GAA club. She was one of the Gaeils’ main fundraisers, selling club lotto tickets on a weekly basis. Originally from Crossdrum near Oldcastle, Mary met her future husband and Castlerahan native Jimmy Farrelly while working in Kilroys, Oldcastle. After a spell living in England, the couple returned home to settle in Kells.

Mary was dealt a severe blow in 1986 when Jimmy suddenly passed away. Undaunted, she proceeded to rear a family of 12 children, many of whom have gone on to be very successful in all spheres of life. A number of her sons and grandchildren have played with the Gaeils. Very popular with her neighbours, one of these recalls “It was one of my very first memories, Meath were playing a big game in Croke Park and we had no way of going. But Mary hired a bus, there were over 20 of us, she put us all in and made sure we got up and back after getting us juvenile tickets”. A memory of Mary Farrelly that will long live. Bernard (Benny) Hand (Carlanstown/Kells) A native of Carlanstown, Benny was employed for 36 years with Headfort Demesne. In his youth he played underage football for Carnaross and was part of a juvenile championship winning team in 1950, the first ever that was organised in the county. Benny went on to play minor with St. Kieran’s and later senior with Carlanstown. He was deemed good enough to line out at both minor and junior level for Meath. Benny was also a keen athlete. In 1982 he trained his dog Slaney Maid to win the Respond 2000. Ned Slevin (Laois and Dunboyne) Ned ran Dunboyne pub, Ned Slevin’s, until his retirement and was a great supporter of his native Laois and a regular visitor to Croke Park. He was frequently seen in Dunboyne GAA’s bar at the weekends where he enjoyed a pint along with the banter, and was often called upon for a rendition of ‘The Isle of Innisfree’ Anne McDonnell (Tipperary and Navan) A native of Fethard, Anne was a great supporter of her native Tipperary’s senior hurling team. PJ Stenson (Longwood) Immense shock and utter sadness swept the Longford area on Monday 23rd July with news of the sudden and untimely passing of PJ Stenson. Blessed with a sunny outlook, no matter what way things were going, and full of life, PJ was known and appreciated the length and breadth of Meath as a true Gael and dedicated follower of his beloved Longwood and Meath GAA teams. One of his last deeds on behalf of the club was to help with the erection of posters, flags and bunting in the village to celebrate Meath reaching the Leinster SFC final against Dublin. The deceased was born and raised in the bosom of a large family in the centre of Longwood village 60 years ago this year. He went to the local National School and subsequently attended secondary school at Kilcock CBS. Married to Una, his wife of 30 years, he was the father of Michelle, Joseph and Paul. A life-long member of the PTAA, PJ was always a worker. He started his first job as a messenger boy at the age of about 12 with the late Mick Giles in his shop in the middle of Longwood village. He held this job for several years through National and Secondary school until leaving to try is luck

134

in the world of business in Dublin. It is a measure of his dedication and integrity that he eventually progressed to the status of business executive in a very tough field of business. In the parish of Longwood PJ was a man everyone was always happy to know. He came from famous GAA family antecedents through both his parents and his grandparents. However, PJ never graced the field of play to anything more that a very minor extent and it was in the field of club administration that he was to make his lasting mark on the GAA. He was first recruited onto the committee structure of Longwood GAA club around 1992 by the then club chairman Pat Doherty to assist in running and organising the club lotto. Later, in 1996, he took up the office of treasurer following in the footsteps of the treasurer of some 30 years, Michael ‘Stoney’ Burke. He held the position of treasurer for 10 years and during this period the club embarked on several major projects such as building of the clubhouse, renovation of the dressing rooms,construction of the astro-turf pitch and the floodlighting of the main pitch. The funding for these major projects would have pushed many a financial guru to the limit, but PJ never flinched and remained focused and unflappable while getting the job done. Then in 2006, when chairman Anthony Ennis stepped down PJ took up the top position. The record will show that he was the most successful chairman, as regards trophies won, that the club has ever had. During is tenure, Longwood won several county titles in both hurling and football. In addition a notable haul of underage titles in both codes gave notice of intent as to the future direction of the club. And we must not forget the Leinster JFC Cup which was carried into the clubhouse and presented to PJ Stenson as club chairman, one of the most historic events in the club’s history. It must be appreciated that the success the club enjoyed under PJ’s leadership did not come about by accident. He devoted a huge amount of time and energy to club affairs. With his pleasant demeanour and diplomatic skills he overcame any and all problems. As chairman, PJ, at times, especially following the demise of the ‘Celtic Tiger’, had to involve himself in some painful compromises with regard to the financial status of the club but through it all always insisted that we should never, never forgot what the club stands for – good sport and fair play. It is an acknowledged fact that nobody around Longwood can ever recall PJ Stenson falling out with anybody – over anything – EVER and that is saying something when you are talking about a GAA club chairman. PJ was also involved in the GAA at county level. He represented Longwood on the Meath Co Board as their club delegate. He also sat on several Meath Co Board committees and acted as a steward in Pairc Tailteann for intercounty games. They say no man is a prophet in his own parish, but it was a poignant indication of the esteem in which he was held by his own people to observe the hundreds of Longwood club members, past and present, who pulled on old club jerseys and march from the GAA


grounds to accompany the cortege and pay their last respects from his home in Boleykeogh to his final resting place in Longwood cemetery. Longwood GAA club is immensely proud to have had PJ Stenson as a member and as their chairman. We are all enriched for having known him. His passing has left a gaping hole in the leadership of the GAA in Longwood that the club will struggle to bridge. To his wife Una, to his children and to his extended family we offer our sincere condolences. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam uasal. Longwood GAA club Gertie Lane (Navan) Simonstown Gaels GFC would like to express its sympathy with club chairman Jim Lane and his family following the passing of their mother Gertie back in August. The Lane family name is synonymous with Simonstown Gaels. Gertie’s late husband Jimmy was a founding member of the club in 1965 along with Joe Clarke and Jack ‘Duck’ Callaghan. Jimmy won two Meath SHC medals with his native Trim in 1949 and ’50 and was also a member of the Royal County hurling panel which captured the All-Ireland JHC crown in 1948. Gertie’s sons, Jim jnr, Paul, David and Sean, have all represented the club on the football field while Jim jnr has been chairman of Simonstown since 2004 and has served the club in a variety of roles. Gertie was a regular at the club’s weekly bingo on a Thursday night and enjoyed going to Croke Park to support the Meath football team. Originally from Liscarton, she worked as a weaver in Navan Carpets before meeting her late husband and settling in St Mary’s Park. A minute’s silence was observed in Gertie’s memory prior to the Simonstown versus Dunboyne Meath SFC fixture this year while the club’s senior footballers formed a guard of honour at her removal. Predeceased by her husband Jimmy and daughter Bernie, Gertie is survived by sons Jim, Paul, David and Sean, daughters Mary, Ann, Carol and Catherine, sister’s Nancy, Eileen, Olive, Lilly, brother Philip, sons-in-law, daughtersin-law, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis. Simonstown Gaels GFC Frank Morgan (Kilmurray, Trim and Leicester) Frank played minor hurling for Boardsmill before leaving for England in 1966. He was always very proud of the achievements of the Meath football team. Peter Cooke (Navan) Peter Cooke was a leading light in Knockharley Cricket club and his son Graham has given great service to Simonstown Gaels as a player. Graham who was a full time officer of the Leinster Council, lined out in goals as Simonstown won the Meath JFC in 1990 and was at fullforward on the team that gained the Meath IFC crown in 1995. Graham continues to represent the club at Junior C level. He was a member of the Meath under 21 panel that claimed All-Ireland honours in 1993. Larry Travers (Navan) A resident of Blackcastle Demense and

formerly Donaghmore Lane in Navan, Larry’s sons Larry jnr and Mark played football for Simonstown Gaels.

Bridget we extend our deepest sympathy. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis. Bhulf Ton CLG

John Hegarty (Navan and Oristown) An avid GAA fan, John supported the Simonstown and Meath teams and, since moving to Oristown, supported Wolfe Tones especially when his son Ross was playing hurling with them.

Padraic Lynch (Tullaghanogue, Trim and London) Padraic was the chairman of the Meath Association in London since 2002 and was a huge help to many Meath people, short of work and ideas who arrived in the English capital. In 2009 his efforts were recognised when Kells Town Council made him a Freeman of Kells. Padraic left his native Trim for London in 1964 but always remained very much in touch with home. In 2008, as Chairman, he presided over the 50th anniversary celebrations of the London Association, which culminated with a gala event attended by many dignatories in the Old Darnley Hotel. Padraic followed the fortunes of the local GAA scene and the Meath footballers with a passion.

Tony Flood (Navan) Tony, popularly known as Jacko, was one of the main volunteers when Simonstown redeveloped its clubhouse in the mid-nineties while his son Jamie won an Under 12 FC medal with the north Navan outfit in 1991. Con Murnane (Navan) A resident of the Proudstown Road area of Navan, Con was a member of the local Simonstown Gaels club. Elizabeth (Betty) Farrelly (Athboy) Betty lived to the fine age of 95 years. She played camogie in her youth and won a club medal with Rosmeen in 1934. Tom Claire (Wilkinstown) There was widespread sadness in Wilkinstown, the surrounding area, and especially in Wolfe Tones Hurling and Football Club, following the untimely death of Tom Claire after a short illness. Our club and local community lost a muchvalued friend on 20th August last when Tom passed away. He dedicated much of his life to the GAA, and his contribution to the Wolfe Tones club cannot be overstated. He was involved in almost every aspect of the running of his beloved Wolfe Tones, and many officials, colleagues and players turned out to provide a guard of honour at his funeral. Tom Claire was a native of Ashbourne and played his underage football there before moving to Duleek with whom he won an Intermediate championship medal in 1971. On marrying he settled in Wilkinstown in 1972 and was a member of the St John’s Kilberry panel which captured the Intermediate championship in 1974, the year before they amalgamated with Gibbstown to form the Wolfe Tones club. From then on he was dedicated to the Wolfe Tones club and was a constant figure around the playing fields of Kilberry and Gibbstown. He was one of those great Gaels we all recognise as keeping the association going. Committee man, fundraiser, gate man, having the pitch ready for games and present at every game from underage to All-Ireland Final. He would never shirk responsibility and was club chairman and vice-chairman for many years. He was a team selector and attended county board meetings and annual conventions. He was to the fore in parish activities. Tom also acted as umpire with former club referee Peter Fox for several years and had great joy attending club and county games at various venues around the country. The huge attendance at the funeral was testament to the esteem in which Tom was held. The funeral took place from St John the Baptist Church, Kilberry to Fletcherstown cemetery. To his wife Maura, sons Jeremy, Ronan and Darryl, his sister Marie and mother-in-law

135

Patrick (Paddy) Reilly (Kildalkey) The Village said a fond farewell to Paddy Reilly, 83 years young, a former player, Secretary, Treasurer, Chairman and President of Kildalkey GAA. Paddy had played at all levels for the club, from juvenile right up to the senior ranks. He was Trustee of the local park up until the time of his death. Paddy also acted as the club delegate to the County Board and was a dedicated follower of the Meath teams, travelling all over Ireland in support. The club formed a Ceremonial farewell procession following his funeral mass to the local cemetery. Later that evening, a minute’s silence was held in Trim GAA before round four of the SHC clash between Kildalkey and Kilmessan. With both teams missing some 4/5 key players this was always going to be a close encounter. Happily, and as a sort of tribute to Paddy, Kildalkey emerged the victors by the narrowest of margins with a final score of Kildalkey 1-13 to 1-12 for Kilmessan. This result ensured Kildalkey a semi-final place in the 2012 SHC. Cecil Fitzgerald (Kildalkey) All Cecil’s sons, John, Paul and Oliver, hurled with Kildalkey. Sean Corrigan (Kildalkey) Sean was a former player with Kildalkey and was a club member up until the time of his death. Mary Priest (Athboy) Nee Gallagher, the nephews of her late husband Jim - Pat, Eddie, Jim and Michael Priest - were all outstanding athletes and hurled with Kildalkey and Meath. Mary’s grand nephews Sean and Paul Heavey have also provided great service to the Kildalkey club. Our thanks to Brendan Harmon and Kildalkey GAA for all their help. Seamus Kennedy (Kerry/Boardsmill/Kilcloon) Seamus Kennedy died after a long battle with illness on May 7, 2012. He was buried following 11 am mass in Kilcloon Church, Co Meath. A lone Kerry jersey adorned his coffin and hosts of cycling admirers from Kerry and beyond were in


attendance. While his name may not be well recognised by many sports lovers here in Kerry, he and his Kerry team-mates gave a magnificent, unforgettable display of cycling when Seamus won the 1978 Ras, Ireland's grueling cycling event. It was in my opinion one of the all time greatest sporting achievements ever accomplished by a man sporting the green and gold of the Kingdom. This is the story of Seamus Kennedy and how he and his Kerry team mates beat the pick of riders from home and abroad during the course of one glorious week in 1978. To his sons and daughters and other family members we extend our deepest sympathies. Seamus was pre-deceased by his wife Eileen. Seamus Kennedy's parents were from the Maharees in West Kerry, his mother died some years ago and his dad Jim unfortunately also passed away later in the year. The Kennedys moved to County Meath back in the forties when offered land by the Land Commission. Seamus became one of the county's great cyclists but the ultimate dream of winning the Ras, Ireland's unique bike race, eluded him. He worked in Dublin with Gene Mangan, Kerry legendary cyclist and between the persuasive powers of Mangan and Killorglin's Paddy O'Callaghan, one of cycling's great activists, Seamus eventually agreed to join the Kerry team for the 1978 Ras. Stage seven of that Ras was one of the most dramatic and sensational in the history of this great event since the inaugural Ras away back in 1953. And when a day of savage, gruelling riding was over one rider wearing the green and gold jersey of Kerry was poised to ride into history. Seamus Kennedy a Meath man but now riding with his Kerry team had taken over the race leader’s yellow jersey. The one hundred and one mile stage from Letterkenny to Warrenpoint saw Kennedy jump from eighth position and two minutes ten seconds behind in general classification to take over the race leader's legendary yellow jersey. Helmut Wilier the German, who overnight had looked safe and sound in the leader’s jersey came in seven minutes behind with the main bunch. The vital move of this fascinating day of racing came near Armagh when a group of riders including the lone Kerry jersey went in pursuit of the leading bunch of four and joined them with thirty miles to go. Kennedy was one of this group of fourteen men and they rode strongly, especially the Kerry rider and the four Tipperary men, Bobby Sheehan, and the three Powers, Bobby Paddy and Larry. They were flying and seemingly getting stronger and stronger as their lead increased. The German team had two men in the top twelve placings and they had led the International team position as the day began. However, they were caught napping by the break and later claimed they didn't receive adequate time checks and the gap was too big by the time they became aware of the danger. However, if they had been defending their lead properly such a large and dangerous break should never have been allowed to get established. At the end of this fascinating day of racing the Germans had relinquished both the team

and individual first placings. It was dramatic stuff. Seamus Kennedy won the sprint to the line thus winning his thirteenth Ras stage of his magnificent career and also becoming race leader. There was no way the Kerry men were going to let this glittering prize slip from their grasp and backed up all the way by Anthony O'Halloran, Donal Clifford and Mick Breen, Seamus maintained his position in yellow with over a minute in hand over Bobby Power. Albert Kester of Belgium won the stage from Warrenpoint into Balbriggan (88 miles), with the green and gold jersey of Kennedy finished a close fourth. Seventy seven riders were now left to contest the final stage to the finishing line in the Phoenix Park. Seamus Kennedy and his Kerry team mates kept a close eye on proceedings during the final sixty six miles into the capital; he remained safely in the main bunch. It was a wet and windy day and conditions were dangerous so he took no unnecessary risks, in the end it came down to a bunch sprint which went to Wolfgang von Hacht (Bavaria), Seamus finished comfortably in the main bunch and was never in danger of losing his yellow jersey. Now thirty two years of age victory had come to this brilliant rider at his thirteenth attempt, thirteen proving a lucky number for the Boardsmill man and he also chalked up his thirteenth stage win during the week. Years later when I spoke to Seamus on my Terrace Talk programme and he passed a beautiful comment as we discussed his win. "I have no doubt, but the Kerry blood coursing through my veins and the Kerry jersey on my back greatly inspired me to win the Ras that year, it was the highlight of my career and I had won everything I could," he said. Inspiring words from a great sportsman. He was also high in praise of his Kerry teammates: "They rode their hearts out for me, and they would have left their bodies on the road for me." His Kerry team-mates Anthony O'Halloran, Mick Breen, and Donal Clifford had risen to their task; the occasion of the Ras had always inspired exceptional performances from Kerry men. Winners were Gene Mangan (1955), Paudie Fitzgerald (1956), Mick Murphy (1958), John Mangan (1972), and Andrew Roche (1997), born in The Isle of Man, qualified to ride for Kerry as his grandparents came from Kerry. The Kerry team finished a superb third that year of '78, just under two minutes behind the winners Meath and second placed Tipperary. Paddy O'Callaghan and Eamon Young were the Kerry team officials. The bike men of Kerry are, in my opinion, our greatest heroes. I have been fascinated by their feats since my youth in the fifties. Men of iron, courteous, great conversationalists, generous with their time, unassuming, so helpful and dedicated to their sport, in a county captivated by football they follow their dreams often unknown and unheralded, they deserve all our support and attention. May the sod of Kilcloon graveyard rest lightly on Seamus Kennedy who brought honour and glory to his sport and counties. (Courtesy of Weeshie Fogarty, The Kerryman) Matthew (Matty) Ennis (Kilmore, Enfield) Matty was a stalwart of the old Baconstown

136

club where he enjoyed a successful playing and management career, winning Junior Championship medals in 1964 and 1973 while also representing Meath at Senior hurling level. Matty was instrumental in setting up a Camogie club in Enfield in the 70’s and 80’s and he had a magnificent passion for local Gaelic games. He was a keen supporter of Na Fianna C.L.G and was a regular attendee at hurling and football games up until his untimely passing. Matty will be sorely missed in the parish of Enfield and especially in the local GAA community where he was so highly regarded. Christine (Chrissie) Hosey (Enfield) Chrissie was the grandmother of current Na Fianna players Robert and Caroline Walsh who represent their club with great distinction. William (Billy) Browne (Canal Bank road, Newcastle, Enfield) Billy was a former star with the old Enfield club where he was a very accomplished player. He represented the club with distinction in the 1960’s and 1970’s. His brother Tom Browne was a member of the Meath Senior football team that lost out in the 1966 All Ireland final to Galway. Billy himself lined out with the Meath Junior footballers on numerous occasions. Edward (Ned) Gillespie (Donegal/Enfield) There was widespread sadness following the passing of Mr Edward (Ned) Gillespie, Main Street, Enfield. Ned was a former Garda in Enfield who was well known for his involvement in sports clubs in the area. A native of Kinnakillew, Cashel, Glencolmcille, Co Donegal, he was born on 5th August 1923, one of ten children. Deceased was in his 89th year and lived life to the full, still walking the ring road in Enfield on a daily basis at the age of 88, and who enjoyed reading and particularly his crosswords. He and his wife, Cissie, celebrated 50 years of marriage in 2011. Ned joined the Garda force in 1947, and transferred to Enfield in 1961 after being stationed in Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan. He served at Enfield Garda Station until he retired in August 1986, after 41 years service in the force. In Gaelic football, deceased had championship medals from Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Toome and Enfield by the age of 42 and played his last match with Enfield in goals at the age of 57. He was posted to Corrinshigo Barracks, Culloville, Co Monaghan, in the early fifties. He played with Donaghmoyne from 1951 until 1956, and lined out at right half forward in the 1953 senior county final, losing out to Ballybay. He joined Toome in 1956, where he played in midfield when Toome defeated Latton to lift the Dr Ward Cup, the club's first county trophy, in 1958. This was regarded as his best game in the St Victor’s jersey. Ned gave an exhibition in high fielding and accurate ball distribution to the forwards, setting up many scoring opportunities. The club, in a tribute, said that deceased made a tremendous contribution to the largely youthful Toome squad at the time; apart from his vast footballing experience, (he already was in possession of a Donegal senior championship medal with his native


Glencolmcille). He was a born leader and motivator, both on and off the field. Ned was very proud to see his grandson, Summerhill's Conor Gillespie, play senior football for Meath, while other grandchildren Shauna, Gavin and Alan are current players with Na Fianna C.L.G. Conor’s brother Ciaran was on this year’s successful Meath minor panel. Deceased was a founder member of Enfield Boxing Club and along with Jim McDonagh, prepared many young boxers to achieve success at national level. In 1977, they had six boxers in the All Ireland Boxing finals. Three members got gold, including his son Ben, with three runners-up. In 1978, the club won the Best Boxing Club in Leinster award with nine Leinster titles gained, including those won by Ben and his brother Mark. They were very unlucky not to win the Best Club in Ireland award, they had a number of boxers in the All Ireland finals, only losing out by one medal to the renowned Holy Family Boxing Club, Belfast. Na Fianna GAA formed a guard of honour at his funeral. Thomas (Tom) Mullally (Blackwater Park, Enfield) Tom was the father of current Na Fianna C.L.G underage player Evan Mullally and a keen supporter of his son who represents his club with great pride in both hurling and football. Francis Griffin (Clonycurry, Enfield) Francis was a Grandmother of current Na Fianna hurler and footballer Seanie Griffin. Ita Dillon (Ballinaskea, Enfield) Ita was the mother of Maurice Dillon, a former player with the Baconstown club. Mary (Mamie) Fagan Mary was an aunt of former Na Fianna football manager Jim Barrett. Bill Devine (Johnstown Bridge, Enfield) Bill was the grandfather of Dean Henrick, who lines out for Na Fianna CLG in hurling and football. Pauline Byrne (Summerhill/ Navan) Pauline was a sister of Na Fianna supporter Eva Sheridan who is a tireless fundraiser for the club. She worked behind the bar of the well known Fagans in Moynalvey for 36 years. Mary Mooney (Johnstown Rd, Enfield.) Mary was the mother of former Na Fianna C.L.G Chairman Finian Mooney and her grandchildren Finian, Robert, Raymond and Nigel have all represented Na Fianna. John Bagnall (Cullentra, Longwood) John was a fine hurler for Baconstown in the 1960’s. Our sincere thanks to Brian Queeney for providing obituaries involving Na Fianna GAA Shay (Shorty) Lane Duleek/Bellewstown GFC were saddened with the news of the passing of Shay (Shorty) Lane in January of this year. Shay was a prominent player on the Duleek

Intermediate football team until he married Mary (Andrews) and moved to Ardcath. Shay continued to play football in Ardcath with St. Vincent’s and also held executive positions with the club up to his untimely death. While playing with Duleek GFC Shay was corner forward on the Intermediate team that won the Intermediate Football Championship in 1978 against Kilmainhamwood. Shay contributed much to that success in the final. Although he would have played for a longer period with St. Vincent’s than with Duleek he was always considered a Duleek GFC man, such was the fondness members of our club had for him. Shay also gave a hand out behind the bar in the Greyhound pub in Duleek for a number of years, which kept him in close contact with his former team mates and club members. Shay will be missed by all his friends at Duleek/Bellewstown GFC. Monica (Monty) Gogan (Duleek) Monty Gogan was wife of the late Paddy Gogan who won an IFC in 1939 and SFC & Feis Cup medals in 1943 with Duleek. Paddy also won a National Football League with Meath in 1946. Monty was the proud mother of five children – her son Patrick also played with Duleek and followed in his father’s footsteps by winning an IFC in 1978. She was a member of Duleek ICA and was a gifted woman for all sorts of crafts crocheting, knitting, needlepoint and floral arrangements. Jim Mooney (Garristown) Jim played with Duleek in the early 70’s. He was a brother of past players John & Des. John is a member of our Executive Committee. Jim was former Deputy Principal at Drogheda CBS. Siobhan Erdogan (Duleek) Nee Finnegan, Siobhan was a big supporter of Duleek/Bellewstown underage teams, which her sons Suleyman and Ali were part of. Kathleen Moore (Bellewstown) Kathleen was grandmother of two of our current players, David and Brian. Her son Gerry is Vice-Chairman of the Club. Our thanks to Joan Lenihan and Duleek Bellewstown GAA for submitting the above deaths. Martin Deane (Mayo/ Farganstown) Martin and his family were all great supporters of the club and his brother Tony played for the Blacks as well as Martin's two sons. Martin loved his game of cards and represented the club for many a year at the 3/15 drive, winning it on a couple of occasions. Bridget McMahon (Moynalty/Farganstown ) Bridget who was one of the most ardent supporters Walterstown had and was married to the late Joe McMahon, both natives of North Meath. In 1936 she won a county camogie medal. Bridget was always present at club functions and fund raising events down through the years. Her son Hughie

137

played football at all levels with the club and his daughter (Suzanne) continues the long tradition. Bridget was also grandmother to Peader Byrne of Ballinlough and Meath fame. She will be sadly missed by all. Joe Flannery (Banagher/Johnstown) Joe was treasurer of the club for 3 years including the year Walterstown and Skryne organised a monster draw for a house. From Banagher in county Offaly, he won many medals with the local hurling club St. Rynagh’s. He was a valued member of that draw committee, which was one of the most successful draws in the GAA. Joe continued to be a great supporter of the club. Bernie Cullen (Kilcarn/Navan) Bernie was daughter of the late Paddy Moore and is survived by her mother Rita. Her father played with the club in the 50's and 60's. Also, Rita's two brothers Matt and Jim Keating were great supporters of the club. Michael Gordon (Galway/Brownstown) Michael was a member of the Gordon family from Brownstown. He and other members of his family have a long association with Walterstown GFC. Michael’s late brother Jack, played football with Walterstown, Skryne and Meath. His father Colm and another uncle, Anthony also donned the black jersey. The club is currently honoured to have his nephew Jack, the well known referee, as assistant treasurer. Michael played on the 1961 junior championship winning team and continued playing for a number of years before departing for Canada were he passed away peacefully. Thanks to Aidan McCague and Walterstown GAA for the obituaries included. Sonny Kelly (Trim) Members of the Trim GAA Club were greatly saddened by news of the passing of the legendary Sonny Kelly. The fact that it came so soon after the death of Jim Fay, another legendary player in the club’s history, only added to the grief engendered. Hurling was in Sonny’s blood. His father Jack Kelly and his uncle Joe Kelly won five senior championships with Trim in the 19151921 period. Joe’s son, Bill Kelly, was a leading light on the team that won the 1935 senior championship and the three-in-a-row of 1940-42. Sonny first came to prominence when he was a star player on the 1945 minor hurling team that won the county championship. They beat Kilmessan by 3-4 to 2-2 and the report stated that “Sonny Kelly was at the top of his form”. Sonny started the 1946 season on the Trim junior hurling team but was promoted mid-season and played on the senior team that defeated Killyon in the championship. Bill Kelly played with him on that day and that was the only time that both played senior hurling together. The 1947 season saw Sonny blossom and by the year’s end he had established himself as a fixture on the Trim senior team. He remained so until his retirement in 1963. In 1947 Trim broke a long losing streak by beating Oberstown in the O’Growney Cup final. The report in the Meath Chronicle described Sonny as “a youth showing much promise”. He made his debut on the county hurling team when he came on as a sub in the


match against Dublin in the Leinster junior hurling championship. The 1947 senior hurling final was delayed and was not played until March 1948. Kilmessan beat Trim by 210 to 3-1. Sonny was picked to play in his first senior final and was described as one of Trim’s best. Meath had a great run in 1948. They qualified to meet Kilkenny in the Leinster junior hurling final. They surprised all by beating the “Black and Amber” 2-10 to 3-5. They then went on to beat London in Navan in the replayed final. Sonny played at righthalf-back during that campaign. When Trim went down to Kilmessan in the O’Growney Cup he was described as: “Sonny Kelly, whose drives and fearless tackling were a valuable asset”. By the time Trim lost the senior final to Kilmessan, Sonny had become a pillar of the side. Once again he got favourable mention in the press reports. 1949 was probably Sonny’s most successful year. Meath returned to the Leinster senior hurling championship and beat Westmeath by 6-10 to 3-2. In July they were faced with the daunting task of playing Kilkenny. Meath played an outstanding first half and led by 26 to 1-6 at half time. They faded in the second and eventually lost by 4-13 to 2-6. The press reported that “Sonny Kelly played an outstanding game”. The Trim footballers had a great run in the Intermediate championship. They had to beat Duleek in the final league match to claim the title. They did so by 3-9 to 1-8. “Sonny Kelly was sound in the backs”. In December Trim had a dramatic win over St Patrick’s in the O’Growney Cup final. After facing a strong wind they trailed by 26 to 0-0 at half time. However they were rescued by a great second half rally to win on a score of 7-2 to 4-6. As well as tending to his defensive duties Sonny scored 1-1. The 1949 senior hurling championship final was not played until March 1950. Trim won their first senior title since 1942. They beat their greatest rivals Kilmessan by 2-13 to 21. Thus Sonny won his first senior medal. He was joined on the team by his younger brother Frank. Both acquitted themselves very well. When in 1950 Meath beat Antrim in the National hurling league division two final Sonny was the star man. “Sonny Kelly was a colossus at centre-half-back”. Trim retained their senior crown by beating Kilmessan by 5-10 to 4-2. Two of Trim’s youngest players were the stars of the show according to the match report “Sonny Kelly at centre-halfback is reckoned to be one of the finest players in the country in his position and it was a treat to see him retrieve and clear the ball from seemingly impossible positions”. The other star of the show was 17 year old Michael Keogh. “Keogh paved the way to victory during the final quarter when he tipped the scales in Trim’s favour with two sparkling goals. His accurate centres and lengthy shots contributed to many scores”. Frank Kelly was very good at centre-field. He formed an effective partnership with George Caffrey. 1951 was a barren year. Trim footballers had been involved in a row with Donaghmore and a lot of suspensions followed. Trim could only field a shadow team in hurling and were easily knocked out. Trim were back in business in 1952. They won the championship by beating St Patrick’s, 6-6 to

3-5. Sonny was missing as he had suffered a serious hand injury at work.This was to keep him out of action for a long time. However when he returned he was good as ever. Frank Kelly represented the family well on the day. Trim failed to reach the hurling finals of 1953 and ‘54 but made amends by reaching the senior football final in 1953. They faced Skryne in the semi-final. This turned out to be a saga. It went to three games. Trim eventually won by 2-5 to 0-9. Sonny scored the vital second goal. “Taking a pass from Tommy Walsh he gave the Skyrne keeper, Allen, no chance”. Trim now faced O’Mahonys in the final. Sonny was the captain of the Trim team. After a good display in the first half they trailed by three points, 2-5 to 2-2. Sonny scored both goals. He was unlucky not to complete his hat-trick in the second half. He launched a rocket but Moyles, the Navan keeper, made on outstanding save. Fortunes changed again in 1955. George, the third brother, had now joined the hurling team and over the next six years it was rare to find a report of a match that didn’t praise all three. They won the championship by beating St Patricks by 2-7 to 1-5. “Sonny Kelly was the most prominent of the halfback-line, lifting and striking with his customary efficiency………Frank Kelly also battled with great heart…..George Kelly was dangerous when he gained possession. He was particularly accurate from frees”. The senior footballers had a great result against Skyrne in the championship. A late goal by Dick Mee seemed to have given the Trim club the win but a last gasp reply from Skyrne denied Trim. The final score was 4-2 to 2-8. Dick got two goals and George and Frank got a goal each. All three Kellys were lauded. Trim retained the senior hurling championship in 1956. The championship was played on a straight league basis. Trim had to beat St Columbanus in the final match to win the title. They won easily on a score of 8-7 to 1-3. Frank Kelly scored 2-1 and George notched 1-0. “Sonny shone at centrehalf-back”. In 1957 Trim had another easy win in the final, beating Kiltale by 6-12 to 1-0. Ironically Kiltale had to line out without Paddy Kelly, their great centre-half-back. Paddy was a son of Jim Kelly of Laracor and was a first cousin of the three lads. “Sonny was outstanding in the backs.” George scored 1-2 and Frank hit 0-2. Trim missed out in 1958. They surprisingly lost to Kiltale in the 1st round and had to beat Boardsmill to qualify for the final. They could only manage a draw and went out. Boardsmill went on to beat Kiltale to win their first senior hurling championship. Trim were back again in 1959. They faced Boardsmill in the last round of the league. It was effectively the final. Trim recorded a great win on a score of 7-5 to 3-1. The Kellys really went to town on that day. “Sonny was monarch of all he surveyed and gave his opponent a trying hour. Frank and George were outstanding in the full-forward line. Frank was inspired in everything he did and had a big say in his team’s victory.” They kept the scoreboard operator busy. Frank scored three goals, George got two and Sonny scored one from long range. Sonny also had the honour of captaining the team. Trim’s great run ended in 1960. Although the

138

team had declined they were still good enough to win the title by beating Ratoath by 4-2 to 1-7. “George was man of the match. Playing on the forty he seemed inspired and played a major roll in the victory. His brothers Frank and Sonny, also caught the eye on occasions.” Sonny’s last hurrah was in 1961. Trim got to the Feis Cup football final. This time they beat St Vincents, Ardcath by 1-8 to 0-10. They did it the hard way. They trailed for most of the game But “then, Jim Fay led a desperate raid on the Vincent’s citadel which resulted in a green flag being raised after a melee to put Trim two points ahead. Vincent’s scored two points to equalise. In the last minute Jackie O’Dare passed to Paddy Keogh on the touchline. He centred accurately and Sonny Kelly, who had just come on as a sub, out jumped five backs to fist over the winning point”. Trim also reached the senior football final that year. They played O’Mahony’s in Kells but lost by 1-8 to 0-8. Sonny had played in the semi-final against Athboy but was not selected to start in the final. He did come on in the second half. George played at righthalf-back and Frank gave a man of the match display in the forwards scoring two points. Trim won their only senior football title in 1962. This came too late for Sonny and Frank. Both hurled for Trim in their defeat in the senior hurling championship to Athboy and Frank played some tournament games but neither was around when Trim beat Ballinlough to win the Keegan Cup by 3-8 to 0-7. George played and had a very good final scoring 1-1. Sonny ended his career in 1963. He played against Ratoath at full-back. George played at centre-back. A very weak team was beaten by 4-5 to 2-0. Although beaten badly both Sonny and George were praised for their efforts. Thus ended the career of one of the best hurlers the Trim club ever produced. His performances for Meath in the 1948-52 time span as they went head to head with the likes of Tipperary, Wexford and Kilkenny marked him out as a player who could hold his own with the best in Ireland. He was a skilled, steely and fearless defender who specialised in scoring goals from 21 yard frees and points from 70s and long range frees. Trim won eight senior hurling championship titles during his career. He missed out in 1952. He could not tog out for the final. In those days that meant you would not get a medal. Frank played in them all and George played in the last five. That is a total of 20 medals. Although retired he took an active interest in the team’s fortunes and was delighted when his son Martin played hurling and his two daughters, Bernadette and Margaret played camogie for Trim. Martin went on to win six senior hurling championship medals. Sonny’s father, Jack won five. Pauline, Sonny’s sister, married Harold Lynam. Her son, Frank and his son, Eimhin, both won three senior hurling championship medals. That makes a grand total of 37. Some record for the Kelly family of which Sonny was the star turn. Trim GAA club offers its deepest sympathy to his wife Rose, daughters Bernadette and Margaret and son Martin, his brothers Frank and George, sisters Pauline Lynam, Monty


Purtill, the late May Dunne and all the extended family. Terry Ginnerty (Trim) Terry was well noted as a hurler with the Trim club. After his juvenile years he progressed into adult hurling and in 1967 played at left half back on the Trim under 21 hurling team that reached and were beaten in the Meath championship final by Boardsmill. From then up to 1970 Terry played senior hurling with the club until they dropped down to the Intermediate ranks. He continued playing at this level and was a member of the team in 1973 when they won the Meath intermediate hurling championship. After his playing years Terry was a great follower of Trim teams and was regularly seen supporting the Reds during the successful hurling years of the 1980’s and 1990’s. Harold (Har) Rayfus (Laracor, Trim) Har, as he was better known by, played hurling and football for the Trim club over a ten year period from the mid 1960’s to the mid 1970’s. In 1965 he won a Minor hurling championship medal when he lined out at centre half back on the Trim team that beat Kilmessan in the final. In his adult playing years he concentrated on football mainly. He quickly progressed into senior football with the club and was their regular full back for a number of years and was regarded as a strong, robust and skilful player in that position. Har was regularly acclaimed among Trim best players during championship games in the early 70’s and was their full back in 1971 when beaten by Kilbride in the Meath senior football semi final. It was reported in that game “Har Rayfus, at full back, had a rousing duel with Martin Quinn”…… He last played for the club in the junior football league final of 1976 where he lined out at full back when beaten by Kilmainham. Paul O’Shaughnessy (Trim/New York) Paul progressed up through the hurling side of the club in the second half of the 1980’s and played at left half back on the Trim U-21 hurling team that won the Meath championship of 1986. He also filled the number 7 spot with the junior hurlers that year when they were beaten in the Meath championship final by Dunderry. He was regarded as a player of great promise

Lily was pre-deceased by her three sons, Stephen, Brian and Anthony. All played for Skryne. Brian wore the Meath jersey at under 14 and minor levels before his untimely death. Michael Gray (Skryne/Dunmoe) Michael, who was married to Mari, was one of the founder members of Stackallen Tennis Club and an ardent supporter of the Meath football team. His son Mervyn played with Rathkenny up to under 16 level while daughter Caroline was manager of Fairyhouse Racecourse. Mervyn later became prominent with Navan Rugby Club, winning a Leinster under 21 and Town Cup medal. Michael’s nephews Derek and Ciaran Gray represented Skryne at all levels. Derek won a junior championship medal in 1989 while Ciaran gained Leinster senior colleges honours with St. Pats, Navan in 1997. Michael was an uncle of former Meath star and present Rathkenny player Donal Curtis. John (Jackie) Whyte (Greenpark) Jackie was an Irish champion cyclist. He lived to the great age of 93 years and among fellow school pals, while attending Cushinstown N.S., were members of the Haughey family, including future Taoiseach, Charlie and our own great footballer, Peter McDermott. His sons Tony, Sean, Gerry and Frank all played for Skryne. Sean “Player” also lined out for Meath. He was one of the top midfielders in the county for many years and won Keegan Cup medals in 1992 and 93. John McCormack (Rathfeigh) John played with both Skryne and St. Vincent’s, Ardcath. Bridget Donnelly (Hill of Tara) Bridget was the wife of Pat (Red) Donnelly who won championship medals at both hurling and football with Skryne and Kilmessan. Red played for Meath in the 1939 All Ireland decider and won a junior All Ireland hurling medal in 1948. Bridget was the aunt of former Skryne, Kilmessan great Dinny Donnelly and the grand aunt of Skryne and Kilmessan stars Willie, Paul, Tony and David Donnelly. Tilly O’Brien (Cabragh, Tara) Tilly’s brothers Sean, Denis and Michael won Feis Cup and championship medals with Skryne.

Paudge Andrews (Trim) Paudge was part of a great Trim hurling family. He played junior hurling with the town side during the 1960’s. His brother Jack was a well known hurler and referee during the 1950’s and 60’s. Another brother Billy also hurled for Trim in this period while a third brother, Christy carried out quite an amount of coaching in the juvenile section of the club in the 1960’s. Our thanks to Seamus Brennan and Trim GAA.

Sister Elizabeth O’Reilly (Greenpark, Dunshaughlin) Elizabeth’s family were always great supporters of the club while her brother John won a senior championship medal with the Skryne club in 1941.

Mary O’Connell (Hill of Skryne) Mary was a big Skryne supporter and sponsor. Her son Tommy, who died last year, played at all levels for the club.

Joe Rathborne (Tara) Joe’s grandson Stephen Rathborne plays for Skryne

Lily Bennett (Greenpark) Nee Brady from Killinkere in county Cavan,

Eileen Burke (Frankstown, Dunshaughlin) Nee Sullivan, Eileen’s grandsons, Karl, David and Neil Burke all play for Skryne at present.

Gerry Bird (Rathfeigh) Gerry was a great supporter of Skryne GAA and was never found wanting when the club

139

called on fund raising missions. His son Eoin played for Skryne while his daughters won Primary Schools medals with Rathfeigh in 2000. Anthony Mulvany (Tara) A teacher by profession Anthony played at all grades for Skryne and in 1954/55 and 56 won two U-14 and an U-16 championship medal. His brothers Paddy, Tom and Michael likewise pulled on the Blue jersey while Paddy Mulvany was one of the attacking stars when Meath won the All Ireland title in 1967. John Caffrey (Ashbourne) John was a good Skryne supporter. His brother Gerry played in goals for the club over a number of years. Anne (Bubby) Nolan (Painstown) Anne was related to Joe Moss who played for the club during the 1930’s and who won an intermediate championship medal in 1933. Anna Glennon (Skryne/Trim) Anna was the daughter of Kevin McManus who played for Skryne in the 1950’s and 60’s. Her bother Eddie lined out at all grades for the club. Our thanks to Dermot Carty who completed the Skryne obituaries. Frank Kelly (Navan) Frank was a lover of all sports, particularly GAA and was a big follower of his local club, Navan O’Mahonys Pauline Stafford (Eden, Kilmainhamwood) Married to Ollie, Pauline was the mother of legendary Meath full forward Brian Stafford. She was a great supporter of the Kilmainhamwood club and Meath. Anthony Carney (Mayo/ Hayestown) Anthony was a native of Balla in county Mayo but lived most of his life in Meath. A great follower of all sports, especially GAA, he had, of course, a great interest when his beloved Green and Red were playing. Kate O’Connell (England/ Trim) Kate was in her 100th year and had a great interest in GAA affairs. Pauric O’Donovan (Clonard) The O’Donovan family has always been synonymous with the Clonard club. Pauric was a real stalwart, serving the club as secretary and he was a selector when Clonard won the Junior B football championship in 1971. The club played their football on land owned by Pauric, a fact that we will be eternally grateful for. Pauric hardly ever missed a game or training session and everybody was greeted with a chat and friendly smile. His son Paul played for the club while Pauric (junior) still lines out for our junior team. The large crowd at Pauric’s funeral was testament to his character and popularity within the area and friends he had made throughout his life and his connections and love for both the GAA and horse racing. Paddy Conlon (Clonard) Paddy was a former player and club member


of Clonard GFC Brendan Kelly (Clonard) Brendan was a big supporter of our club and always helped out when asked. Teresa Dowdall (Clonard) Teresa was a big Clonard supporter and all of her sons played at underage level. Clonard GAA would like to send our deepest sympathies to the families of the deceased—Jason Plunkett, Secretary. Seamus Smyth (Navan /Virginia) While living in Navan, Seamus took numerous GAA photographs, many of which were included in the earlier editions of Royal County Yearbook Pascal Crahan (Wilkinstown/Hayestown) Pascal was a huge supporter of the Meath team. He was heavily involved in the old Wilkinstown hurling club. Joan Duignan (Navan) Joan was a member of an old Navan GAA family. Indeed, her father Peter, along with his brothers, was one of the founding members of the O’Mahonys club. Joan was a writer by profession, worked for years with the Meath Chronicle and had few equals when it came to putting words onto paper. Some years back she contributed a monthly piece to one of our sister publications. Of course she was a big O’Mahonys and Meath supporter. A regular visitor to Croke Park she would have rejoiced with O’Mahonys recent SFC success. Sean Coffey (Ardbraccan/Navan) Sean spent the vast majority of his working life as a car salesman and a very good one at that. He played his early football with the Navan De La Salle’s juvenile club and was a member of the Meath team which swept to All Ireland Vocational Schools honours in 1956. Later he lined out in the Martry colours and helped them win the Meath junior championship in 1964. In recent years Sean was involved with the O’Mahonys club and, besides acting as assistant treasurer, was involved in the club’s lotto committee. When Marcus Brennan lifted the Keegan Cup in late October he paid tribute to Sean, feelings that were repeated later on that night by manager Davy Nelson in the O Mahonys clubhouse. Angela Caffrey (Rahard, Oldcastle /Dublin) Angela was the aunt of Michael and Colm Caffrey, former players with the Oldcastle club. Ellen McHugh (Ballinvalley, Oldcastle) Ellens sons Tommy and Philip played with the club while her grandsons Conor and Rory McHugh (sons of Tommy) are current star senior players. Rory Galligan (Oldcastle, Crossakiel) His late father Aidan was a former secretary of the club and won a championship medal with Oldcastle in 1966. Rory played underage with the club and was an outstanding rally driver Caroline Ginnity (Stoney Road, Oldcastle) Caroline’s children are involved with the club. Her husband Colm is a nephew of

former Meath County Board Chairman Fintan Ginnity. Paddy Kearney (St. Brigets Terrace, Oldcastle) Paddy was known around the town as Mr. Oldcastle and had an association with the club for over 70 years. He was involved with Oldcastle when it went out of business in 1958 and was to the fore when the club was revived in 1963, going on to serve as Chairman for a long number of years. Paddy was President of the club at the time of his death. His son Paddy, junior, was an outstanding attacker for the Blues. Possessing a deadly left foot he won an under 21 medal in 1985 and an intermediate medal in 1987. Marcella Lynch (Summerbank) Marcella’s sons John and Joe played both senior and intermediate football for the club while her grandson Robert is a member of the current senior team. Father FX (Frank) O’Reilly (Oldcastle) Father Frank was parish priest of Mountnugent. From an old and respected Oldcastle family, he was the brother of Eddie O’Reilly, the former efficient PRO of the Meath Minor Board and the current Joint Treasurer of Oldcastle GAA. Honorah (Norrie) Kavanagh (Oldcastle) Norrie was a member of the Herbstreit family who has a long association with the club. In years past the Herbstreit shop was the focal point for many of the club’s activities. She was married to the late Padraig Kavanagh and their son Patrick was an outstanding underage footballer. Norrie was an aunt of former Oldcastle stars the McEnroe’s, John, Bart and Leo, and an aunt in law of Michael Kavanagh who acted as a club selector in 2012. Elle (Nellie) Shortt, (Summerbank, Oldcastle) Nellie was a fond supporter of the club. She passed away in July of this year. Her grandsons John, Niall and Paddy have all played football for the club and her sons John and Martin are both long time supporters of Oldcastle GAA. Martin Shortt is well known as the sponsor of a number of GAA events and teams. Our thanks to Peter Galligan and Oldcastle GAA for providing details on the obituaries included. Lil Grall (Dromone) Lil, nee Guirke, who lived in the village of Dromone ran the local post office and was known far and wide, her door was always opened to anyone who passed through the village and they would always be made quite welcome in her home for a cuppa and a chat. At her time of passing she was a current president of our club, a position she held with great honour, she was also a recipient of a Meath Sean Gael award. Lil was a regular at Moylagh matches and would also look after the players with tea and buns following every game, a tradition she kept up in the 70's, 80's and into the early 90's. Lil Grall was the proud mother of Limey, Gerry, Declan, Johnnie, Eithne, Lis and Lally, all of whom played for the club. Gerry was a former chairman of Moylagh

140

GAA. Lil, who was married to the late Larry, has a number of grandchildren currently playing with the club. She will be sadly missed by all in Moylagh CLG and parish. Brendan Hanlon (Dromone/ Tubride, Oldcastle) Brendan played at underage and adult level for Moylagh. He was a member of the popular Hanlon clan from Dromone. Brendan had a great love for music and had a good word for everyone. Moylagh CLG thoughts and prayers are with his wife Eimer and his daughter Orla and his son Cillian. He will be sadly missed by the community and surrounding areas. Moylagh CLG Jim Kennedy (Kerry/Boardsmill) The death of Peadar Lehane is now well recorded as is his contribution to Boardsmill community. Since his parting we have lost another loyal friend and supporter and who was a great friend of Peadar and Peadar of him. He was known around Boardsmill as 'The Kerryman'. Born in Castlegregory, he moved to Newhaggard near Trim with his family. He married a Boardsmill woman Sheila O'Brien and came to live in Fearmore where he remained until he died aged 90. Peadar and Jim had a lot in common, their love for Boardsmill GAA being another. But when it came to a discussion as to who were the best footballers Cork or Kerry that was when their true allegiance came to the front. When Jim's wife Sheila died at a young age, leaving five young children, Peadar was a constant visitor to the Kennedys during the following year, to support Jim which cemented their friendship forever. Jim's five children were Maureen, Seamus, Timmy, Michael and Una. All of the lads played underage football and hurling with Boardsmill and they took up cycling with Seamus being outstanding, culminating in him winning the RAS Tailteann back in the 70's. Indeed Jim had the very sad experience of having to lay his son Seamus to rest after a long illness just a few months before he passed away himself (Also included in these obituaries). Jim will be long remembered around Boardsmill and the term he used to describe the great Boardsmill hurling team of the 70's 'The Mighty Men'. We extend our sympathy to his family and his many grandchildren. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam. Boardsmill GAA Drumbaragh GAA send their sincerest sympathies to the families of the following: Tom Connolly A brother of club stalwart Johnny Connolly and uncle of present players James, Brian and David. George McGuinness A great supporter of the club Annie Gogarty The mother of Paddy, a great Drumbaragh clubman and supporter and grandmother of current player Daragh. Bridget Morris A well known supporter of Drumbaragh who has family connections with the Gogarty and Lynch families.


Veronica Wright A sister of Liza Carry and sister in law of Tommy. Also the aunt of players Colm and Thomas. George and Derry Smith Relatives of the Grimes family while Larry, a brother of George, played with the club for many years. Marie Cooney The mother of Julie and mother in law of club chairman Niall Carry. Ciara O’Brien The daughter of Drumbaragh N.S. teacher Mrs O’Brien. Bridget Farrelly The mother of Leanne Monaghan and mother in law of Barry Monaghan, a former secretary and a keen supporter of the club. Noel Morris (Bective) Noel’s late father Mick was one of the founder members of the club and Club President at the time of his death. Noel was a keen supporter of the Bective club. Bective GAA. Christopher "Kit" Carpenter Kit was President of the Syddan club at the time of his death. He died the same week as another Syddan great, Phil O Brien. Kit won an intermediate medal with the club in 1941 and replaced Tom Keegan after his injury in an intermediate semi final against Castletown in Rathkenny in 1940. Tom was to die from those injuries. Kit’s son Tom (Bucky) Carpenter was full back for the club circa 1970-1980 and was part of the Meath panel which won the NFL in 1975. Syddan GAA. Oliver Brady (Dunboyne) Oliver Brady was Chairman of St Peter's Dunboyne from 1986 to 1993 and in that time the club won both intermediate hurling and football championships. He helped relaunch the Camogie section with others in the sixties with huge success. Oliver was the driving force behind locating the new clubhouse and grounds to its present location on the Rooske road. On the playing side he won a juvenile hurling championship in 1953 and an intermediate medal in 1962. One of his proudest times as Chairman was welcoming home the 1987/’88 All Ireland winning football teams to Dunboyne. Oliver was a master at fund raising and such as Donkey Derbys, Field Days, Bingo to Duck Races were all tried under his stewardship. John Curran (Scotland /Dunboyne) John died in May and served as IT Officer with St. Peter’s on many occasions and was one of the people responsible for developing the club web site. He was also a keen photographer and could always be relied upon to take high quality photographs at club functions and post them on the website. Not only a great asset to St Peter’s G.A.A. Club for his computer experience, John had a great love of music and played for many years in the Maynooth Brass Band. Eileen Watters (Dunboyne) Eileen was a member of the original Social Club attached to St Peter's G.A.A. Club and

was prominent for a long number of years at the Field Day in Tom's Field. She hosted many a table at club American Tea Parties. Eileen had a great love of the GAA and prominent on her kitchen wall was a photograph of herself and her late husband Bert holding both the Sam Maguire and the Liam McCarthy cups in that same kitchen. She was so proud to say both cups had visited their home.

Rathkenny. Michael was uncle to Edmund Curtis, present Chairman of Rathkenny GFC.

Rita Lynch (Dunboyne) Rita played a prominent role in the life of St. Peter’s for many years until her death in March. In the 1960’s she was part of the committee that reorganised camogie and got it up and running again in Dunboyne. She was delighted to attend the camogie re-union organised by the club in late 2011. The club’s Meath senior camogie championship winning teams from 1969 to 1979 were honoured. Rita was also heavily involved in the fund raising section of the club and was an avid supporter of all St Peter’s teams from juvenile through to adult level. Rita Lynch was a very worthy recipient of the Club Person of the Year Award in 1982 for her dedication and efforts on behalf all sections in St Peter's.

Joe Greene of Roughgrange, Donore, The Greene family has links to Rathkenny Parish.

Pat Thompson (Dunboyne) Pat was the father of Aoife who was a member of the Meath camogie team which won the All Ireland junior camogie title this year. His son Cillian is also a playing member of the club. Dunboyne GAA send their sincerest sympathies to the families of all club members, players and supporters who suffered a bereavement in the year gone. John Ward (Athboy) John played hurling and football with the old Athboy club during the 1950’s, winning a number of championships in the process. John (Jackie) Keogh (Gillstown, Athboy) Jackie was a member of the Athboy senior hurling panel during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. John McCormack (Athboy) John and the McCormack family were heavily associated with Martinstown. He also played for the now defunct club. Thanks to Brian O’Connor for submitting the Clann na nGael obituaries. Lilly Walker, (née Reid) of Chord Road, Drogheda, Louth Lilly was an aunt of John, Gerard, & Michael Reid who all had distinguished playing careers with Rathkenny. Mary Kavanagh, Stackallen, Slane, Meath Mary was Mother of John, Seamus, Charlie & Olive, all loyal followers of Rathkenny. Jim Hanratty, Broomfield, Collon, Meath The Hanratty family has a long association with Rathkenny GFC with whom they played for many years. Michael Gray of Bellavista, Dunmoe, Navan, Meath Michael’s wife Marie is a Curtis from

141

Tom Hoey of Ladyrath, Wilkinstown, Navan, Meath Tom was a loyal supporter of the Rathkenny teams over the years and a very proud man when he drove the team home to Rathkenny after they won the Intermediate Football Championship in 2006.

Helen O'Brien, (née Lenehan) Tubbergregan, Garristown, Dublin Helen was a relative of the Lenehan family from Rathkenny, with Ivan and Brian current senior players. Nancy Corrigan (nee Reid), Sandyford Terrace, Drogheda, Louth Nancy was related to John, Gerard, & Michael Reid who all had distinguished playing careers with Rathkenny. Gertrude (Gerty) Lane, St Mary Park, Navan, Meath Gerty was a relative of the Timmons family from Rathkenny. Amy Hand Amy was mother of Catriona McGuinness whose husband Tom is heavily involved with Rathkenny Juvenile club. Maeve Binchy, Dalkey, Dublin. Maeve was the famous Irish novelist, playwright, short story writer, columnist who was related to the Townsend family from Rathkenny. Rathkenny GFC play at Dr Townsend Park, given to us by the Townsend family. Eoin Wogan, Gernonstown, Slane Eoin played Juvenile football with Rathkenny before departing for New York where he sadly passed away this September. Thomas (Timmy) Connolly, Coghalstown, Wilkinstown, Navan Timmy was father of current Rathkenny Vice Chairman Raymond who won Junior Championship honours with Rathkenny in 1984 in a distinguished playing career. Another son Colm also played for Rathkenny. Rose Hanratty of Grangegeeth, Collon, Meath Rose had relatives in the Hanratty and Carolan families in Rathkenny. Our sincere thanks to Secretary Gerry Gavagan who, as usual, efficiently covered all obituaries within the Rathkenny club. Paschal Reilly (Grange, Dunsany) Paschal, like his father Noel before him, was synonymous with Teagasc in Grange. He worked there for 38 years: initially as a farm hand and ultimately replacing his dad as caretaker after his unexpected death in 1996. During his time in Grange, Paschal saw and engaged in lots of change, with staff coming and going and new buildings popping up across and beside the campus. Yet with – and in spite of – all the various transformations in Grange, Paschal’s


dedication to his work, and his camaraderie with his colleagues, never faltered or altered throughout. Paschal was the keenest of sportsmen: a member of Kiltale Hurling Club, and part of the winning senior championship squad of 1982 and 1983. He remained involved with the club long after his playing days had ended – he went on to become Secretary of the Club in later years and took pride in his sons’ Shane and Brian’s participation in the game of hurling and their achievements at club and county level and his daughter Elaine’s involvement with camogie. Paschal also had a strong love for soccer: he played with Moynalvey Soccer Club, and again, after his boots had been hung up, he remained involved with the sport and held an executive position for a time with the MDL. He followed the English premiership and in fact Paschal’s well known “weakness” towards Liverpool FC was jested at his funeral mass and warmly received by the hundreds in attendance. It was in the early nineties that Paschal discovered the game of golf, and took to it with enthusiasm, ultimately lowering his handicap to 11. He was a member of Royal Tara Golf Club until his untimely death, and enjoyed regular outings and participated at many golfing events, being regularly seen playing at courses in Meath, Ireland and Scotland – sometimes even three courses a week! Ironically one of his last outings was at the Kiltale Hurling Club Classic less than a week before his passing. In fact he played in that classic twice - first with his friends on Friday evening and then with his brothers on Saturday morning – a testament to the type of man he was! A son, a brother, a father, a hurler, a footballer, a golfer, a friend – all in one. A man hugely loved and respected as was evident by the huge numbers who paid their respects at his home over the mourning days and again at his funeral. Paschal’s removal took place from his home to the Church of the Assumption, Kiltale for Funeral Mass on Monday 6th August. Guards of honour were provided by his colleagues from Grange, Kiltale Hurling & Camogie Club, and Royal Tara Gold Club, all of whom lined the entire route from his home to the Church. The Funeral Mass was celebrated by Fr David Brennan and music and signing was provided by Eileen Ryan and Gwen Bagnall. Paschal’s remains left the Church to the strains of Liverpool’s anthem “You will never walk alone” for burial immediately afterwards in the family plot at the serene Killian Castle To recount the words of Fr Brennan at Paschal’s funeral mass “It is often said, but rarely truer meant: Paschal will be sadly missed”. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. Kiltale HC Bridget (Buddy) Johnson (Kilmessan) Bridget was a great supporter of the club. Her son Mark played hurling with Kilmessan. Kilmessan H.C. John Foley (Kilmessan) His son Martin played at all grades, winning medals at under 16, minor, under 21 and

junior with Kilmessan. John was a great supporter of the club. Kilmessan H.C.

board representative of the Ballivor club. Our thanks to Paddy Doyle who supplied the Ballivor obituaries.

Gerry Smith (Newcastle, Moynalty) Gerry was one of the finest footballers to emerge from Moynalty parish. He was educated in St. Finian’s College, Mullingar and was a regular on the Meath junior team during the late 1940’s and early 50’s. A spell working in Galway saw the Moynalty man miss out on Meath’s historic All Ireland junior success in 1947. He also played with the Kells club for a spell while living in the town. Gerry was an uncle of popular Moynalty chairman John Brogan.

Walter Browne (Ashbourne) Walter (Wally) Browne was a member of one of the traditional older families of the Donaghmore Ashbourne GAA Community. He played underage for Greenogue. In fact the family garden was where the first clubhouse was built in the 1920s. Wally was part of the Intermediate Championship winning side of 1959 where he played in goals. He was the son of Pat (Weasel) Browne who played in goals for Meath from 1925 to 1936 and also won two Railway Cups for Leinster together with 2 senior county titles with Donaghmore. Walter was a much loved and very popular man and will be sadly missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his wife Vera, sons Patrick, Christy and Derek, daughters Helena and Lisa, brother Noel, relatives and friends. Ar Dheis De go raibh a anam.

Peter Burke (Kilcloon) Peter was tragically killed in the town of Mitchell in south west Queensland last June 17th. He had left Ireland on January 17th to commence his Australian adventure. Peter in his short spell Down Under became an extremely popular figure with his travelling friends and almost immediately gained huge respect from his employers. He played both codes with Blackhall Gaels and at eighteen decided to concentrate on hurling. Not before Peter won a Minor Division Two football medal with Blackhall in 2006. Operating at right half forward (his father’s favourite spot) he notched 1-1 as Skryne were beaten. Peter was on the county Tony Forrestal squad of 2003 and the 2005 under16 hurling team and had developed into one of the top hurlers in the club. However, he tore his cruciate ligament twice on the same knee, in 2009 and again in 2011. His father Jimmy was one of the mainstays of the old Kilcloon club and later became heavily involved with the Blackhall Gaels amalgamation. Jimmy has worn the Meath jersey at underage and both junior and senior levels. Peter’s sister Jane Burke was one of the top lady footballers in the county for years. He was also a cousin of present county star Mickey Burke and a loved member of a great GAA family from the south east of the county. Anne McKeown (Robinstown, Ballivor) Anne’s husband Jack played for Ballivor as did her sons John, Kevin and Ray. Kevin and Ray still play while Ray, the goalkeeper will be always remembered for his match winning fifty which clinched the intermediate title for Ballivor at O Mahonys expense in 2002. Paddy Hiney (Ballivor/England/Trim) Paddy was a member of an old Ballivor family. He, with his brother Pierce, played for the club before emigrating to England. Paddy later returned home to settle in Trim. Bridget Burke (Leitrim/Ballivor) Bridget was a native of Cloone, Co. Leitrim and a huge follower of GAA games. Her late husband Paddy played for Ballivor as did all of her sons. Toby Burke, one of Bridget’s sons, was the First Aid officer for the club when they won the Leinster junior championship two years past while he also acted in the same capacity for the Ballivor ladies team in the year gone. Toby’s wife Caroline is a former secretary and county

142

James (Jim) Dervan (The Ward, Dublin) Donaghmore Ashbourne lost a great GAA Gael with the passing of James Dervan after a short illness. Jim, originally from Woodford in Co. Galway, moved to the Ashbourne area when he was a young teenager. From his arrival he immediately got involved in Donaghmore GAA and played both underage football and hurling for the club. He later went on to become an underage mentor especially at hurling and saw many a club player develop under his encouragement and coaching. It was at administrative level that Jim proved his value to the club. He was a one man show as he filled many roles during his time with Donaghmore. He served as Chairman, Secretary, Trustee, Treasurer, PRO and was County Board Rep for a number of years. As County Board Rep he was very popular within the county. Jim also put in endless hours behind the bar in the Wotton when this role was done on a voluntary basis. He also served on the development committee during the construction of the new facility in Killegland West, using his experience and knowledge to ensure that the club’s interests were always to the fore. Foxy, as he was often referred to was always the peacemaker and was sent in when a situation needed to be calmed down. He was a true Donaghmore Ashbourne and Gaelic Gael and even during his illness he still managed to get to games to support his beloved club. He will be sadly missed by all in the club and especially by his wife Celine, son James, brother Joe, sister Martina and all his relatives and friends. Ar Dheis De go raibh a anam. Our thanks to Michael Doherty for his work with the Donaghmore Ashbourne obituaries. Anne (Nan) Callaghan (Simonstown) Anne’s late husband Jack ‘Duck’ Callaghan was a founding member of Simonstown Gaels back in 1965 and the club’s first chairman. Jack won a Meath IFC medal with the Parnells club in 1943 before helping to form the Navan O’Mahonys club in 1948 along with nine others. A year later, he captained O’Mahonys to their first ever county title – the junior championship – and won a Meath SFC medal in 1953. Anne was


a regular at Simonstown’s weekly bingo. Michael McAteer (Simonstown) The McAteer family have a close association with the local Simonstown club. Formerly of Gibbstown and Donegal, Michael’s children and grandchildren have, and continue to, represent the club on the playing field. His grandson Dean Curran captained Simonstown to the 2011 MFL Division 1 title and was a member of last year’s Meath minor football panel. Maire King (Longwood) Nee Ennis, Maire was part of a great Longwood GAA family. She was married to Des King, who ran an antique shop and who sponsored the Longwood club on various occasions. Maire’s brothers Martin, PJ, Tommy, Anthony and Gerry all played both codes for the Longwood club. Anthony is a former chairman of the club while Martin has acted as PRO. And the family tradition continues via a line of Maire’s nephews. Stephen Ennis (PJ’s son) is the present club chairman. Stephen’s brother Aaron is a current player as are Karl (Gerry’s son) and Ger (Anthony’s son) while Barry Ennis (Tommy’s son) is a selector on the junior football team. St. Patrick’s Stamullen send their deepest sympathies to the families of the following: Mary Carey Mother of Seamus and E.T. who played for the club. Mary had reached the magical age of 102 years and had in recent years travelled the world to visit her scattered relatives. Patrick Markey Patrick was the club solicitor for many years and was very respected within the community. Ollie Brannigan The Brannigan family has served St. Patricks well. Jumbo was on the 1967 Feis Cup team while his nephew Bernard won a minor medal with the Pats. Larry Dunne Larry was a famous cyclist. He and his son Noel played for the club with Noel winning a B League medal. James O’Flaherty James was the father of Denis O Flaherty, the husband of very active committee member Myra. Their sons David, Conor and Neil all played with St. Pat’s. Peter and Paudge Kearns Uncles of Ronan Kearns, a prominent player with St. Patricks who had also played at county level, They were also uncles of Susan Whearity, her husband Brian is involved at underage. Martin Byrne (senior) The father of Martin (junior) who won intermediate and league medals with the club. Martin was also the uncle of committee member and player Tommy Reilly. Rachel Early Rachel was the wife of John Mooney. John’s brother Niall has played for club and county.

Stephen Gamble Stephen was married to Miriam Smith. Her brothers Conor and Eoin played underage for the club.

The late Mrs Curran was a sister of Paddy Dunne who won Intermediate and Senior Championships alongside Gretta's late husband Jimmy with St. Vincent’s, Ardcath.

Billy Dinsmore Billy died tragically at a match. He was the son of Barney Dinsmore, our club architect. Barney has kindly donated a defibrillator to the club in honour of Billy.

Our sincere thanks to Myra Flaherty and Pat Ryan for all their work.

Debbie Dodd The niece of Dympna Ryan who is the wife of our secretary Pat Ryan. Kathleen Moore The mother of Christy Moore, a successful Meath minor manager and a former manager of our club. Patrick (Pa) McDonnell The father of Gareth McDonnell who is married to Sinead Bird. Sinead is the daughter of former Louth county star and Pat’s player Paddy Bird. John Macken (senior) His son John and family are great supporters of the club. David Hughes The brother of Kathleen Gough. Her son Jason sells lotto for the club.

Eileen Duffy (Kentstown/Kilberry) Eileen, nee McDonnell, also figured in the Seneschalstown section. She was married to former St. John’s and Wolfe Tones star Sean Duffy. Sean, from an old Kilberry GAA family, played underage for the county and manned the centre field spot for the Tones during their early years in the senior ranks. Their son Sean Duffy (junior) also played for Wolfe Tones. James Carr (Gibbstown/Kingscourt) James played underage and junior football for Wolfe Tones. He was a brother of current Tones secretary Michael Carr, former player Kevin and another former player Morgan Carr who also acted as a selector on the successful 2006 team. Danny Blaney (Donegal/Wilkinstown) Danny hailed from Fanad in Donegal and was a distant relative of well known politician Niall Blaney. He was the grandfather of current Wolfe Tones star Chris Blaney.

James Kiely A cousin of secretary Pat Ryan.

Eddie Joyce (Galway/Donapatrick) Eddie was a native of Galway and played for the old Gibbstown club during the 1960’s.

Sheila Foley Nee McCullen, Sheila’s brothers Nicky and Tony played for St. Pat’s while her nephews Patsy and John were star performers for the club. Her grandson Jonathan Monks plays hurling at present.

Imelda Carey (Dunderk, Slane) Imelda was the wife of Tony Carey who played for the St. John’s club before the amalgamation to become Wolfe Tones in 1974/’75.

Eddie Vickers Eddie taxied for the club. His brother Liam and nephews William, Patrick and Alan all played for the Pat’s. Mary Murphy Nee Reilly, her father Willie was a secretary of St. Patricks, Stamullen. Noel Russell. Noel’s father Bobby was chairman of the club in its infancy. His brothers Paddy, Bobby, Paul, Martin and Declan all wore the Pat’s jersey with distinction. Sisters Carmel, Maura, Helen and Anne were noted camogie players for the club. Declan’s son Raymond plays at the moment. Declan himself inherited his father’s traits and was also a chairman of St. Pat’s and is presently a committee member. Gretta Curran (St Patrick’s) Gretta Curran (nee Dunne) wife of James (Jimmy Curran, former star with Mayo) R.I.P. and mother of Ivan, Mairead and Ann Marie, grandmother of Karina, Sarah, Shane, James and Ivan, and sister in law of Martin Curran. Deeply regretted by her many friends and neighbours. The late Gretta's son, Ivan, followed in his late father Jimmy's footsteps as Trustee of the St. Patrick’s Club. Ivan was a stalwart footballer with St. Pat’s and Martin, her brother in law, is a staunch Committee Member of the Club today.

143

Our thanks to Michael Carr for submitting the Wolfe Tones obituaries. Curraha GAA extend their sympathies to the relatives of: Paddy McDermott - a former player with the club. His grandchildren also play for Curraha. Owen and Eileen Clarke Jackie White - a former player with the club. Tommy Farrell - a loyal supporter of Curraha. Eileen Burke - her family are big supporters of the club. Betty Smith Frances Smith Harry Moss - the Moss family are great supporters of the club. Harry’s grandchildren play with Curraha. Bridget Sherry - Bridget’s grandchildren play with the club at present. Pauline Stafford - Pauline was the mother of Brian Stafford who managed Curraha when we won the junior championship in


2001. Our thanks to Padraic O’Dowd for the obituaries included. Margaret Tyrrell (Hill of Down) Margaret was the wife of Dick Tyrrell, a former chairman and secretary of Killyon HC. Their son Lar is the current under age chairman of the club. Marion Connolly (Hill of Down) Marion was the mother of former Killyon stars Ambrose and Jimmy Connolly. Her daughter Marian Byrne is the current Killyon treasurer. Patsy Tuite (Rathmolyon/Trim) Patsy hurled with Killyon in the 1960’s. He was also a former secretary of the club around that time. Joe Ging (Ballivor) Also included in the Ballivor notes, Joe was a big supporter of Killyon HC. His brother in law Frank Burke is a former treasurer of the club. P.J. Stenson (Longwood) Also included in the Longwood section, P.J’s brother Eamonn was a star hurler for the club. His sister Brigid Mitchell lives in Killyon. Jimmy Ryan Jimmy was a brother of Paddy Ryan, a former player with the club. He was also the uncle of Sean Ryan, a former player and manager, Michael Ryan, former player and current hurler Paddy Ryan, junior. Margaret Owens Nee Rattigan, Margaret was a big supporter of the club. Her nephews Myles and Paul Rattigan are former Killyon players. Anne McKeon (Ballivor) Anne is also in the Ballivor section. She was the mother of present player Ray and grand mother of another current hurler, Adam Farrell. Catherine Bracken (Ballivor) Catherine was the sister of Mickey and Gerry Dempsey, former players with Killyon and the aunt of the well known Dempsey clan which includes former TD Noel and ex County Board Chairman Brendan Dempsey. John Feely John died in Wexford. His mother was a former teacher in Killyon NS. Mick Dixon Mick was an uncle of the Massey family who all hurled with Killyon. Seamus Mullally (Longwood) Seamus was also related to the Masseys. John Conroy John was the uncle of current vice chairman P J Keoghan. Nina Daniels Nina was an aunt of JJ Carney, a former player and chairman with Killyon. Also we remember Mary Devlin and Paddy Corbally who lived in Ardee and who were first cousins of club PRO Brigid Carney, also

David Brown who died in Vancouver. Our sincere thanks to Noel Leacy and Killyon Hurling Club. John Martin (Kilmainham/Kells) John, who died last February, was a native of Kilmainham and his late father Jim was a president of the club. John’s brothers Noel and Paddy gave loyal service to Kilmainham as players. His nephew Ciaran Martin was a highly talented footballer with Wolfe Tones before he emigrated to the United States and was a member of the panel with won the SFC in 2006. Ciaran’s father Paddy is involved with the Wolfe Tones club as an underage mentor. John was hugely popular in the Kells area and is greatly missed by his family and all who knew him. Tommy Lee (Kiltale) Tommy sadly passed away in March of this year. He was well known all over Meath and other counties for his work as a steel erector. His wife Mona passed away in January 2000. Tommy lived in Galtrim, Kiltale all his life, except for a few years in his late teens when he went to work in England He played hurling with Kiltale until the club took a break for a number of years. During this time he cycled his bike to play hurling with Baconstown. And when Kiltale resumed playing hurling, Tommy returned to play out his hurling with Kiltale. Tommy also played football with Bective for many years. It gave Tommy great joy to see two of his grandsons, Anthony & Damien Healy from Longwood play for both club and county. The large turnout at his funeral was testament to his character and popularity. Kiltale HC provided a guard of honour and the Kiltale, Baconstown and Bective jerseys lay on top of his coffin. Niall Tully (Meath Hill) Niall Tully was tragically killed on Saturday 8th September 2012, just before he was about to set out on his journey to Pairc Tailteann to watch his club mates play in the Junior D Championship final. When the news of Niall’s death filtered through to Pairc Tailteann, the shock and distraught which was evident on the faces of all Meath Hill people present was a reflection of how much esteem Niall was held within the entire parish. Aged only 20 when he died, Niall was a key member of the Meath Hill Junior A team in 2012, as he had been since he broke into the first team some four seasons earlier. He was a truly natural gifted footballer, possessing all the skills, bravery and athleticism which most can only aspire to - anyone that ever witnessed him play can testify to this. Off the field, Niall was an extremely popular young man; the turn-out at his funeral mass was testament to this. A son to John and Ann and younger brother to Ronan and Mark, Niall will be forever remembered in Meath Hill, both on and off the pitch. Meath Hill GAA Patrick (Patsy) McCabe Sport was a constant theme throughout the life of Ratoath’s Patsy McCabe. When Ratoath GAA made history by winning the Meath senior hurling

144

championship for the one and only time in 1963, the McCabe name played a guiding influence in a famous victory over Dunboyne. Patsy lined out at midfield that day with his brother Mattie, who represented Meath as well, and both played sterling roles in a match which still stands apart. It featured a remarkable 15 goals, Ratoath winning 9-3 to 6-11. That trail blazing team remains the benchmark for the club. Football was another game that Patsy enjoyed and horse racing too was a real passion. A great man for a story, Patsy loved the social side of travelling to the Killarney Races and Cheltenham every year and retelling the good times they had along the way, not to mention the winners who came home for him. Athletics was also something he enjoyed as a young man and there were few in Meath and beyond who could match him in the long jump. As a founding member of the local Pitch and Putt club, he played his part in giving another outlet to a growing community. Born in Ratoath, he grew up at The Cross in the centre of the village with brother Mattie and sister Anna, and was a familiar and friendly face around the village until he passed away last July, aged 74. A great source of local goings on, he is sadly missed by his beloved wife Rita and children Dorothy, Deirdre, Brian, David and Orla and his memory will always be cherished by his family along with Patsy and Rita’s late son Patrick Jnr who died so young in life. May he rest in Peace. Ratoath GAA Mary Kate Gaughan (Mayo/Ratoath) Mary Kate Gaughan (nee King) was born in Glenamoy, Co Mayo in 1924. She moved to the village of Porterstown in Ratoath in 1941 with the rest of her family. There she married Anthony Gaughan and they had a family of 11 children - seven sons and four daughters. All seven sons, John, Paraic, Danny, Anthony, Michael (RIP), Ciaran, Fintan, and daughter Patricia wore the blue and gold of Ratoath with pride. Thirteen of Mary Kate’s granchildren and one of her great grandchildren have also donned the Ratoath jersey. Danny served as chairman of the club from 2007 to 2009. Both Mary Kate and her late husband Anthony remained lifelong supporters of the Mayo football team. May she rest in Peace. Ratoath GAA Mary Daly Mary was one of the nicest lady’s in the parish of Castletown and she was married to the former principal of St. Patricks National School Castletown, Master James Daly who died suddenly in the 70’s. She was a very active lady and a regular mass goer and was involved with the various groups within the parish. Her late son John also died a couple of years ago and was a true ambassador for Castletown Football club. He is still fondly remembered by the club who honour his name each year when we play the Navan Gardaí for the John Daly Cup. Mary was a very pleasant lady and loved the chat and she will be sadly missed by all her family, friends and our club. May she rest in Peace.


Ann Sheerin Ann was a native of Castletown Kilpatrick and lived most of her life in No. 2 Hillside Drive, Castletown with her late husband Jimmy and their family. Ann was a member of the Ginnity family, who were and still are massive supporters of our club. Her two brothers Pat and Robbie won Intermediate Championship medals with Castletown in 1976 and her sons, daughters and nephews all represented the club at some stage in their careers. Ann was a great woman for the bingo and was also a regular buyer and seller of our club blotto tickets. The Sheerin and Ginnity family have been very loyal supporters to our club for years. May she rest in Peace. Mary Smith (Nee Donegan) Mary died earlier this year and was the sister of the late great John Donegan who played for the Meath Junior team, winners of the All Ireland in 1947. John played for our club throughout his long career. The Donegan family are very much long standing traditional Castletown GFC supporters and they continue to be to this day. Even though Mary moved away in her younger years she still loved to hear all of the local news. May she rest in Peace. Laurence Duffy Larry passed away tragically early on in the year and was a massive Meath GAA supporter and follower of our club. He had his own dry cleaning business in Ardee and for many years washed the jerseys for our teams. He was a regular sponsor of our club and always took time to chat to you about the football situation in Meath. He had a keen interest in all sport and politics. Larry lived for many years in the famous Gravelmount House with his mother and family and always kept the place looking very well. His nephew Stephen is a current Intermediate star with the club and it was a great shock to the many family and friends in the community when he passed away. May he rest in Peace. Maire (Mary) Boyce (Dunboyne) Mary passed away suddenly early on this year. She was the mother of our Juvenile Chairman Gerry who is originally from Dunboyne and who played all his club football with St Peter’s and Pauls, Dunboyne. His two sons Hugh and Darragh and daughter Caoimhe play football with our club and his wife Patricia is a school teacher in Castletown. Mary took great pride in watching her grand children playing sport and regularly attended our juvenile games with her husband to watch the children. May she rest in Peace. Our sincere thanks to Anthony Monaghan and Castletown GFC for the obituaries included. Sean Murphy (Batramstown, Ardcath) Sean was born in Baldwinstown Co Dublin. He attended primary school in Garristown before moving to Batramstown, Ardcath a number of years later and completed his schooling in Ardcath NS. Sean worked with his father on their dairy farm while at the same time he was also serving his apprenticeship as a farrier. His reputation as a farrier spread far and wide throughout Meath and Dublin. He entered

the history books as the first man to have shod the famous “Arkle” as well as other very notables such as “Santa Clause” and “Reynoldstown” to name but a few. Sean took on young school leavers and trained them to a certain standard, setting them up for an apprenticeship and to this day some of them are still running their own businesses. Sean always had a keen interest in ploughing and competed in several ploughing championships at local and county level. This placed great demands on his time with all the preparatory work and practice as well as the running repairs. He was a member of the local Macra Na Feirme since its formation sixty years ago. Sean played football for St. Vincent’s over the years, winning an Intermediate Championship medal in 1953 and a Senior Championship medal in 1955. Sean continued his involvement with the club as a very valued member and a devoted supporter. He held the position of President of the club for the last twenty years. His words of wisdom were always listened to and acted on at committee meetings. We will always remember and appreciate his generosity and acknowledgement of volunteers. He got great satisfaction from and thrived on helping others. He had acquired problem solving skills and he shared these with families in a confidential non judgemental way. He had excellent engineering knowledge, which meant he was in constant demand for new designs and running repairs as well as the regular consultations. He is survived by his wife Margaret of 59 years, sister Rosaleen, relatives, friends and neighbours. His remains were interred in Clonalvy Cemetery. To our friend, and President, may you rest in Peace. St. Vincent’s GFC Eamon (Mousie) Moran (Greenanstown, Stamullen) Eamon was born in Newtown, Greenanstown, Stamullen, to Molly and Jim Moran, one of six children. Eamon attended primary school initially in Greenanstown and later in Ardcath, after the family moved there in the early 1950’s He worked for local farmers and also a builder when he left school. He played for St.Vincent’s Gaelic Football team and was a member of Duleek Boxing Club. In the 60’s, Eamon moved to England where his first job was driving a double- decker bus. He later worked for British Telecom, regularly supporting his family back home. In the 80’s he returned to Ireland and worked for Telecom Eireann and afterwards SIAC on the motorways. He returned to England again in the early 90’s and settled in Luton where he made many good friends and was involved in the local community. Eamon was very popular and had a great sense of humour with a real zest for life. He was a regular commuter in support of Meath Senior football team and was always keen to know how matches were going, phoning home for results each week end. Card playing and bingo as well as placing a few bets were among his hobbies. Eamon passed away on 12th Feb 2012 and

145

his remains were laid to rest with his mother and father and three of his brothers. He is greatly missed by his sister, Mary Boylan, Ardcath and his brother, Michael, Tallaght and their families. Ar Deis Dé go raibh a h-ainm Dhilis St. Vincent’ GFC Bartle Lee (Ardcath/Garristown/Meath) Bartle was born in Ardcath, Garristown, Co. Meath and he died on Oct 6th 2011, 1931 He was the beloved son of the late William and Alice Lee and brother of the late May, Brigid, Peggy and Alice. Bartle played football for St. Vincent’s over the years, winning an Intermediate Championship medal in 1953, at right corner back. Bartle was always keen to keep in touch with the progress of the club and had a premium view of Masterson Park from his front sitting room window. Bartle was one of the last surviving workmen to have laboured on the building of St. Patricks NS Ardcath, in 1950. He moved to London in the early 50’s, working in construction until the early 1960’s. He then returned to work in Dublin with various building firms, most notably John Sisk. As foreman with the firm, he was involved in many major projects which included Supermarkets, Shopping Centres and more locally, Dundalk Institute of Technology (extension). One of the last projects he worked on was the “Hallmark Cards Factory” in Rathfarnham, Dublin. Bartle was always busy tending to his glasshouse and garden. He would deliver his produce to Dublin Fruit and Vegetable Market on his way to work each morning. He had a wide range of interests but he was especially keen to discuss the world events that impact our lives. He was an avid reader and was self educated. His favourite pastime was horse racing and he loved attending greyhound racing in White City when living in London. Following funeral Mass in St. Mary’s Church his remains were interred in nearby Ardcath Cemetery. Bartle is survived by his sisters Kitty and Frances Lee Gargan and relatives and friends. Ar dheis dé go raibh a anam St. Vincent’s GFC Our thanks to Brian Carberry for all his help. Jack Reilly Having played underage football with distinction for Slane, Jack Reilly graduated to the ranks of adult football where he continued to make his mark. In 1952, Slane won the Junior Championship and Jack featured on the team, along with his brother Paddy (RIP). Jack's talents were recognised further afield and he played for the Meath Juniors the following year. After his playing career, he continued as an avid supporter of football, and Slane. Larry Hussey The Slane native played underage at all levels and was also a member of the 1952 team, where he featured at corner forward. Larry was a noted sportsman, having also been a boxing champion at youth level. When he hung up his football boots, he won


many competitions in pitch & putt. His son Alan followed in his footballing footsteps with Slane. Larry was an active volunteer in the community, and is particularly remembered for his involvement with the local Credit Union. Larry’s other son Brian was a noted soccer player and in recent years has become involved with Simonstown. Brian’s son Barry (Larry’s grandson) has played at underage and junior levels for the Navan club. Laurie Woodward Another member of the 1952 Junior Championship winning team who passed away this year, Laurie also played between the sticks when Slane were beaten in the Meath Intermediate Championship final. His son Fergus played with Slane also and in recent years was a selector on Slane's junior team. Laurie's grandson David is the latest member of the family to carry on the tradition, having featured for the Under 12 team this year. Laurie was also a renowned musician. Peter Marron Peter also played on the 1952 Junior Championship winning team. Peter, who was a native of Co Monaghan, moved to Slane to take up employment in Mackens. He put his roots down in Slane and joined the local GAA club, earning his place on the 1952 team. Anne Harding (Slane) Nancy, as she was popularly known, was a loved member of a great Slane GAA family. Many of her relations have donned the Blue over the generations and have also acted in a number of administrative positions within the club. Thanks to John Greene and Slane GFC for all their help. Ellen Gough Nee Conway, Ellen hailed from a family of true Gaels and avid Dunderry supporters. In the good old times before we acquired our present playing pitch, the Conway family provided the use of a field where Dunderry trained and played all their games. To her husband Johnny, sons, daughters, nieces and nephews who still proudly wear the Black and White jersey our deepest sympathy. Michael Gillick Michael was a stalwart of teams during the barren years of the fifties and sixties when Dunderry struggled to keep our games alive. Only through his dedication and that of his fellow team mates during this period, we may never have reached the summit of senior Championship success in 1995. Mary Newman Mary was the wife of the late Owen Newman, another family steeped in the traditions of the GAA and passionate supporters of Dunderry G.F.C. Her son's Oliver and Eugene were part of Dunderry's revival in the late Seventies and played in the Intermediate Championship winning side of 1970. Richard Conway Richard was affectionately known as 'Dicken'. He was another of the old guard who wore the Black and White with pride

and distinction in the fifties and early sixties. A player of great versatility, Dicken played in goals and in defence for many years. A true gentleman both on and off the field of play. Jimmy McLoughlin From Clonfane, Trim, Jimmy was a true Gael and supporter of Dunderry. He was a great supporter of our juvenile section in the early years and affectionately known as the 'Taxi man' as he regularly transported the whole team to away matches before the days of seat belts etc. 'If we only had it taped'. To his son Gerry, who is deeply involved in our Club, and his daughter Catherine, family and friends our deepest sympathies.

Emmett Lynch (Sheepstown, Donore/Australia) People were stunned by the sudden death of Emmett Lynch in Perth last June. He had played football with his native St. Marys Donore from juvenile right up to intermediate level and was part of the fine team assembled by the Mary’s during the 1980’s. Emmett was a stylish wing defender and was good enough to hold down a place on the Meath junior team for a number of years. He was on the Meath team beaten by a strong Cork side in the All Ireland junior decider of 1987. Emmett is survived by his wife Cathy and two children. St. Marys, Donore.

Paul Dalton From Robinstown, Paul was a stalwart of the 1962 Tailteann Cup winning team, a gentleman both on and off the pitch.

Una Townley (Bellewstown) Nee Ludlow, who was 90 years of age was a great follower of Gaelic Games and the Meath team.

Nora Coffey A true Gael Nora passed on her affection for Dunderry to all family members and even as she “lay in wait” her family insisted that her nephew don the Black and White and play for Dunderry. To her husband Tim, sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, family carers and friends our deepest sympathies.

Ballinabrackey GFC. send their deepest sympathies to the families of the following.

Dunderry GAA Club would also like to extend their sympathies to the families of the above and also the following families from our parish who have supported us both on and of the field of play over many years, Michael Wimsey, Thomas Clarke, Kathleen Bohan, Mary Conroy, Thomas Tuite, Padraig Lynch, Christina Carbury and the Mulligan family Meadstown, Dunderry on their recent loss of beloved family members. Compiled by Michael Minogue on behalf of Dunderry GAA Eugene O’Brien (Ferrans, Kilcock, Meath) Eugene joined Summerhill in the early 1970’s. Prior he had played for Rodenstown, Batterstown and Kilcloon. Eugene won a Junior A Championship with the ‘Hill in 1975 and was a good servant of the club. He was a great follower of the Meath team and together with his brother PJ hardly ever missed a Meath game. Kathleen Jennings (Mayo/Gallows, Kilcock, Meath) Kathleen, nee Glynn, was the mother of Pat Jennings who played on the great Summerhill team of the 1970/80’s. Pat also wore the Meath jersey and is involved with the underage section of the club at the moment. Nan Austin (Mayo/Garadice, Kilcock, Meath) Nan was the wife of Noel Austin who won a junior championship medal with Summerhill in 1953. Their sons Jimmy, Richard and Maurice all played with Summerhill. A native of Louisburgh in Mayo she was a National Teacher in Coole NS and was a member of the “Pansey” Lyons family. Nan was a cousin of former Dublin boss Tommy Lyons. Our thanks to Matty Kerrigan and Summerhill GAA for the obituaries included.

146

Richard Thompson, Colehill, who played football with Ballinabrackey during the 1940’s. Mary O’Connor, Parke, her sons Finian and Fr. Tommy O Connor played with the Bracks. Paddy Coffey, his brother Billy played for the Bracks during the 1970’s. Peter Conlon, Ballinabrackey. Paddy Conlon, Ballyboggan and Eamonn McNamee who were big supporters of the club. Compiled by Tommy Quinn Jenny Pinson (Drumman, Duleek/ Denver, Colorado) Nee Gallagher, Jenny had an abiding passion for GAA affairs and founded the local Denver Gaels ladies football team. She put herself through nursing school in the States and was only 46 years old when she died in a tragic accident while swimming near her home. The website of her beloved club paid tribute to her saying “When you met Jenny she brightened up your day and wanted to know how you were doing. Others always came first in the most natural and sincere way. In her vocation as a nurse, she cared for those with the most acute needs in the burn unit, the ER and most recently was recognised for her work with the Aurora (Batman movie) shooting victims by President Obama. We were all very proud of her. “Bloscadh id aghaidh is soilse id ghaire. Suaimhneas ar sop agat. Radiance in your face and light in your laugh. May you sleep without worry.” Jenny is survived by husband Greg and 5 year old son, Jack. St Brigid's GFC, Ballinacree send sympathies to the families of the following: Mary Farrelly, nee Gavin, Crossdrum and Kells. Molly Alcorn, nee Blake, Ballinrink and Wicklow.


Paddy Smith, Crossdrum and Dublin. Molly Clarke, Cullentra. Fr. Frank O'Reilly, Oldcastle and late of Ballinacree Parish Priest. Sheila Flynn, formerly Oldcastle and California. Patricia Gavin, nee Gibney, Ballinacree. Eugene Gilsenan, England and Ballinacree. Carmel Larkin (Rathmolyon) Carmel passed away after a very long illness. Her husband Valentine attended many Rathmolyon games. Carmel was the aunt of the Regan family, including current players Eamonn and Joseph and former players Declan and Brendan Regan. Patsy Tuite (Rathmolyon/Trim) Formerly of Rathmolyon, Patsy was the father of Declan Tuite a star hurler with Rathmolyon. A very popular figure Declan had a long career in the Rathmolyon jersey. He was also a useful footballer and was part of the Moynalvey squad which won Feis Cup honours in 1993. John Joe Griffin (Rathmolyon/Trim) John Joe belonged to a well known south Meath GAA family and acted as secretary of Rathmolyon in the earlier days of the club. His nephew Damien Griffin is heavily involved in the management of teams and was a former Chairman of Na Fianna. Another nephew Mike Griffin is connected with the Boardsmill club and ladies football. Our thanks to Ruth Fitzsimons and Rathmolyon HC for providing the information included.

Chairman in 1982 and Treasurer the following year. Sadly their mother Alice Kenny also passed away at the latter end of 2011. Deaths associated with the St Ultan’s GAA club for calendar year 2012: Brendan Smith - he was a son of Peter Smith, a former principal of Cortown N.S. Brendan was heavily involved in underage football in the 1960's. Christy Bennett- Christy was involved with the old Bohermeen Football Club where he was a committee member. He was a brother of Sonny, a great Gael and a founding member of Bohermeen Athletic Club. Dessie Collins - Dessie was a brother of the late Michael and a proud supporter of St Ultan’s. Kathleen Brady - her brother Peter is a president of St Ultans and would have been involved with Martry GFC in times gone by. Stephen Ball - Stephen is a relation of present Ultan’s clubmen Michael and David Ball. Margaret Murray - Margaret's husband was involved with the old Martry club. Sean Coffey - Sean won championship medals with Martry and was subsequently involved with Navan O’Mahonys. Annie Rispin - Annie was a sister of Seamus, who was involved and won county medals with Martry and Danny who is heavily connected with St Cuthbert’s.

Moynalvey GAA wish to send their condolences to the families and friends of the following:

Catherine Rennicks - Catherine was the mother of current club captain Cian and a great supporter of St Ultan’s.

Jim Fay (Celbridge) Jim was the father of Tommy who captained our 1993 Feis Cup winning team.

Lily Bennett - Lily was a sister in law to Sean Bennett (New Line) who is a president of the St Ultan’s club.

Dessie Farrell (Galtrim, Oxford and London) Dessie played hurling with Moynalvey before he emigrated to England. There, alongside Andy Elliot, a former Chairman of Moynalvey, he helped establish the Eire Og club in Oxford.

Marie Fanning - Marie was a sister of County Board executive member and Ultan’s clubman Dessie Murtagh.

John Flattery (Rath) John played with Moynalvey during the 1970’s and his brother Pat acted as a selector with the 1983 intermediate winning team. Compiled by Kathleen McDermott. Paddy Kenny (Dunshaughlin/Kilmessan) Paddy played on the successful Dunshaughlin under17 team of 1971. The following year he was part of the Dunshaughlin/Kilcloon selection that went under to Trim in the county minor decider. He was a regular on the strong Dunshaughlin intermediate side of the mid seventies and played on the fifteen beaten by Bohermeen in the 1973 semi final of that competition. Paddy‘s brother Derek Kenny also played with Dunshaughlin and acted as club

Sean Bell - Sean’s son in law Vincent was heavily involved with the St. Ultan’s club holding various positions down through the years. Philip (Philly) Sheridan (Kells) Philly was heavily involved in GAA affairs for most of his life. Firstly with the old Kells Harps club and then with Gaeil Colmcille. He was a life long member of the Gaeils, held numerous positions within the club and served on all committees. A very popular person around the north Meath area, he was a huge Meath supporter, a regular attender at club games and was one of the Trustees of Gaeil Colmcille. He was also a well known personality in the commercial side of Kells town. Firstly when working in the offices of Brian Farrelly Hardware Store and then while manager of Kells Credit Union. Philly was very proud of the Irish language and a member of Conradh Na Gaeilge. He was involved with the Knights of St. Columbanus, Kells Parish Choir and in the

147

musical society and local pantomines. J.P. (Jap) Noone (Kilmessan) Jap came to live in Kilmessan village when his father was appointed the local Garda Sergeant. Like most youngsters in the area he quickly became immersed in the game of hurling and went on to gain honours at underage, junior, intermediate and senior level. Jap later served Kilmessan as Chairman, Secretary, selector and team manager. A man of many sporting talents he was very active in the greyhound and horse racing worlds. Jap trained and bred many successful greyhounds. Our sympathies go to all of his family. Kilmessan HC. Tommy Donegan (Kells) Tommy was a very well known figure in the north Meath town. He was a lover of all sports and a keen follower of the Meath team and local clubs. Tommy loved to go through the sporting pages of the Meath Chronicle and indeed at this time of the year looked forward to his annual read of the Meath Yearbook. His son in law Frank Lynch was a regular on the Royal County hurling team for a good number of years while grand son Cian Lynch is a promising young footballer with the Round Towers club. The St. Michael’s club in Carlanstown send their sincerest sympathies to the families of: Maisie Vaughan, mother of Michael, a club member and former player. Patsy Kernan, father of committee member Declan. John Crosbie, father of former player and committee member Patsy. Peter Bissett (Dunshaughlin) Peter was only 25 years of age when he died last July. He showed outstanding talent as a footballer while attending Dunsany NS and was captain of that school team. Pat Hoey (Kells) Pat ran a successful business in Kells for a good number of years, was a member of the local Gaeils club and was a great supporter of the Meath team. Declan Smith (Batterstown) It was with great shock and sadness that we learned of the unexpected and sudden death of Declan at home in his native Batterstown on the 9th of December last year. His father, John, was prominent with the Batterstown club for many years and his uncle, Brian, captained the Meath senior football team to All-Ireland success in 1949. Declan was an extremely good footballer and hurler and played both codes for many years. While his brother, Sean, was busy scoring, Declan was equally busy in defence. He also played alongside his uncle Noel for many years. It was not about medals as successes were few and far between. He was a loyal and dependable clubman who simply enjoyed playing the games. Laid back, easy going, always in great form, conscientious, hardworking and never having a bad word for anyone – that was Declan plus a lot more. Those that knew him or worked with him were all too aware that


they were in the company of one of life’s true gentlemen. The esteem in which Declan was held was demonstrated with the huge turnout at the removal and funeral. Sincere sympathy is extended to his wife, Maura; children, Patrick and Hugh; father, John, other relatives and many friends. Blackhall Gaels GAA Joe Donegan (Wilkinstown) Joe was the head of and old and respected Wilkinstown family. His sons run successful business ventures in Meath and have sponsored many GAA events and teams in the county Kathleen Fitzsimons (Athboy) Nee Hughes, Kathleen was married to Thomas Fitzsimons, a member of a great Brownstown (Clonmellon) hurling family. Her son Brendan hurled for the county and for the past two years successfully managed the Meath minor hurling team. All Brendan’s sons play for the local Clan na nGael club while in 2011 Kieran lined out for the county minors in both codes, winning an All Ireland B Hurling medal in the process. Michelle Gilbert and her six year old son Jack Harten (Navan) The community of Navan and Meath were shocked beyond belief when hearing of the tragic deaths of Michelle Gilbert and her six year old son Jack following a terrible accident caused by smoke inhalation. Michelle’s father Michael was an outstanding defender for the Wolfe Tones club during the 1970’s. Patrick Crosby (Nobber/Navan) A native of Whitewood, Nobber, Patrick who lived to the great age of 94 years, moved to Brews Hill in Navan many years ago. A noted handballer in his youth and living opposite Pairc Tailteann it was natural that he would become a big supporter of Navan O’Mahonys. His son Tony acted as Chairman of the club in recent years and was Vice Chairman in the 12 months gone. Tony’s son Shane played a lead role as O’Mahonys won the Meath SFC in late October. Patrick had died less than two weeks previous and was remembered by team captain Marcus Brennan and manager Davy Nelson in their post match speeches. Paddy Meegan (Syddan) The Meath football world was plunged into mourning in the middle of November with the death of Paddy Meegan, one of the best forwards to grace the famous green and gold The Howthstown native, who was 90 years of age, had been ultra active almost up until the very end and it marked the last Syddan link with the great Meath team of 1949. Paddy had celebrated his 90th birthday in August and the Syddan club paid a huge birthday tribute to him. He had shown great promise as a juvenile footballer at Newtown NS, a talent that was further nurtured while boarding at St. Finians College Mullingar. Multi talented Paddy won every honour the game of his time had to offer. After coming through the minor and junior ranks he made his Meath senior debut in 1942. Over the course of the next 12 years Paddy proceeded to torment corner and wing backs up and

down the country. He was one of the stars as Meath made their historic breakthrough in 1949, neighbours Cavan were deservedly beaten. Paddy was back 5 years later as favourites Kerry fell to the Meath sword and the jingling feet and elusiveness of Meegan who shot over four beauties. Paddy Meegan was also a leader. He captained Meath to a NFL title in 1951, a final that was won in New York over the home selection. He was already to the fore when Meath captured the same title in 1945. Likewise he led Leinster to Railway Cup success and was the proud holder of four such awards. Skryne’s Micheal O’Brien is the only other Meath man with such a provincial medal haul. He was a regular on the Irish team which took on the Combined Universities and garnered four Meath SFC medals with his beloved Syddan, 1949, 51, 52 and 56. Paddy Meegan was a man of many talents. His book From the Life Around Me was much sought after while he had an uncanny ability to write and recite poetry, many of these recitations at the gravesides of old GAA comrades. A farmer by profession, Paddy, so modest and unassuming, was also on the Meath team which unsuccessfully contested the All Ireland finals, against Mayo in 1951 and Cavan twice the following year. One of his sweetest victories arrived in the twilight of his career as the Tom Keegan Cup was brought home to Syddan for the only time in 1956, he scored 1-3 as Skryne were just pipped. Tom Keegan was, of course, a great Syddan man, who was tragically killed while playing for the club in an intermediate championship semi-final in 1940. Ironically, the cup was handed over to Fr. Tully of the Meath County Board on behalf of the Syddan club by the same Mr. Meegan. In 2002 we carried a feature on Paddy in the Meath Yearbook titled ‘Syddan's Grand Master’: Paddy Meegan had a long and distinguished career with club and county. Here he recalls some of the highs and lows. 1952 is a year Paddy Meegan recalls with mixed emotions. At club level Syddan retained the Meath SFC, but he captained the Meath side which lost to Cavan in the AllIreland SFC Final replay. It rained so heavily on the day of the drawn game that the minor final between Galway and Cavan was postponed and played as a curtain raiser to the replay. Meath, who according to Paddy went into the game as strong favourites, were leading by 17 to 2-3 before the drawn game ended in controversy. A Cavan attack seemed to have petered out when the ball appeared to go wide in the corner near the Nally Stand. "It is still debated to this day. Micheal O'Brien, who was marking Edwin Carolan, stopped the pursuit, as he was sure the ball was going wide. Some say Edwin was returning the ball for the kickout. He kicked the ball from the corner flag and it struck the far post, the one closer to the Cusack Stand and the ball dropped on top of the net" according to Paddy. "The second day was a wet day too and I had a bad day with frees. Mick Higgins had a great day with frees. That was the winning of it. In those days a player had to take a free

148

from wherever the referee placed the ball. Now a player can place the ball himself" he recalls. Cavan's fifth and most recent All-Ireland success was remembered at a Golden Jubilee function at the Hotel Kilmore in Cavan where survivors from both sides were honoured. "It was a great function. The old Sam Maguire was let out for the first time since it was stabled in the museum in Croke Park. The survivors of both teams were present." Paddy, who has penned many poems on various topics over the years, graced the occasion with a tribute to his old rivals, which he delivered on the night. The Charms of Breffni A poem for a gentle night like this for ageing people with thoughts turned back and golden memories hitched on vividly to praise a team bringing home the highest honour to its proud county and blending it with beauty already there. Cavan this was one more day in your glory, The tip-top success of gaeldom, the highlight of '52, Adding grandeur to even lovely Virginia, Giving your heart to your county charmed in its Breffni Blue. It was in Mullagh, a night of laughter and cheering, And the craic that was mighty flowed on, But soft tears in the eyes of sweet colleens glistening, As they danced round the bonfires of home. It was a whole night of singing in Arva and Kingscourt, Delight crowding the streets of Bailieboro, Rapture parading Cootehilll, Shercock, Ballyjamesduff and Mountnugent, Tonight in Cavan town here faithfully remembering still. The cup and the wine of victory, At the end of an All-Ireland Day, With blue flags adding bliss to rare beauty From Ballyconnell, the Erne and Belturbet to Muff and Loughinleigh. For you were bringing home fame to your birthplace, Which was a pride to each sportsman too, Building the dreams of children and youngsters Into love for their Breffni Blue. And stirring over the chat about old football stalwarts Long gone from the scene and the game Who had travelled the hard road before you With the blood of the Gael in their veins. We are here with you and we are glad this evening, Offering you the toast of friends, To those golden years you have stored in your memories To a sweetness that never will end. Cavan, this is one more day in your glory, The tip-top success of gaeldom, the highlight of '52. Adding grandeur even to lovely Virginia Giving heart to your county charmed in its Breffni Blue. In contrast to the disappointment at intercounty level, it was a very good year for Paddy as his club Syddan claimed their third SFC in four years to go with the titles of 1949 and 1951. In fact the latter final wasn't


played until June 1952, when Syddan scored a 3-5 to 0-9 victory over great rivals Skyrne. Paddy finds it hard to compare victories at club and county level. "Your wins are always related to your support. You are dealing with two different groups. The club unit is very local. It runs deeper and there is much more sentiment involved. To win is a big thing especially the first one, because you are filling a big vacancy." Two big vacancies in Paddy's C.V. were filled in 1949 as Meath claimed their first All-Ireland title and Syddan won their first SFC by beating local rivals, North Meath, a combination team fielding the cream of junior sides in the area. Paddy's first honour was a Leinster Colleges medal picked up with St. Finian's Mullingar in 1939, when he was a sub on the side that featured the great Simon Deignan of Cavan. Prior to attending the famed footballing nursery he spent a year at the Marist College in Dundalk along with another Cavan rival, Mick Higgins. His first foray in adult championship football with his club turned out to be a tragic occasion. "I played in the game where Tom Keegan received his fatal injuries from an accidental clash. It was an awful shock." The match was an IFC game between Syddan and Castletown at Rathkenny on August 25, 1940. Syddan won the game by 1-7 to 1-3, but the result was overshadowed by the death of Tom Keegan from his injuries two days later at the Richmond Hospital in Dublin. The following year they went on to win the Intermediate championship as the teenage Meegan score both goals in the 2-7 to 1-4 victory over Flathouse in Navan. Paddy played the first of 50 consecutive championship games for Meath in the 3-5 to 1-10 defeat by Dublin at Drogheda in 1942. He was just 20 years old. In 1945 he won the first of four Railway Cup medals and a year later the first of two NFL medals. These were followed in 1947 by the first of five Leinster SFC honours. In 1952 and 1953 he played in the Ireland team in a representative match against the Combined Universities. "There was a feeling there that we were about to make to make the big breakthrough. The 1947 semi-final against Kerry was our first venture in the big time. The prospect of playing in New York was a big attraction, but we weren't good enough on the day." Meath's meeting with the reigning champions Mayo in the 1951 All-Ireland final also had controversial overtones. The Royal County had already beaten the Connacht side in the National Football League 'Home' final and were due to travel to New York for the final proper after the AllIreland final. But first there was the little matter of the smallpox vaccination. "We were supposed to have the vaccination earlier in the year, but there was never a good time to have it as there was no lull for the whole year. At one stage we thought we might be excused from having the vaccination. In the end the vaccination were given shortly before the final. I was excused because I had already received it. Some

players reacted badly to it and weren't really over it by the time the final came round." At least they had the consolation of relieving a strong New York side of their NFL title by 1-10 to 0-10. Seamus Heery led Meath in the All-Ireland final, but Paddy who preceded him as captain reprised his role for the League final. "We spent a full-month away" he recalls "Galway, who were in the National Hurling League final also toured with us. We were toasted and feasted during our time there. We flew out but we came home on the 'New Amsterdam'. We arrived back in Cobh and travelled to Dublin where there was another reception for us. There was further disappointment for Paddy when Syddan were unseated as kingpins of Meath by an up-and-coming Navan O'Mahony's on a 1-9 to 1-8 scoreline in the semi-final of the Meath SFC in 1953. "Losing the 1953 semi-final to Navan O'Mahony's was a big disappointment as it was the first year the Keegan Cup was played for and we thought we would never get a chance to win it" he admits. Thankfully, his chance did arrive. Paddy retired after the 1954 All-Ireland final with his second winning medal secure, having married just two weeks prior to the final. On the eve of the 1956 Meath SFC final he was persuaded to deputise for Seamus Duff, who was laid-up with 'flu. It proved to be a fairytale end to his playing career as he scored 1-3 in Syddan's 3-4 to 2-6 win over Skyrne. Paddy's late brother Eamon shared in those four triumphs with him. Paddy intended retiring in 1953 but travelled to Croke Park for Meath's meeting with Wicklow in the first round of the Leinster Championship the following summer. "Peter McDermott and myself went to the first round game against Wicklow as subs. The match is still remembered for the amount of injury-time played. We didn't think at that stage that we would go on and win the All-Ireland." Peter and Paddy were introduced into a tough game as second-half subs and the Syddan man went on to score the winning point deep into stoppage time as Meath emerged winners on a 1-9 to 1-8 scoreline. "The 1954 final was one we weren't expected to win. As a team we were getting on, though we had some young talented players like Michael Grace and Kevin Lenehan. It was the last year of collective training. We were well looked after in Gibbstown and there was great camaraderie among the players. Fr. Tully was the trainer, but the training was quite mild. In those days we never got together as a group until we got to an AllIreland final," Paddy remembers. It was the era of great rivalry between Meath and Louth and living just two miles from the county boundary, Paddy was exposed to it in a big way. "It led to great banter. We met seven times in the championship between 1949 and 1951 and overall Meath had a onepoint aggregate advantage over those seven games." Meath advanced after two replays in '49. The

following year Louth got their revenge at the second attempt in the Leinster final, with The Royal County gaining the upper hand after a replay in 1951. "A lot of credit for our success at county level must go to the late Fr. Tully. He was a mild mannered man who never offended anyone and was popular with the players" according to Paddy. So, what does Paddy think of the game today? "When Gaelic Football is played well it is still a wonderful game to watch, but you need to be very fit to play it. There is a tendency to overdo the handpassing. You often see games where there will be 10 passes and the ball won't get twenty yards." "It's hard to explain why Syddan haven't won a Meath SFC since 1956. Sometimes a group of fellas come together and get a good run of success" he adds reflecting on the decline in his club's fortunes in recent years. Of all the players he encountered in his playing days one man stands out. "John Joe O'Reilly combined ability with great sportsmanship, he wouldn't hurt a fly." Ar dheis De go raibh a anam Grainne Moyles (27/08/65 – 30/03/12) On Friday the 30th March 2012, the Blackhall Gaels club, along with the wider communities of Batterstown and Dunboyne were shocked and saddened by the sudden, unexpected and untimely passing of Grainne Moyles, nee Phillips. Grainne had loved the Batterstown area and Batterstown village for many years before finally settling there after her marriage in 1996. She used to cycle to Caffrey’s Pub with her sister and friends on summers evenings for a glass or two, or three of the black stuff. After settling in the village, and as happens as you raise young children, Grainne became immersed in village life, local activities and sports which led to her getting involved in coaching camogie with the underage girls teams in Blackhall Gaels. One of her most prized possessions was her personalized Blackhall Gaels windcheater. Now, as she would say herself, her own “glittering” camogie career was short lived and confined to trying to play against, bigger, stronger girls in fields around Meath for Dunboyne under age teams. But those that knew Grainne can testify that although slight in stature, she possessed a big heart, and when required could be strong willed and very determined. She was also very competitive, but would argue this assertion, which I think proves my point! I am very proud to have known and loved Grainne for just over 21 years and to have been her husband for just short of 16 of those years, and she was a very loving and special mother to our three children, Aisling, Conor and Sinead. We miss her every moment of every day. Ar dheis De go raibh a ainm. Sean Moyles

We have endeavoured to include all Meath Gaels who passed away between the time of publication of last year’s Royal County and the end of November 2012 when this edition went to press. Every effort has been made to ensure all relevant deaths were included. However, if an omission has been made, we apologise sincerely. Some obituaries are included twice, as they were requested by two clubs. We offer heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of our departed. Thanks to all the clubs who assisted in compiling this year’s obituaries.

149


RATOATH Ratoath delivered on their underage potential of recent years when capturing the Meath JFC title with a dramatic final victory over Donaghmore/Ashbourne’s second string back in October. Manager Davy Byrne reckons the sky is the limit for this talented crop of young players.

D

avy Byrne could be considered something of a lucky charm for Ratoath. Back in 2004, he was a player/selector when manager Brendan Kealy guided the Dublin border club to Matthew Ginnity Cup honours courtesy of a 1-8 to 0-6 final victory over Dunsany. Since hanging up the boots, and gloves, the former Dublin netminder had channelled most of his efforts into the Ratoath ladies underage scene where his three daughters are active participants. He has also played an integral role in his native county’s two All-Ireland and three Leinster successes at Under 21 level as goalkeeping coach under Jim Gavin’s management. Closer to home, Ratoath slipped back down to junior following their relegation from intermediate in 2007.

Gareth Rooney raises the Matthew Ginnity Cup at Pairc Tailteann

RETURN TO WINNERS ENCLOSURE Success at underage level promised better days ahead at adult level, however, and Byrne returned to take over the reins of the club’s junior team at the start of this year. Together with selectors Marty Mannering and Simon Donnelly he has restored the Dublin border club as a force to be reckoned with in Meath football circles.

Brian McMahon’s pointed free in the 3rd minute of injury time of the decider at Pairc Tailteann gave Ratoath a slender 1-11 to 1-10 victory over their neighbours Donaghmore Ashbourne. Byrne – who transferred to Ratoath from Ballymun Kickhams in 2003 – was eager to share the credit for the club’s third ever JFC success.

Meath JFC winners 2012, front l/r: Conor O`Brien, Paddy Quinn, Bobby O`Brien, Stephen O`Brien, Eoghan McMahon, Gavin Eiffe, Brian Power, Fiachra Gaughan, Bryan McMahon, Colm O`Brien, Conor Rooney, Eamon Wallace. Back: Andrew Smith, Emmet Boyle, Sean Killian, Gavin Quigley, Gareth Rooney, Richard Donnelly, Darragh McGill, Frank Coyne, Lenny Browne, Conor McGill, Cian O`Brien, Mick Conmey, Robbie Madden, Paul Kirwin, Colm McCullagh, Paul Flaherty, Darragh O`Brien, Simon Donnelly

Log onto www.dlynchpics.com to view more club photos

150


The Leinster U16HL champions that defeated Na Fianna from Laois in the decider at Pairc Tailteann, front l/r: Colm Duggan, Owen O'Shea, Donal McLaren, Dillon McLoughlin, Gavin McGowan, Andrew Battersby, Chris McLoughlin, Ciaran O'Toole, Sean McCann, Jonathon Browne. Back: Nathan Mannion, Kieran Phelan, Kevin Laffey, Patrick Briody, Gavin King, Sean O'Halloran, Darragh Kelly, Ben McGowan, Niall O'Dowd, Brian Murphy

“There has been brilliant coaching going on an underage level in the club in recent years, from Under 12 to minor and our objective at the start of the year was to build on that good work and bring the lads to the next level,” Davy told Royal County. “They are a great bunch of lads. We had blend of young and old, more young than old, and they brought a great energy to training and to the team which made our job very easy. These young lads have no fear in them and that showed in their performances this year.” Ratoath opened their championship campaign with a 4-11 to 1-4 first round victory over Drumconrath

before going on to claim the scalps of O’Mahonys, Skryne, Drumbaragh and Bective in Group C. Summerhill were comfortably disposed of in the quarter-final on a scoreline of 3-16 to 0-5 while Simonstown were unable to put a halt to their gallop in the last four. The semi-final clash in Walterstown finished 2-16 to 0-8 in Ratoath’s favour. Due to the restructuring of the club championship format within the county, that semi-final win guaranteed Ratoath’s return to intermediate football but they were never going to be satisfied with just that.

Such was the impressive nature of their displays en route to the decider, few followers of the club scene in the Royal County gave Donaghmore/Ashbourne’s second team much of a chance of ending Byrne’s charges winning sequence. As events transpired, and can so often be the case, the final turned out to be their most nerve-wrecking game of the year. Ratoath trailed at half-time by 0-4 to 0-6 but hit the front in the 54th minute when full-forward Francis Coyne got on the end of a move involving Robert Madden and Stephen O'Brien to goal. Top scorer McMahon then

The Meath U16 HC winners, front l/r: Ciaran O'Toole, Brian Eiffe, David Ryan, Donal McLarnon, Ciaran Phelan, Kevin Laffey, Andrew Battersby, Eoghan O'Shea, Chris McLoughlin, Ben McGowan, Jack Byrne. Back: Colm Duggan, Sean Keogh, Jonathan Browne, Dylan McLoughlin, Sean McCann, Brian Murphy, Patrick Briody, Sean O'Hanrahan, Darragh Kelly, Gavin McGowan, Neil O'Dowd, Luke Farrell, James O'Brien. Missing from photo Nathan Mannion

151


CONGRATULATIONS & CONTINUED SUCCESS TO RATOATH GAA

We Specialise in


The U12 Division 1 champions

The U14 reserves on duty against Donaghmore Ashbourne in Dunganny

Intermediate camogie championship finalists

153


Congratulations to Ratoath GAA, from

CONGRATULATIONS TO RATOATH GAA & ALL THE BEST IN 2013

Dunshaughlin - Tel: 01 8259452 Congratulations To Ratoath GAA From

Rowlands Civil Engineering Ltd., Unit 3 Block B, Dunshaughlin Business Park, Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath. Paul was previously a partner in Ratoath Veterinary Clinic. In this new Clinic, Paul is specialising in companion animal medicine and surgery. Paul is also the vet attending to the animals in

Tel/Fax: 01-8258133 Email: rowlandsce@eircom.net Web: www.rowlandscivil.ie

The Old Mill, Ratoath, Co. Meath Tel: 087 273 9802 (24/7) T: 01 802 7604 www.paulkellyvet.com

Congratulations to Ratoath GAA, from

Congratulations to Ratoath GAA from

G Davenport

RATOATH PLUMBING SERVICES LTD.

Architectural Studio

Curraha Road, Ratoath, Co. Meath Tel: 01-8256811 - 087-2595826

SPECIALISING IN BOILER & GAS APPLIANCE SERVICING

Main Street, Ratoath, Co. Meath.

Tel: 01-8240855 Mobile: 087-2221922 Email: info@gda-architects.ie

log onto 29 Seagrave Park, Fairyhouse Road, Ratoath, Co. Meath Telephone: 1890 EZTRACK (1890 398722) Office: + 353 (0)1 8027412 or 086 3866612 / 087 2282288 Customer Service: info@eztrack.ie Sales: sales@eztrack.ie

www.eztrack.ie Congratulations to Ratoath GAA

.com 154


Darragh Kelly raises the U16 HC Cup at Pairc Tailteann

capitalised on a poor kick-out to point and left the scoreboard reading 1-9 to 0-9. Ratoath supporters would have justifiably feared the worst, however, when Ashbourne goaled through Conor Carton to parachute them into a 1-10 to 1-9 advantage with just two minutes left on the clock. Ratoath restored parity through Coyne with the assistance of substitute Eamon Wallace, who had a big impact having been introduced at the break. What proved to be the matchwinner arrived in the third minute of stoppage time when McMahon landed a free from about 40 metres following a foul on Wallace In the end, the team displayed maturity beyond their tender years and their character shone through as they scraped out a win by the narrowest of margins. “The final wasn’t our best display of the year but then again the opposition set their stall out with a very defensive system. It has worked for their senior team and almost worked very well for them in the final,” Byrne recalled. “Donaghmore/Ashbourne were a tough nut to crack but thanks be to God all the hard work that was put in throughout the year was rewarded.” With eight wins and three defeats under their belt, Ratoath finished in

Eamonn Wallace raises the MFC Cup at Pairc Tailteann

Gavin Eiffe and Robert Madden go highest in the Junior final

Eamonn Wallace made a great impact when coming off the bench in the Junior final

Dual star Gavin McGowan

Bryan McMahon celebrates kicking the winning point in the Junior decider

155

Full back Darragh McGill


Gabriel O’Brien Crane Hire Ltd. • 24 HOUR SERVICE • MOBILES UP TO 300 TON CAPACITY • CRAWLERS UP TO 150 TON CAPACITY Unit 6, Red Cow Business Park, Naas Road, Dublin 22 Tel: 01-4595500 • 01-4595505 Fax: 01-4595450 Mobile: 087-2554949 Congratulations & Best Wishes to Ratoath GAA In 2013

SECURE YOUR HOME NOW Be one step ahead of the burglars with this

Congratulations To Ratoath GAA From

McEntaggarts

Mul-T-Lock Break Secure Cylinder

FUNERAL DIRECTORS Providing a Caring and Compassionate Service to Dunshaughlin Ratoath and all Surrounding Est 1908 Areas for over 100 Years 24 Hour - 7 Day - Complete Professional Service

Even if the lock is snapped, its still secure

INCREASE THE LEVEL OF SECURITY IN YOUR HOME Call for various package deals

Cleggs Locksmiths Village Centre, Ratoath Tel: 01 689 6709 | 087 053 2994 Email: cleggslocks@gmail.com

Well Appointed Funeral Home Complimentary Tea & Coffee- Very Reasonable Costs The Gables, Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath

Congratulations To Ratoath GAA

Tel/Fax: 01 8259197 or Mobile: 087 2306856

E: adrian@mcentaggarts.ie • www.mcentaggartfunerals.ie

Congratulations To Ratoath GAA From

ACE

Congratulation To Ratoath GAA From

BREN STEEL FABRICATION TANKARDSTOWN, RATOATH, CO. MEATH Manufacturers of

Gates | Railings | Balconies | Shed Doors| Gate Extensions Trailers | Pond Covers | Security Posts

HEATING & PLUMBING

PAINT, REPAIR & MAINTAIN OLD GATES ETC Mobile Welding | Old Gates / Railings Taken Away Free

Gas & Oil Installation • Bathroom & Tiling Installations Attic Tanks Replaced • Cylinder Replacements Leaks & Repairs • General Heating & Plumbing 31 Foxlodge Manor, Ratoath, Co. Meath. Contact Edwin Fitzgerald on 01 689 6672 or 086 844 6268 Email: aceplumbingrgi@gmail.com

Congratulations To Ratoath GAA From

JD

31/2 TON TIPPER PICK-UP AVAILABLE

FOR SMALL LOADS I.E. CLAY, STONE, STEEL ETC Get to the places where the big trucks can’t...

KITCHENS & BEDROOMS

Traditional, Trendy & Timeless Kitchens & Bedrooms WORKTOPS IN GRANITE • WOOD CORIAN • LAMINATE

log onto

Suppliers of • Neff • Indesit • Smeg • AEG • Tricity Bendix • Electrolux OPEN 8-6 Monday to Friday • 10-2 Saturday by appointment Unit5, Ashcourt, Ashbourne Ind Est., Ashbourne, Co. Meath T: (01) 801 0953 • F: (01) 825 6504 •M: (086) 260 0070 E: sales@jdkitchens.ie Web: www.jdkitchens.ie

.com 156


Runners up to Curraha in the U14 Division 3 league final at Walterstown, front l/r: Luke Eiffe, David Ryan, Ciaran O'Toole, James Branagan, Colm Duggan, Eoin O'Connell, Michael O'Malley, Conor O'Sullivan, Domhnall Rogers (mascot). Back: Jack Gillen, Luke Farrell, Dessie Donnelly, Daragh Philips, Eoin Clayton, Peter Kilgannon, Ben McGowan, Eoghan O'Shea, Conor O'Brien, James O'Brien, Stephen Wright, Brandon Kellett, Jonathan Browne

Prior to the JFC game with Bective at Dunsany, front l/r: Conor Rooney, Bryan McMahon, Bobby O’Brien, Fiachra Gaughan, Gareth Rooney, Eoghan McMahon, Robbie Madden, Darragh O’Brien, Gavin Eiffe, Collie McCullagh. Back: Conor O’Brien, Stephen O’Brien, Emmet Boyle, Gavin Quigley, Brian Power, Mick Conmey, Conor McGill, Darragh McGill, Lennie Brown, Cian O’Brien, Richie Donnelly, Andrew Smith, Franco Coyne, Paul Kirwan, Paddy Quinn

The U17 Division 2 finalists, front l/r: Sean McCann, Dylan Williams, Niall Donnelly, Ben Newe, Joey Wallace, Brian Daly. Back: Keith McCabe, Tom Eiffe, Phip Byrne, Conor Duncan, Tom Wallace, Darragh Kelly, Eoin Doody, Gavin McGowan, Johnny Quinn, Darragh Byrne, Conor Fitzpatrick, Jason Tyndall, Conor Ward

157


Congratulations To Ratoath GAA & All The Best In 2013, From

Fairyhouse Steel

30th May - 2nd June 2013

Reinforcement Ex-Stock Cutting & Bending Brazil & Co. (Steel) Ltd.

THE PREMIER SUPPLIERS OF CUT AND BENT REINFORCEMENT BAR TO THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY Porterstown Lane, Ratoath, Co. Meath Tel: 01 825 6482 | Fax: 01 825 6370 Email: info@fairyhousesteel.ie

www.fairyhousesteel.ie

K&A PLANT HIRE

Congratulations To Ratoath GAA From

Brian McCann Agricultural Lay Land Trees Cut & Removed High Power Tractor Drive Wood Chipper Garden Hedge Maintenance Reseeding • Domestic & Agricultural Mow-Spread & Conditioned Grass In One Pass Bale Wrap Silo In One Pass

SITE DEVELOPMENT ALL GROUND WORKS EARTH MOVING - LAND DRAINAGE HOURLY RATE OR PRICE WORK

Lagore Little, Ratoath, Co. Meath

55 ST. OLIVER’S PARK, RATOATH, CO. MEATH

Tel: (087) 7938510

Phone: Kieran @ 087-2257909 Congratulations to Ratoath GAA In 2013

KELLY PLUMBING & HEATING

Congratulations To Ratoath GAA From

James Deehan Painting & Decorating

Boiler Maintenance • Oil and Gas • Radiators & Rad Valves • Bathroom Suites • Taps • Dishwashers Fitted • Showers Fitted • Hotpress Cylinders • Storage Tanks • Heating Installations • Circulating Pumps • Washing Machines Fitted

INDUSTRIAL | DOMESTIC | COMMERCIAL ALL HOUSES, SCHOOLS ETC....

Contact: Wayne on 086-3432150

No 3 Cairn Court, Glascarn Lane, Ratoath, Co. Meath

20% discount for first 50 customers on all boiler services

Tel: 086 3621158

No call out charge • Bord Gais approved

Email: jamesdeehan@eircom.net

Congratulations to Ratoath GAA 158


Ratoath retained the MFC in November

third place behind Na Fianna and Moynalvey in Division 3 of the league. The manager put a large portion of their championship success down to their league form. “We had some brilliant performances in the league. Looking at the lads, we decided at the start of the year that we would put a lot of work into the strength and conditioning end of things. We spent all of January and February in the gym. “We made a conscious decision to treat the league very seriously. We knew that if we could win games against seasoned intermediate teams

Davy – who quit the intercounty in Division 3 it would give us great scene in 2002 after seven years on confidence and a sound platform to the Dublin panel – will act as build on for the championship. goalkeeping coach with the Dubs “Moynalvey, a senior team, only seniors. beat us by a point and that gave us It was an offer he couldn’t refuse but great self belief.” can envisage himself returning to the Ratoath will have to plan their sideline as Ratoath manager at some assault on next year’s intermediate f o o t b a l l championship minus the services Congratulations & continued success to of their manager Ratoath GAA, from who has answered Jim Gavin’s call to move up to the Dublin senior football backroom team for 2013.

income protection.ie

Protect what you can’t afford to lose ... Your Income is your biggest asset Check this out for a quote

www.incomeprotection.ie or contact

MICHAEL HOARE 086-2316136

159


Congratulations to Ratoath GAA, from

Congratulations To Ratoath GFC From

RATOATH PHARMACY

R.E.M. ltd • Specialists In Gate Automation • Automation Doors & Access Control • Barriers • C.C.T.V. • Approved Installer Of FAAC Automated Systems • 15 Years Experience 20A Ashbourne Business Centre, Ashbourne, Co. Meath

Tel: (01) 8352948/8353142 • Fax: (01) 8254477

E: chris@rem-ltd.com • W: www.rem-ltd.com

Congratulations To Ratoath GAA , From

Main Street, Ratoath 01 8257440/01 6896419 Monday - Friday 9-6 - Saturday 9.30 - 5

JIM HAYES

GIFTS & INTERIORS STOCKISTS OF SHANNON BRIDGE, BELLEEK, LINUM, AU MAISON, DURANCE, RACHAEL ALLEN, ORLA KIELY AND LOTS MORE LARGE SELECTION OF FRAMES AND MIRRORS

CIVIL ENGINEERING FOR ALL YOUR ENGINEERING NEEDS Ballymoore, Ratoath, Co. Meath

Xmas/saving Club in operation Gift Vouchers available

Contact Jim 087 2207511 Contact Darren 087 9625870

FLOOR SANDING SPECIALISTS

FLOORING SERVICES SANDED • STAINED • LACQUERED DOMESTIC • COMMERCIAL ALL AREAS COVERED Ratoath, Co. Meath. Tel: (01) 8250564 • Mobile: (087) 2565674

Congratulations To Ratoath GAA

KENNA & CO.

Congratulations To Ratoath GAA, From

TENNIS COURT CONSTRUCTION IRELAND LTD

REGISTERED AUDITORS & CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS

Sole Supplier & Installer Of Tigerturf Advantage New Courts & Resurfacing Ratoath, Co. Meath | Tel: 01 802 4740

Unit 7 Block 8, Blanchardstown Corporate Park, Dublin 15 Tel: 01-8224720. Fax: 01-8855005 Email: accounts@kenna-co.ie

E: peter@tenniscourtconstructionireland.com

Congratulations to Ratoath GAA

www.kenna-co.ie

Call Peter on 087 258 1015

160


The Intermediate hurlers that took on Blackhall Gaels in the championship at Kilmessan

On duty against St Vincent’s in the Junior B championship in Ashbourne

The U14's that defeated Skryne in the decider at Dunshaughlin

161


stage in the future. “It’s a great opportunity for me personally and I’m looking forward to my involvement with the Dublin senior team but I will be back coaching the lads in Ratoath at some stage in the future, whether it be in two, three or four years time.” Whoever succeeds Byrne as manager of Ratoath’s first team will find the team in good shape and the outgoing boss is positive in the extreme when asked about their future prospects. “Hopefully now, whoever comes in can push these guys on. They are more than capable of competing at intermediate level. It will be a case of continuing the good work that has gone into these players over the last few years. “There is great potential in the side. 11 of the starting 15 in the county final are Under 21 and their best years are ahead of them.” The new Ratoath manager will have a hard act to follow. The Ratoath team and substitutes that were on duty for the JFC final was as follows: R. Donnelly; S. O'Brien, D. McGill, G. Eiffe; B. Power, C. McGill, M. Conmey; C. O'Brien, R. Madden; G. Rooney, B. O'Brien (0-1), G. Quigley; B. McMahon (0-8, 4fs), F. Coyne (11), E. McMahon. Subs - E. Boyle for E. McMahon, E. Wallace (0-1) for Rooney, L. Browne for Quigley

RATOATH RETAIN MFC TITLE Ratoath retained the Jack Kiernan & Sons MFC title with a hard-earned win over neighbours Donaghmore Ashbourne at Pairc Tailteann, winning by 1-11 to 0-8. The outcome was in doubt until Joseph Wallace netted the only goal in 25th minute of second-half stoppage time. When Robert Waters' 40-metre broke to Wallace he brought his tally to 1-3 while his brother Eamon finished with 0-3. Ratoath lost wing-back Andrew Flinter with a neck injury incurred accidentally in the 40th minute. There

was a 20-minute stoppage as proper procedures were adhered to as the injured player was taken to hospital. Donaghmore-Ashbourne rallied to within a point of Ratoath when action resumed. Dermot Rooney's charges closed out the final by outscoring their rivals by 1-3 to 0-1 before proceedings closed in the 55th minute of the second-half. Ratoath were leading by 0-8 to 0-5 in the 40th minute when wing-back Flinter incurred his neck injury. Donaghmore-Ashbourne, bidding for their first success at this level since 2008, pulled back to leave just a point in it, 0-7 to 0-8, with the clock in the 34th minute of the second-half. Ratoath steadied with scores from corner-back Brian Power and Joseph Wallace (free) to move 0-10 to 0-7 ahead by 39th minute of the secondhalf. Donaghmore-Ashbourne won an earlier meeting between the sides. However, they only led briefly on this occasion during the first half. At the hospital end, in the fourth minute Donaghmore-Ashbourne corner forward Harry English pointed. Seconds later Conor Rooney levelled matters with assistance from Eamon Wallace. Ratoath hit the front in the sixth minute when Eamon Wallace sent over at the town goal. They doubled their lead shortly after when Rooney registered his second score. Joseph Wallace responded with a pointed free from out on the left for Ratoath to leave it 0-4 to 0-2 before the first quarter elapsed. Parity was achieved for the second time in the match, 0-4 each, when Donaghmore-Ashbourne posted a brace of points in quick. Ratoath regained the lead again in 24th minute was a fine Eamon Wallace effort on the run. They managed to stay in front to the end. Conor Rooney's third point of the half left it 0-6 to 0-4. Joseph Wallace was wide with a scoreable free in the 30th minute. In the third minute of stoppage time his brother Eamon executed an excellent score on the run, his third point of the half. Ratoath led by 0-7 to 0-4 at the

162

Ratoath captain Darragh Kelly raises the Leinster U16 HL Shield at Pairc Tailteann

Rounding off a great year, Gareth Rooney holds aloft the Tailteann Cup

break with all bar one of their first-half scores coming from play. When fullforward Robert Waters sent over a free at the hospital end it was 0-8 to 0-4 to the holders. The scoring rate dropped in the third quarter but Ratoath responded well after the break in play to deservedly retain their title. Ratoath - Eoin Doody; Brian Power (0-1), Daragh Kelly, Ben Newe; Andrew Flinter, Gavin McGowan, Brian Daly; Brian O'Connor, Keith McCabe; Adam Griffiths, Conor Rooney (0-3), Joseph Wallace (1-3 2fs); Eamon Wallace (0-3), Robert Waters (0-1 f), Jason Tyndal. Subs Dara Byrne for Flinter (42), E. Halpin for Tyndal (81).


LION NA BEARNAI VISITS KILSKYRE NS

Grand National winner Lion na Bearnai pays a visit to Kilskyre National School, much to the delight of the pupils. The horse was owned by a local syndicate, many of whom have strong GAA connections. Trainer Thomas Gibney was a pupil at Kilskyre and played underage with Ballinlough. His father Eamon wore the Ballinlough jersey for 30 years while uncle Toss won an All Ireland minor medal in 1957, a junior in 1962 and played for the Meath seniors.

163


Best wishes & continued success to Kilskyre HC & Ballinlough GFC, from all at


KILSKYRE Some may have thought that Kilskyre were punching above their weight in 2011 when they reached the intermediate semi final, but a place in this year's quarterfinal and defeat to eventual champions Rathmolyon suggests otherwise.

T

he black and ambers reached the Division 2 hurling league final and were narrowly beaten by senior championship semi finalists Longwood in the decider; further proof of their standing. Kilskyre could be described as something of an enigma in hurling terms, as they are a small rural club that have small numbers to work and up until recently had no real underage structure in place. However, they have continued to play at a very competitive level down through the years, even though success has been hard to come by. Emigration has also hit the side hard in the last few years. Since their junior final appearance in 2010, around ten players have departed the scene, but yet the club was able to withstand this as their campaigns in the last two years would prove. One of the side's most experienced players is Padraic Muldoon. 'Podge' as he is more commonly known believes that despite the setbacks the

Sean Geraghty heads for the Clann na nGael goal

MULDOON WANTS TO PUSH ON club has suffered, they have the talent to really push for the intermediate title in 2013. Kilskyre were not fancied to come out of the group stages of this year's campaign, as they faced the likes of Donaghmore-Ashbourne, Clann na nGael, Ratoath, Blackhall Gaels and Navan O'Mahony's. Their campaign got off to a great start as a one-point win was recorded

over Ashbourne. The Kilskyre men started off the stronger and ran into a three point lead within ten minutes. But two minutes later, DonaghmoreAshbournewere ahead with a welltaken goal and a point. From there on, it was ding-dong all the way through with both sides trading points. With Tom Shortt performing solid in his new roll at full back and Sean Geraghty in superb form at

Prior to the second round of the IHC clash with neighbours Clann na nGael at Kells, front l/r: Ronan McGuinness, James O'Higgins, Keith McGuinness, Padraig Muldoon, Pa Baugh, Daragh Farrelly, Tommy Shine, Kevin Devine. Back: Brian Smyth, Tommy Nugent, Charles Brogan, Tom Shortt, Niall Farrelly, Michael Geraghty, Gary Reilly, Simon Deevey, Sean Geraghty, Darren Morgan. Mascot: Tom Shine

Log onto www.dlynchpics.com to view more club photos

165


2, Victoria Village, Rathgar, Dublin 6 Tel: 01-4909317 Mobile: 087-2484176 Email: bridmtunney@gmail.com

SPECIALISING IN ALL TYPES OF EVENTS, CONFERENCES, ETC. CONTINUED BEST WISHES TO KILSKYRE HC IN 2013

JOHN TULLY ENGINEERING LTD. MARTINSTOWN, CROSSAKIEL, KELLS, CO. MEATH.

Best Wishes To Kilskyre Hurling Club in 2013 from Pat Farrelly, Niall Brunnock & Tom Gilsenan at Informa

Tel/Fax: 046-9243770 Mobile: 087-9323651 Email: jtengineeringltd@gmail.com

WISHING KILSKYRE HC CONTINUED SUCCESS Best Wishes To Kilskyre HC In 2013 From

Wishing Kilskyre HC & Ballinlough GFC Every Success, from

BC

FORKLIFTS LTD.

MICHAEL REILLY

HIRE: Diesel & Gas Trucks Long & Short Term. SALES: S/H Toyota & Hyster Models In Stock At All Times SERVICE: Mobile Fitters Available. Full Workshop Overhauls Replacement Trucks Supplied

GARAGE

Tel: (087) 232 4206 • Galboystown, Clonmellon, Navan

Crossakiel, Kells, Co. Meath. Tel: 087-2996825

REPAIRS & SPARES, SALES & HIRE 166


Niall Farrelly has Clann na nGael’s Paddy Geraghty for company

Former Gaeil Colmcille player Tommy Shine is a big addition to the hurling club

Selector Mick Devine

midfield, Kilskyre went in at half time only a puck of the ball behind, 1-5 to 0-5. In the second half it was there for whichever team fought the hardest and it went the Kilskyremen's way. But only just ... with Man of the Match Sean Geraghty getting the equalising point and Podge himself, putting over the winner. “It was great to get off to a good start. Going into the year, we weren't sure how we would do as a few lads had left, but the lads put in a big effort under manager Tom Shine, who has done great work with us over the past three years and his record speaks for itself,” said Podge. “Tom stood down after the league final defeat to Longwood, but in his time with us he got us to a junior final, an intermediate semi final and a quarterfinal, which we are delighted with. He played with us this year and he was our main scorer in fairness as he probably got out 95% of our scores all year.” Kilskyre went into their next match as massive underdogs against a Clann na nGael side that were one of the favourites for the title, but Shine's charges really stood up to the challenge despite a poor start. Clann Na nGael got off to a flyer. Two brilliant points from Paddy Geraghty and one each from Ciaran Fitzsimons and Alan Fox had the Athboy men 0-4 to 0-0 up after ten minutes. Tommy Shine got his first score of the game with a pointed free but Clann Na nGael went further ahead with points from Fox (2) and Ciaran Dunne. After twenty minutes Athboy led 0-8 to 0-2. Shine brought Kilskyre back into the game when he crashed the ball to the net from a free. Two pointed frees from Dunne had Athboy five ahead with time almost up but again Shine, from a similar position, blasted another free to the Clann's net to leave the half time score 0-10 to 2-2. The outstanding Shine had the match level after five minutes into the second half with two fine points. Clann Na nGael battled back with scores from Mattie Mullen and Dunne before Shine levelled matters again with another brace 0-12 to 2-6. Dunne and Aaron Ennis had Athboy two ahead again on the 15th minute. Ronan McGuinness pulled one back for Kilskyre before points from Paddy Geraghty and Fitzsimons gave

167

Michael Geraghty

Keith McGuinness

Ronan McGuinness goes by Clann na nGael’s Gearoid Breathnach


Patrick & Regina Tunney would like to wish Kilskyre HC every success in 2013

Copper Kettle Restaurant 5024 Skillman Ave Woodside, NY 11377+4156 Tel: (718) 335-7596

40-15 Queens Boulevard, Sunnyside NY 11104 Tel: 718-784 6400/6443 Email: info@purespanyc.com www.purespanyc.com

Best Wishes To Kilskyre HC, From

TEACH FADA

Fully Insured SEI Approved Member C2 Registered

Email: devineplumbingandheating@eircom.net

KILSKYRE, CO. MEATH. TEL: 046-9243710 Best Wishes to Kilskyre HC & Ballinlough GFC

Best Wishes To Kilskyre HC In 2013, From

Best Wishes to Kilskyre HC from

Kilskyre, Kells, Co. Meath

Tel/Fax: 046 9241712 | Mobile: 087 6725980

TS MAINTENANCE

THOMAS GIBNEY RACE HORSE TRAINER

Bensfort, Kells, Co. Meath

ALL AREAS

T: 046 924 5019 M: 087 749 9778

SPECIALISTS IN THE MOWING OF LARGE AREAS, SPORTSGROUNDS, ESTATES ETC. Johnsbrook, Fordstown, Navan, Co. Meath. Tel: 046-9433362 Mobile: 086-6021780 168


Athboy a three point lead going into the final minutes. With time up Shine gained possession on the 14 yard line and blasted the ball to the Clann Na nGael net to level the game. “Coming from so far behind against a team like Clann na nGael gave us great confidence. We played really well that evening and showed great character to come back, which was something that we done more than once this year.” A walkover from Navan O'Mahony's meant that Kilskyre picked up their first 'win' of the campaign, but the faced two tough games against Ratoath and Blackhall Gaels. Once again, the character of the side was to come to the fore. Kilskyre started off the match against Ratoath very slowly with a good reflex goal by Darren Morgan following some good play from Niall Farrelly after 15 minutes to keep them in touch. There was little improvement for the rest of the first half which was reflected in the fact that only two more points scored. Ratoath started much the brighter again in the second half with two quick goals from play and a series of points to leave Kilskyre trailing by ten points and 20 minutes to go. Kilskyre livened up with some switches made and the introduction of Peadar Byrne resulting in three quick goals, one from Byrne and two from Tommy Shine, to earn a share of the spoils. Then Blackhall were the opposition in late August and yet another titanic battle ensued. In a low scoring first half that finished 0-5 each both teams had their share of wides, with Peadar Byrne in outstanding form for Kilskyre in centre field. A well saved penalty from Kevin Devine and Tom Shine's point scoring kept the

Simon Deevey in the thick of the action against Clann na nGael

in the second half Kilskyre started off with a couple of quick points from Tom Shine frees, but Rathmolyon responded immediately to take control again. Kilskyre had good performances from Michael and Sean Geraghty, Peadar Byrne and the hard working Thomas Nugent. Final score Rathmolyon 2-15 Kilskyre 1-6. “It was disappointing to lose the quarterfinal, but we knew that Rathmolyon would be tough opponents, but we didn't perform and that was the annoying part.” The league final defeat to Longwood followed in November and now that Podge has had time to reflect, he believes that there are many positives to come out of the campaign. There is no doubt that we have progressed in the last few years, despite losing a lot of lads. You have Kells coming down from the senior ranks next year and with all due respect to them, it will probably be the best chance for many teams including ourselves to win the intermediate championship. On our day, I feel we are as good as any team at that level and it is up to us to go out and prove that.”

Kilskyre men in touch. In the second half again it was Byrne and Shine with assistance from Colm Mallon and Padraig Muldoon, Kilskyre started to pull away from Blackhall Gaels. Peadar Byrne tore through the middle to set up Shine for a well taken goal to go two points ahead with five minutes left. But Blackhall Gaels retaliated with two late points to level the match. A quarterfinal Best Wishes to Kilskyre HC from meeting with Rathmolyon was the prize after a play off with Blackhall was avoided. The winners were in control throughout with Mickey Cole in fine scoring form, they went in at half 17 Cluninri, Navan Road, time on top 1-9 to Trim, Co. Meath. 1-1. With a strong wind behind them

GERARD KEANE

HORSE TRAINER Tel: 087-2682886

MARTIN LYNCH REG. CARPENTRY & BUILDING CONTRACTOR Johnstown, Kilskyre, Kells, Co. Meath

Tel: 087-2274572 • 046-9433225 Wishing Kilskyre HC & Crossakiel Handball Every Success In The Coming Year 169


CUMANN NA MBUNSCOL FOOTBALL FINALS

St Michael’s BNS Trim, Boys Division 1 winners

St Seachnalls NS Dunshaughlin, Boys Division 1 finalists

St Seachnalls NS Dunshaughlin, Girls Division 1 winners

170 St Oliver Plunketts NS Girls, Division 1 finalists

Log onto www.dlynchpics.com to view more club photos


Kentstown NS Boys, Division 2 finalists

Lismullen NS Boys, Division 2 winners Gaelscoil Eanna An Uaimh Girls Division 2 winners

St Columbanus NS Ballivor Girls Division 2 finalists

Yellow Furze NS Boys Division 3 Winners

Rathbeggan NS Boys Division 3 Finalists

St Michaels captains Cian Lee and Aaron Lynch

171 St Seachnall's captain Petra Reilly

Lismullen captain Stephen Davis


Baconstown NS Girls Division 3 Finalists

Dangan NS Girls Division 3 Winners

Castlejordan NS Boys Division 4 Winners

Baconstown NS Boys Division 4 Finalists

St Fiach's NS Ballinacree Girls Division 4 Finalists

Scoil Mhuire Moylagh Girls Division 4 Winners

Gaelscoil Eanna captains Lauryn Mic Ghrioghar and Casey Ni Chuagain

Yellow Furze captain Dylan Keating

172

Dangan captain Eliece Elliott

Castlejordan captain Billy Heavey


Drumbaragh NS Boys Division 5 Winners

Rathregan NS Boys Division 5 Finalists

Killyon Boys Division 6 Winners

Scoil Naisiunta Chianain Cushinstown Boys Division 6 Finalists

Rathkenny NS Boys Division 7 Winners

Carrickleck Boys Division 7 Finalists

Killyon captain Paddy Coyne

Scoil Mhuire captain Edel Campbell

Drumbaragh captain Michael McNamee

173

Rathkenny captain Evan Crosbie


SPECIAL FEATURE

Eamonn (centre) and staff members from l/r: Tom Plant, Brian Jackson, Shane Keating, Darren Thorpe, Joe White

Dunshaughlin based Dunnes Farmhouse Foods has been supplying a specialised service to a large customer base for over 30 years now and not only has this burgeoning business continued to provide the same level of high standards all through the years, it has also supported the local community.

F

or the past eleven years, Farmhouse Foods has been based in Dunshaughlin having initially started on the Navan Road in Dublin. Brendan Dunne set up the company in 1972 and his hard work helped established the business into what it is today. For the past 16 years, Bernard's son Eamonn has been at the helm and Eamonn speaks to the Royal County Yearbook about the success of the business and his support of the GAA. Eamonn became actively involved in the Dunshaughlin club over the last few years and despite being in the

DUNSHAUGHLIN’S GAIN twilight of his career when he arrived, he still put on the black and amber jersey at junior level. Since hanging up the boots, the Dublin native has been a selector with the senior side during Brendan Kealy and Charlie Redmond's reigns as managers. Despite his allegiance to Dunshaughlin in recent years, Eamonn's home club is St Oliver Plunkett's on the Navan Road and for the past two years Farm House Foods has been the main sponsor of the club. “I grew up beside the pitch and would have played for the club at all levels. I would dearly love to see them win the Dublin senior football championship. They have a great set up there and some fantastic footballers. The

174

Eamonn has run the family business for the past 16 years


Best Wishes To Dunnes Farm Food House, From

D.C. Poultry Ltd, Unit 542, Greenogue Industrial Estate, Rathcoole, Co. Dublin. Tel: 01 257 3810. Email: dcpoultry@eircom.net www.dcpoultry.com

Eamonn hard at work

Best Wishes To Dunnes Farm Food House, From

Brogans play with them and I would know Alan very well. He is a great club man and would do anything to win a championship with the club,” said Eamonn. “The club approached me two years ago to see would I be interested in sponsoring them and I was delighted to do so. I would also help out Dunshaughlin where I can as I feel it is important to give something back to the local community.” Eamonn revealed that there is massive work being done in Dunshaughlin at underage level is beginning to pay off and he is convinced that the future is bright for the last club in the county to complete a coveted three-in-a-row of senior titles. “There is a huge amount of work being done at underage level and the club has some strong teams coming through, and none more so than the under-16 team, which is very strong at the moment and I predict big things for them. I have been watching them closely as my son David plays

WHELANS OF DUBLIN PUDDING MANUFACTURER LTD

Unit 2b1c JFK Road, JFK Ind Est., Dublin 12 Best Wishes From

Irelands leading supplier of the finest desserts for the food service and retail industry E21 South City Business Park, Whitestown Way, Tallaght, Dublin 24

P +353 1 462 9120 - F +353 451 5912 E: info@royale.ie| www.royale.ie Best Wishes To Dunnes Farm Food House, From

A selection of the meats available at Dunnes Farmhouse Foods

www.kepak.com The factory shop is based in the Dunshaughlin Business Park

175


with them.” Eamonn admits that it was disappointing to see the club lose out in the county final last year and he feels that they did not play to their potential on the day, particularly in the replay. “It was great for the club to get back to a county final and it's just a shame they didn't win it. I do feel the left it behind them, but they needed more luck on the day. “In fairness, they came in under the radar last year and they surprised many outsiders by getting there, but I do believe it won't be long before they are back competing for major honours again.” As stated, Eamonn is a big supporter of the club and he has helped organise fundraisers as well as support them and he feels that this is essential given the support that the local community has given him over the years. “It is important to support the local community and we endeavour to do that as much as we can. Not only would we support Dunshaughlin, but we would also support the Drumree hurlers and other organisations in the area. We are very lucky to have great support from the locals here. We have a factory shop here in Dunshaughlin and the locals have always supported us, which we are very grateful for.” Dunnes Farmhouse Foods has built their reputation on delivering to their customers - Quality, Service and

David Dunne raises the Under 14 Cup in 2010 alongside team mates Mark Galvin, Conor Jennings, Darren Lawless and Ben Conlon

Product choice. Established in 1972, this family enterprise has achieved success through their focus on customer care and meeting their customer needs. Working in partnership with their customers has ensured the growth in their business, which now boasts second generations of the Dunne family members working in the company. “We would employ 15 people here and all the staff are highly trained. We have six vehicles on the road supplying our goods all across Leinster and some parts of Ulster and Munster. We are busy all year round, but the Christmas period would be our busiest as turkey and hams are in great Best Wishes To demand.” With a range of Dunnes Farm Food House, From quality raw and cooked meats from Beef, Lamb, Pork and Bacon to Turkey, Chicken and

Alexandra Bridge Clane, Co. Kildare Tel: 045 89 2000 Fax: 045 89 2229 Email: info@ballymooney.ie www.ballymooneyfoods.com

Fish products, Dunnes Farmhouse Foods have the products to suit the majority of requirements. We would also supply a lot of fresh meats to hotels and restaurants. A wide variety of Food Service items are readily available and this product range has broadened to suit the changing tastes of consumers. Farmhouse Foods will supply your service counter needs with ready precooked or raw meats. We have quality beef, lamb, pork, chicken and turkey products that are served in a variety of cuts and pre-packaged. Farmhouse foods have over 30 years' experience in the preparation and distribution of meat products. Wherever your service counter is located, we will deliver great-tasting bulk meat supplies on-time. All our meats are software traceable and HAACCP compliant, guaranteeing your customers only the highest quality food.

Eamonn lining out for the Dunshaughlin junior squad in 2002. Eamonn is fifth from left front row

177


Cillian O’Sullivan is an outstanding prospect


LONGWOOD Longwood can look back on their Senior Hurling Championship campaign with a great deal of satisfaction, even if it did end in bitter disappointment when they were edged out by Killyon in a fiercely contested semi-final which went to extra time.

T

heir campaign was highlighted by a shock victory over Kilmessan at the quarter-final stage and with so many games of high intensity hurling behind them this year they can look forward to 2013 and beyond with enthusiasm, happy in the knowledge that they are heading in the right direction. Their coach this year was Nick Weir from Raharney who played hurling for that club, football with Killucan and also lined out with the Westmeath hurlers. He’s clearly a man with no fear of commitment because he also coached the Longwood footballers this year as they just missed out on a place in the knockout stages of the IFC. “It was fairly hectic being involved with both teams,” he said. “As for the players, once you don’t push them too hard it’s fine. We did three or four hard months to start with. Nobody got burned out.” The hurlers were drawn in group B of the SHC, along with Drumree, Dunboyne, keen rivals Killyon,

Longwood celebrate their Division 2 Hurling League final win over Kilskyre

LONGWOOD MAKE HUGE STRIDES Boardsmill and Gaeil Colmcille and it was against the Kells men that they got their campaign off to the desired winning start at Boardsmill where it finished 2-8 to 0-6. Their qualification push really started to gain momentum when they defeated Drumree in the second round at Trim, despite the absence of Mickey Burke. Longwood started well and boosted by a Mick Healy goal they pushed into a 1-2 to 0-0 lead. Drumree hit back almost immediately

with a goal of their own and they got a second which helped to edge them into a 2-4 to 1-6 advantage at the interval. Anthony Healy had Longwood level from a pointed free on the restart and aided by a Jim Dorran goal they gained the upper hand to win by 2-11 to 2-6. When a hard earned win followed over Boardsmill at Pairc Tailteann they were looking good with a maximum tally of six group points from three outings.

The senior hurlers enjoyed a good season, front l/r: David Dixon, Damien Healy, Anthony Healy, Ross Ennis, Aaron Ennis, Alan Ennis, Ryan Moore, Martin Birmingham, Daragh Maguire, Eoin Lynch, Rory Maguire, Albin Morowski. Back: Karl Ennis, Ray Dorran, Bernard Reilly, Jim Dorran, Mick Healy, Enda Dixon, Corrin Byrne, Martin Lee, Damien Dixon, Jim Mahon, Sean Sheridan, Ryan Keenan

Log onto www.dlynchpics.com to view more club photos

178


Coolrite Refridgeration U21 FC C finalists

The Longwood Killyon combination that lost out to Kiltale in the MHL Division 1 decider at Trim, front l/r: Ryan Raleigh, Paddy Molloy, Ross Healy, Ryan Moore, Christopher Dunne, Aaron Duignan, Sean Coloe. Back: Tony Healy, Kevin Hackett, Albin Morkowski, Stephen King, Nathan O'Neill, Aaron Maguire, Colm Keenan, Stefan Kelly, Adam Dowdall, Dylan Flanagan, Adam Farrell, Alan O'Donoghue, Jason Maguire, Seamus Flynn, Lar Tyrrell

The Longwood Killyon squad that went under to Trim in the Meath Feile hurling decider at Pairc Tailteann

179


LONGWOOD Transport NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL FREIGHT SERVICES CONTAINER SALES & CRANE HIRE

CURTAINSIDERS • CONTAINERS • 45FT-65FT TRAILERS • ALL LOADS CATERED FOR, PROMPT DELIVERY & PERSONAL ATTENTION TO DETAIL GUARANTEED

Tel: (046) 9555850 • Fax: (046) 9555013 Mobile: (086) 1927123 • Longwood , Co. Meath

Wishing Longwood GAA Every Success In The Coming Year Best Wishes To Longwood GAA In 2013 From

GILES BROS. CONVENIENCE & VALUE POST OFFICE • ATM• WINES • LOTTO • GROCERY • NEWSAGENTS STATIONERY • FAX • TOP UPS • PHOTO COPIER

Main Street, Longwood, Co. Meath • Tel: (046) 9555013

Revive Beauty Clinic MICHAEL HOGAN ELECTRICAL Dermalogica Skincare - Microdemabrasion - Depeigi Needle Free Electrolysis - Fake Bake Tanning - Shallac Nails as seen on Xpose - Swedish Body Massage - Indian Head Massage - Waxing & Tinting, 24 Hour Patch Test Required - Manicure & Pedicures Prop: Antoinette Campbell ITEC & CIBTAC Opening Hours: Mon Closed • Tues & Wed 10-6 Thurs 10-8 • Fri 10-6 • Sat 8-4

COMMERCIAL | DOMESTIC | INDUSTRIAL 12 Ribbontail Way, Longwood, Co. Meath. Tel: 086-2397968 •046-9555745

2 Roche House Mall, Main Street, Longwood, Co. Meath

Tel: 046-9555224 Email: revive@live.ie

Michael Hogan Would Like To Wish Longwood GAA All The Best In 2013

Best Wishes to Longwood GAA in 2013

Ballyclare, Longwood, Co. Meath. Tel: 086-1728780 Email: info@jweirlandsurveying.com • LAND & ENGINEERING SURVEYS • SETTING OUT • DIGITAL GROUND MODELLING • CONTROLLED NETWORKS • BUILDING SURVEYS

CCTV ACCESS CONTROL TAGGING SYSTEMS IP SYSTEMS Tel: 01-8255772 Email: info@jade.ie Offices: Dunboyne & Galway BEST WISHES TO LONGWOOD GAA

www.jweirlandsurveying.com

BEST WISHES TO LONGWOOD GAA IN 2013 180


The Longwood Rathmolyon squad prior to the MHL A decider with Trim at Loman’s Park, front l/r: Stephen Forde, David Dixon, Jack Payne, Damien Healy, Colm Hackett, Ryan Moore, Gary Ryan, Gary Doherty, Robert Kelly, Stephen King. Back: Ross Healy, David Morgan, Robert Lynch, Conall Stafford, Ryan Keenan, James Fitzpatrick, Daniel Mulligan, Vincent O'Brien, Mark Healy, Kevin Hackett, Sean Sheridan, Tony Healy (Manager), Jack Fagan, Gerard Doherty

MFL Division 6 champions beating Ballinabrackey in the final at Summerhill, front l/r: Ryan Moore, Sean McGee, Dean Keogh, Eoin O'Sullivan, Stephen King, Sean Dalton, Paul O'Neill. Back: Vinny Byrne (Coach), Nathan O'Neill, Sean Coloe, Kevin Hackett, Vinny O'Brien, Conor Keenan, Bartek Maksymiak, Edward Maguire, Albin Morkowski, David Dixon, Eamonn Keenan (Manager)

The squad that recorded a sweet victory over St Colmcille's in the IFC at Dunsany, back l/r: Eoin Lynch, Ryan Moore, Vincent Byrne, Rory Maguire, Ciaran Greene, Chris Lynch, Karl Ennis, Michael Burke, John Furey, Aaron Ennis, Darragh Maguire, Ken Cleary. Back: Nick Weir (trainer), Ray Dorran, Christy O' Brien (selector), Ross Ennis, Ryan Keenan, Sean Sheridan, Damien Healy, Jason Delaney, Anthony Healy, Corrin Byrne, James Dorran, Conor Keenan, Enda Dixon, James Mahon, Mark Conway (Manager)

181


Junior D Football Championship finalists, front l/r: Joseph Stenson, Martin Bermingham, Alan Ennis, Gerard Ennis, Ian Keenan, Chris Cusack, Sean Coloe, John Furey, Ken Cleary, Darren Fagan, Brendan Hanna. Back: Owen Weir, Ronan O`Brien, Alan Holton, Bartec Maksymiak, Jason Delaney, Corrin Byrne, John Cully, David Fagan, Mick Weir, Martin Lee, Pauric Barron, James Colgan, Damien Dixon

Hill of Down side shaded the verdict by 0-11 to 0-10 to top the group and advance directly into the semi-finals. The good news for the ‘Wood was that Dunboyne’s victory over Boardsmill enabled them to book a quarter-final slot. Longwood again missed several chances in the first half and Killyon were ahead by 0-7 to 0-6 at half-time. Weir’s side continued to be wayward in the second period and were denied goals by brilliant saves from Stephen Quinn. They went 22 minutes without a score and Killyon were 011 to 0-8 ahead with three minutes remaining. Longwood went in search of a goal as their qualification hopes were in doubt, but Damien Healy was thwarted by Quinn and Moore pointed from the rebound. Anthony Healy slotted over a free a minute into added time and there was still hope of salvaging something from the game, but time ran out. Their disappointment at losing again soon turned to joy when the Longwood players learned that they were through to the quarter-finals, but few people expected them to be good enough to beat Kilmessan. They did and it felt great. It was their first victory over the most decorated club in Meath hurling since 1986 and it was deserved.

Burke failed a fitness test on the morning of the game and didn’t play, but they still managed to shade the verdict by 210 to 1-11 as 17 year-old Ryan Moore, making his first SHC start, demonstrated plenty of potential at corner-forward. Bernard Reilly was another impressive performer and contributed three points from play. An Anthony Healy goal helped Longwood to hold a slender 1-4 to 0-6 lead at the break and their second goal arrived five minutes into the second period when Aaron Ennis’ effort from distance ended up in the net. Boardsmill hit back with a goal from Jimmy Pratt and were in contention up to the final whistle, but the ‘Wood just did enough. Those three group victories were followed by two defeats, starting with a 1-7 to 2-14 reversal against Dunboyne at Trim where 10 first half wides proved disastrous for Longwood. Burke made his return to the championship and provided a brilliant pass for Anthony Healy to goal in the 12th minute, but after so much wayward shooting they were only level (1-4 to 0-7) at the interval. Longwood added only three points to their tally in the second half, while the dismissal of Cormac Hutton 17 minutes from the end seemed to spark Dunboyne into life. They took complete control subsequently and goals from Barry Watters and Michael O’Grady pointed them in the direction of a comfortable win. The first SHC meeting of the year between Longwood and Killyon was in the last round of group games at Trim and the

Best Wishes to Longwood & Meath GAA In 2013 from

STONEY'S LONGWOOD FOR A GREAT PINT AND FINEST DRINKS

Best Wishes To Longwood GAA In 2013

Telephone: (046) 9555008 182


Anthony Healy was a star of the victory with eight pointed frees in a contest which was very enjoyable, with the teams level on six occasions, including at half-time and at the end of normal time. However, Longwood found most when it really mattered and finished best to win by 1-11 to 012. Kilmessan started well and scored the first three points, but Healy’s superb free-taking into the wind soon got Longwood on level terms. They had a let off when Danny Maguire hit a post when going for a goal at the other end and two points from Karl Ennis and a Moore goal helped the ‘Wood to push ahead by 1-5 to 0-5. Three successive points enabled Kilmessan to be level (0-8 to 1-5) at the interval and they also notched the first two points of the second half. Longwood endured a 22-minute barren spell, but three more frees from Healy had them ahead by 1-8 to 0-10. Nicky Horan edged Kilmessan ahead again with a brace of points and the game was very much in the melting pot. Healy’s accuracy was invaluable to Longwood and he hit the target twice more from frees, before Aaron Ennis sealed a famous win with the last point. Kilmessan had Horan sent off at the end. The semi-final against Killyon, also at Pairc Tailteann, was hotly contested and it ended in heartbreak for Longwood as their parish rivals won by 0-21 to 2-12 after extra time. It was a great effort from Longwood who had Karl Ennis sent off at the start of the second half Goals from Moore and Anthony

Healy helped them to lead by 2-5 to 0-9 at the interval and despite being a player down they managed to be in front by 2-9 to 0-14 heading into added time. Wing-back Thomas Raleigh fired over two points to give Killyon the lead, but there was further drama when Longwood were awarded a free and Healy handled the pressure well to slot it over and force extra time. It finished 2-10 to 016. Killyon were the better team in extra time, adding five points to Longwood’s two, and they advanced to the final. Longwood were heartbroken. Coach Weir was still feeling angry when he spoke to Royal County a week after the game. “The sending off of Karl Ennis was a

very harsh decision,” he said. “I couldn’t understand it. It was a yellow card at the very most, but not a red. If you look at the photograph in the Meath Chronicle the following week, does Karl look like a man who had committed a sending off offence? It was the winning and losing of the game. If it was 15 against 15 we would have reached the final. Playing most of the second half with 14 men took its toll. “It was a shattering defeat. The lads put in so much work all year. They were just great. There wasn’t a bad word out of them all year. I don’t mind losing, but to lose like that was very disappointing. We also hit posts three times going for points.” As the game headed towards its conclusion Longwood looked set to

Longwood captain Albin Morkowski raises the MFL Div 6 shield at Summerhill

Best Wishes To Longwood GAA, from

Best Wishes To Longwood GAA In 2013, From

Enzos Takeaway Main Street, Enfield, Co. Meath

For All Your FISH, CHIPS & PIZZA’S

CHARTERED CERTIFIED ACCOUNTANTS & REGISTERED Tel: 046-9541008 AUDITORS Fax: 046-9541531

2 Main Street, Roche Mall, Longwood, Co. Meath

Telephone: 046 9554957

Email: info@mmcd.ie www.mmcd.ie

183


FAMILY BUTCHER

Longwood, Co. Meath. Tel: 046-9554558 • Mobile: 086-8592904

SUPPLIERS OF BEEF & LAMB Best Wishes to Longwood GAA in 2013

A2B Transport LONGWOOD, CO. MEATH.

TEL: 087-246 0258 OR 086-824 6421 Fax: 046-955 4506 Email: info@a2btransport.ie www.a2btransport.ie

• SAME DAY SERVICE • Wishing Longwood GAA Every Success In 2013 Best Wishes To Longwood GAA, From

Best Wishes to Longwood GAA In 2013 from

FOXBROOK FREE RANGE EGGS Foxbrook, Longwood, Co. Meath

Tel: 046-9546011 Fax: 046-9546761

ACE DOMESTIC APPLIANCES LTD. 1-2 French’s Lane, Trim, Co. Meath

AUTHORISED BELLING, HOOVER & CANDY DEALER

log onto

Tel: 046-9437370 Best Wishes to Longwood GAA

.com 184


triumph, but there was plenty of drama to come. “We were a point up at the end of normal time, but there was four minutes of injury time,” Nick added. “You don’t see that too often in hurling. Killyon got two very good points, but I knew our lads would keep going right to the end. That’s what they do. It was a big relief to get the equaliser. But having to play for so long with 14 men took its toll in extra time. It was so disappointing.” Longwood’s hurt was understandable, but they generally performed very well this year, even when they had to field without Mickey Burke. The quarter-final win over Kilmessan was an undoubted highlight. “It was great for the lads to beat Kilmessan,” Nick said. “They hadn’t beaten them in years. They put in so much work this year. We coped without Mickey Burke when he was missing, but you couldn’t do without him against the better teams. He’s a great fellow, a gentleman. “Looking ahead, I have no doubt that it’s in them to push on from here. There are three or four lads in the village who didn’t play this year. I wouldn’t mind getting them in.”

FOOTBALLERS SHOW PLENTY OF PROMISE Longwood’s footballers failed to advance from their group in the IFC, but they did play the sort of football which suggested they are a team with a very bright future, especially with so many young players on their panel. Weir was their coach, Mark Conway the manager and ‘Stoney’ Burke and Christy O’Brien acted as selectors. They were drawn in group A of the championship along with Gaeil Colmcille, Trim, Ballinlough and St Colmcille’s and opened their campaign with a very encouraging draw (1-8 each) against Ballinlough at Cortown. A Benji Smith goal helped Ballinlough lead by 1-4 to 0-4 at the break and they were 1-8 to 0-8 ahead with eight minutes remaining, but a well taken goal from Mickey Burke salvaged a share of the spoils for Longwood. Both sides had subsequent chances, but Peadar

Byrne and Rory Maguire were off target, Kildalkey was the venue for a second round meeting with Gaeil Colmcille and a 0-10 to 0-8 win for Longwood was the outcome as Burke and Maguire starred. The sides were level (0-5 each) at the interval, but the ‘Wood were in front by 0-8 to 0-6 at the three-quarter stage. The Kells men got back level, but points from Damien Healy and Burke secured victory. Maguire top scored with four points. Longwood edged out St Colmcille’s by 1-8 to 0-8 in the third round at Dunsany where the seasiders kicked 16 wides. They were ahead by 0-5 to 0-4 at the break, but a goal near the end from Ryan Keenan, after a very good move involving Maguire, Burke, Karl Ennis and Damien Healy, proved decisive. Trim defeated Longwood by 1-10 to 0-8 in the fourth round at Boardsmill and they were idle in the final round when Trim beat Ballinlough and St Colmcille’s defeated Gaeil Colmcille. Trim topped the group and went directly into the semi-finals, while Ballinlough qualified for the quarterfinals as runners-up. Longwood’s great efforts failed to earn them a place in the knockout action.

JUNIOR D FINAL BRINGS DISAPPOINTMENT Longwood did extremely well to reach the Junior D FC final, but there was disappointment when they were edged out by Meath Hill (1-6 to 0-8) at Pairc Tailteann. The original fixture was abandoned when news came through of the tragic death of Meath Hill junior player Niall Tully in a motorcycle accident and the victory in the rearranged decider was an emotional one for the club. The key score of the decider was the only goal which came from a penalty by Pierce McGrath which helped Meath Hill to a 1-4 to 0-3 interval advantage. Substitute Martin Birmingham made a big impression and two of his three points twice drew Longwood level in the second period. They also had to call on goalkeeper Jason Delaney to make a smart save

185

Edward Maguire

Conor Keenan heads for goal

Stephen King


from Paddy Owens in that half. The match looked set to end in a draw until McGrath snatched victory for Meath Hill from a late free. Apart from Birmingham’s scores there were also points from Ian Keenan (two), Sean Coloe, Alan Ennis and Gerard Ennis, but Longwood came up just short in the end. The Longwood team was – J Delaney; J Colgan, K Cleary, J Furey; J Stenson, D Dixon, C Cusack; S Coloe (0-1), M Weir; C Byrne, A Holton, R Ennis; I Keenan (0-2), A Ennis (0-1), G Ennis (0-1). Subs – M Birmingham (0-3) for Byrne, P Barron for Holton.

Ryan Moore against Ballinabrackey

Another goal for Anthony Healy

Aaron Ennis has a look for the Boardsmill goals

MFL: MORKOWSKI LEADS 'WOOD' TO TITLE Albin Morkowski was the toast of Longwood as he captained the club to the Meath MFL Division 6 title with a 0-8 to 0-5 victory over Ballinabrackey at Summerhill. The first half was a scrappy affair as both teams found it difficult to come to terms with a cross field wind. The game had to wait till the 15th minute for the opening score when Ryan Moore pointed for Longwood. A Niall Thompson free levelled the game before points from Sean Dalton and David Dixon gave the winners a two point lead. Dean Keogh stretched the winners lead with the opening score of the second half after ten minutes. Ballinabrackey enjoyed their best period of the game and points from another free from Thompson and their first score from play from David Finn had the game level again. With Morkowski and Conor Keenan beginning to dominate Longwood got the next four scores. Two points apiece from Ryan Moore and Sean Dalton ensured that the title was heading to Longwood. After the game Meath Minor Board Chairman John Kavanagh presented the Minor Football League Division 6 Shield to a delighted Longwood captain Albin Morkowski. Longwood: Eoin O'Sullivan, Vinny O'Brien, Edward Maguire, Stephen King, Albin Morkowski, Kevin Hackett, David Dixon (0-1), Conor Keenan, Ryan Moore (0-3), Sean Coloe, Nathan O'Neill, Dean Keogh (0-1), Sean Dalton (0-3).

186

Anthony Healy is under pressure

Sean Sheridan holds on

Michael Burke gains possession


BALLINLOUGH Club stalwart Kevin Reilly combined the roles of treasurer and selector in 2012 and he looks back on another year of unfulfilled promise as Ballinlough fell at the quarterfinal hurdle in the Meath IFC.

S

eamus Kiernan guided Oldcastle to Meath IFC glory in 2009 and near neighbours Ballinlough hoped he could repeat the trick this year. The former Cavan senior selector took over the reigns from Vinny Ryan but a first Intermediate success since 1991 proved elusive when they lost out to Castletown in the quarter-final. Ballinlough’s first championship outing under their new manager ended in stalemate – 1-8 apiece – against Longwood in Cortown. The north Meath men looked set for victory with time almost up but they were denied by a late Mickey Burke goal. Benji Smith’s first half goal helped establish a 1-4 to 0-4 interval lead for Ballinlough and they pushed on to lead by 1-8 to 0-8 by the 52nd minute. They failed to add to their tally in the remaining time and paid the price when the county player earned Longwood a share of the spoils. There was a controversial ending to the second round local derby against

Ballinlough celebrate the Division 5 Reserve League win over Longwood at Lomans Park

REILLY UPBEAT ABOUT THE LOUGH’S FUTURE Gaeil Colmcille which the Ken Rothwell side narrowly shaded on a scoreline of 1-9 to 0-10. Ballinlough gained revenge for the previous year’s semi-final defeat to their north Meath rivals but Gaeil Comcille players and officials were none too happy with referee Brendan Darby at the final whistle. There were no complaints when the Ballinabrackey official awarded

Ballinlough a penalty following a foul on Ronan McGuinness but trouble erupted after Ken Rothwell’s spotkick was saved by Kells netminder David Drew. Darby penalised Drew for stepping off his line before Rothwell made contact with the ball and instructed that the penalty be re-taken. Peadar Byrne stepped up and made the most of Ballinlough’s second bite

On duty against Gaeil Colmcille in the IFC at Carnaross, front l/r: James Baugh, Johnnie Reilly, Jonathan Reilly, Paul Farrelly, Padraig Muldoon, Keith McGuinness, Robbie Farrell, Emmet Smith, Mark McCullen, Ken Rothwell, Ronan McGuinness, Dara Farrelly. Back: James O'Higgins, Peadar Byrne, Benji Smith, Junior Reilly, Conor Briody, Cian Mallon, Tommy McCullen, Niall Farrelly, Colm Mallon, Kevin Devine, Gary Reilly, Michael Geraghty

Log onto www.dlynchpics.com to view more club photos

187


www.qway.com.au


The talented U10 squad with mentors for the North West League decider against St Brigid's at Moylagh, front l/r: Fiona Farrell, Sam Kinghorne, Ben Jordan, Brendan Flemming, Louis Finnegan, Breen Casserley, Adam Kane, John Johnson, James McDermott. Back l-r: Julie Ann McGee, Aine Rooney, Sean Tunney, Jamie Casserley, Oisin McDermott, Senan McDermott, Conor Roundtree, Jack Smith, Harry Ryan, James Murray, Ciara Garry. Mentors are Jim Casserley and John Jordan

at the cherry and Ballinlough overturned their 0-3 to 0-6 half-time deficit to bag the two points, as well as the local bragging rights. Kieran’s charges guaranteed their place in the knock-out stages with a convincing 2-15 to 0-8 win over St Colmcille’s in round 3 at Rathkenny. The ‘Cille’s were reduced to 14 men in the first half and Ballinlough made the most of their numerical advantage after the resumption with Peadar Byrne helping himself to seven points and goals from Kevin

Mallen and Ken Rothwell sealing an easy victory. A win over Trim in the final group game would send Ballinlough straight into the last four of the Mattie McDonnell Cup race but they came up short when losing by 1-8 to 2-9 and had to be content with second place in Group A. The signs looked good for the team in red and white when Tommy McCullen goaled early in the second half against the town opposition but Neil Heffernan soon cancelled that

green flag out. A second Trim goal put pay to Ballinlough’s chances and they had to settle for a quarter-final clash against Ballinlough. A place against Na Fianna in the semi-final was up for grabs but the concession of a late penalty proved to be the Lough’s undoing as they made their exit from this year’s Meath IFC at the quarter-final stage. The game was very much in the melting pot entering the final five minutes with the Lough trailing by a

Prior to the U12 Summer Shield decider against St Cuthbert’s at Cortown, front l/r: Emma Reilly, Sean Tunney, Adam Kane, Jack Smith, Daragh Caffrey, Fergal Gibney, Emma Connell, Vinny Ryan (mentor). Back: Natene Gaughran, Robert Ryan, Harry Finnegan, Harry Ryan, Philip Byrne, Daragh McCaul, Joshua Lynch, Brendan McCullen, Ciaran Farrelly. Mentors at back Hugh McDonnell, Martin Lynch, Francis Tunney and Noel Kane

189


Continued Best Wishes to Ballinlough GAA from

Rothwell Painters & Decorators Ltd. PAINTING CONTRACTORS

INDUSTRIAL - COMMERCIAL FIRE COATING - EPOXY FLOORING STRADONE STREET, BALLYJAMESDUFF, CO. CAVAN.

Tel: 049-854 4167 Fax: 049-8545167

Reilly Agri & Plant Sales

VF VENIERI

Main Dealers for Same Tractors - Venieri Loaders DieciTeleporters - Shelbourne Reynolds Diet Feeders

TELEPORTERS

WE HIRE TELEPORTERS & PLANT

Every Success to Ballinlough GAA from

JAMES HEALY CONSTRUCTION Beherna, Ryefield, Virginia

Large Selection of Second Hand Tractors

• New Houses • Extensions • Renovations

Every Success to Meath and Best Wishes to Ballinlough in 2013

Tel: 049-8547574 Mobile: 087-2544862

Animal Health Centre

NEW WHEELS LTD.

Kentstown, Navan, Co. Meath. • Crossakiel, Kells, Co. Meath. Tel: 041-9825819 Fax: 041-9825927 Mobile: 086-2550361 Evening: 046-9243795 Email: reillyagrisales@eircom.net

Smith & Foley

NEW & PART WORN CARS, VANS, JEEPS, COMMERCIAL LORRIES Also Puncture Repairs BREAKDOWN SERVICE Ballinlough, Kells, Co. Meath. Tel: 046-9243080 Mobile: 087-2934926 CONTACT: PAUL TUNNEY Best Wishes to Ballinlough GFC & Kilskyre HC

Bective Street, Kells, Co. Meath. Tel: 046-9240434 Fax: 046-9249895 Surgery Hours Mon-Fri 5pm-6.30pm By Appointment Sat 11.30am-1pm 24 HOUR EMERGENCY SERVICE NEW DOG GROOMING SERVICE AVAILABLE

Best Wishes to Ballinlough GAA

SAME PARTS

Best Wishes & Continued Success to Ballinlough GAA from

Declan McNamee • • • •

F. REILLY AGRISPARES LTD.

Same, Lamborghini & Hurlimann Tractor Parts

Re-Wiring Gate Automation Fire Alarm Home/Office Computer Networks

C2 Registered : ECSSA Registered : Fully Insured

Balgree, Carnaross, Kells, Co. Meath Tel: 087-991 4805 Email: mcnamee_electrical@ireland.com

Crossakiel, Kells, Co. Meath, Ireland. Tel: 00353-46-9243793/ 00353-46-9243141 Fax: 00353-46-9243021 Email: sameparts@eircom.net Best Wishes to Meath & Continued Success to Ballinlough & Kilskyre

190


U14 ‘keeper Colm Lynch

Conor Flemming

Cormac Gibney heads goalwards

point but their chances of a second successive place in the semi-final stages of the IFC were derailed when Joey Curley awarded a penalty to Castletown for a foul on substitute Alan Smith. Ballinlough goalkeeper Keith McGuinness dived the wrong way in a bid to keep out Kevin Ross’ penalty. Keith’s brother Ronan went close to sending the game to extra-time but his injury-time effort finished up in the Castletown side netting. “I genuinely thought he had blown the whistle for over-carrying by the Castletown player,” recalled Ballinlough selector and club treasurer Kevin Reilly referring to the penalty decision. “I couldn’t believe it when he signalled for a penalty because, even if it was a foul, the Castletown player looked to have been outside the large square. “In fairness to the lads, they battled back and came close to snatching a draw but it wasn’t to be.” Reilly – whose teenage son Gary made the breakthrough onto the club’s intermediate side this year and lined out at left half-forward against Castletown – was a member of Seamus Kieran’s backroom team this year along with Mickey Rennicks and Seamie Fagan. Treasurer for the last eight years, he was disappointed that they didn’t do themselves justice in the last four encounter. “I don’t really know what to put it down to. We didn’t play well yet we were still in it coming up to the final whistle and could have got the draw. “We had our chances. We hit four wides in the run-up to half-time, two 45s and two from play. Those misses proved to be costly. We were 0-4 to 06 down at half-time and should have been ahead despite not playing well.” Like a lot of clubs in the North Meath area, the recession and emigration has taken its toll on Ballinlough. This year, for example, they were dealt a double blow when Lorcan Maguire and Derek Muldoon departed for Australia. Kevin insisted that any future success will depend on keeping the current batch of players together. “They are still young enough and I firmly believe there is a championship in them. I’d be optimistic about the

191

Daragh Caffrey

Danny Gerard

Joshua Lynch holds on


Patrick & Regina Tunney would like to wish Ballinlough every success in 2013

Copper Kettle Restaurant 5024 Skillman Ave Woodside, NY 11377+4156 Tel: (718) 335-7596

40-15 Queens Boulevard, Sunnyside NY 11104 Tel: 718-784 6400/6443 Email: info@purespanyc.com www.purespanyc.com

McCabe’s BAR & LOUNGE

Crossakiel, Kells, Co. Meath • Tel: (046) 9243046

ENJOY A GOOD PINT IN COMFORTABLE SURROUNDINGS Proprietors: Fergal & Angela McCabe ALL GAA MATCHES ON BIG SCREEN Best Wishes To Meath, Ballinlough, Kilskyre Gaelic Clubs & Crossakiel Handball Club

Best Wishes to Ballinlough GAA from

Best Wishes to Ballinlough GAA from

PHILIP SMITH PLANT HIRE & SERVICES

HUGH McDONNELL

GROUNDWORKS - DEMOLITION PLANT HIRE - CONCRETE CORE DRILLING - ASBESTOS REMOVAL & DISPOSAL SERVICE C2 REGISTERED - FULLY INSURED Seymourstown, Carnaross, Kells, Co. Meath.

SUPPLYING FRESH MILK, LOW FAT, SLIMLINE, SUPERMILK, FRESH CREAM, YOGURT, ORANGE JUICE, APPLE JUICE

Tel: 046-9243987 Mobile: 086-8597044

Tel: 087-2365481 192


Unsuccessful against Boardsmill in the U14 shield final at Kilmainham were, front l/r: Philip Byrne, Joshua Lynch, Fergal Gibney, Daragh Caffrey, Cormac Gibney, Harry Finnegan (inset). Back row l/r: Conor Flemming, Patrick Caffrey, Niall McDonnell, Colm Lynch, Eoin McCabe, Daniel Gerrard, Ciaran Farrelly. Mentors at back: Martin Lynch, Hugh McDonnell, Sean Smyth, Noel Kane

future provided we can keep the lads together. “We lost a couple of key players – Lorcan Maguire and Derek Muldoon – to Australia this year and we can’t afford to be missing the likes of those players.” 2012 wasn’t a complete write-off for Ballinlough, however, as they did gain outright honours in their own tournament that featured senior sides Rathkenny, Nobber and Oldcastle. Ballinlough scored a 2-11 to 2-8 victory over their neighbours Oldcastle in the Finnan Cup decider. “We played Nobber and Oldcastle and we played our best football all year in those games, in particular in the final against Oldcastle. Every single one of the players played well,” revealed Reilly. “We were on a roll at that stage but, unfortunately, the three week break before the All-Ireland MFC final came at a bad time for us. We lost a bit of momentum before the Trim defeat.” The club’s junior D footballers went one step further than

their

intermediate

counterparts

in

their

respective

championship but they found Longwood too difficult a proposition to negotiate in the semi-final. They were denied a place in the decider against Meath Hill

Best Wishes To Ballinlough GAA In 2013 From

Trevor Mulvany

Sports Therapists MS.PT. SCS.Dip. SMT

Trigger Point Therapy Sports Injury Massage Therapy Deep Muscle Massage Swedish Massage Therapy • First Aid Training PNF Stretching • Pro-Argine+ Castlepole, Carnaross, Kells, Co. Meath

Contact Trevor Mulvany on 085 1654492 Email: trevormulvany@gmail.com

Best Wishes To Ballinlough GAA In 2013, From All At

Clonabreany House & Courtyard lie at the gateway to the Boyne Valley in Clonabreany near Crossakiel, Co. Meath

The area has a rich cultural and political heritage from mesolithic times through to the present day. It has been the seat successfully of the O’Reilly clan, the Anglo Norman Plunketts of St. Oliver Plunkett fame and the Wade family in the wake of the Cromwellian Settlement.

Clonabreany House, Clonabreany, Crossakiel, Co. Meath Tel: +353 (0)46 924 3814 | Email: info@clonabreanyhouse.ie

193


MARTIN LYNCH REG. CARPENTRY & BUILDING CONTRACTOR Johnstown, Kilskyre, Kells, Co. Meath

Tel: 087-2274572 • 046-9433225 Wishing Ballinlough GAA & Crossakiel Handball Every Success In The Coming Year Fully Insured SEI Approved Member C2 Registered Design, Supply and Installation of Central Cabeling Systems for the latest in Communication & Entertainment Service

Kilskyre, Kells, Co. Meath

CONTINUED BEST WISHES TO BALLINLOUGH GAA

Tel/Fax: 046 9241712 | Mobile: 087 6725980 Email: devineplumbingandheating@eircom.net

Best Wishes To Ballinlough GAA, From

Installation & Maintenance of: Multimedia Network Streaming Multi Room Audio Systems Gate Control via Phone Lighting control via Phone Plasma & LCD TV Installation & Maintenance for: Smarthomes Systems Home Cinema Creston Automation Systems Lighting Control CCTV Computer Networking Call us on 086-8222221 or visit www.farrellyelectrical.com Dulane, Kells, Co. Meath

Sylvan Tractor Spares One of Ireland’s leading suppliers of agricultural and tractor replacement parts AGRICULTURAL TRACTORS | VINTAGE TRACTORS| EARTHMOVING MACHINERY We also stock a variety of new and used tractors, excavators and other agricultural machinery. Sylvan Park, Kells, Co. Meath Tel +353 46 92 41178 | Fax +353 46 92 49259 www.sylvanparts.com

ANDJON LTD. TEACH FADA Continued Success to Ballinlough GAA from

GROUNDWORKS & PLANT HIRE

KILSKYRE, CO. MEATH. TEL: 046-9243710 Best Wishes to Kilskyre HC & Ballinlough GFC

Kentstown, Navan, Co. Meath.

Tel: 087-2550361 E:andjondev@gmail.com

194


on a scoreline of 4-7 to 2-9. “The second team also won their B FL final so that is another positive from the year,” the treasurer pointed out. “You would have to be optimistic about the future,” he concluded. The Ballinlough team which lost out to Castletown in the IFC quarter-final this year was as follows: K McGuinness; B Smith, P Muldoon, R Farrell; M Geraghty, K Devine, Colm Mallen; T McCullen (02), P Byrne (0-6, 1f); Cian Mallen, R McGuinness, G Reilly; S Geraghty (0-1), S Deevy, M McCullen. Subs – K Rothwell for Deevy, D Reilly for G Reilly.

St Oliver’s celebrate with the MFC Division 2 cup at Carlanstown

Manager Seamus Kiernan

The talented U8s

Peadar Byrne outfields his county companion Justin Carry Lynch

Stars for the future, U6s

195


Best wishes to all at The Energy Centre, from

Heatmerchants Navan, Old Dublin Rd, Navan Tel: 046-9072900 Contact: Trevor Mc Keever

Heatmerchants Drogheda, Unit 17, Donore Industrial Estate, Tel: 041-9836403 Contact: Tom McNally

Best Wishes To The Energy Centre, From

Ireland’s No.1 Plumbing/ Solar Wholesaler www.solarproducts.ie

Tel: 1850 50 50 90 Best Wishes To The Energy Centre, From

DARRAN REID ELECTRICAL SERVICES LTD INDUSTRIAL | COMMERCIAL | DOMESTIC | AGRICULTURAL

Quality work carried out and Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed

FREE QUOTES & ESTIMATES M: 086 0766769 | T: 041 9819906 Email: reiddarran83@gmail.com KELLS ROAD, COLLON, CO. LOUTH

log onto

.com 196


SPECIAL FEATURE

The hard-working and knowledgeable team at The Energy Centre in Duleek

How do you fancy a 60% saving on your home fuel bill? This is exactly what The Energy Centre guarantees. The brainchild of Robert and Tracy Lynch, the Duleek based company is saving customers nationwide a small fortune. ‘Royal County’ spoke to co-founder Robert about the success of the family business to date as well as their sponsorship of Duleek/Bellewstown GAA.

B

ased at Unit 11D in Duleek Business Park, The Energy Centre is Ireland’s leading installer of solar panels and other renewable energy services. Let’s get straight down to brass tacks: solar panels can save a family up to 70% on hot water costs, while upgrading a home’s heating system can save as much as 50% on fuel. What’s more, Robert Lynch is so confident in the capabilities of The Energy Centre’s renewable-energy solutions that the company is prepared to pay people to listen to them! “We know these products deliver. We know they will save people money. That’s why we are prepared to give a fuel voucher worth

60% SAVING, ANYONE? €20 to anybody to allow us to go to their home and give them a demonstration on how we can save them 60% on their annual fuel bill.” Thus, the renewable-energy products sold and installed by The Energy Centre are as close to a nobrainer as you are likely to get. They save you money and they are friendly to the environment. By installing a solar heating system, for example, the customer can self-produce up to 70% of his/her total hot water requirements, whilst at the same time making the environment cleaner for everyone. The firm belief of the team at The Energy Centre is that solar energy is the future. Fossil fuels are not going to last forever, so it’s now time to embrace a more sustainable method of heating hot water. The Energy Centre installs an average of 1,500 systems per year, using the highest quality solar panels and tubes from Europe’s leading manufacturers. Their solar panels are specifically

197

designed for the Irish climate - they don't need sunlight but instead work on natural daylight. The government offers substantial grants to those applying for solar panel installations. Furthermore, the installation of solar panels will add to the value of your home. The Energy Centre’s solar panels can be installed in any home in just one day by technicians who are SEAI-registered. How exactly do these panels work? Basically, solar collectors capture the sun’s radiation, conducting the heat to the liquid in the panels or tubes. The heated liquid is then pumped via stainless steel pipes through a coil in the home’s insulated tank. The water in the tank conducts the heat from the coil, resulting in hot water which can be used throughout the home. Meanwhile, energy-efficient heating controls work on several levels. First of all, installing a high-efficiency boiler will mean up to 97% efficient burning of fuel, compared to 70% in


Before and after The Energy Centre fitted a solar panel on this home

gas or oil boilers that are 15 years old. Secondly, proper thermostatic controls mean further savings. And finally, splitting your home into zones means you only heat the areas you need. Om top of this, you can take complete control of your heating and hot water from wherever you are by using your mobile phone or the internet. Reflecting on the genesis of The Energy Centre, Robert – who comes from a heating / plumbing background - notes: “Myself and my wife set the business up in 2004. We saw an opening in the market for renewable energy. It was clear that building regulations would change and that people would have to reconsider how they were heating their homes.” The Lynches were correct in their assessment of the marketplace and The Energy Centre has taken off during the eight years since its inception. Most of the work is retrofits, whereby the team of technicians calls out to the customer’s home and carries out a detailed assessment before providing options on how best to proceed. “We’ll tell them what they can do and advise them on how to optimise the return on their investment,” says Robert. “99% of the houses we go to would achieve a 50% saving on their home heating costs. “We install all the equipment and we are the largest installer of solar panels in Ireland, installing on average 20 systems per week.

Contrary to what people might believe, Ireland is actually one of the best countries in Europe for solar power. We would be on a par with France. Once the solar panels are installed, they can provide 70% of your hot water needs and 35% of your home heating requirements.” Although the service is nationwide, a large volume of work is carried out in Meath and surrounding counties. “We provide a free, no-obligations survey where we actually give the customer a €20 fuel voucher for allowing us to give them a presentation, where we essentially run through the benefits of renewable energy in layman’s terms and demonstrate in a clear and open way how they can cut back on their energy bills. “These products make total commercial sense. The demand for solar panels and heating controls is very high at the moment and the high cost of fuel is influencing that. People simply can’t afford to heat their homes the traditional way anymore – and why should they when there is a cheaper alternative that is better for the environment? As a nation, we really should have done something about this years ago because CO2 emissions in Ireland are extremely high. There has been a perception that once the boiler is working that’s all that matters. People just went along with it … but the penny is starting to drop and people are slowly embracing change.” Although each home is different and

198

it’s impossible to give a precise quote without surveying the building first, I asked Robert to give me a very general indication of the sort of savings that can be made – and the costs incurred by the customer in installing renewable solutions: “On average, it might cost between €4,500 and €5,000 for an upgrade. A loan of this amount from the credit union would cost about €25 per week over four years. An average home spends about €2,500 per year on fuel. A 50% saving on this is €1,250, but we achieving 60%, which is €1,500. So the saving will more than cover the cost of the loan for the first four years. After that, the annual saving is yours. “And don’t forget that fuel is going up an average or 15% per year – and has gone up 100% over the last two years. So there has never been a better time to decrease your dependency on fossil fuels.” The Energy Centre uses only the best brands in the industry and all their products come with a full fiveyear warranty. “You have to be able to stand over your product,” says Robert. The Energy Centre’s contribution to the local community is immeasurable. It provides direct employment to a team of 25 plus the same again in subcontractors. Robert and Tracy also agreed to serve as official sponsor of Duleek/Bellewstown GAA club in 2012 and they are hoping that the partnership can be renewed in 2013.


SPECIAL FEATURE Terry Lilly on the North Road, Finglas

For the past 25 years, Terry Lilly has forged a stellar reputation for himself in the motor industry as the driving force behind Terry Lilly Commercials on North Road, Finglas. However, prior to establishing his eponymous business, the highlyrespected commercial vehicle dealer was a talented gaelic footballer with North Meath club Nobber. ‘Royal County’ caught up with Terry to reflect on those heady days of yore when he donned the black and amber.

T

erry Lilly is such an integral part of the business community in the capital that most people would be surprised to learn that he’s actually a native of Meath. It’s been many years now (43, to be precise!) since he left his native sod, but Terry still recalls those formative years with affection – particularly the gaelic football. He lined out for his local club Nobber for a number of seasons, continuing to represent them even after he had moved to the city to embark on

TERRY WORE THE NOBBER COLOURS WITH DISTINCTION a successful career in the motor trade. A transfer to none other than current Dublin kingpins Ballymun Kickhams eventually followed but club football in Meath always remained close to Terry’s heart. “I remember the keen local rivalries with Rathkenny, Meath Hill, Drumconrath, Carlanstown, Kells, Moynalty and Kilmainhamwood,” he notes. “It was always a big game and a major occasion when you were playing against any of those!” Ah, the more things change the more they stay the same! Decades may have passed, but the mindset in the Royal County is still pretty much the same today, with intense local rivalries at the very heart of the GAA. Casting his mind back to the 1960s, when his own playing days started, Terry recalls: “My parents were originally from Blacklion in Cavan but they moved to Nobber before I was born … Possestown, Nobber, County

199

Meath was the address, on the Drumconrath Road. “I was born and reared there and I lived in Nobber for 17 years, before moving to Dublin to start serving my time as a mechanic. I continued to play for Nobber for years after moving to Dublin, because I loved the football back home and always looked forward to going back for matches at the weekends, but then one day I decided to transfer to Ballymun Kickhams, which was beside me here and was a lot handier.” Terry lined out at left half forward and Nobber remained junior throughout his playing days. The closest they came to promotion was in 1966, when they contested the county junior football championship final, only to lose out to Gaeil Colmcille therein. Terry was the only member of the Lilly household to play football. “The other brothers didn’t show any interest in


Continued success to Terry Lilly, from

Continued Best Wishes To Terry Lilly, From

MONGEY PLUNKETT MOTORS

Murphy Chambers Cars MAIN NISSAN DEALER

North Road, Finglas

Dundrum Road, Dundrum, Dublin 14. t: (01) 298 8922. f: (01) 298 8951 e: info@murphychambers.ie

Call Us Today! 01 8642400 www.mongeyplunkettmotors.ie

www.murphychamberscars.ie

VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR THE BEST DEALS IN NEW & USED CARS AND SERVICING!

Best wishes to Terry Lilly, from

Best wishes to Terry Lilly, from

305 North Circular Road, Dublin 7 Tel: (01) 838 9947 • 838 0614 Fax: (01) 838 6398 Email: ashleym@iol.ie

31 Tolka Valley Business Park, Glasnevin, Dublin 11 Tel: (01) 830 0884 Fax: (01) 830 0886 Email: info@europower.ie

www.europower.ie

www.ashleyford.ie

Continued success to all at TERRY LILLY

don’t get teed off with other sites ... log onto the most comprehensive GAA website in the world

“The Hamlet”, Kettles Lane, Swords, Co. Dublin

Talk to Joe on 087-2465040

Tel: 01-840 55 24. Email: hernoncrashrepairs@hotmail.com

EXCELLENT COLOUR MATCHING - CREDIT AVAILABLE ON COMPREHENSIVE CLAIMS - PERSONAL SERVICE - INSURANCE CLAIMS HANDLED - REPLACEMENT CAR SERVICE - DENTS, BUMPS, RUST & SCRATCHES REPAIRED

www.hoganstand.com

Continued best wishes to Terry Lilly

200


gaelic football. They moved on to England and the USA,” he notes. “I would have played some juvenile football with ‘Dudley’ Farrell and his father, also ‘Dudley’, would have managed the team and he brought us to all the matches. Those were good times – nine or ten of us squeezing into the one car. But it was all safe and Dudley Snr. was a fantastic man – he made sure we got to the matches and back again safe. They were great times and I always enjoyed the football with Nobber.” What does Terry remember of his days playing in Dublin? “I played a lot in Dublin. It wasn’t exactly a golden era for Ballymun – Barney Rock would have been only a juvenile at the time and we never really won a lot. But we were competitive and we could hold our own. Times were a lot different than they are now. The GAA has graduated a lot since then – back in those days we all togged out in the back of a car. Now they have the best of facilities.” As a Meath native who earns his crust in the capital, Terry Lilly would have obvious mixed loyalties – how does he feel when the Royals and the Dubs square up to one another on Leinster championship day at Croke Park? “I suppose I’ve been living longer in Dublin now than Meath,” he says diplomatically. “If Meath are playing, I would certainly be up for them but when Dublin are up against the likes of Cork or someone like that, I’d be up for Dublin, no doubt about it. “The football is always better when Dublin are going well. There’s more

interest and more hype and I think some of the interest goes out of it when Dublin go out of the race. It was a pity Dublin didn’t get through to the AllIreland final this year. I believe a Dublin – Donegal final would have been much better. It was a poor All-Ireland final – Donegal killed the game off very early when they rattled off 2-2 at the start of the game. It might have been different against Dublin … a better game, maybe.” It’s hard to disagree with that. The founder / proprietor of Terry Lilly Commercials also played soccer at a very high level, representing Belgrove FC in the Leinster Senior League. Belgrove were more or less a semiprofessional team and they had a lot of ex-League of Ireland players on their books, so there was no place to hide. Only talented footballers were going to get a look-in, but Terry took it in his stride. He had a mercurial left peg and caused all manner of problems to defenders on both the GAA and soccer pitch. But, wait, was there no ‘ban’ in place at the time? “Ah, sure they’d prefer if you didn’t play the soccer but I managed to squeeze in both and there

201

was never any big deal about it. I loved the soccer as well, so I suppose there was no stopping me.” On the business front, Terry Lilly Commercials is recognised nationwide as the premier one-stop shop for all you light commercial vehicle needs. Terry has concentrated on light commercial vehicles since he set the business up and brings the best range of second-hand vans to the market at the best price possible. His state-ofthe-art premises (just 500 metres from the Junction 5 exit off the M50) on the North Road, Finglas are a veritable landmark and a full range of services – sales, aftersales, workshop, parts, finance etc. – is provided without fuss. “I bought the site and built the new showroom here in 2005, at a cost of €3m,” he explains. “We sell a full range of new and second-hand light commercials, jeeps and vans and we are totally independent. The light commercial market has taken a big hit and business has slowed down a lot but we still sell a lot of 4x4s. “At our peak, we employed 18 but that is now down to five full-time employees plus 15 subcontracted workers. That’s the way things have gone in this business, unfortunately. “I moved up to Dublin when I was 17 and served my time as a mechanic. I started out in 1969 and have been in the motor industry all my working life. I worked for another dealership for about ten years and then set up on my own.” Terry has never looked back. But, sometimes, when he’s feeling nostalgic, he looks back with fondness on those fantastic days spent playing football with his native Nobber!


SPECIAL FEATURE

Richard Dunne in typical determined action for St Vincent’s

Even though it’s almost three decades since Richard Dunne pulled on the St Vincent’s shirt for the first time, he still made the occasional appearance for the Ardcath outfit during the course of the 2012 season. But his main contribution was as first-team selector. ‘Royal County’ caught up with the long-serving Vincent’s clubman, who doubles up as store manager with Leinster Farm Machines.

I

t’s quite amazing really that Richard Dunne is still playing adult football, at the age of 43, though he shrugs it off himself. “I still play the odd game with the second team – when they’re stuck,” he explains. “I made my debut 28 years ago as a 15-year-old and I’ve played right through. “I suppose I’ve been very fortunate in that I’ve had no major injuries. I semi-retired three years ago, when I turned 40, but I still help them out

NOT QUITE DUNNE AND DUSTED whenever I can.” One gets the distinct impression that Richard probably plays a bit more football than he admits! The undoubted highlight of his career came in 2003 when St Vincent’s won the Meath junior ‘B’ football championship. Richard had the honour of scoring the decisive goal in the county final against Boardsmill at Pairc Tailteann, calmly slotting home a penalty to ensure that the silverware went to the east of the county. “It was a great day out for the club,” recalls the club stalwart, who predominantly lined out either on the 40 or at the edge of the square. St Vincent’s almost returned to the junior ‘B’ final stage in 2012, marching through to the semi-final stage of the competition only to be pipped by Dunshaughlin on a

202

scoreline of 1-7 to 0-9 in late September. It was a luckless defeat for the Ardcath side, who were ultimately undone by a fortuitous 24th-minute goal direct from a ‘45’. Richard, who was part of the 2012 management team (“It’s time to step aside and give the younger lads a chance.”), admits that the small population in the locality has always worked against the Vincent’s: “Numbers have always been limited, especially with lads moving away or retiring, but the club has always kept going. As well as winning the junior ‘B’ in 2003, we also got to a couple of other finals and semi-finals, so we have been there or thereabouts.” In the late 1990s, the St Vincent’s clubman had the distinction of representing Meath, as he was part


Best Wishes To Leinster Farm Machinery, From

OXY-ARC LTD SIP AIR COMPRESSORS MUREX WELDING EQUIPMENT BOSCH POWER TOOLS

WWW.OXYARC.IE FOR ALL YOUR EQUIPMENT AND TOOLS Coes Road, Dundalk | Tel: 042 9331137

Richard Dunne as a St. Vincent’s selector

of the county junior side that squared up to Laois in the Leinster JFC at Pairc Tailteann – a memorable experience for any footballer. With his playing career now all but over, he is hoping that his son will follow in his footsteps: “Richard Jnr. is only seven but he has the jersey already. He was with the nursery team and took part in the U8 Blitz there in June. I’m hoping he plays the football, anyway.” Away from the playing field, Richard Dunne is store manager with Leinster Farm Machines in New Lanes, Duleek, for whom he has worked for the past 26 years. Specialising in sales, service and spare parts for tractors, combines, balers, tillage and slurry equipment etc., Leinster Farm Machines was established in 1979 and has been serving Irish farmers for over 30 years. The company has developed a reputation for high service levels and a huge parts back-up. LFM service and carry spare parts for everything they sell and their highly-trained workshop staff are recognised as the best in the business, with an out-of-hours service

203


BEST WISHES TO ALL AT LEINSTER FARM MACHINERY FROM AIDAN & SHIRLEY RYAN

BUILDING CONTRACTORS

Fully Insured C2 Registered Specialists In:

• NATURAL STONEWORK • LANDSCAPING DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION • GROUND MAINTENANCE

Tel: 041 9825483. Athcarne, Duleek, Co. Meath. Fax: 041 98 25829 Email: info@aidanryan.ie

Plant Hire • Silage • Maize Cutting • Site Clearance Drainage • Fencing • Agricultural Buildings Athcarne, Duleek, Co. Meath Tel: 041 9825483 Fax: 041 9825829 Email: info@aidanryan.ie


available during the busy harvesting and grass season. Main Claas dealer for the north east, Leinster Farm Machines also stocks a full range of Lemken, Kramer, Hawe, Stanhay, Major, Erth and JF Stoll equipment as well as a number of other suppliers. “I’ve been with them since I left school and there would be 15 employed here at the moment between the workshop, stores, office staff and sales,” Richard notes. “Agriculture is going very well, thankfully, and we had a very good year in 2012. We sold a lot of combines in particular this year. Philip O’Hare from Westmeath runs the business and they’ve always been very good to me in fairness. We’ve always been able to work around the football.” Returning to the football, Richard is

confident that St Vincent’s have plenty of potential going forward: “Having got to the semi-final of the junior ‘B’ this year, you would have to say we are going well enough. The underage side of the club is going pretty well – they won an U17 league and reached a minor semi-final, so the future looks okay.” Numbers have traditionally been a stumbling block – is this still the case? “We had a panel of 25 in 2012, which isn’t too bad. The majority of them are young and I would expect them to go again next year. We also got to a Division 4B final against Dunsany this year, so it wasn’t a bad year for the club.” Richard came on as a substitute in that match and fired two goals in the space of five minutes. Maybe the outcome would have been different if he’d been on the field for the full hour?! “Ah sure I’m sure we’d have

won if I’d been on,” he jokes. The junior ‘B’ championship defeat to Dunshaughlin was a more-difficult pill to swallow. “We should have beaten them, even though they had a lot of seniors on the field that day.” Generally speaking, Richard is confident that the future of St Vincent’s is in good hands. “We have floodlights now and decent facilities. It’s a very small parish and you have a lot of other smaller teams amalgamating to win championships. Who knows – maybe that’s something that will happen in the future. We’re joined with Curragha from U14 level up to minor and that’s going well. Who knows what the future holds?” Whatever happens, one thing is certain: there will always be football in Ardcath and Richard Dunne will be involved in one way or another!

Meath Hill’s Martin McKenna receives the Dickser Dunne Memorial Cup, named after the legendary St Vincent’s clubman, from Barney Allen,County Board Chairman and sponsor Peter Fox

205


SPECIAL FEATURE Declan McCabe Summerhill manager

Summerhill may have failed to defend their Keegan Cup title in 2012, but manager Declan McCabe is confident that this side can reach the summit of Meath senior football once again.

L

ast year, the 'Hill caused a bit of a surprise by winning the county title for the first time since 1986, which was way too long with success for a club of its stature and prestige. In recent years there has been a great emphasis placed on the club's underage structure and that hard work paid off last year when Dunshaughlin were defeated in the county final after a replay. In his first year in charge of the side Cavan native Declan McCabe was hailed a messiah in those parts as he put the finishing touches to the hard work put in by his predecessors as 25 years of heartache were laid to rest.

SUMMERHILL’S GAIN However, from the start of this year's campaign, Summerhill and Declan were under no illusions about how hard it would be to defend their title. Not since Dunshaughlin's three-ina-row side of the early 00's has any team put back to back titles together such is the competitive nature of Meath senior football. Many may be of the opinion that club's don't put in as big an effort the second year around, but Declan was adamant that wasn't the case with Summerhill. “There is no question about it the hunger was still there. I could see that from the start of the year,” stressed Declan. “The players were all out to defend their title, but this is such a competitive championship that anywhere between six to eight teams could win it in any given year.” A number of injuries to key players at different stages through the year did not help their cause, but Declan was quick to add that cannot be used

206

as an excuse for failure, county champions are expected to have strength in depth and in any case all teams invariably suffer from the same fate of losing key players over the course of the championship. “We did have a few injuries, but sure look what team doesn't in fairness. You can't really blame that. Our exit from the championship can be attributed to our inability to take our chances on the day, you cannot blame the players for lack of effort but it is in defeats that you learn most and certainly a little more composure during critical periods of the game could have changed the eventual outcome. Players and management alike know that we are a match for any team in the county on our day but at the same time the efforts that goes into the preparation are only rewarded when the team performs as a unit when it counts most on match day”


Summerhill’s U15 Division 1 finalists, front l/r: Conor Burke, Conor McNally, Jack Lynch, Jack Quinn, Jack Cummins, Mark Donoghue, Kyle Benson, Liam Shaw, Jack Bruton, Dermott McCabe. Back l/r: Martin Crowe, Jarlath Hughes, Ciaran Boyce, Daragh Jackson, Jack Farrell, Iarla Hughes, Eoghan Crowe, Jack Davies, Cathal Brien, Ross Ryan, Cian Devlin, Cathal Ryan, Ronan Ryan, Ethan Balfe, Sean Larkin, Donal Bruton, Conor Freyne, Noel Davies

to pick from, but like other clubs we have had to deal with this reality. The committed nature of the club is highlighted by the fact that significant self-sacrifices are being made by a number of players who continue to travel home from abroad for team duties throughout the year. As well as the personal sacrifices for the players themselves and the added pressures on the players to be fit to perform, it also

Declan admitted that the current format of the championship also presents significant challenges and is particularly frustrating for club players who have to endure a long break during the middle of the summer while county teams are in competition, but the former Gowna player feels that there is no easy solution to the problem. “From a management and a player's point of view, it is very difficult to prepare properly for the championship. You play a couple of games as early as April and then the next game might not be for three months and it is difficult to maintain the momentum during that period. At the end of the day players want the reward of playing competitive games as opposed to just weeks of training during the height of the summer period. In saying that I do sympathize with the county board as they are in a difficult situation. A lot of people are critical of the current format, but not many have a solution to the problem.” Summerhill have been fortunate in regards to emigration as unlike some clubs they have not lost too many players through this current situation cause by the downturn in the economy, but Declan did reveal that the club has being most supportive in limiting the impact of loss of players. “A few players from the extended panel emigrated all right and any club would welcome the opportunity to have them

SMC Pneumatics (Ireland) Ltd 2002 Citywest Business Campus, Naas Road, Saggart, Co. Dublin Telephone: 01 4039000. Fax: 01 4640500. E-mail: sales@smcpneumatics.ie

www.smcpneumatics.ie Continued Good Wishes To All At Hewlett Packard (Manufacturing) Ltd. 207


Continued Success To Hewlett Packard Ireland Ltd, From

“INNOVATIONS & SOLUTIONS IN PACKAGING” CHETO ENGINEERING LTD

Unit 33, Slaney Road, Dublin Industrial Est, Glasnevin, Dublin 11.

T: (+353) 01 9030120 M: (+353) 087 2559919

www.chetoengineering.com

Specialists in: • Precision Injection moulding • Product Development • Project Management • Manufacturing Services • Supply Chain Management • Ongoing Technical Support Trend Technologies Mullingar Ltd., Mullingar Business Park, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.

Tel: 044-9334300

Fax: 044-9341448 Email: info@trendtechnologies.ie Web: www.trendtechnologies.ie

Best Wishes To Hewlett-Packard (Manufacturing) Limited

208


Aisling McCabe makes a great block for Dangan NS against Baconstown in the Meath Cumann na mBunscol finals at Pairc Tailteann

requires a very committed club to provide the required resources. Already clubs are putting in place plans for the 2013 campaign and Declan is in no doubt that Summerhill will be in the reckoning for honours for the season to come. “There is no doubt in my mind that if the players give the same commitment as they have done for the past couple of years then they can go a long way in the championship. They know what it takes to win it and they will learn from the experience of this year. It is always going to take a huge effort to win the championship, but the talent is certainly there and I'd be confident that they can still be involved when the big prizes are being given out” As stated the club's underage structure has flourished in recent years and Declan confirms that there is a huge amount work being done in both the club and the local schools.

“The work is certainly being done at underage. There is a great core group of people working very hard from the nursery right up to minor level and the club actively encourages participation by new members every year”. “Special mention must go to Jenny Rispin for the work she has done throughout this year with both boys and girls but I stress that Jenny is just another member of a long line of committed people who have done so

The Hewlett Packard plant

209

much with the development of the clubs young players over the years” Declan has resided in the Summerhill area for over ten years now and his home even overlooks the Summerhill pitch, so it is no surprise that his four children Aoife, Diarmuid, Aisling and Aileen are all showing a keen interest in the big ball game. Declan's role as Sourcing Engineering manager with Hewlett Packard sees him travel the world. HP is the world's largest technology company. It brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure at the convergence of the cloud and connectivity, creating seamless, secure, context-aware experiences for a connected world. The facility in Ireland is based in Leixlip, Co Kildare and employs over 3,500 people.


SPECIAL FEATURE

David as manager of Boardsmill during the 2011 IHC final at Pairc Tailteann

After 19 years, David Troy has decided to bring the curtain down on his hurling career. But, as Royal County recently discovered, the former county hurler has no intention of walking away from the game or his beloved Drumree.

I

t’s with a heavy heart that David Troy has decided to hang up his hurl. For the best part of two decades, he wore the red and white jersey of Drumree with pride, soldiering alongside his brothers Declan and Gerard for many of those years. “We’re all retired now. I was the last one to go,” the 37-year-old gardener explains. “I would love to have gone on for another year or two, but the injuries have taken their toll. I have a wife and young family to consider also, so it’s time to move on. I have no regrets, the club has given me some great times and I look forward to putting something back into it as an

TROY’S LAST STAND underage coach or something like that. I’ve managed Boardsmill for the last three years, so maybe I might be able to contribute to the management side of things in years to come.” He continues: “Apart from two years I spent in England, I’ve been involved with Drumree since they first fielded a hurling team in 1991. My father Tommy, who I played alongside towards the end of his career, was one of the people to get hurling going in Drumree. “The likes of Jimmy Walsh, Willie Shanley, the late Patsy Curley and Michael Wallace were also driving forces in getting the club off the ground. They had all been involved with the old Dunshaughlin hurling club and the St. Martin’s juvenile club. Patsy and Michael were responsible for bringing a lot of us through from underage.” David bows out with Drumree an established senior club which concentrates solely on hurling. It has taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get the small south Meath club to the level they are at now. There were

210

several setbacks and disappointments in the early days. They lost three JHC ‘B’ finals in-a-row before finally making the breakthrough in 1994. Drumree won the JHC ‘B’ title again in 1997 before securing a famous JHC and JFC double in 1998. Lining out at full forward, David captained the hurlers to a replay victory over Trim, while the footballers defeated St. Mary’s. David’s brothers Declan and Gerard started all three finals. The footballers subsequently defeated Ballyroan of Laois to win the Leinster club JFC title, becoming the first club from the Royal County to do so. Drumree contested their first IHC final in 2000, only to lose to Boardsmill. They made amends three years later when they defeated Clann na nGael to go senior for the first time. They dropped back to the intermediate ranks for a few years before winning their second IHC title in 2010 at the expense of a Boardsmill team, which was managed by none other than David


Troy. Bittersweet or what! Fortunately, David and his Boardsmill charges were able to put that disappointment behind them when they beat Rathmolyon in last year’s decider. The highlight of Troy’s inter-county career was undoubtedly captaining Meath to a 2-9 to 1-6 victory over Down in the 2004 All-Ireland JHC final. Drumree was also represented on that triumphant team by Christopher Doyle, Ronan Curley and Dermot Doyle. David and Declan Troy also played in the 1998 AllIreland JHC final which Meath lost to Monaghan. By winning an All-Ireland JHC medal in 2004, David emulated the achievement of his father Tommy, who was part of the Meath team that beat Hertfordshire after a replay in 1970. Tommy wore the Kilmessan colours for most of his career. David, who played in a variety of positions, was also proud to play for the Meath senior hurlers on numerous occasions. “I was fortunate to play alongside some great hurlers like Mickey Cole, Nicky Horan and Declan Murray,” he recalls. “Meath were a competitive hurling county at the time and were playing in Division 1 of the National League. We regularly beat Dublin back then, but look where they are now and where we are? Whereas they are now reaping the rewards of 10 years of intensive underage coaching and development, we’re slipped back a good bit and aren’t even challenging for the Christy Ring Cup. It’s frustrating because the hurlers are in the county.” David feels a lot more could be done to promote hurling in Meath and fears for the future of the sport he loves and is fiercely passionate about.

“It’s a pity hurling doesn’t get enough support from the county board. There are some very passionate hurling people in this county whose voices aren’t being heard. Because Meath is a football county first and foremost, hurling is the poor relation and doesn’t get the respect it deserves. There is no master fixtures plan for hurling from what I can see. “Everything is geared around football and if we’re not careful, we could lose all those great hurling people. It’s vitally important that we do all we can to keep the game alive.” Married to Kilmessan woman Valerie Curtis, David has a 22-yearold stepdaughter called Shauna, who plays camogie with Kilmessan, and daughters Erin (five) and Connie (two). The family lives in Navan. Valerie is equally as passionate

about the small ball game, being chairperson of the Kilmessan camogie club. She was also part of the Meath management team, which was headed up by John Davis and also included Sharon Raleigh and Tom Walsh, that beat Down in last September’s All-Ireland junior camogie final at Croke Park. “We eat, drink and breathe hurling in our house!” the affable Drumree man laughs. “Valerie is just as involved in the camogie and I am in the hurling. She had a fantastic year with Meath and it was a great achievement to win the All-Ireland. They’ll be in the AllIreland intermediate championship next year and hopefully they’ll be able to keep making progress against stronger opposition.”

David Troy gains possession for Drumree in the Meath SHC at Brews Hill

Continued Best Wishes To David Troy & Drumree GAA From

211


SPECIAL FEATURE Aidan in familiar pose for Ballinabrackey

The demands of the modern GAA player have greatly increased both at club and county level. It is well documented about the intercounty players, but club players have also adopted a more professional approach in the last decade or so.

S

uch demands can take their toll and the playing career of an adult GAA player has been greatly reduced. However, there are a few that have surpassed the big 40 and continue to ply their trade. One such person is Ballinabrackey stalwart Aidan Coffey, who at 44 years of age is still lining out for the Bracks intermediate team. Aidan made his championship

STANDING THE TEST OF TIME debut in 1983 for the Ballinabrackey Junior 'B' side and next year he will be celebrating his 30th anniversary in adult football. This is a remarkable achievement in the GAA, but it has an even greater significance given the fact that he has lived and worked in Dublin since 1987! “Whilst I played hurling in Dublin I never really had the desire to transfer to a club in Dublin although the thought often crossed my mind when I was stuck in traffic on a wet winters night heading down to train!.” Aidan has fond memories of playing for Ballinabrackey, but the main highlights of his career were the junior successes in 1985 and 2010 along with the Leinster junior club title the same year.

212

He has had the distinction of captaining Meath juniors, but missed out on playing in the Leinster final, which they won that year. However, four Leinster titles were achieved during his time with the Royals. “It's a great experience playing for your county irrespective of the grade as it affords you the opportunity of meeting a lot of great people from different clubs and counties and to play in the likes of Croke Park and other great pitches around the country that you otherwise wouldn't have experienced as a club player. I missed out on the Leinster final of 1999 when I was captain. I was sent off in a league game a couple of weeks beforehand for an innocuous incident. It was certainly a low point


particularly when you consider it was the first time that I was sent off in my career but I suppose you learn from your mistakes” Having played during four decades, Aidan has seen a lot of change towards training and preparation for games. “The changes have been fairly dramatic alright. When I started out first, there were no real structures behind the training methods employed. Back then training usually involved running a few laps and then playing a game. This approach wasn't unique to clubs; I remember a story about a particular county manager in the 70's who insisted on the players running countless laps every night at training. During one of these mammoth sessions one of the players asked if they could do something different and the manger's reply was of course and he proceeded to tell them to run in the opposite direction!” “Preparation for games was equally hap hazard, I have vivid memories of lads arriving for championship matches without some of their gear or missing a boot. Also there was times when you would have difficulty seeing the other side of the dressing room because of the amount of lads that were smoking” “Over the last few years in particular the changes to the training methods employed have been fairly seismic at both club and county level. At club level the attention to detail and the almost professional approach has increased 100 fold in comparison to even 5 years ago. As an example Ballinabrackey were very fortunate to have Emmett Mc Donnell, the new Offaly manager, training us this year and before each championship match

there would be a meeting where he would utilize a PowerPoint presentation detailing the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition - a far cry from the old days arriving for a championship match not even knowing who you were playing!” “Nowadays you have to be prepared to put in the effort; there is no question but the demands are far greater than they use to be. It really is a single man's game, particularly at county level, as commitment is huge and all players, irrespective of what county they are from, must be applauded for the sacrifices they make particularly when you consider the prize at the end of the day. In fairness to the lads in Ballinabrackey, they are a very committed and dedicated bunch and it was great to get to a county semi final in the intermediate championship. As an example of how things have changed, we started in the gym last October 12 months in preparation for this year's championship and that would have been unheard of when I first started” “Its also very encouraging when you see the likes of Damien Carroll and Chris O'Connor from a small club like Ballinabrackey making it to the top and it just goes to prove that if you are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices the rewards will be there” Aidan admits that he has no intention of hanging up the boots for another few years as he feels that he will be long enough sitting beside the fire with his pipe and slippers! “I'm fortunate that I have never really suffered any serious injuries during my career. I enjoy mountain running which helps to maintain a

certain fitness level and I'm fortunate in that our office in Rathfarnham is at the foot of the Dublin Mountains where there are plenty of areas to utilise” Aidan's love of the GAA has rubbed off on his four children, who have all shown a key interest in all codes. “The kids play with Lucan Sarsfields who expend a huge amount of time and effort with their underage teams. They now employ a full time coach to co-ordinate their underage structure and allied to their excellent facilities it will certainly make them a force in the Dublin club scene in the near future. Aoife, Shane and Cormac all play for them, and hopefully my youngest Cara will also follow their lead” Aidan is a director of KennCo Underwriting Ltd., which is Ireland's largest independently owned Underwriting Agency. They deal exclusively through regulated intermediaries on a wide range of non-life insurance products in Ireland. They currently have a distribution network of over 500 intermediaries nationwide. Aidan and his partner John Kennedy set up the business in 2008 and they now employ 34 people. "Through our network of insurance brokers we provide over 80,000 Irish customers with a selection of non-life insurance products. We act for some of the world's leading insurers who have established track records and offer flexible, solution-based approaches. In line with our commitment to providing the best underwriting solutions available, our product range is continually evolving, based on our latest market research and our customer needs."

The Ballinabrackey squad that played Carnaross in this year’s IFC. Front, l/r: Colm McNally, Brendan Byrne, Brian Lucey, Joe Bannon, Michael Kearney, Stephen Donoghue, Trevor Bannon, Chris O’Connor, Ian McAuliffe, Dereck Flynn, Damien Carroll. Back, l/r: Daire Kennedy, Vinny Mooney, Paddy Lee, Ray Kearney, Brendan Glennon, John Curry, Nicky Judge, Kevin Darby, Finbarr Bannon, Danny Quinn, Neville Brazil, Paddy Munnelly, Aidan Coffey, Seamus Curry, Gordon Bannon, Paddy Kenny

213


Tel: 046 9059556 Mob: 086 290 0775 / Mob: 087 222 6483 Email: info@snugasabuginsulations.ie Unit 11A Mullaghboy Industrial Estate, Navan, Co. Meath

www.bridgeturflawns.ie Courtlough, Balbriggan, Co. Dublin

Phone 087 2643735 087 8727143 Best Wishes To Alan Battersby

Best Wishes To Alan Battersby

Best Wishes To Ashbrook Garden Centre & Landscaping Services, From

Best wishes to Alan Battersby, from

Tony & Anthony Battersby

PATIO PAVING & BUILDING STONE SUPPLIERS

(Riceshill Farm)

Bullstown,The Ward, Co. Dublin. Tel: 01 835 3242. Mobile: 086 811 3011

www.naturalstoneyard.ie

POTATO & VEGETABLE MERCHANT Coolfore, Ashbourne, Co. Meath. Tel: 01-8354271

Best wishes to Alan Battersby, from

NURSERIES LTD Rathmooney, Skerries, Co. Dublin Tel: 01 841 2786 Fax: 01 841 4342 Mobile 087 250 3752 Email: info@bvnurseries.ie

Continued success to Alan Battersby, from

DUNNES NURSERIES Rath, Durrow, Co. Laois Tel: 057-8736427. Fax: 057-8736614 email: dunnesnurseries@gardener.com

SUPPLIERS OF TREES, SHRUBS, CONIFERS, ROSES & FRUIT TREES NATIONWIDE 214


SPECIAL FEATURE Ashbourne Gardening Centre and Landscaping have the expertise to suit the customers requirements

At underage level there are always a few players that you think are very talented, and that they are set for a bright future in the GAA, but in certain cases that potential is not fulfilled for a variety of reasons.

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN

T

he amount of GAA talent that is lost through emigration, injury, other sports or work commitments to cite a few reasons is astounding and every club can lay claim to have been a victim of this instance. Curraha's most high profile loss was Meath legend John McDermott when he transferred to Skryne, but another massive loss to the club was underage star Alan Battersby, who had represented Meath from under-14 level right up to minor. Having lined out alongside the likes of future All-Ireland winners Tommy Dowd, Sean Kelly and Brendan Reilly, the young Curraha was tipped for a bright future in the game, but a number

Alan set up the business in 1989

215


Continued Continued success success to to Alan Alan Battersby, Battersby, from from

FREESTYLE NURSERIES LIMITED SUPPLIERS SUPPLIERS OF OF BEDDING BEDDING & & POT POT PLANTS PLANTS NATIONWIDE NATIONWIDE Rathmooney, Rathmooney,Quickpenny QuickpennyRoad, Road,Lusk, Lusk,Co. Co.Dublin Dublin Tel: Tel:086-8762401. 086-8762401.Email: Email:freestylenurseries@hotmail.com freestylenurseries@hotmail.com

TONY BOYLAN TRANSPORT LTD. Primatestown, Ashbourne, Co. Meath Tel: 01-8354048 Continued Best Wishes To Alan Battersby

Best wishes to Alan Battersby, from

log onto

SPECIALISTS IN PENSIONS, INVESTMENTS & PROTECTION Berkeley House, Ballybin Road, Ashbourne, Co. Meath

Tel: 01 8498989

.com

www.wporeilly.ie WP O'Reilly & Associates Ltd trading as WP O'Reilly & Assoc is regulated by the Central Bank

216


An impressive view of a finished garden

of events turned this young man away from Gaelic football. “I loved playing football and it was a great honour to represent the county at underage level. That was a great experience in itself, playing alongside some great footballers, even then you could tell that Tommy Dowd was destined for big things,” said Alan. “I remember at underage level my father would be bringing me to games and we use to go down to John Dermott's house to collect him. At the time he was very reluctant to play, but we use to drag him along and fortunately for Meath he kept coming. “Shortly after minor I broke my leg while playing football and I was out for a good while. Around that time I started my own business, so I concentrated on that. “I realised that I couldn't afford to get injured like that again, especially when running your own business.” So does Alan have any regrets about retiring at such a young; the answer is a resounding yes. “Even now I'd still love to be out playing football and I'm in my mid forties now. At the time I thought it was the right decision and maybe it was from a business point of view, but that doesn't stop me from having some regrets.” These days Alan's sporting interest in athletics where his children Ellen, Claire, Jane and Niamh are showing traits of their father's sporting poweress with Cushinstown Athletics Club. “The girls are into the athletics and I help out training them there. I would still follow the fortunes of Meath and Curraha as I'll always have a fondness for football.”

It was in 1989 that Alan established his gardening business and later he opened a facility called Ashbrook Gardening Centre and Landscaping out the outskirts of Ashbourne, Co Meath. Having grown up in the countryside on a vegetable farm, Alan always had a love of landscaping and gardening, so to start the business was an easy decision. “It was something that I always loved doing and I had learned so much off my father that I decided to start my own business. Through a lot of hard work and endeavour, the business has grown over the years and we are very pleased where we are at these days.” Ashbrook Garden Centre stocks a massive range of plants and shrubbery as well as all the necessary garden accessories, while their expertise in landscaping has seen them rewarded some very prestigious contracts. “We provide everything imaginable to do with garden, while we would also stock solid fuel throughout the winter months. The landscaping work can be seasonal, but in saying that we are very busy at the moment. We do

maintenance work and specialise in hedge cutting also. We have been involved in some massive jobs. “People are spending more on their homes than they use too. Unlike in recent years when people could move home quite easily, that is not the case now and they are staying where they are for the long term.” Ashbrook Garden Centre has a huge customer base that has increased on an annual basis and Alan is delighted with their support over the years. “The customers have continued to support us over the years and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support and hopefully we can continue to deliver the same level of service for many years to come.” Alan is also chairman of the Ashbourne Chamber of Commerce, which represents the businesses in the town and the local needs of the community. “We would meet every fortnight to discuss any issue involving businesses in the town. We would organise the St Patrick's Day parade among other things. Recently Ashbourne was voted fourth in the Retail Excellence Service Awards, which was a great boost to the town. Another group that Alan is heavily involved in is a business networking group representing Ashbourne. “There are 18 members in the business networking group and this is where we pass on business amongst each other. If a customer of ours is looking for some work to be done in another area that we don't cater for then we will tell them about someone who can and vice versa. “We actually got a lucrative job out of that recently and we wouldn't have got it if we weren't in the group, simple as that. The group is running six months now and it is proving to be a huge success. We are a non-profit organisation and our aim is to keep business local.”

The garden centre is well stocked at all times

217


SPECIAL FEATURE

Alan Martin raises the Mattie McDonnell Cup back in 2008

Alan Martin captained St Ultan’s to IFC glory in 2008 but it hasn’t been all plainsailing for the talented defender, or club, since.

A

combination of injury and emigration has decimated the team that scored a memorable 1-12 to 1-9 over parish neighbours Cortown in that year’s Mattie McDonnell Cup decider. Martin – who lined out at centreback for that victory – has been plagued with knee and hamstring injuries that curtailed his involvement with the club’s first team this year. He donned the number 6 jersey for the opening round IFC draw with

MARTIN AND ULTAN’S ON THE COMEBACK TRAIL Ballivor but a hamstring complaint brought his participation to an end after just two minutes of play. He didn’t feature for the remainder of the campaign as St Ultan’s – under new manager Damien Sheridan – failed to register another point in Group C. “I’m due to go for key hole surgery on my right knee at the end of this month,” he explained. “It will be the third operation on my right knee while I had my left one done last year.

218

“I’ve basically been troubled with my knees since I was 20 years of age. I put it down to wear and tear. In hindsight, I probably played too much when I was younger. I played a lot of football, and soccer as well, with the club and school and have been paying the price for that ever since. “Hopefully, this operation will rectify the problem once and for all. It is very frustrating having to watch from the sidelines.” Four years on from that historic


Best Wishes To Adston Construction, From

victory over their parish rivals, the memories are still vivid for all involved. “From the start of that year we knew that we would be there or thereabouts. We had a lot of confidence in our ability and we had a very good team. In fact, we probably left a Leinster JFC title behind us in 2006.” Park Ratheniska from Laois defeated Ultan’s in the provincial final six years ago while Abbeyleix won out in the intermediate Leinster final two years later. “In our first year senior we performed well. Blackhall beat us in the first round but we drew with Dunboyne and beat Walterstown. “The year after lads started heading off to Australia. All of a sudden there was, I think, 12 of the starting team from the intermediate final gone – the likes of the four Galligan brothers, Gary Gorman, Eugene Brady and Kevin Rogers. “We felt at the time that we had a team that was more than capable of competing at senior level but we never really got the chance to give it a good go. “When you look at Wolfe Tones in our neighbouring parish, they were lucky that their team stuck together and went on to achieve great things but you can’t blame the lads for going away because there was no work here for them.” The 2008 IFC pitted neighbour against neighbour, and even brother against brother in the case of Tomas (St Ultan’s) and David Coyne (Cortown), and it captured the imagination of the Meath GAA public. With so much at stake – was it possible to enjoy the occasion in the build-up from a player’s point of view? “I grew up playing with the majority of the Cortown lads with St Cuthbert’s. Their captain that day, Daire O’Halloran, is a good friend of mind. It was very interesting to say the least. “There were different colour flags flying out of houses which were next door to each other. “At the time we took the approach that we would try to avoid getting caught up in the whole build-up. None of the Ultan’s players went to Cortown’s semi-final. We knew them so well that we didn’t need to see them play their semi-final. “Obviously, once the final whistle went we were able to enjoy it but before that we just kept our heads down and tried to stay focussed on the final. Again, we were fairly confident going into the game because of the team we had and it was nice honour, on a personal level for me, to captain the team.” That made up for the disappointment of having to sit out the 2006 JFC final success, when Sean Kelly guided the team in green and black jerseys to a final victory over Kilmainham, because of injury and losing an U21 final the previous year, when Alan was captain. Alan was amongst the substitutes in 2000 when Colm Coyle masterminded a JFC success over Dunboyne’s second string. Back to the present and Alan is optimistic about the future for St Ultan’s. They were relegated from the top flight in 2010 but they are some signs of green shoots of recovery. “We’re undergoing a rebuilding process at the moment. There are a lot of young lads coming through but it’s going to take them a while to settle in. It’s a big step up from underage to adult level. “Damien Sheridan came in as manager this year and things were fairly positive at the start of the year but when

Loading Dock Systems| Industrial Doors Entrance Systems | Fire Protection Doors Security Systems ROSCOMMON OFFICE: Flagford, Carrick-on-Shannon Co. Roscommon P: +353 87 6126516 GALWAY OFFICE: Killaloonty, Tuam, Co. Galway P: +353 87 6812529

Email: info@doormotion.ie | www.doormotion.ie

Best Wishes To Adston Construction, From

NOEL McGRATH

CONSTRUCTION LIMITED BUILDING CONTRACTOR Specialist In

CARPENTRY & ROOFING 31 Erne Dale, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal

Tel: 087 2262869 Congratualtions to Donegal on their All-Ireland victory 2012 Best Wishes To Adston Construction, From

40 Dartry View, Kinlough, Co. Leitrim T: 087 2631951 | M: 087 286 2510 Email: rathmoremech@gmail.com Best Wishes To Adston Construction, From

086 2493787 Clontrain, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan

Email: ptrmarron@gmail.com 219


you don’t have the strength in depth it can be difficult. “Damien is a good motivator and trainer and we’d be hoping that he would be prepared to stay on again next year. It was a learning curve for him as well but he has won two senior championships with Seneschalstown and boasts a great reputation.” It wasn’t off the ground that Alan licked his passion for gaelic football. His father Ollie played with Martry while his uncle Jimmy Martin played and served as chairman of the nowdefunct Martry club. The latter was responsible for running the Coogan Cup competition which commemorates Alan’s granduncle Tommy Coogan who won a Meath SFC medal with Martry in 1931 and also two NFL medals with the Royal County. Tommy Coogan received an injury playing for Martry and tragically passed away a few days later in hospital. Meanwhile, Alan’s older brother Conor also played a part in the aforementioned St Ultan’s successes while another brother, Dermot, is involved in coaching St Ultan’s

underage girls teams. Another brother Paul, lined out for the club in the 1990s. At schools level he was a member of a Leinster Colleges winning St Pat’s squad in 2002. A year later he lined out in the half-back line as the Moatlands school lost out to a Dundalk combination in the provincial decider in Drogheda. “That was a devastating loss,” Martin recalled. “With players like Joe Sheridan, David Murtagh, Barry Regan, Eoghan Harrington and Cian Ward I thought we would go all the way but, unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way. “Colm O’Rourke asked me would I consider staying back that year but I went off to college and, typically, St Pat’s won the All-Ireland in 2004!” Alan has also worn the county jersey as he was part of the Meath minor squad which reached the AllIreland final in 2002 only to lose to Derry. Alan graduated as a Quantity Surveyor from DIT Bolton Street in 2007 and has been working for Adston Construction for the last five years. He is based at the company’s head office in Belturbet, County

Cavan. As regards the county team’s prospects, he is upbeat about the years ahead under the new management of Mick O’Dowd, Trevor Giles, Sean Kelly and Colm Brady. “My own thinking is that they know the majority of players that are available to them within the county. As a result, they have a head-start and I think it’s best to appoint a manager from within the county. “I think the talent it in the county. It’s a matter of finding the right players and working with them. Maybe the underage structure in the county isn’t as strong as it should be. With the adult team doing so well for so long the underage was neglected and a lot of players slipped through the net. “The new management team are familiar with the players in the county so that’s a good starting point.” Meanwhile, the rehabilitation process from his knee operation will shortly start for Alan Martin. St Ultan’s supporters will be keeping their fingers crossed that he makes a speedy recovery because it is patently obvious that they can’t afford to be without his leadership qualities again in 2013.

Alan in action against neighbours Cortown in the 2008 IFC final at Pairc Tailteann

220


SPECIAL FEATURE Darragh O'Griofa raises the MFL Div 3 Cup at Pairc Tailteann

Ballivor native Tom Doyle talks about his roles as Clann na nGael juvenile chairman and transport manager with BD Flood Ltd.

C

lann na nGael juvenile chairman Tom Doyle is predicting a bright future for the Athboy/Rathcairn club following a hugely successful year at underage level. A decade on from the amalgamation of the old Athboy and An Ghaeltacht clubs, Clann na nGael is beginning to reap the benefits of a successful youth policy which yielded no fewer than six juvenile titles in football and hurling this year. For Tom, the highlight was without doubt last May’s thrilling minor Division 4 league final victory over local rivals Dunderry, which was the club’s first success in the U18 grade. “We’re making great progress with the youngsters,” the former Ballivor footballer enthuses. “This year was our most successful yet. We played in nine juvenile finals and won six of them. In football, we

CLANN NA NGAEL BUILDING SOLID FOUNDATIONS won U12, U13, U16 and minor titles, while U12 and U13 titles were won in hurling. As someone who had been involved with this year’s minor footballers from their time as U12s to U16s, it gave me great satisfaction to see them win the club’s first ever minor title. They’d won U14 and U16 Summer Leagues before now, but the minor is extra special. “To be honest, it was badly needed because our intermediate team has suffered a lot of retirements and those players have to be replaced. We are fortunate to have a lot of young boys and girls coming through in both codes at the moment and to have such a good coaching structure in place. We’re also blessed to have up to 20 coaches who are working away quietly to produce the next generation of footballers and hurlers in Athboy. “The success we had this year bodes well for the future,” adds Tom,

221

who is fulsome in his praise of the club’s juvenile secretary Mary Curran and treasurer Teresa Griffin. Gary Woods and Michael Timmons teamed up to train the Clanns to the minor Division 4 league title. Tom comanaged the U16 team along with Aidan Brogan which defeated St. Vincent’s/Curraha, while newly appointed Meath U21 football selector Tommy Hanley was involved with the successful U12 and U13 teams. In the minor final at Pairc Tailteann, Clann na nGael made history when they defeated neighbours Dunderry by 2-10 to 1-8 after a titanic battle. Full forward Caomhin Griffin, who was a sub on the Meath team that reached last September’s All-Ireland minor final, scored 2-5 in a man of the match display, while Ronan McDonagh was also outstanding at full back as the boys in green, white and yellow prevailed. Dunderry had


wind advantage in the first half, but their failure to convert possession into scores meant that the sides went into the break on level terms. With Anthony Swaine finally getting to grips with Paddy Kennelly at midfield and McDonagh nullifying the scoring threat of another county minor, Stephen Coogan, Clann nan Gael opened up a three-point lead in the third quarter. Dunderry increased the tempo in the closing stages, but they couldn’t find a way past the Clann na nGael full back line of Conor MFL Division 3 winners, Front l/r: Jeff Kelly, Ross Hanlon, Senan Kiernan, Paddy Tiernan, Aaron Ryan, Jack Doherty, Darragh Brogan, Elliot Grace. Back l/r: Conor Woods, Conor Dunne, Brian Dunne, Ronan McDonagh and Paddy Kiernan, Daryl McDonnacha, Tadhg McDonnacha, Sean Reilly, Anthony Swain, Darragh O'Griofa, Tiernan, and the winners could finally Ronan McDonnacha, Caoimhín O'Griofa, Luke Swaine, Michael McEoin celebrate a famous victory when Luke Swaine put them five points clear in injury-time. “Caomhin Griffin scored a goal in each half and they were absolutely vital in the end,” Tom fondly remembers. “It was a big achievement for Clann na nGael to win a minor and we were also unlucky to lose an U21 quarter-final to Wolfe Tones with a very young team. Tommy (Hanley) was over the U21s as well and we’re hoping his new role with the county won’t impinge too much on his involvement with us because he’s a brilliant man to have in your club.” Tom hails from one of Ballivor’s best-known GAA families. He wore the maroon and white jersey for many years, but had retired just before their famous IFC final victory over Navan O’Mahony’s in 2002. “We reached two intermediate quarter-finals during my time, only to lose both to St. The 12's were centre of attention when they defeated Patrick’s,” he ruefully reflects. Slane in their final at Pairc Tailteann Since moving to Athboy 15 years Best Wishes To ago, he has immersed himself in the BD Flood Group Clann na nGael club. His wife Deirdre, who is a radiographer in Navan Hospital, is a sister of Anthony Farrell, Distributors of who was a member of the Clann na PETROL • DIESEL • AGRI DIESEL nGael team that won Meath and & HOME HEATING OIL NATIONWIDE Leinster JFC honours in 2007. The CONTACT couple have three children – Tomas 0818 279900 or 049 8541175 (who plays for the Clanns U13 team), Email: info@curranoil.com • www.curranoil.com Sarah and Laura.

The squad and mentors that defeated Walterstown in the U13 Division 3 final at Grangegodden, front l/r: Cian Harmon, Sean Ivors, Paul Tuite, Eoin O'Griofa, Sean Ferguson,Tommy Hanley, Ultan Tenaty, Kevin Tiernan, Matthew Smith, Colm O'Griofa, Tomas Doyle. Back l/r: Tom Doyle (mentor) Kit Ennis, Ben Renehan, John Farrell, Michael Tiernan, Killian Swaine, Peter Bird, Cian Swaine, Dylan Hand, Conor Kelly, Paddy Dunphy, Ryan McManus, Dirmuid O'Donnchadha, Tom Hanley (trainer)

222


BEST WISHES TO BD FLOOD LTD. www.hino.ie


Continued Best Wishes To BD FLOODS From

Best Wishes To BD Floods, From

KILMURRAY PRE-CAST CONCRETE LTD.

Robert Sloan CONCRETE PUMPING

BUILDERS PROVIDERS ZONE C, MULLINGAR BUSINESS PARK MULLINGAR, CO. WESTMEATH TEL: (044) 934 2955, (044) 934 4895 FAX: (044) 934 2879 EMAIL: kilmurrayprecast@eircom.net

Ballybay, Co. Monaghan

Tel: 087 2708337

GEM OILS LTD. ELECTRICAL LTD.

DOMESTIC & INDUSTRIAL SUPPLIES

Lubrication Solutions For Every Market Sector

Telephone: 049 8553641 Contact Gene or Michael Granard Rd., Ballyjamesduff, Co.Cavan Email: bjdelectrical@eircom.net www.bjdelectrical.ie

Our brand is a commitment to your business

GEM OILS LTD., REGASKIN, CAVAN Tel: (049) 4378116 • Fax: (049) 4368329 Email: sales@gemoils.ie

Best Wishes & Continued Success To BD Floods

Best Wishes to BD Floods From All At BJD Electrical Best wishes to BD Flood Ltd., from

• For Hire • Low Loader Hire • 10-50 Ton Excavators • Site Clearance • Contaminated Soil Carriers • Building Aggregate Supplied

Ahenure, Callan, Co. Kilkenny. Tel: 00353 56 77 29292 • 00353 86 856 9531 mary@mcguirehaulage.com www.mcguirehaulage.com

Wish BD Flood Ltd. continued success

224


Tom admits it was a mixed year for Clann na nGael’s flagship football and hurling teams. “After reaching the intermediate football quarter-final last year when Ballinlough beat us, we had high hopes of going a step or two further this year, but it just didn’t happen for us,” he says. “St. Michael’s beat us in the first round and we never really recovered from that. As it turned out, we didn’t win a game in the championship, but I would put that down to the fact that there was no relegation this year. Once a team couldn’t reach the knockout stages, they had very little to play for. “Our hurlers were beaten in the

Peter Bird raises the U13 B Shield at Boardsmill

The Under 12 hurlers before their final with Rathmolyon at Boardsmill

intermediate semi-final by Rathmolyon, but they could still take a lot of encouragement from the year. We had six players under the age of 19 playing and they will have learned a lot. This was our second year down intermediate – I’d like to think we’ll be back up senior this time next year.” A Business and Accounting graduate of Athlone IT, who he played Sigerson Cup football with, Tom has been employed by BD Flood Ltd since 1995. As transport manager, he oversees the company’s fleet from their Oldcastle headquarters. Founded in 1938, the Flood Group began with the extraction of aggregate and the production of ready mix concrete and concrete blocks. In 1979 Flood Flooring was established to market precast products and through ongoing research and development and the employment of competent staff throughout the company, it is now recognised as the country’s largest producer of precast

flooring. Since its introduction to the precast market nearly 30 years ago, the company has greatly expanded its production and sales of prestressed wideslab flooring. Through this expansion, Flood Flooring has opened a design office in Rathfarnham, Dublin and a UK office based in Birmingham. It also has plants in Mullingar, Cavan, Kells and Murren. “The recession has hit the construction industry hard, but we’re fortunate in the sense that we have a large farmer customer-base,” Tom explains. “We’re also covering a wider area as a result of other similar companies going out of business. Flood Flooring is making big inroads into the UK market and I expect this to continue when our new hollow core product, which we are currently developing, is launched.”

Best wishes to BD Flood Ltd., from

The Under 16 footballers celebrate with the Summer Shield at Donore

225


SPECIAL FEATURE Cathal in typical pose for Dunshaughlin

Dunshaughlin forward Cathal O'Dwyer got a taste for Meath SFC county final action last year and he admits to the Royal County that he wants more.

L

ast year Dunshaughlin caused something of a surprise by reaching the county senior final as they seeked to lift the Keegan Cup for the first time since 2002 when the club recorded a coveted three-ina-row. Those three titles are the only time that the club have been the champions of Meath and Cathal is determined that it won't be the last. Having reached last year's county final, there was a genuine belief in the squad that they could one step further this year, but the Meath championship is one of the toughest

O’DWYER WANTS MORE in the country as both Dunshaughlin and county champions Summerhill found out during the course of the year. “We definitely went into this year's campaign thinking that we could get back to the final again. We probably came in under the radar in 2011 and we had hoped to build on that,” said Cathal. “Our cause was not helped by the loss of Mick Aherne and Trevor Dowd, who were not around this year. They are two of our most experienced players and their influence on and off the field was missed.” Cathal acknowledges that Dunshaughlin are in the main a young side that is still learning its trade in the top flight of Meath

226

football. “The experience a lot of the younger lads picked up in the last two years will be invaluable next year. I think we took our foot off the pedal somewhat this year, especially with the fact that there was no relegation. It meant that when the prospect of qualifying for the quarterfinals was gone, there was nothing really to play for. We lost our first game and that was a major setback, which we never really recovered from.” Cathal admitted that the Meath championship was very hard to win and that every game was important as the next. “You just have to look at the records to see that no club has recorded back to back titles since we won the three in a row ten years ago. “On any given year, there are six or


seven teams that have a genuine chance of winning the senior championship, so it's down to who puts in the most effort really.” Dunshaughlin manager Gary Farrelly has just completed three years at the helm and won't be returning in 2013 and Cathal paid tribute to him.

“Gary gave us great belief in the few years that he was there. He had a very professional approach to the game and once we started believing in ourselves, we knew we could go far. “We are all looking forward to working with Paddy Christie and freshening things up could be the

boost that we need for next year.” Dunshaughlin did lift a county title in 2012 and that was the junior B championship, which Cathal feels was very important to the club. “There were a lot of young lads on the junior B team and you would be hoping that a few of them will progress to the senior team next

Cathal celebrates yet another score

BEST WISHES & CONTINUED SUCCESS TO HEIGHT FOR HIRE

227


prestigious as the Dublin championship was a great honour. It was a unique experience to say the least.” Cathal is confident that with the right manager at the helm, Dunshaughlin can end their barren spell without a county title before too long. “We have no given right to win the championship, but I do believe that with the talent that's there we can win one. It may take a couple of years for lads to come through, but with the right effort and determination, there is no reason why we can't win the title again. Cathal works for Height for Hire, which is the leading UK powered access rental platform company with over 25 years' experience in the Irish and UK plant industry. “We supply a wide range of aerial platforms across Ireland and Britain, from battery and diesel scissor lifts to Determination is etched on the face of Cathal as he surges forward articulated and stick boom lifts; mobile hoists from vehicle-mounted and traileryear. The more competition for places, the bigger the effort mounted platforms to telescopic forklifts, not to mention an that the lads will put in and that will benefit everyone. It is extensive variety of specialised access machines and great for them and the club to win something at adult level mobile mini cranes.” and hopefully that will lay the foundations for more The Irish owned company employs in the region of 150 success.” both here and the U.K and they are based in the Ashbourne Cathal feels that the club is heading in the right direction at Business Park. underage level also as they continue to work hard to Continued Best Wishes To Height For Hire, From develop the skills of the youngsters in the area. “The work is certainly being done at underage level. We went through a phase where lads weren't coming through from minor level and there was a lot of talent wasted as lads just gave up for different reasons. “We have the best of facilities there. I suppose we are going through a transition period at the moment at senior level, but there is great talent coming through the ranks.” Despite, being only 26, Cathal does have senior championship medal in his back pocket as he was a member of the UCD side that captured the Dublin senior Cruicetown, Slane, Co. Meath T/ F +353 (0) 41 9824724 football championship title in 2006. “That was a great experience. You were playing with lads from all over the country and to win something as

EGT

EGT ronics

Repair/ Overhaul of Electrical Electronic Components Contact Eugene Gough Mobile: +353 (0) 86 8510315

Best Wishes To Height For Hire, From

Best Wishes To Height For Hire, From

PRECISION ENGINEERING CENTRELESS & CYLINDRICAL GRINDING SPECIALISTS IN INDUSTRIAL HARD CHROME PLATING

DOT PRINT

Unit 4, Ashbourne Ind Est., Ashbourne, Co. Meath

T: 01 835 0550 | F: 01 835 2548 E: egmanlyltd@eircom.net www.hardchromeplating.ie

Unit 1 B Ashbourne Business Park, Ashbourne,Co. Meath

Work: 01 - 8499111| Mobile: 085 7146361 228


SPECIAL FEATURE

Mick ‘Micko’ Collins, codirector of O Coileain Foods, which operates four butcher shops in Dublin, has nothing but fond memories of his playing career with his adopted club Drumree.

W

hen Drumree defeated Ballyroan of Laois to become the first Meath club to win a Leinster junior football title in 1998, their full back was Mick ‘Micko’ Collins, who had actually began his playing career with nearby Kilcloon. Mick joined Drumree after Kilcloon and Batterstown joined forces to form Blackhall Gaels in 1995. He still lives in Kilcloon, where the family business, O Coileain Foods, produces the finest beef and lamb for its four butcher stores in Dublin, but considers himself a Drumree man when it comes to the GAA. “My two boys, AJ and Bobby, who are four-and-a-half and two, are already playing hurling with them,” the affable butcher explains. “They are part of the hurling nursery which is run by Martin Wall and Shane Mahon. They like to start them early in Drumree! It’s a pity they don’t have a football team anymore, but they’re well able to hold their own in hurling and I was delighted when they won an intermediate championship two years ago. Hurling is as strong as it’s ever been in Drumree and long may that continue to be the case.” Mick played all his early football with Kilcloon and helped them to win an U21 championship at Ratoath’s expense. He

TOP BUTCHER WAS PROUD TO REPRESENT DRUMREE also won a minor championship with an amalgamation of Kilcloon, Batterstown and Moynalvey. “We beat Seneschalstown in the final and had Nigel Nestor and Cathal Sheridan on our team,” he recalls. So how did Mick, who’s a past-pupil of St. Finian’s College in Mullingar, become a Drumree player? “It was through friends really,” he replies. “I hung around with the likes of Evan Kelly and other lads of that age from Drumree and they got me involved. I didn’t fall out with Kilcloon or anything like that. I would probably have stayed playing with them if the amalgamation with Batterstown hadn’t taken place. It was easy for a young lad to drift away from them at

Mick and his son

O’Coileáin Foods shop in Leopardstown

229

that particular time.” The highlight of Collins’ decadelong Drumree football career came in 1998 when the small south Meath club claimed both county and Leinster junior honours. Mick missed the county final win over St. Mary’s – which was Drumree’s first in 41 years – through suspension, but was back to shore up their defence for the historic provincial success. To cap a wonderful year, Drumree also captured the county junior hurling title at Trim’s expense. “They were great times in Drumree. It’s an awful pity that they don’t field in football anymore, but the club decided a few years ago to concentrate on hurling and you have to respect that,” says Mick, whose wife Sinead is a daughter of former Drumree player Andy Mahon. Work commitments and a young family means the 39year-old doesn’t get to see as much football as he used to. However, he still follows the fortunes of the Meath and Dublin county teams closely. “I used to go to all the Meath matches and to quite a few Dublin matches as well,” he remembers. “I always had a soft spot for Dublin because that’s where my mother Bernie hailed from. She was born and reared on Jones’ Road and you can’t get much closer to Croke Park than that. I used to rile the Drumree lads by wearing a Dublin jersey to training. I loved annoying them with it!” 2012 won’t go down as one of Meath’s better


Best Wishes To O Coileain Foods, From

Suppliers of Marinades, Sauces, Herbs & Spices, Sausage Mixes and Coatings to the Food Industry. CF GAYNOR LTD Unit 19, The Hub Logistics Park,Bracetown, Clonee, Dublin 15

Tel: 01 825 2700 Fax: 01 825 3806 Email: info@cfgaynor.com www.cfgaynor.com

Email: cmohan@fmaccountants.ie

Best wishes & continued success to O Coileain Quality Foods from

ANDREW MAHON

FOR ALL YOUR GAA NEWS

NEWS & REVIEWS LOG ON TO 230

WWW.

.COM/MEATH


years, with relegation to Division 3 of the National League being the obvious lowlight, but Mick expects to see an upswing in fortunes under new manager Mick O’Dowd in the year ahead. “I know Mick from having played against him and, like all Meath supporters, I’m hoping he’ll do a good job. I like the look of the backroom team he has put in place – Trevor Giles, Sean Kelly and Colm Brady are three very knowledgeable fellas who will be a huge help to him. “I think it’s very important that that they are left there for a few years. Look at what Jim McGuinness achieved with Donegal this year. He got the whole county behind him and I hope everyone in Meath will get behind this management team because it certainly didn’t happen with the last one.” The youngest of a family of eight, Mick is co-director of O Coileain Foods along with his brother John, who is 10 years his elder. The Collins family have been farming and butchering on the lush plains of south Co. Meath for three generations. Sadly, Mick and John’s father, James, who was a well-known member of the local farming community, is no longer with us, having died in tragic circumstances seven years ago.

The shop in Foxrock Village

The Market Belarmine Plazza

O Coileain Foods has gone from strength to strength in recent years. In June 2009, the then fledgling company opened its first butcher shop in the Leopardstown Shopping Centre. That was followed by the opening of three more outlets at The Market Belarmine Plaza in Stepaside (March 2010), Foxrock village (August 2010) and at The Square in Tallaght (August 2012). Between the four shops, 25 people are employed. By using their own beef and lamb as well as from their partnered

producers, the Collins’ can trace their meat to the exact field in which it was produced. Bringing the phase “From Farm to Fork” to its correct meaning, they concentrate on using traditional beef and lamb breeds such as Angus, Hereford and Suffolk, coupled with traditional farming methods in modern-day systems to ensure they produce a product that has an abundance of flavour and taste. O Coileain Foods hang their beef for 21 days and their lamb for 14 days to allow it mature naturally, which enhances the tenderness of their products. Such dedication to the process guarantees a product that is of the highest quality for cooking and eating. The company’s pork products are also sourced locally in Co. Meath. This provides the Collins’ with the raw material to produce their awardwinning breakfast and Artisan sausages, not to mention to their renowned rack of pork. Quality Bronze turkeys are also available from O Coileain Foods with Christmas just around the corner. Local, traditional, quality and knowledge are the key ingredients to the company sourcing only the finest products.

The Drumree squad which defeated Ballyroan of Laois to claim the Leinster J.F.T. trophy, front, l/r: Aideri Walsh, Mick Boyle, Gavin Kilbane, Mark Rattigan, Evan Kelly, Dermot Doyle, James Walsh, Aaron Fitzpatrick, Jim Rattigan, Roy Sheridan, Shane Mahon, Declan Troy, John Gilsenan, Damien Fitzpatrick. Back, l/r: Mick Collins, Jim Hayes, Paul Gaughan, Pat Doyle, Sean Walsh, David Troy, Bobby Geraghty, John Cullinane, Ger Troy, John Boyle, Kit Doyle, Padraig Shanley, Gareth Kelly

231


SPECIAL FEATURE

Philip (on right) at the presentation of the Meade Potatoes sponsored IFC as Barney Allen hands over the Mattie McDonnell Cup to Na Fianna captain Christy Cosgrave

In 2013, it will be fourteen years since Syddan last won the Meath Intermediate Football Championship, with 2005 being their last appearance in the decider. Since then, the club has struggled to make a major impact on the campaign, but experienced forward Philip Meade is confident they can make a return to the senior ranks before too long.

S

yddan have two Intermediate titles to their credit in '99 and 1941, while they also secured the Junior crown in '27. The club's golden period came in the late 40's and early 50's when they won four Senior football titles ('49,'51, '52 and '56), but since then success has been sparse. Hopes of making a serious assault on this year's championship were heightened by the appointment of former Meath manager Eamonn O'Brien and Philip revealed that there was a feel good factor in the camp early on. “When Eamonn was appointed, it

MEADE EYES GLORY was a signal of the club's intentions that we wanted to go all the way. We had high hopes of doing that and we all knew that Eamonn is a good manager and that proved to be the case,” said Philip. However, without the commitment of the players, it is very hard for any manager to get the best out of the team and this was the scenario faced by Eamonn from an early stage in the campaign. “We played Na Fianna in the first game and we were unlucky to lose. We played well that day, but they scored a couple of early goals that we found difficult to recover from. But that performance showed that we could match any side in the county on our day. We know what Na Fianna went on to do after, as they won the championship. “In the next game against Dunderry we had two lads sent off, Pauric Young and Sean Malone, but in fairness we kept battling away and

235

were unlucky to lose out in the finish. They are a strong physical team. That result left us with two defeats from the opening two games and it was always going to be an uphill struggle from there. The commitment went by the way side and the fact that there was no relegation meant that we took our eye off the ball. It was always going to be hard to remain focused after that,” Philip admitted. Nonetheless, Syddan picked up their first points of the campaign when they defeated Clann na nGael in what was without doubt their best performance of the year. But that was as good as it got for O'Brien's charges. “At the start of the year, we lost a couple of lads Thomas Dillon and Eamonn Maguire through emigration, and then after the Clann na nGael game Brian Dillon also headed off. This didn't help our cause, but I wouldn't use it as an excuse either.”


Best Wishes To Philip Meade Junior, From

Wishing Continued Success To Philip Meade Jnr, From

CORDERRY

GUYFARM PRODUCE

FRUIT FARM Knockbridge, Dundalk

SUPPLIERS OF SOFT FRUITS

FOR ALL YOUR FRESH PRODUCE REQUIREMENTS

Contact David on 086 2449100

Phone Martin on 086 8378614 Email: guyfarmproduce@gmail.com Dalystown, Longwood, Co. Meath

T: 042 9379122 | F: 042 9379024

Email: corderryfruitfarm@eircom.net

Wishing Continued Success To Philip Meade Junior, From

Best Wishes To Philip Meade Junior, From

C&D Keogh

ANDY ROGERS Construction GENERAL BUILDING CONTRACTING & RENOVATIONS

Supplier Of Fresh Vegetables All Year Round Macetown, Tara, Co. Meath

Telephone: 087 6188295

Contact Charlie on 087 2590733 Contact David on 087 4157441

Tierney Street, Ardee, Co. Louth

Email: andyrogersconstruction@gmail.com

Continued Best Wishes To Philip Meade Jnr, From

We provide information on all our specialised services such as

Suspended Ceilings Metal Stud Partitioning Plastering/Rendering & Internal Fit-Outs ALL INSULATION

BARCRETE LTD Concrete Contractors

Stackallen, Slane, Co. Meath OFFICE 1-2 Watergate St., Navan, Co. Meath Tel/Fax: 046 9070950 Mobile: 087 2537033 Email: info@rushree.ie www.rushree.ie Best Wishes To Philip Meade Jnr

Industrial Flooring & Yards Shuttering Drummond House, Ardee, Co. Louth

Tel: 087 2501275

Best Wishes To Philip Meade Junior, From

Best Wishes to Philip Meade Jnr, from

T&B McKeown

PJK STRUCTURAL STEEL

Bradley Farm GROWERS OF POTATOES & GRAIN

Castletown, Navan, Co. Meath Contact Thomas on

FARM & INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS

087 2625831

Coole, Ardee, Co. Louth. Tel: 041-6853701

E: bradleyfarm.mckeown@gmail.com

236


Philip shoots for a score

Philip does feel that the club's underage structure is producing exciting talent as has been shown in recent years. “There has been significant work done at underage level that is starting to pay off. We had a few lads come through to Intermediate level this year - Barry McConnon, Mark Fedigan, Kevin Traynor and Ronan Mooney - and they have settled in very well. Then in the next batch of players coming on, there's the likes of Daire Rowe, Jack Reid and Sean Clare, just to

name a few.” “There is a strong core group of people really committed to the club; they've join up with Castletown so that smaller rural clubs like ours with fewer numbers can stay competitive.” Philip acknowledges the fact that the Intermediate Football Championship is one of the toughest competitions to win in Meath football and stressed that everything had to be just right in order to win it “You need everything to click in the Intermediate Championship. There are probably seven or eight teams that can win and the draw is very important. Last year, we went into the last group game needing to win or draw to go straight through to a semifinal. If we lost, we would be heading out of the Championship, which proved to be the case. There is that little between the teams.” “When I first came through in 2005 we reached the final and I suppose I thought we would be competing every year. Apart from a quarter-final appearance that has not been the case. However, I do think that we have the players to compete for the title and if we are not depleted by emigration and injuries, and have the required commitment, we have the nucleus of a team that can definitely go very far.” The format of the intermediate championship has been a topic of debate for a long time now and Philip

An impressive view of the fleet crossing over Slane Bridge

237

feels that a change is needed in order to benefit club footballers. “The long break during the year certainly doesn't help. The way it is now means that you have to get prepared twice for the championship, once at the start and again when the break is over. Something else should be tried - perhaps delaying the Championship until the Meath Seniors are finished. Nowadays the new back door system means that the qualifiers draw out the season much longer. There are two sides to everything I suppose, but I'm sure it could be worked better. It's very hard for the players to maintain their form and motivation in the current format. Lads that could be playing well at the start could lose form during the long break.” The Meade family are the current sponsors of the Intermediate Football Championship through their business

Meade Potatoes are popular all over Ireland


Best Wishes To Philip Meade Jnr From

Continued Best Wishes To Philip Meade Jnr, From

INTERNATIONAL FREIGHT FORWARDING

At Matthews Transport we provide a service tailored to the individual needs of our customers throughout Ireland.

Srah, Ballinlough, Co. Roscommon Tel: 094 9640942 / 9640943 Fax: 094 9640987 Mobile: 087 6174972 Email: john@transzonefreight.com Best Wishes To Philip Meade Jnr From

SERVICES AVAILABLE Nationwide next day delivery service Ambient Chilled & Frozen Distribution Groupage Temperature controlled deliveries Ambient Chilled & Frozen Storage facilities We are available 24/7

www.matthewstransport.ie

Wilkinstown, Navan, Co.Meath T: 046 9055995 F: 046 9055909 E: info@matthewstransport.ie

Tel: 046 90 24125

Continued Best Wishes To Philip Meade Jnr, From

Island View Nurseries Beauhill, Whitestown, Rush, Co. Dublin.

Tel: 01 843 9983 | Fax: 01 843 9935 | Mobile: 087 250 5472 | Email: islandview@iol.ie Best Wishes To Philip Meade Jnr, From John McGuinness & Sons

SUPPPORT

CONCERN & TROCAIRE

Mount

Hanover Farm GROWERS & SUPPLIERS OF POTATOES & GRAIN

THIS CHRISTMAS

Mount Hanover, Duleek, Co. Meath Email: jmcgjnr@gmail.com

Tel:086 8039901 238


from the U14s to the U21s, when an ankle injury curtailed his County career (along with what seemed to be a promising soccer career - he had overseas trials with Aston Villa and Peterborough United).

The potato crop being harvested

Meade Potato Company and Philip stated that it was something that they were very proud to be involved in. “We have sponsored the Intermediate Championship for the past two years and we are very proud to do so. It is something that we hope

to continue doing and we would like to thank Barney Allen and the County Board for the support they have given us over the last couple of years.� Philip Meade Jr., Captain of the Syddan Intermediate Team, participated at County level for Meath

Carrots are some of the fresh produce at Meade Potato Co.

Best Wishes To Philip Meade Jnr, From

WEXFORD FRUIT PRODUCERS

Suppliers of Irish Strawberries Unit 3C, Enniscorthy Business Park, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford

Telephone: 087 7850268 Email: sales@wexfordfruitproducers.com

Some of the organic products from Meade Potato Company

Congratulations & Best Wishes to Philip Meade Jnr From All At

Best Wishes To Philip Meade Junior, From

P. Boyle Construction

GERARD TUITE Potato & Vegetable Growers

T/A Stonemore Ltd

Specialists in Farm Buildings | Slatted Sheds-Slio Pits Concrete Yards | Floors | Footpaths & Paving

Clogherhead, Co. Louth Tel: 086 8577556

Meath Hill, Drumconrath, Navan, Co. Meath

E: gerard2004tuite@eircom.net

Tel: 087 2777870 / 042 9667578 Email: stonemoreltd@gmail.com

239


SPECIAL FEATURE Frank Brannigan enjoyed a successful gaelic football career with St Fechins, Louth and Seneschalstown. Since hanging up the boots, he has carried that winning touch into his professional career as the driving force behind Cherry Picker, Ashbourne and La Spa Therapie, Drogheda and Malahide.

B

efore embarking on his career as an entrepreneur, Frank Brannigan established a fine reputation for himself on the GAA playing fields of Louth and Meath. He started his club career with the St Fechins club in Termonfeckin and featured on the Hoops’ sides that won the Louth SFC in 1983 and ’84 and numerous senor club medals. Frank also togged out for his native Wee County at minor, U21 and senior levels and was on the last Louth team to win the Leinster U21 FC in 1981 as well as wearing the red jersey at senior level for a few years in the early ‘eighties. St Fechins have hit upon hard times since recording those back-to-back successes and Frank reflects on how that all-conquering side started to hang up their boots: “I went to Seneschalstown and a few other lads emigrated. Some others were close to the end of their careers, so the backbone of the team was just suddenly gone and they went down to junior, then back to intermediate. That’s the way football goes – you

A WINNER ON AND OFF THE FIELD reach the top and then you can hit the bottom…” Even though he transferred to the Yellow Furze club in the Royal County, Frank never forgot his Termonfeckin roots: “All my mates are still there and I’d still go to Termonfeckin every week. I have good friends in both clubs. The friends you make in football are friends for life – these are the guys you would call if you were broken down at the side of the road.” After switching to Seneschalstown, Frank Brannigan’s winning knack remained as his six years of playing in the Royal County culminated in a Meath SFC success in 1994. “I got married 1988 and moved to Seneschalstown and joined the local club,” he recalls. “That’s the best way of integrating yourself into the local community. That was a very good side that won the SFC in 1994, with the likes of Mattie McCabe, the Coyles and Graham Geraghty all playing.” More than able to hold his own at senior level in both Louth and Meath, Frank gradually succumbed to a combination of work commitments and ongoing injuries. “As you get older, the work commitments become more serious because you have to bring in a wage. I also had more and more injury problems, especially with my hamstrings, and it was that that finished me in the end.” While he may no longer have the

One of the treatment rooms at La Spa Therapie

electric burst of speed (that undoubtedly contributed to his hamstring trouble), Frank is still exceptionally fit, a true subscriber to the healthy body, healthy mind theory. To stay sharp, he does a lot of cycling and gym work and competes in mini-marathons and triathlons on a regular basis. On the business front, he established Cherry Picker in 1994 and the company is still going strong 18 years later. Operating out of Kilmoon Business Park in Ashbourne, Cherry Picker is Ireland’s leading company in the sale, hire, service and of powered access equipment, mobile platforms, hoists and forklifts, stocking a broad range of new and used mobile elevated work platforms (MEWPs) and hoists. Spare parts and training are also offered. Wholly Irish-owned, Cherry Picker supplies all the leading makes of access machinery in Ireland and is the main dealer nationwide for Upright and Genie. It is the only powered access company in Ireland that focuses on the sale of access machinery, offering an extensive range of scissor lifts, articulating and telescopic boom/hoist lifts, track mounted booms/hoists, truck, van and cab mounted booms/hoists, aerial work platforms and material lifts. Used Cherrypicker machines are also in stock. Despite the downturn in construction, Frank is pleased to

La Spa Therapie, Drogheda

240


report that business is still healthy. “Ladders are a thing of the past and scaffolding is both dangerous and labourintensive,” he notes. “Of course, the economy is not ideal at present but in business you can always adapt to various changes in the market.” Frank’s second business venture is La Spa Therapie, which now has salons in both Drogheda and Malahide. La Spa Therapie is unique in the north east and was voted in the Top Five day spas in Ireland, combining the best in holistic therapies and beauty treatment. Treatments range from relaxing facials and massages to holistic healing treatments including reiki and cranio-sacral therapy. All therapists are highly experienced and professional, guaranteeing a relaxing and enjoyable visit. “I set the Drogheda business up six years ago and then opened the salon in Malahide three years ago,” Frank explains. “La Spa Therapie provides a wide range of wellbeing treatments. I was always interested in general wellbeing and at the end of the day running a business is the same whether you are selling cups, body treatments or cherry pickers. I took the experience I had gathered from running Cherry Picker and exported it into this business. “The treatments we offer include massage, sports massage, seaweed baths (for detoxifying the body), facials and many, many more. The treatments are aimed at both men and women and both premises are doing very well. We offer high-end treatments at an affordable price. Our treatments are luxurious but affordable and we are very well-established at this stage. “La Spa Therapie is a one-stop shop for wellbeing treatments, in lavish surroundings, and we get a lot of volume through the doors, which allows us to keep our prices down.” Are men likely to visit such an establishment, though? “Yes, we are seeing more and more men coming in. They are more likely to opt for something for stress relief – acupuncture, reflexology or a back massage. Something to help them relax and to keep the blood pressure down... The treatments are very effective and we have something to suit everybody.” Between the three businesses, the former GAA star provides gainful employment to a team of 32, which is a massive responsibility – as well as providing a priceless boost to the local economy. As a hands-on owner, Frank admits that sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day: “It’s hard to find time,” he concludes. “Malahide is open seven days a week and you are on call around the clock. I

Everything possible is done to promote relaxation at La Spa Therapie, Drogheda

The tranquil reception area at La Spa Therapie, Malahide

Twin seaweed baths - just the job after a hard weeks work!

like to run a tight ship and to stand over all the services, so I have to be there in person as much as possible. Drogheda will be opening seven days a week in the New Year as well, so we’ll be getting a little busier.” Frank Brannigan has never been afraid of hard work. As a pioneering entrepreneur, he is now taking that to the next level!

Best Wishes To Cherry Picker, From

TOMMY CLARKE FORKLIFTS Service | Sales | Hire

FIX IT RIGHT FIRST TIME! E: service@tommyclarkeforklifts.ie

31 Tolka Valley Business Park, Glasnevin, Dublin 11 Tel: (01) 830 0884 Fax: (01) 830 0886 Email: info@europower.ie

Ph +353 86 8097143 204 Glendale Meadows, Leixlip, Co. Kildare

www.europower.ie

www.tommyclarkeforklifts.ie

Continued success to all at Cherry Picker

241


SPECIAL FEATURE

The St Ultan’s organised Coogan Cup tournament was revived in 2012 and was sponsored by G&J Ard Joinery. Company director Jason Bennett is a vital cog in the club’s intermediate team and he has high hopes for the future.

T

he Bennett name is synonymous with St Ultan’s GAA. Sean Bennett was a stalwart of Martry GFC while son Jason, and his brother John and sisters Cora, Michelle and Shauna, have continued a proud family tradition. 26 year old Jason broke onto the St Ultan’s first team in 2003 and he played instrumental roles in the club’s JFC and IFC successes in 2006 and 2008 respectively. Sean and Jason are directors of the family company – G&J Ard Joinery – and they have also thrown their financial support behind the St Ultan’s club which was formed in 1991 following the amalgamation of the Martry and Bohermeen clubs. For instance, this year the company sponsored the revived Coogan Cup competition. Organised by the St Ultan’s club, the competition featured senior sides Nobber, Donaghmore/ A s h b o u r n e , Seneschalstown and Oldcastle. Memories of the late sixties, seventies and eighties were recalled at Martry in July with the staging of the tournament which attracted teams from far and wide in its hey day. The Cup, and the GAA pitch in Martry, is named after Tommy Coogan – Jason’s grand-uncle – who

MAINTAINING A PROUD FAMILY TRADITION was a member of the SFC winning Marty team of 1931. He also won two NFL medals with the Royal County before his life was tragically cut short after he sustained an injury playing with the club. Prior to his year the cup was last played for in 2009 when neighbours Wolfe Tones emerged victorious. In 2012 Nobber added their name to the roll of honour with a 1-11 to 1-8 final victory over Donaghmore/Ashbourne. After the decider in Martry, Jason’s father Sean presented the cup to Nobber captain Brian O’Reilly. The running of the Coogan Cup was one of the highlights of the year for St Ultan’s who, unfortunately, failed to make an impression in the Intermediate football championship. The recruitment of two-time SFC winning Seneschalstown manager Damien Sheridan at the start of the year was a big coup for the Bohermeen/Martry outfit but the team

Sean Bennett presents the Coogan Cup to Nobber captain Brian O’Reilly

242

was unable to live up to the heightened expectations. “It has to go down as a disappointing year,” admitted Jason who lined out in his usual corner-back spot this year. “At the start of the year we would have been hoping to make the knockout stages of the championship, maybe the semi-final. We drew with Ballivor in the first game but were defeated in the rest of our games. “One thing that went against us was the long break in the club championship due to the draw in the Meath versus Carlow game. “We lost a bit of momentum after that and players probably slackened off a bit in training.” He added: “The long breaks in the championship due to Meath’s involvement in the championship can be frustrating at times from a club player’s point of view. You are expected to train all the time but you don’t know when you’re next game is. Interest levels can drop as a result.” It is no secret that St Ultan’s have suffered more than most from the plight of emigration. Their intermediate winning team of 2008 has been decimated by players moving abroad in search of work. “Up to half of that team is gone,” Jason explained. “And they were big players on that team who were never going to be easy to replace. It is a problem for most clubs but probably not as bad for the town teams. “The way it is now we


Pictured at the Coogan Cup final between Nobber and Donaghmore Ashbourne were from left: Denis Lynch, Tony Casserly, Jason Bennett, Sean Bennett and Tommy Tallon. Jason Bennett and Sean Bennett from G&S Joinery, sponsors of the Coogan Cup Tournament

have a few young lads coming through from the minor but it will take two to three years for them to settle.” Still Jason remains upbeat about the future and he was impressed with Damien Sheridan’s managerial style. “Damien put in a serious effort and he certainly couldn’t be faulted. He came in with a very positive attitude and he tried to get on with the players. Our poor form in the championship certainly can’t be put down to a lack of effort on his behalf. “Maybe players didn’t give the same effort back to him and that was a problem.” Although he wouldn’t say it himself, it is unlikely that Jason falls into that category. He has led by example on and off the field for St Ultan’s and his leadership qualities were recognised by then manager Davy Cahill when he was chosen to captain the club on their debut in the senior grade in 2009. He has also given a helping hand with the management of the Under 21s for the last three years. Jason lined out at full-forward for the 2006 JFC final win

over Kilmainham while he reverted to corner-back for the IFC success against parish rivals Cortown two years later. He has remained there every since. St Ultan’s scored a 1-12 to 1-9 final victory over their parish rivals but Jason’s participation on the greatest day in Best Wishes To Jason Bennett & G&J Ard Joinery Ltd, From

JOHN STEWART C O N S T R U C T I O N LT D .

NEW BUILD | RENOVATIONS EXTENSIONS | MAINTENANCE Domestic & Commercial Fully Registered & Insured

Riverstown, Rathfeigh, Tara, Co. Meath

M: 087 265 5523 | T: 041 982 1800

Best Wishes To Jason Bennett & G&J Ard Joinery Ltd, From

Building & Carpentry Services

Mervyn Gray

FOR ALL YOUR GENERAL CONSTRUCTION NEEDS INCLUDING

New Builds | Extensions | Restorations| Ground Works All Works Fully Insured Mobile: 087 9691053 | Office: 046 90 23150 Email: mervyngray@yahoo.ie

243


Established by Sean Bennett, G&J Ard Joinery has been in operation for over 25 years in Ardbraccan. G&J Ard Joinery specialise in the manufacture of bespoke staircases, windows, doors, internal and external skirting, architrave, shop fronts, entrance gates, sides gates and front door entrance for both the commercial and private market. As well as the Coogan Cup, the company has sponsored the St Ultan’s mens and ladies teams in the not too distant past. G&J Ard Joinery has been a supporter of St Ultan’s during the good and the bad times and with the likes of Jason throwing his shoulder to the wheel, there should be plenty of more good days ahead for the black and greens.

Jason Bennett in action for St Ultans during the IFC against Ballinabrackey

the club’s history was cut short by injury. “I broke my nose with about ten minutes to go,” he recalled. “I was in a lot of pain and spent that evening in casualty but it was a small price to pay. It was certainly a highlight to beat our next door neighbours in a county final. “Unfortunately, we found senior to be too big a step up. We were unlucky in 2009 that we didn’t make the knock out stages but we started to lose a few lads the next year.

“Senior is a totally different ball game from the intermediate. If we had have had a full team I’d say we could have made an impact inside two or three years because we had youth on our side.” The Bennett family also includes Jason’s older brother John who won two JFC medals in 2000 and ’06. Sisters Cora, Michelle and Shauna have distinguished themselves on the ladies football field. Shauna was a member of the Meath senior ladies team this year.

Wishing Jason & His Team Continued Success In The Future

Shauna Bennett in action for the Meath senior ladies

SADLIER O’NEILL & CO. CHARTERED CERTIFIED ACCOUNTANTS REGISTERED AUDITORS Blackcastle Shopping Centre, Navan. Tel: 046-9022909 • 9022941 • 9072522 Fax: 046-9022941 • Mobile: 086-2628998 Email: nora@sadlieroneill.ie Continued Best Wishes to Jason Bennett

Knightstown,Wilkinstown, Navan, Co. Meath.

M: 086 2441971 | T: 046 9054520 F: 046 9054520 Email: cfhoeyconstruction@eircom.net

244


SPECIAL FEATURE

Against Summerhill in the championship in Pairc Tailteann

Daithi Whyte has been an ever-present on the St Patrick’s senior team since their return to the top flight in 2001. One of the most feared forwards on the Meath club scene, the 33 year old has been a constant thorn in the side of many a defender in the county.

A

loyal servant to St Pat’s, his performances with the Stamullen club attracted the attention of county under 16, minor and under 21 selectors while senior recognition came his way in 2006/’07. Now entering the twilight of his career, Whyte and his St Pat’s teammates pulled off one of the upsets of this year’s hoganstand.com Meath SFC when they outscored Donaghmore/Ashbourne by 2-10 to 0-9 in the final round of Group A games. To the average follower of Royal County football it was a shock result but it didn’t come as any surprise to

DAITHI NOT HANGING UP THE BOOTS JUST YET Whyte. “Within our camp we were very confident that we would beat them,” he insisted to Royal County. “We had played them in the league and they gave us a bit of a lesson. We went back to the drawing board to find out what we had to do to be competitive with the likes of Ashbourne. “Going into that game there was no doubt in any of our minds that we would beat them. We raced out of the blocks and were really happy with that result.” He continued: “We lost to Summerhill in our first game and, in fairness, it was a baptism of fire for some of the young lads. We had five who made their championship debut that day but we recovered well and went unbeaten in the remainder of the group stages.” The victory over

245

Donaghmore/Ashbourne was the highlight of the year for St Pat’s who subsequently bowed out of the championship in the quarter-final at the hands of eventual finalists Wolfe Tones on a 0-11 to 0-6 scoreline. Their cause in Ashbourne that day wasn’t helped when they were harshly reduced to 14-men after three minutes. Meanwhile, in the league, eight wins from eleven outings secured the east Meath men second place in the Division 1 table and a final date with Donaghmore/Ashbourne. Unfortunately, Ashbourne gained revenge for the championship defeat when inflicting a 1-8 to 0-7 defeat on St Pat’s in the Mooney Cup decider at Simonstown. “The only way I can really sum up the year is that it was disappointing. In hindsight, we had a good run,


produced a lot of good results and performances. There were a lot of positives but it was disappointing to lose the league final to Ashbourne and the championship quarter-final to Wolfe Tones. “We have a good mix of youth and experience. Six or seven of us are over 30 but we had six Under 21s on the team that started the league final. That hasn’t been the case in St Pat’s for years, you’d be lucky to get one or two young lads coming through. “My age group came through around 1998/’99 and have made up the bulk of the team ever since. We’re a small village but there were a lot of houses built in the area in the boom times and we’re seeing the benefit of that now.” The veteran attacker – who lined out at left corner-forward in the 2000 IFC final win over Ballivor - hailed the influence of new manager Mick

Bohan who took over the reins from Ciaran O’Hare this year. He credits the Dublin native with resuscitating the team’s fortunes. “Mick came in from Lucan and he was a big pull for us. His CV speaks for itself. We were at the stage where we were wondering if would could go any further but he brought a lot of positivity into the dressing-room and instilled belief in the team. “There was great unity at training in Stamullen and we brought that onto the field.” Whyte is backing new Meath manager Mick O’Dowd to have a similar impact with the county team and has given the Skryne man’s appointment the thumbs up. “I think it’s a great appointment. Meath needed to go back to its roots, where football is number one. Everyone talks about what has come and gone – Banty being the first

Daithi in action for Meath in the 2006 O’Byrne Cup

246

outside manager and so on - but the new management team contains men that know Meath football inside out. “A lot of it boils down to tradition and, as we have found out, when you deviate from that you are in trouble. “Micko was a great club player and, to be fair, probably should have got his chance with the Meath senior team earlier. He always gave 100% on the field and now that he has taken on this job I expect him to give it 100% as well while there’s nothing more that can be said about Trevor Giles.” Plagued by hamstring and ankle injuries in the early part of his career, Daithi eventually got the call up to the Royal County senior squad in 2006 during Eamonn Barry’s sole year at the helm. He featured in All-Ireland qualifier games against Roscommon and Laois that year. “I struggled with injuries when I was


Best Wishes & Continued Success To Whyte Bros, From

CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS & REGISTERED AUDITORS Every business owner needs a team of professionals in the background who provide continuous support and advice.

SERVICES AVAILABLE Financial Statements & Audit Farm Accounts Taxation Insolvency & Debt Resolution Company Secretarial Payroll & Employment Advice Mediation Balbriggan Business Campus, Balbriggan, County Dublin. Phone:+353 1 6913500 Fax:+353 1 6913555 www.fjw.ie

247


Wishing Continued Success To WHYTE BROS From

Continued Best Wishes To The Whyte Bros, From

Westpalstown, Oldtown, Co. Dublin Tel: 01 8433805 | Fax: 01 8433796 Email: sales@ffhg.ie | www.ffhg.ie Best Wishes To The Whyte Bros From

Best Wishes To Whyte Bros, From

RICHARD KEARNS

Leinster Farm Machines (Sales) Ltd New Lanes, Duleek, Co. Meath Tel: 041 9814404 Fax: 041 9814413

www.leinsterfarmmachines.ie

Electrical Contractor Roche House, Naul, Co. Dublin

Tel: 087 2527448 | 01 8412872 Email: richardkearnselectrial@gmail.com

Continued Best Wishes To Whyte Bros From

HYDRAULICS | MACHINERY| SERVICES | SHOP 24 HOUR EMERGENCY HOSE REPAIR Balcunnin, Skerries, Co. Dublin T: 01 8494144 M: 086 804 5990 Email: lhsagri@gmail.com

FOR ALL YOUR MACHINERY NEEDS The Five Roads, Lusk, Co. Dublin Tel: 01 8431130 E: amltd@eircom.net | E: amltdparts@eircom.net

www.leinsterhydraulics.ie

www.armstrongmachinery.ie

Best Wishes & Continued Success To Whyte Bros 248


younger and I was in and out of the senior squad a couple of times for trials and training but it didn’t work out those times for one reason or another. “Eamonn Barry called me into the panel and I enjoyed two good years in with the county team but at the end of it I was 27/28 and was getting married and building a house. But I have no regrets, it is what it is.” Off the field, the Stamullen club have made great strides in upgrading their facilities in recent years and now boast a clubhouse and playing facilities which are second to none in the Royal County. Daithi played his part in the development as a member of the club’s Finance Committee. The new premises is located beside Stamullen primary school and consists of three playing pitches, running track, car park with a state-of-the-art two storey club house including 4 dressing rooms, multi purpose function rooms, sports shop, reception and office as well as a large multi purpose sports hall. Plans are in the pipeline to officially open the new development at some stage in 2013. “They are state-of-the-art facilities which will help to drive the club forward. It was great to be a part of it,” Daithi says. “It was a real club effort and we’re now reaping the benefits of the great work of a hard core group of people within the club. Anyone who has visited the club has been very impressed.” When he’s not training or playing with St Pat’s, Daithi spends his days working in the family potato growing business – Whyte Brothers - along with his father Ollie, seven uncles and six cousins. He completed a Sport & Leisure Management course in college before returning to work in the family-run operation which farms approximately 2,000 acres between north Dublin, Drogheda and Meath. Combining his farming duties with the demands of his footballing career can be difficult. “It has been a tough year work-wise because the ground has been so wet. It has been a struggle getting in and out of the field. There’s been non-stop rain for the last four months. “That means when it’s dry, no matter what time of day it is, you have to get out into the fields. It can be tough combining it with the football. You’d be flat out on the tractor all day and then have to fit in training sessions.” During his eleven years on the St Pat’s senior team, Daithi has played in seven SFC quarter-finals. Time might not be on the side of the experienced attacker but he has not given up hope of going a couple of steps further before he hangs up the boots. “I really thought that this was the year it was going to happen. Our preparation, both mentally and physically, was second to none. We ran into trouble with some injuries but every team has injuries so we can’t really use that as an excuse. “I’ll give it a lash for another season anyway. At my age you can only take it season by season but as long as I stay injury free and if the manager thinks I’m good enough then I’m happy to stay on.” St Pat’s supporters will be happy to hear that.

Best Wishes To Whyte Bros, from

Best Wishes To Whyte Bros, From

Thomas White & Sons

Agricultural Contractor, Haulage & Storage Heathstown, Stamullen, Co. Meath

Tel: 01 835 4231 Fax: 01 835 4622 Mobile: 087 255 6088

Best Wishes & Continued Success To Whyte Bros, From

Naul Motor Company Ltd. Naul, Co. Dublin Tel: 01 841 2523 | Fax: 01 841 2904 Email: naulmotorcompany@eircom.net MAIN DEALER FOR

Case IH | Pottinger | Cross | Quicke Loaders | Mecmar Grain Driers | Househam Sprayers | Spraycare Sprayers 249


Roscall, Ballyboughal, Co. Dublin Tel: 01-8433926 Fax: 01-8078956

www.wbdfarmmachinery.ie | E: wbdfarm@eircom.net

BEST WISHES & CONTINUED SUCCESS TO TEAGASC Continued Success To Teagasc From

Wishing Continued Success To Teagasc From

S Gaynor (Engineering) Ltd Hydraulic Ram Manufacturers Broadmeadows, Oberstown, Tara, Co. Meath

Tel: 046 9025506 | Fax: 046 9025055

Trim, Co. Meath Tel: 046 9431341

Email: sgaynorengineering@eircom.net

Michael Michael Costello Costello Electrical Ltd

LYNX ALARMS Intruder Detector Systems C.C.T.V. • Security Lighting Monitoring Services Keyholding & Alarm Response

I.S. EN 50131-1 Intruder Alarms IAS-1178

Best Wishes To Teagasc

Electrical Ltd

Industrial Commercial & Domestic Electrical Installations Athronan, Dunsany, Co. Meath

Dunsany, Co. Meath.

Tel: 046-9026404 Mobile: 086-2541566

Tel: 046 9025539 | M: 086 8380183

Best Wishes to Eddie O’Riordan & Teagasc

Best Wishes To Teagasc, From Michael O’Brien

Farm Relief Services N.E

BOARDSMILL AGRI CENTRE

Richard O’Reilly 086 8588888 Relief Milking Cow/Sheep Scanning Hoof Care Freeze Branding Power Washing Fencing Supplied & Erected

Wide range of hydraulic hose and fittings in stock. Hydraulic Hose assembly while you wait Bearings | Belts | Bucket Teeth | Drive Chain & Links Power Shaft | Hardy Spicers | PTO Covers Opening Hours Mon-Sat 8.30am to 6pm Trim, Co. Meath Tel: 046 94 36847 / 046 94 37041 | Fax: 046 95 60827

Continued Success To Eddie O’Riordan & Teagasc 250


SPECIAL FEATURE A new Animal Bioscience Building was opened at Grange in September, 2012

The National Beef Research Centre at Grange has been one of the jewels in the Royal County s (and Ireland’s) agricultural crown for over half a century. As well as conducting vital research into the production of world class Irish beef, the operation also provides employment locally to approximately 100 people. We met up with the man who runs the Centre on behalf of Teagasc - Cork man and keen GAA enthusiast Dr Edward O Riordan.

T

eagasc is Ireland’s leading organisation in the fields of agriculture and food research, undertaking innovative research in: animal and grassland research and innovation; crops, environment and land use; food; and rural economy and development The semi-state body produces research relating to the dairy, beef, sheep, cereals and pig sectors as well as alternative enterprises such

A TRUE CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE as forestry and bioenergy. Its research also covers the economics of the regional and rural economy, geography, sociology and the environment. Teagasc’s annual research portfolio comprises some 300 research projects, carried out by 500 scientific and technical staff in its state-of-the-art research centres throughout Ireland. As the Centre of excellence in research and technology for the beef sector, Grange Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre provides research information on all aspects of beef production in Ireland. Research at Grange supports the efficient production of safe, quality, healthy produce in profitable production systems that meet stringent environmental and animal welfare standards. The goal is to provide scientific and technological support for sustainable and profitable production.

251

Overall, Teagasc has research, advisory and educational departments. There are livestock research facilities located nationwide and Grange looks after the beef research, Dr Edward O Riordan notes. “Our primary work is in agricultural production research, with the emphasis on the production of beef from the moment the calf is conceived and throughout its growth to slaughter and the point it ends up on your plate. “Most things that farmers in Ireland are doing today would be based on research that was done here at Grange. We have a long history of innovation and of pioneering practices that are now common-day use and taken for granted by the farmers of Ireland. In terms of innovation, we are one of the leaders in the world. “We hold open days annually when beef farmers from all over Ireland


programmes. It has a wide range of winter housing for beef cows, calves and growing and finishing cattle. In effect, it is a working farm. To this end, the main resources available to the beef research programme are 250 hectares of grassland, a cattle accommodation capacity of up to 1,300 animals and facilities to individually feed 300 animals. The Centre is currently engaged in research in a broad range of areas supporting the beef sector, including geomic selection, genetics and breeds, beef systems, grasslands, forage conservation, nutrition, meat quality, animal welfare, environment, systems modeling and cattle reproduction. Researchers work closely with the National Food Centre in relation to the quality of Irish beef. Grange researchers also work closely with Dublin City University, UCD Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UCD Faculty of Agriculture and Maynooth University - as well as various co-operatives, breed societies, animal feed compounders and pharmaceutical companies - in relation to areas of mutual interest on animal health and welfare, nutrition and forage science. The mission of the National Beef Research Centre, recognised as one of the world's leading beef production research programmes, is to enhance the profitability of Irish beef farmers through improved cost efficiencies of grassland and forage production, optimal animal husbandry practices, and consistently providing the consumer with an identifiable quality product . Improved profitability of the beef industry requires innovative, focused scientific research and development in

An annual Open Day is hosted at The National Beef Research Centre, Grange

come in and see what we are doing. Our laboratories allow us to understand what is going on inside the animal and we also opened the new bioscience facility here in September, 2012.� This new Animal Bioscience Building is part of the Teagasc Vision Programme to build centres of excellence in key sciences underpinning the Irish Agri-Food industry. The total area of the building is 2,330 m2 and this includes 852 m2 of laboratories. There are two large molecular biology laboratories, a dark room, and a series of laboratories for DNA/RNA preparation, immunology, biochemistry, microbiology, cell culture and flow cytometry. The building also includes a new canteen and conference room and seven new researchers have been recruited to strengthen the capability in molecular and computational biology, animal metabolism and immunology. The National Beef Research Centre, Grange is responsible for coordinating national research and development in the production of world class Irish beef in ways compatible with environmental awareness, food safety from the consumer's viewpoint, and the best practices of animal health and welfare. Grange provides national research information and specialist advice on all aspects of beef production systems. It also houses blood and agronomy laboratories which complement the animal production and forage conservation

Continued Success To Teagasc, From

Ardbraccan, Kilmessan, Co. Meath Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm Sat 9am-5pm

Tel: 046-9431661

Wishing Continued Success To Eddie O’Riordan & Teagasc, From

STOCKISTS OF Animal Feeds, Pet Foods & Accessories, Equestrian Feeds & Accessories, All Fuel Products Grassland & Corn Sprays, Fertiliser And General Farm Supplies

FAHERTY CONSTRUCTION General Building Contractor C2 Registered & Fully Insured Clowanstown, Drumree, Co. Meath Tel: 086 8585148 or 086 3893293 252


“Most things that farmers in Ireland are doing today would be based on research that was done at Grange,” Dr Edward O’Riordan

European work. Thirdly, we have key priority areas, with immediate receipts from the actual farming we access to the resultant technical and market information. The research do. programme must have international “We have been employing 100 scientific credibility and be innovative people for a number of years now and relevant to the sector. The main and we pump €2m in wages into the priorities for the Irish beef sector are local economy each year. Another that an adequate and secure €2m is spent running the Centre, so standard of living will be had by those that’s up to €4m annually going involved in livestock production; that directly into the economy here in consumers are provided with a Meath. We also buy locally, shop supply of beef that meets their needs; locally and try at all times to deal with and that the technologies employed local people. And a large proportion on farms are sustainable and of the staff would be living in County enhance an attractive countryside. Meath.” “We publish all our data in scientific This includes Edward himself, who journals and everything we do is is originally from Duhallow in Co. done to the highest scientific standards. All our work can stand up to being studied and reviewed by fellow scientists.” How is the operation funded? “There are three sources,” Edward reveals. “First of all, the Government pays the salaries as we are a semi-state body. We then have competitive funding where we compete with other research Grange provides national research information and specialist bodies for National and advise on all aspects of beef production

253

Cork but lives in Drumree. Edward s children play football, hurling and camogie and were involved with the County U14 Development Squads and with the U16 county squad in 2012. He helps out himself as a camogie and hurling coach. Has the recession had any effect on the National Beef Research Centre? “Like all areas of the public sector, we are being asked to reduce numbers. But as outlined in the recentlypublished Harvest 2020 review, the Government has major expectations for an expanding agricultural sector. Beef production, being the major livestock sector in the country will have an even bigger part to play in the economy. There are big plans for agriculture. “So we can see an expanding role for the Centre,” Edward concludes. “There is a huge interest amongst farmers in how to do things better and increase their margins. Our aim is to make farming more profitable, more sustainable and more competitive internationally.”


SPECIAL FEATURE Na Fianna celebrate their county final success

There are not many pluses to come out of a recession as doom and gloom is the general consensus amongst us, but at times of despair, one thing that we can rely on and that is each other. The Irish have a tendency to 'stick together' in times of need and that is certainly the case as the country deals with its latest economic crisis.

B

usinesses in particular have found the going tough as competition has risen to a frantic level. Customers are shopping about for the best prices available and who can blame them. However, in some cases the customers have stayed loyal to their local community and one example of this is Hannon's Centra in Enfield. Store manager Eugene Regan revealed to the Royal County Yearbook that their customers have remained loyal to them and one of the ways they thanked them for that was to sponsor the Na Fianna footballers. Centra in Enfield is owned by the

SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY Hannon brothers Rory and Raymond and it is one of seven outlets that this family business has. The town of Enfield thrived during the boom times as housing estates were erected by the dozen. Nonetheless, like the rest of the country, the recession hit hard and businesses began to suffer. Eugene revealed that they had no need to worry as their customers stood them and he would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support. “We are very fortunate to have very loyal customers who remained with us. At one stage a new Tescos opened in the town and although we did notice a slight slump for a while, all the customers did come back,� said Eugene. People are very loyal during a recession. There is big competition in the area, but our customer base has remained as strong as ever.� Eugene admitted that in a show of

254

support for the community, they were looking at ways of giving something back; one such way was to support the development of the Enfield playground, while the other was to sponsor the local footballers. Centra is Ireland's leading convenience retail group, with bright, accessible stores in over 450 locations throughout the country. Centra stores provide you with convenient shopping solutions, have all the items you need and are good value for money. "We have a reputation for quality, value and friendly service, and the fact that stores are independently owned and operated by local people means that shoppers get the best of both worlds - commitment to the traditional values of good fresh foods and excellent services, combined with the price power and state-of-the art retail systems of a big national food store group."


Na Fianna captain Christy Cosgrove hoists the IFC cup in the air

“We decided to get more involved with the local community and the playground was something we supported, while sponsoring the footballers was also an easy fit. They were looking for a sponsor and we were eager to get involved. Most of the people that come in here would be connected to the footballers in one way or another. I asked Rory about the sponsorship and he was all for it, so it suited both parties.” Centra and Super Valu is all about servicing the local community and providing for their customers. Their sponsorship of the All-Ireland championships has been well

documented and Eugene stressed that there was a great emphasis placed on giving something back. “Super Valu and Centra are great supporters of the local communities and they know how important it is to support them. Our initial sponsorship with Na Fianna is for three years and we are very happy with the way the first year has gone.” Indeed the sponsorship deal could not have got off to a better start as Na Fianna went on to claim the intermediate title, their first adult title in many, many years. For the past few campaigns, the Enfield based outfit would be considered one of the favourites for the intermediate title. A mixture of youth and experience has enabled them to become the top team in the county. In the final, they met near neighbours Trim and the Enfield outfit went in to the game as underdogs against a side that were looking to make a quick return to the senior ranks having being relegated just 12 months earlier. In the game itself, Na Fianna looked

to be coasting to victory when leading by ten points at half-time before showing the necessary resolve to resist a spirited Trim rally. Crucially John Andrews men never regained parity in their bid to make an immediate return to the senior ranks. They pared the margin to the minimum on three occasions in the final quarter. In the three minutes of stoppage time, Trim had an attempt from a free close to the left side line to level matters, but it dropped into the arms of Na Fianna 'keeper Shane Geraghty. It was left to Daniel Queeney, the final's top scorer, to conclude the scoring with his fourth pointed free that provided the cue for celebrations for the club. “It has been an amazing year for the club and we were delighted to be able to show our support. They have a very good team there and hopefully they can do well in the senior championship next year. Both Rory and Raymond have been to see them play and they are pleased to be involved in some way.”

The Na Fianna squad that won the 2012 IFC title

Continued Best Wishes To The Hannon Centra Group From

Continued Best Wishes To Hannon Group, From

SUPPLIERS OF PORK & BACON PRODUCTS

Unit 295, Block H, Blanchardstown Corporate Park 2, Ballycoolin, Dublin 15.

CONNOLLY MEATS LTD Dundrummonds, Scotstown, Co. Monaghan T: +353 47 89363 • F: +353 47 79959 E: info@connollymeats.ie • www.connollymeats.ie

T: +353 (0) 180 91792

www.resolutioninteriors.ie 255


DUNBOYNE Seven years separate Dunboyne's first two SFC titles. Hopes of maintaining the sequence this time round ended with a decisive quarterfinal loss to DonaghmoreAshbourne.

Luke Harte raises the MFL Division 1 Cup at Bective

W

hile praising the commitment of all involved in the club's football teams, chairman Peter Moran wonders why performance levels seem to drop off in the autumn. Dunboyne claimed the Keegan Cup for the first time in 1998 at the expense of opponents from the opposite end of the county, Oldcastle. Their second annexation of the SFC occurred in 2005 with victory over neighbours Blackhall Gaels. With former player Robbie Brennan at the helm, Dunboyne set out to maintain that seven-year cycle. Drawn in Group B alongside Walterstown, Skryne, Simonstown, Wolfe Tones and last year's runnersup Dunshaughlin they set out on the quest of a possible third senior football championship success. Dunboyne's opener at Ashbourne pitted them against Dunshaughlin, who lost narrowly to Summerhill in the SFC final replay less than six

TALE OF TWO SEASONS WITHIN A YEAR months earlier. Within 12 seconds of the off, Ger Robinson registered one of the quickest goals of the championship. By half-time Dunboyne were two points, 1-3 to 0-8, in arrears. From there to the end they outscored Dunshaughlin, by 2-9 to 00. Two Stephen Moran points and

another from Sean McGarrell restored Dunboyne's lead by the 37th minute. Third-quarter goals from Donal Lenihan and Gary Watters flatlined the contest and by the end 13 points separated the sides, 3-12 to 0-8. Dunboyne maintained their 100% winning start to their SFC campaign

Winners over Walterstown in round two of the senior championship at Trim, front l/r: Aidan O'Connor, Johnny O'Connor, Gary Watters, Donal Lenihan, Ger Robinson, Johnny Meehan, Cathal Finn, Stephen Moran, Paul Hayes. Back: Adam Hynes, Niall Walsh, Mick Convey, Sean McGarrell, Craig Berrigan, Damien Sweeney, Gary Timoney, Gerry Gallagher, David Gallagher, Colin Clarke, Tommy O'Connor, Padraic Curran, Cillian Thompson, David Clarke. Missing from photo: Barry Comer

Log onto www.dlynchpics.com to view more club photos

256


The U14 squad and mentors that recorded a great win over Simonstown in the Reserve League decider at Dunganny, front l/r: Liam Duggan, Caolan Kissane, Rory O'Dwyer, Cormac Darcy, Michael Reid, Ronan Duggan, Cian Mullen, Sean Nealon, Oscar Braun, Paul Grant, Niall Carolan, Eanna McCloskey. Back: Gary Dunne, Sam McQuaid, Liam Byrne, Padraig Lavin, Joseph McWeeney, Josh McCloskey, Jack Donnelly, Daragh Nolan, Gavin O'Keefe, David Murray, Glen Mulvey, Ben McBrien, Cian O'Connor, Adrian Carolan

in round two at Trim on the last Saturday in April. However, this time they only had three points. 0-9 to 0-6, to spare over Walterstown. Dunboyne recovered from the concession of the game's opening score to lead by 0-4 to 0-2 at the break. Walterstown had the best goal chance of the hour but Michael Clarke fired narrowly wide. There was never more than a score between the sides while Gary Watters' second point of the game ensured Dunboyne were one of five teams with 100% win records after the opening two rounds of SFC fixtures. County activity in hurling and

football took centre stage for the next three months with Dunboyne's next outing in the SFC taking place on the second weekend of August. Dunboyne's first championship outing of the year at the county ground pitted them against Simonstown. Making the early running, Dunboyne reached half-time leading by 0-8 to 0-3. Backed by the breeze, Simonstown subsequently whittled down the interval deficit and forced a 0-10-all draw with an injury-time free from distance. The result may have damaged Dunboyne's 100% win record, but their unbeaten record was safe while

Johnny O'Connor's goal remained intact after three championship outings. Dunboyne's penultimate round robin fixture saw them square up to Group B leaders Wolfe Tones at Navan O'Mahonys' ground. County minors Shane McEntee and Jason Daly featured as replacments for Dunboyne with the latter player putting two points to his name in an impressive showing. It was 0-6-each at the break and a more economical Dunboyne moved 0-10 to 0-8 clear by the three-quarter mark. A late Cian Ward pointed free ensured a 0-10-all draw and that saw both team maintain their unbeaten

This squad with mentors won the U14 Reserve Shield decider at Pairc Tailteann, front l/r: Niall Carolan, Sam McQuaid, Michael Reid, Pauric Lavin, Oscar Braun, Glen Mulvey, Sean Nealon, Caolan Kissane, Ronan Duggan, Paul Grant, Cian Mullen. Back: Liam Duggan, Kevin Cleary, Cian O'Connor, Gary Dunne, Jack Donnelly, Gary McGrath, Ben McBrien, Liam Byrne, Daragh Nolan, Rory O'Dwyer, Josh McCloskey, Daniel Comiskey, Joseph McWeeney, David Murray, Adrian Carolan

257


DUNBOYNE DENTAL LABORATORY HIGH QUALITY DENTURE SPECIALIST • • • •

7/A DUNBOYNE SHOPPING CENTRE, MAYNOOTH ROAD, DUNBOYNE

1 Hour Denture Repair Specialist Dentures Repaired & Relined Gum Shields Teeth Whitening Kits

T: 01-8015695 M: 087-0569362

Continued Best Wishes to Dunboyne GAA Continued Success to Dunboyne GAA from

Best Wishes to Dunboyne GAA from

REILLY FARRIERS

JOHN McGLOIN PLANT HIRE

TOP SOIL - STONE SAND & GRAVEL - TIPPER HIRE

Forge House, Dunboyne, Co. Meath.

Baytown Park, Dunboyne, Co. Meath.

Tel: 01-8255495

Tel: 01-8251496/086-8052638

Email: rileysforge@eircom.net

DUNBOYNE OIL CO. LTD.

Paschal Murphy & Company

Serving Dublin city & county & Kildare & Meath, Grade A Fuels with Top Quality Service• DOMESTIC • COMMERCIAL • INDUSTRIAL 6 DAY DELIVERY SERVICE • COMPETITIVE PRICES WINTER GRADE HEATING OIL ALL Wishing Dunboyne Senior YEAR ROUND Hurlers & footballers KEROSENE MOTOR DIESEL Continued Success Tel: 8255190/8255757

Registered Auditors • Tax Advisers Clonee Centre, Clonee, Co. Meath Tel: 01-8253083/8253104 Fax: 01-8253106 Mobile: 086-2709069 Best Wishes to Dunboyne GAA In 2013

VESINGTON BOARDING KENNELS

Best Wishes To Dunboyne GFC In 2013 From All At

CJ’s Barber Shop

Large Individual Kennels for dogs and cats • Spacious Runs • Keen Rates Assured • Vet On Call • All Areas Covered • Collection & Delivery Service

Facing Topaz, Dunboyne, Co. Meath

Tel: 01 8026700

OPENING HOURS

F: 01-8015695 Web: www.dunboynedentallab.com

Mon-Wed 10am-6pm • Thurs 10am-7pm Fri 10am-6pm • Sat 9.30am-6pm • Sun 11am-3pm

Vesington, Dunboyne, Co. Meath. Tel: 01-8255491/8252384 Mobile: 087-2788083

SPECIAL STUDENT RATES €9 | GENTS €10 Hot Towel Shave & Sunbeds Available

Continued Success to Dunboyne GAA 258


The Dunboyne Kilbride amalgamation that reached the U16 Division 1 FL final, front l/r: Zac McGovern (mascot), Patrick Peters, Conor Finn, Mark Daly, Daire Boylan, David McEntee, Jordan McLoughlin, Ciaran Carey, Conor Doyle, Jack Donnelly. Back: Shane Weston, Eoghan Ryan, Ronan Fitzmaurice, Craig Doyle, Calvin McMahon, Catham McKeown, David Fitzgerald, Philip Darcy, Dean Quinn, John Finnerty, Shane Comiskey, Andrew Hymerick, Conor Keeley, Calum McGovern, Ronan Jones, John O'Hora

On duty for the second round of the SHC against Killyon at Pairc Tailteann, front l/r: Alan Watters, Michael O'Grady, Gary Watters, Andy McWeeney, Chris Kane, Darren Dunne, Paul Fagan, Niall Smyth, Sean Moran. Back: Damien Buggle, John Watters, Ger Murphy, Michael Reilly, Niall Watters, Barry Watters, Stephen Moran

The U14's that took on neighbours Dunshaughlin at Dunganny, front l/r: Noel Gallagher, Gavin O'Keeffe, Josh Tyrrell, Paraic Cagney, Ronan Duggan, Cathal Lacey, Sean Nealon, Brian Rohan, Colm Ahern, Rory Mason. Back: Ben Hannigan, Conor Rohan, Cormac Gilbert, Lorcan Conway, Gavin Prior, Sean Qiugley, Conor Geoghegan, Cian Flynn, Conor Hughes, Daragh Nolan, David O'Keeffe, Brian McDonnell, Colm Doherty

259


The Hire Shop

GORDON BARRON

Tool Hire - Sales Service

The Yeates Centre, Summerhill Road, Dunboyne, Co. Meath Tel: 01-801 3799 087-785 8605 • 087-904 5253

Crash Repairs

• Wallpaper Strippers • Rotovators • Carpet Cleaners • Water Pumps • Power Washers • Compactors • Kango Hammers • Ladders • Mixers • Sanders • Drills • Lawn Mowers • Hedge Trimmers • Strimmers • Generators • Con-Saws

For All Your Home • Garden • DIY • Construction Needs Best Wishes to Dunboyne GAA

McElroy’s Pharmacy

CRASH REPAIRS BODY WORK PANEL BEATING RESPRAYING

• A Comprehensive Range of Cosmetics • Health Care Requirements and First Aid Supplies always available • Chiropodist in attendance every Saturday • Gift shop on 1st Floor

Piercetown, Dunboyne. Tel: 01-8255559 Mobile: 087-2350915 Wishing Dunboyne GAA Every Success in 2013

DUNBOYNE Tel: 825 5381 Fax: 825 1095 Best Wishes to Dunboyne GAA in 2013

Best wishes & every success for the future from

EMBASSY CONTRACTORS WINTER MAINTENANCE GRITTING & SNOW PLOUGHING SERVICES AVAILABLE 24/7 Hillview, Dunboyne, Co. Meath

Tel: 01-8255298 Mobile: 087-2697949 CRUSTY CORNER E TH YEATES CENTRE

Best Wishes to Dunboyne GAA in 2013 from

CUNNINGHAMS

Variety Of Fresh Bread Available Daily Cream Cakes & Birthday Cakes Made To Order

FUNERAL DIRECTORS

OUR DELI COUNTER HAS THE HIGHEST QUALITY OF FRESH SALADS & HOME COOKED MEATS CATERING SERVICE AVAILABLE Come On In & See For Yourself

Clonsilla Village, Dublin 15 Lucan, Co. Dublin Celbridge, Co. Kildare Leixlip, Co. Kildare

Yeates Centre, Dunboyne, Co. Meath Tel: (01) 8015763 • Fax: (01) 8015765 BEST WISHES TO DUNBOYNE GAA

Tel: 01-8202266

www.cunninghamsfunerals.com 260


The Dunboyne Kilbride combination that defeated Killary Emmets in the MFC Div 4 decider at Bective, front l/r: Liam Courtney, Daire Boylan, Simon Clarke, Ciaran Skehill, Philip Watters, Mark Daly, Craig Doyle, John Finnerty, Ronan Fitzmaurice. Back: Killian Smith, Cathal Meehan, Sean O’Neill, Dylan Ryan, Josh Gough, Eamonn J Gilligan, Ian Hughes, Gavin Ryan, Cormac Ahern, Calvin McMahon, Liam Kane

The MFL Division 1 winners, front l/r: Philip Darcy, Jordan McLoughlin, Seamus Lavin, Stephen Browne, Andy Creevey, Jason Daly, Gary Harper, Gavin McCoy, Shane Comiskey, Gavin Ryan, Luke Harte. Back: Dylan Ryan, Niall Carolan, Keith Doyle, Shane McEntee, Conor McGrath, Andy Markey, Conor Doran, Sean McGrath, Eamon J Gilligan, Josh Gough, Padraig Gallagher, Ciaran Boylan, Ronan Dunne, Ben Carolan

The Dunboyne Kilbride Under 16 combination celebrate with the Reserve Shield at Kilbride

261


Best Wishes To Dunboyne GAA In 2013 From

Best wishes to Dunboyne GAA, from

HEALION TREE CARE

Tir Na Nog MONTESSORI - NAIONRA

KEVIN HEALION

NATIONAL CERT IN TREE SURGERY FULLY INSURED

2 SESSIONS DAILY OPEN 8.45 - 3PM

Tel: 086-8982327 / 01-825 1699

11 Garnett Hall, Dunboyne, Co. Meath

Castlefarm, Maynooth Road, Dunboyne, Co. Meath

Tel: 01 825 2636

TREE FELLING • TREE SURGERY • STUMP GRINDING • TREE SURVEYS & CONSULTANCY • SITE CLEARANCE • NATIONWIDE SERVICE

THE

Best Wishes to Dunboyne & Meath GAA in 2013 from

DECLAN MAHON

High-Scope ice rv Specialist Se

CLUB

CATERING FOR 2 & 6 MONTHS TO 5 YEARS 2 DAILY SESSIONS Navan Road, Dunboyne, Co. Meath. Tel: 086-2497531

BEST WISHES TO DUNBOYNE GAA IN 2013 Best Wishes To Dunboyne GAA In 2013, From

Best Wishes To Dunboyne GAA In 2013 From

FRANK SOMERS

Frank Butler Painting | Decorating

& Gardening Contractor

Plastering | Dry Lining | Renovation Work Carried Out

Dunboyne, Co. Meath

T: 087 2880952

39 Kilbreena Crescent, Dunboyne, Co. Meath

Contact Frank on 085 7714838 Wishing Dunboyne GAA Continued Success from

Continued Success to Dunboyne GAA from

Dunboyne Funeral Directors & Headstones Ireland

DUNBOYNE AUTO CENTRE

REPAIRS & SERVICE TO ALL CARS & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

HERE FOR THE COMMUNITY OF DUNBOYNE

Beech Grove, Old Fairyhouse Road, Dunboyne, Co. Meath

Dunboyne Village, Co. Meath.

Tel: 01-8013111

Tel: 01-8251062 Mobile: 086-2507803 262


record after four rounds of fixtures. Furthermore, both sides were assured of a quarter-final place while the Dunboyne defence maintained their impressive feat of not conceding a goal to date in the campaign. Against the 'Tones, Johnny O'Connor did well to deny Mark Coleman a goal. It can be difficult to summon up an appetite for a 'dead rubber'. Going into the final round of fixtures, Dunboyne were through to the business end while Skryne, with no wins and two draws from four outings, were merely playing for pride. Second best from the off, Dunboyne leaked their first goal of the SFC campaign and were six points, 0-3 to 1-6, in arrears at the interval. David Clarke pulled a goal back for Dunboyne in the third quarter, but without Nigel Crawford and the injured David Gallagher there was no way back for Robbie Brennan's men, as they fell short by three points, 1-10 to 3-7. It was back to Pairc Tailteann on the last Saturday evening in September for the quarter-final joust with Donaghmore-Ashbourne. Dunboyne were hoping to atone for a heavy defeat to the same opposition at the quarter-final stage 12 months earlier. Within two minutes of the off, Dunboyne hit the front for the only time when Stephen Moran landed a close range free. DonaghmoreAshbourne soon levelled matters and might have got in for a goal but for the intervention of 'keeper Johnny O'Connor. Donaghmore-Ashbourne converted the subsequent 45 and remained in front to the end. Dunboyne were just four points off the pace at the break, 0-3 to 0-7. Midfielder Craig Berrigan landed Dunboyne's only score from play on the night which wasn't enough to stem the Donaghmore-Ashbourne tide as the east county side eased to a 0-17 to 0-8 success. Having won their opening two SFC fixtures, Dunboyne didn't manage to win a single senior championship game after the championsihp

David Murray and Daniel Comiskey receive the U14 Reserve Shield from Paul Mooney at Pairc Tailteann

Paul Mooney presents the U14 Cup to Cathal Lacey

Juvenile Board Secretary Anthony Monaghan presents the U14 Reserve FL Cup to Dunboyne captain Glen Mulvey

263

resumed in August. Of the four SFC games played after championship activity resumed, Dunboyne drew two and lost two. Dunboyne's A FL Division 1 campaign opened on the third weekend of February with a double scores defeat away to the previous campaign's beaten finalists, St Patrick's. The following Sunday, in their first home game, a narrow home win over intermediate opponents Castletown was the outcome. A narrow defeat at Skryne, 1-7 to 2-7, was next up for Dunboyne In the final league fixture before the championship started, Dunboyne were boosted by an emphatic 3-14 to 0-8 home win over DuleekBellewstown. Dunboyne's poor league form away from home persisted with a 0-10 to 113 defeat to Wolfe Tones at Kilberry. However their good home form in the secondary competition was maintained with a 2-10 to 1-10 win over county champions Summerhill. That trend was continued at Oldcastle's expense on a 1-14 to 0-4 scoreline. A narrow defeat at Ashbourne followed. It wasn't until round ten that a first away win was registered, at neighbours Blackhall Gaels. The league campaign was completed with a narrow home defeat to Navan O'Mahonys which left Dunboyne in sixth place (out of 12 teams) when the regular campaign was complete. Dunboyne reached the B FL Division 1 final against DonaghmoreAshbourne. The sides drew at Dunboyne in the round robin stage of the campaign but the green and whites proved the winners in the Pairc Tailteann decider, on a 0-10 to 0-7 scoreline. A narrow loss at Seneschalstown in the competition opener was Dunboyne only defeat in the regular phase of the league. In assessing football mattters in the club, chairman Peter Moran looks to ways at improving matters. "The commitment is strong at all times. We hope to field a third team next year. We held our own even


Ralph’s

Best Wishes to

DUNBOYNE GAA in 2013 from

Dunboyne.

Tel: 01-8255977

Ralph’s Unit 1 & 2 Littlepace Shopping Centre, Clonee, Co. Meath.

Tel: 01-8227610

Princess Park Manor, Friern Barnet Road, Friern Barnet, New Southgate, London N11 3FL

FOR ALL YOUR DELI, NEWSAGENTS, LOTTERY AGENTS ETC. OPEN 7AM-10PM DAILY

Tel: +44 (0) 20 8361 2424 Fax: +44 (0) 20 8361 3856 Email: info@comerhomes.co.uk

Continued Best Wishes to Dunboyne GAA In 2013

Congratulations to Shane McEntee, Seamus Mooney & The Meath Minor Team & All The Best To Dunboyne GAA In 2013, From

St. Peter’s College Dunboyne, Co. Meath Tel: 01-8252552 Fax: 01-8251961 Email: stpeters@meathvec.ie Web: www.stpeterscc.ie Principal: Eamonn Gaffney • Deputy Principal: Maureen Murray • Deputy Principal: Liam Greene

Best Wishes To Dunboyne GAA In 2013, From

USED CARS | WORKSHOP AND CAR SERVICE TYRES AND WHEEL BALANCING NCT PRETEST Portmanna (Beside Bracetown Business Park) Clonee, Co. Meath

Ph: 01 825 1022 | 087 2622970 | 087 098 9178 E: sales@frankhartemotors.com

www.frankhartemotors.com 264


though emigration has hit us badly in the last few years. "Our intention is to field three adult football teams next year. A third team would give our younger players a taste of adult football". The chairman considers possible changes to the structure of football competitions in the county: ""The under 21 football championship is pointless football competition to me. You might only get one game. "You'll never get a good time for it. If you play it in the middle of the summer, you have players involved in adult football". Peter Moran elaborates further on possible changes. "I'd like to see more clubs playing games on a regular basis and less training sessions. I recall when we had a winter league. We don't seem to take the league (football) seriously in Meath." The latter point may have something to do with the fact that championship status isn't dependent on league form. The population of Dunboyne has increased dramatically in recent years and with it the demand for extra facilities. Dunboyne are adapting to meet the needs of increased player numbers and the chairman acknowledges the help of Clonee neighbours St Paul's. Meanwhile an extra two pitches have come on stream. Football in the club received a further boost when the Dunboyne/Kilbride minor amalgamation won the MFL Division 1 title in October at the expense of Donaghmore-Ashbourne. Jason Daly and Niall Carolan were the goalscorers for Dunboyne/Kilbride in a 2-10 to 0-8 final win. Above all Peter Moran pays tribute to the mentors involved in all aspects of of Dunboyne. He adds: "Our task is to get the players interested and keep them interested". As a long standing member of the community, Peter Moran acknowledges the contribution made by people who settled in the area, turning Dunboyne from a village to a large urban centre.

BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE St Peter's Dunboyne are one of the enigmas of Meath hurling as their failure to win a senior hurling championship title in recent years has mystified many, none more so than those involved in the club. The club possess some of the best hurlers in the county and on their day they are a match for any side, but come the latter stages of the championship, they seem to be found wanting in some departments. For many of the current crop the years are slipping by and it would be a shame if the likes of Neil Hackett, John Watters of Paul Fagan to name just a few were to retire without lifting the Jubilee Cup. However, Kildalkey's dominance in the top flight over the past three years has made it even harder for clubs to make the breakthrough. Dunboyne last qualified for the senior final in 2009, but on that occasion, they were comfortably defeated by the 'Village'. The south Meath club are still considered one of the genuine contenders for the senior championship on an annual basis and they have been working harder than ever to ensure that their underage structure is developed to bring players through to adult level. Chairman of the hurling club, Pat Jenkinson explained to the Royal County Yearbook that they have always placed a great emphasis on their underage structure and he points to the emergence of their intermediate side this year as an indication of what they have achieved so far. “There has always been great work done at underage as there are a number of hard working people that have worked with the different age groups over the years,” said Pat, who has been chairman of the hurling club for the past two years. “I suppose in recent years we have put more of a structure to the set up with the aim of bringing lads through from under-16 and minor to adult level. I'm sure it is the same with every other club in that there seems to be a drop off when lads reach 18

265

Sam McQuaid has the ball

Daragh Nolan was outstanding in the U14 Reserve FL decider

Ben McBrien


Best Wishes To Dunboyne GAA, From

Best Wishes To Dunboyne GAA In 2013, From

MICK WHELAN MOTORS

COMPLIANCE ENGINEERING IRELAND LTD

SALES | SERVICE | REPAIRS Tyres| Pre-NCT | Batteries

FOR ALL YOUR MOTORING NEEDS Oberstown, Tara, Co. Meath Tel: 046 9025027 Loughsallagh, Clonee, Co. Meath

Clonross Lane, Derrockstown, Dunshauglin, Co. Meath

Tel: 01 8252271 | Mobile: 087 2594445

Tel: 01 825 6722 | Fax: 01 825 6733

Email: michaelwhelanmts@gmail.com

Best Wishes To Dunboyne GAA, From

Best Wishes To Dunboyne GAA, From

MANNINGS TYRE CENTRE FOR ALL YOUR

TYRES| PUNCTURES | TRACKING & BALANCING

Oranstown, Dunboyne, Co. Meath Tel: 01 825 2059 | Fax: 01 825 2055 Email: sales@midcorkpallets.com www.midcorkpallets.com

Navan Road, Dunboyne, Co. Meath Tel: 01 8255267

Best wishes to Dunboyne GAA, from

CLLR. MARIA MURPHY PEACE COMMISSIONER

Working for you in Meath 3 The Close, Lutterell Hall, Dunboyne. Tel: 087-6579895 Email: mariacmurphy@eircom.net

Best Wishes To Dunboyne GAA

FOR ALL YOUR GAA NEWS

NEWS & REVIEWS LOG ON TO 266

WWW.

.COM/MEATH


or 19. Some might feel they are not good enough to play intermediate or senior hurling and they may only get a game or two at under-21 level and this is where they seem to fall away, so we are trying to encourage lads to make the step up. “This year we brought through four or five minors to the intermediate team and mixed in with the more experienced players, and it worked very well. At the start of the year, we weren't sure if we could field a second team as a few lads were talking of retiring and others had drifted away, but fortunately a few came back and along with the minors coming through, we were reasonably strong at this level. It was a major plus to stay up in the intermediate championship and we are confident that we can compete at the latter stages of the campaign next year.” The move worked so well that the Dunboyne intermediates caused of the biggest upsets in Meath hurling by beating championship favourites Rathmolyon in the group stages of the campaign. “I have to say the young lads really stood up and were counted that evening. It was a great performance and they thoroughly deserved their win,” added Pat, who is involved with the side also. “The older lads helped bring the younger guys on a lot and you would have no fear of them making the step up to senior level next year, which is what we are aiming for in the long run.” The club's underage structure is also burgeoning and competing at the business end of the under-16 and minor championships is a good sign for the future. Pat was juvenile chairman for six years in the past and he knows what work needs to be done. “We have to be pleased with the underage, of course we would like to be winning more as any club would, but the numbers are good right through the club right up to senior and that is a good basis to work from.” The senior campaign saw St Peter's placed in what was known as the 'weaker' side of the draw and they

were confident of progressing from the group stages of the championship, which they duly did losing one game to Killyon along the way. “We were happy to avoid all the big guns in the group stages and we were quietly confident of qualifying from the group. All year, training went very well and they numbers were very good, but the lads themselves admitted that the performances were not the best at different stages.” The management team of Paul Reilly, Ciaran Clince, Damien Hynes and Darragh Watters had the squad in perfect condition for the quarterfinal against Kiltale as the sides battled it out for a place in the last four. The game was delayed for a half an hour to accommodate extra time in the IHC quarter final between Dunderry and Blackhall Gaels. The delay seemed to have affected Kiltale and with five minutes gone Dunboyne were 1-3 to 0-0 ahead. After a minute of action full forward Barry Watters got in for a goal. The same player added two points and along with a fine effort from Sean Moran Dunboyne were six points up. Kiltale settled and got the next four scores. Four unanswered frees for Kiltale in the closing ten minutes and the teams went in level at the break 0-8 to 1-5. Kiltale had this game wrapped up in the opening ten minutes of the second half. Last year's beaten semifinalists had 1-4 registered before substitute Gary Watters got Dunboyne's opening score. A waft of scores put Kiltale ahead 1-14 to 1-6. The lead was out to eleven points when they added a further 1-1. Gary Watters got a consolation goal for Dunboyne with time almost up as Kiltale went on to win with ease and set up a mouth-watering clash with championship holders Kildalkey in the semi-final. “It was disappointing to lose to Kiltale, because I know the lads put in a huge effort all year. Paul Fagan was away for that match and he was a big loss, but we got off to a great start and at half time the sides were level, but we didn't come out for the second

267

Paul Grant

David Murray

Midfielder Sean McGarrell


Reserve league Division 1 finalists

half at all. “For some reason our lads don't like playing in Pairc Tailteann, they seem to freeze on occasion and if one or two drop their heads, then the rest seem to follow suit. It is a shame, because they are a very talented bunch of lads and I do still believe that they are capable of winning a senior championship in the next few years. “I really do believe that we can be competitive at both senior and intermediate next year, while if we can also bring the lads through from minor, then the future is very bright for the club.” The celebrations begin with the U13 Division 1 Cup at Stamullen

Paul Fagan is under pressure

Killyon's Brian Perry is too late to prevent Michael Reilly from scoring a point

268


SPECIAL FEATURE

MONAGHAN’S QUEST

Anthony oversees the club’s sports day

There are a vast number of GAA players who upon finishing their GAA careers walk away from the game, while there are some willing to 'give something back'. One such person is Castletown clubman Anthony Monaghan, who has given more than his fair share of time to football in Meath.

A

Castletown’s U12 Group E Spring League Winning Final team, front, l/r: A. Smith, N. Quinn, M. Doherty, E. Carry, J. Farrelly, J. Sheerin, J. Hickey, R. Monaghan. Back, l/r: L. Gaughran, K. Price, P. Bellew, K. Markey, E. Hoey Capt, C. Deans, A. Jonaitye, L. Price, A. Carry, M. Gaughran

nthony plied his trade with the Castletown club for many years, lining out in the

1995 intermediate final defeat to

The Castletown squad before they left for Malin Head 11th August 2012

Simonstown Gaels. Even before his retirement, Anthony was involved with the club and these days he is the current underage secretary, while he was also involved in established ladies football in Castletown this year. This suggests that he provides a large amount of time to the GAA, but the fact of the matter is that is only the tip of the iceberg. For Anthony has been filling the role of Meath Juvenile secretary for the past three years, a position in itself that is very time consuming. The

Royal

County

Yearbook

wondered how Anthony could fit all

The U11 Girls team which won the Sports Day Cup 14th October 2012. Front, l/r: E. Fleming, E. Carr, L. Young, E. Mc Connell, L. O Neill, K. Monan, A. Reilly, S. Cluskey. Back, l/r: E. Shalvey, Kirsten, K. Duffy, N. Young, A. Jonaiyte, K. Mc Manus, L. Price, R. Myler, N. Quinn, C. Mc Mahon, N. Young, K. Finnegan

269


Wishing Continued Success To Irish Rail, From

John Dixon Plant Hire & Agricultural Contractor HEDGE CUTTING, RAIL ROAD DIGGERS & DUMP TRUCKS SPECIALISING IN SITE CLEARING, FOUNDATIONS, SLURRY SPREADING SEPTIC TANK CLEANING, BALING & WRAPPING Specialising In Rail Dumptrucks & Rail Diggers All Railroad Equipment & Attachments

Killucan. Tel: 044-9374692 Mobile: 087-6505926/087-8131099/ 087-4161181 Continued Success To Irish Rail From

PROVIDE CIVIL ENGINEERING & CABLE INSTALLATION/ SPLICING SERVICES TO IRISH RAIL CWS Communications Ltd Collinstown Business Park, Old Airport Road, Cloghran, Co. Dublin, T: 01 8624633 F: 01 8624637 M: 0860281456

For all your travel needs Contracts and Private Hire

Best Wishes To Anthony Monaghan & Irish Rail, From

Contact Tel: 042 93 71405 Fax: 042 93 71893 www.anchortours.ie bookings@anchortours.ie

CLARKE STATION DUNDALK

6-10 Monday To Friday All Events Catered For Sporting Events| Corporate Events Music Concerts| Carnivals| Markets

All size coaches available ranging from 16 seater minibuses to 59 seater luxurious coaches

Coffee,tea's,hot chocolate,soup, soft drinks, snacks and snandwiches

Best Wishes To Anthony Monaghan & Irish Rail

St Cecelia's, Dublin Rd, Dundalk , Co. Louth E: colin@beanmeup.ie Tel: 087 9964069

Continued Success To Irish Rail, From

Balfour Beatty

don’t get teed off with other sites ...

Ireland

log onto the most comprehensive GAA website in the world

The Contractor of Choice City Junction Business Park, Northern Cross Malahide Road, Dublin 17 Tel: +353 (1) 8673770 Fax: +353 (1) 8673750 Email: info@bbireland.ie Web: www.bbireland.ie

www.hoganstand.com 270


The Castletown U14 championship winning final team, front, l/r: Supporter A. Young, K. Price, A, Smith, K. Markey, Supporters J. Farrelly, R. Monaghan, A, Monaghan, C. Price. Back, l/r: M. Carry, D. Markey, J. Carolan, T. Mc Manus, K. Quail, JJ O Dea, C.Deans, A. Weldon, P. Bellew, E. Hoey, M. Kelly

this into his daily routine, while also retaining a full time job as Dundalk Station Manager for Irish Rail. So we caught up with this GAA enthusiast and had a chat about his various roles in the association. The role of Meath Juvenile secretary can be one of the most arduous, frustrating and time consuming roles in the county board, but Anthony doesn't look at it that way and his love of the GAA helps him overcome any problems. “Ah it's not as bad as many people think. In my role, as juvenile secretary I would look after the under-12, 13s and 14s, which is manageable,” said Anthony. “You have to be have an interest in the job or it could

Áine Chocolate who sponsored the gear for Malin Trip, back, l/r: Anthony Monaghan Castletown Juvenile Secretary, Ann Doherty Áine Chocolates, Gerry Boyce Castletown Juvenile Chairman. Front, l/r: Ríain Monaghan and Darragh Boyce

Castletown Juvenile Club attend the Leinster Final, front,l/r: G. Monaghan, D. Boyce, P. Mc Kenna, H. Boyce, A. Monaghan, M. Doherty, C. Finey, B. Caldwell. Back, l/r: A. Carry, M. Carry, P. Boyce (Castletown School Teacher), G. Boyce, E. Carry, E. Monaghan, C. Boyce, R. Monaghan, J. Hickey, S. Doherty, N. Quinn, A. Monaghan, M. Caldwell

Castletown’s U12 Group E Spring League winning Final team with the trophy, front, l/r: M. Doherty, R. Monaghan, E. Carry, M. Gaughran, J. Farrelly, L. Price, N. Quinn, L. Gaughran, J. Sheerin. Back, l/r: Mentor C. Price, E. Hoey, P. Bellew, C. Deans, K. Markey, K. Price, J. Hickey, A. Jonaitye, A. Carry, A. Smith, Mentors G. Carry, T. Duffy