Ballindine, Co. Mayo

Month: July 2009

July 26, 2009

Davitts v Kilmaine – Match Report & 50th Birthday Celebrations

Davitts v Kilmaine match report & 50th Birthday Celebrations

The intermediate team hosted Kilmaine in the O Mara Cup on Saturday evening, and the teams played out a draw in a game of poor quality. The teams were level 0-7 apiece at half time and the final scoreline was Davitts 0-12, Kilmaine 1-9. Davitts best players were Kevin Gallagher, Tommy Mitchell, Colm Boyle, Shane Mitchell, Aidan McTigue and Liam Kearns.

Burkes in Irishtown hosted the social event of the year when Michael Waldron (affectionately known as Wally), pictured left, celebrated his 50th birthday in style on Saturday night. Wally, the current manager of Davitts junior team, and multiple winner of the clubs prestigious Clubman of the year award, is an immensely popular character in the Ballindine/Irishtown area and indeed much further afield. He is a former referee and is Davitts number one linesman, umpire and presto seller, together with his partner Michael Hynes. The huge crowd that attended his party is testimony to his popularity. Happy birthday Michael from all at Davitts GAA club.

July 18, 2009

Tourmakeady v Davitts – Minor League

Davitts minor team recorded a morale boosting victory on Friday evening, when they travelled to Tourmakeady and defeated the home side by 4-15 to 0-5, in a rather one sided league encounter. A determined Davitts side took control of the proceedings from the throw in, with midfielders Josh Ronayne and Michael Waldron dictating matters, and at half time Davitts led by 2-9 to 0-2, David Hyland the two goal hero with two emphatic finishes. The second half followed on the same lines and Davitts ran out easy winners.

David Mitchell was confident in goals and the corner backs, Tommy Heneghan and Tommy Ruddock rarely put a foot wrong all evening. Mark Ronayne and Dara Halligan, the wing backs, excelled both defensively and in an attacking sense. In a lively forward line, Hyland, Jason Connolly, Darren Connolly and Clive Hennigan, a young player with enormous potential, all played very well.

Davitts team: David Mitchell, Tommy Ruddock, Tommy Heneghan, Mark Ronayne, Dara Halligan (0-1), Michael Waldron (0-1), Josh Ronayne (1-6), David Hyland (2-1), Jason Connolly (0-3), Darren Connolly (1-1), Clive Hennigan (0-1). Subs used: Gerard McWalter, James Prendergast (0-1), Tommy Clarke and Barry McLoughlin.

July 16, 2009

Brennan Cup Semi-Final – Davitts v Claremorris

Davitts U-21 side were soundly beaten by neighbours Claremorris in a Brennan Cup tie played in Ballindine on Wednesday evening. Claremorris, who led by 1-7 to 0-4 in a close first half, pulled away towards the finish to win by 4-14 to 1-8. Davitts, who had to play second fiddle to Claremorris at midfield throughout the game, had their better performers in Jonathon Clarke, Kevin Gallagher, Tommy Mitchell, David Ryan, Liam Kearns and Richie Kilkenny.

Davitts team: David Connolly, Kevin Gallagher, David Ryan, Laurence Daly, Tommy Mitchell, Jonathon Clarke, John Heneghan, Shane Mitchell, Josh Ronayne (0-2), Keith Prendergast (0-2), Liam Kearns (0-1), Michael Waldron, Richie Kilkenny (1-2). Subs used: David Cosgrove (0-1) and John Paul Clarke.

July 12, 2009

Claremorris v Davitts – O’Meara Cup

A bad week for Davitts club, both on and off the playing pitch, was compounded on Saturday evening, when Claremorris defeated the first team by 1-10 to 0-6 in a desperately poor O Mara Cup encounter played in difficult conditions in Claremorris. The low standard of play by both teams was matched by referee Martin Walsh, whose performance was as miserable as the wet and windy weather conditions. Davitts best players were Frankie Barrett, Michael Ronayne, Colm Boyle, Shane Mitchell, Liam Kearns, Noel Reapy and sub Martin Cosgrove.

July 10, 2009

Minor v Balla & Junior v Garrymore – Match Reports

Davitts minor team suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Balla, in a league game played in Balla on Friday evening. Balla were on top from the start and led by 2-6 to 1-3 at half time, the Davitts goal coming from Dara Halligan, their best player. Things got no better for Davitts in the second half, with the homeside dominating proceedings, and ending up the emphatic winners on a 3-15 to 1-7 scoreline. As well as Halligan, Davitts had admirable performances from Gerard McWalter, Tommy Ruddock, Josh Ronayne, Mark Ronayne and Darren Connolly.

The junior team travelled to Garrymore and were narrowly defeated 1-5 to 0-6 in an enthralling encounter. Garrymore led by 1-4 to 0-4 at the break, but both sides gave a fine exhibition of defending in the second half as the Davitts attack squandered chance after chance with some wayward shooting. In a game that Davitts will wonder just how they managed to lose, their best players were defenders Kevin Gallagher and Martin Cosgrove, midfielders John Heneghan and the outstanding Tommy Mitchell, who scored two points, and forwards Pat McGee and top scorer Con Penny, who is regularly seen honing his skills at the local pitch, overseen by a mystery shooting coach.

July 9, 2009

Aughamore v Davitts (U-14 B Championship)

Aughamore v Davitts (U-14 B Championship)

The U-14 team were away to a strong Aughamore side in the county B championship, and were defeated by 2-15 to 3-6. Aughamore set the early running and led by 1-5 to 0-0 after twenty minutes but a strong last ten minutes of the half by the Davitts lads yielded points by Tommy Waldron (3) and Donal Ronayne, to leave four points between the sides at the interval.

Aughamore extended their lead and led by 2-10 to 0-5 when Waldron goaled from the penalty spot after impressive sub Gerard Griffin was fouled. Another foul on Griffin led to another converted spot kick from Waldron as Davitts showed admirable spirit in the final fifteen minutes. Davitts midfielder and captain Donal Ronayne scored another goal, after a fine movement involving several players, but time ran out for Davitts, and Aughamore ran out deserving winners.

In addition to the players already mentioned, Davitts had fine performances from the lionhearted Tommy Charles, William Freeley, Shane Cummins, Matthew Trench and Cathal Hennelly.

Team: Michael Mangan, Tommy Charles, Liam Connolly, Johnny Huane, William Freeley, Jonathon Fahy, Donal Ronayne (1-2), Shane Cummins, Michael Clarke (0-1), Padraig Mangan, Matthew Trench, Tommy Waldron (2-3), Cathal Hennelly. Subs used: David O Toole, Gerard Griffin, Richie Connor, Dylan Keadin and Jack Rodgers.

July 9, 2009

U-21 B Championship – Davitts v Kiltimagh

Davitts were at home to Kiltimagh on Wednesday evening in the U-21 B Championship, and were defeated 3-12 to 2-8, in a very entertaining match, which produced some excellent football. After playing against the wind in the opening half, Davitts trailed by 0-6 to 0-5 at the break but ultimately the loss of Keith Glynn, Fergal McGrath and Kieran Mooney to injury, and the unavailability of David Ryan, was to prove too much for this very young side, all of whom will be eligible again next year, and most having two years left at u-21 level.

Michael Waldron, Kevin Gallagher and Tommy Mitchell played very well in defence, John Heneghan and Shane Mitchell won a lot of ball at midfield, while Keith Prendergast led a lively attack well and got good support from Josh Ronayne, Richie Kilkenny and Liam Kearns.

On the evidence of this game Kiltimagh look a very good side and one that will give this championship a right good shot. A minutes silence was observed before the game as a mark of respect for the late Donnacha Geraghty.

Davitts team: Paddy Kirrane, Michael Waldron, Kevin Gallagher, Johnno Clarke, Tommy Mitchell, Laurence Daly, Shane Mitchell, John Heneghan, Josh Ronayne (0-1), Keith Prendergast (0-3), Liam Kearns (1-2), Richie Kilkenny (0-2), John Paul Clarke. Sub used: David Cosgrove (1-0).

July 9, 2009

The Origins of Football in the Parish of Kilvine (by Mattie Sheridan)

The first football teams in the parish were formed after the ending of the Civil War (1923-1924) – a team in Irishtown and a team in Ballindine. Some of the men on these teams had memories of playing football with a ball that consisted of newspapers tied with string in the prison camp in Ballykinlar, but even before then, young men went out in the local fields kicking football on Sunday afternoons. There were no championships and leagues back then. The players organised matches among themselves, friends and visitors were invited in. There were no rules; neither was there a definite number of players on each side – that depended on the number available. Jerseys, togs and football boots were unheard of; corduroy pants and hobnail boots were the fashion of the day. Muscle and brawn were of greater importance than brains or skill. It was a case of survival of the fittest!

The players I can remember in those far off days were Luke McManus (Kilmacnella), Eddie Mullarkey (New York), George O’Malley (Irishtown and Westport) [George was a commercial traveller in Castlerea; he married Maggie Slattery, Irishtown, who lived where Sean Bourke’s bar now stands. George was Connaught handball champion. He emigrated to the US later on in life]; Paddy McGarry, Willie and Austin O’Donnell, Tom Melvin and Mickie Griffin (Irishtown), Stephen Noonan of Creevard [who came home from the US and went into business in Ballina], James Huane (Knockadoon) [a tailor by profession], Packie Huane (Boleyboy), Dr. Tossie Heneghan (Ballindine) ([played with both Irishtown and Ballindine – it was good for business!], Basil Curran, (Ballyhaunis) [a six foot two inches centerfield man who later went into extensive cattle export business in Co. Meath], and Laurence Morrin of Boleyboy.

I remember the famous Mayo footballer ‘Purty’ Kelly, Westport, training and playing with the local footballers. He worked as a ganger on the Ballindine to Irishtown road. He stayed in a caravan in Ryan’s field in Castlereagh.

Ballyhaunis football club had a falling out with the County Board which lasted for four or five years. A number of their footballers used to cycle to Irishtown to play football: Jim Forde, who played for the county, the famous Jackie Carney, Ballina, who was a shopkeeper in Ballyhaunis, Eddie Biesty and a few others.

‘Purty’ Kelly and Jackie Carney helped train and coach the local players long before the terms “coach” or “manager” were even mentioned in connection with the game.

I can remember other footballers of the time: Jimmy Curran (Oldtown and Dublin), Frank Patten (Ballindine and Dublin), and ‘Nipper’ Shanley, a native of Leitrim who was a senior clerk in the goods yard in Claremorris and a member of the Tailteann team of 1927 or 1928; he played for Ballindine.

Members of the Garda Siochana played a great part in football in the parish. I can remember a Guard Murray, a great organiser, Guard Cronin, and in later times Guard Callaghan and Guard McHugh from Kerry.

We had no definite pitch in Irishtown. We played where we could until the owners ran us out. We played in Michael O’Connor’s of Knockadoon, Michael Flaherty’s in Rockfort, J.J. Mullarkey’s in Irishtown, Mickie Griffin’s in Oldtown, and J.J. Noonan’s of Creevard. We also played on the site of the present cemetery in Irishtown, a field given to Fr. O’Connor as a sportsfield by the Congested District Board and known as Páirc Connor.

Teams were not affiliated then. Championship games took place only between the larger towns. We depended on challenge games among ourselves, with Ballindine or with visiting teams. I can remember travelling to places like Mount Delvin (Co. Roscommon) for challenge games.

July 9, 2009

Football in the Forties and Fifties

Football continued to be played in the area throughout the ‘30s and ‘40s but not on an organised basis. Most games were between the local players themselves with the odd challenge ‘thrown in’.

An interesting feature of the 1940’s was the Castlemagarrett League. This was organised by Una Guinness, wife of Lord Oranmore and Browne – the then owner of the castle and the estate. The league comprised of five teams – the Farm, the House, the Garden, the Mill and the Stables. You didn’t have to be an employee to the estate to play. Youths from the Claremorris and Ballindine area took part. Each team was provided with coloured jerseys – red and white, green and white, blue and white, etc. The matches were played in a field at Roxes Bridge. After the game players could wash and ‘shower’ in the adjacent River Robe (sports complex how are you!).

Medals were presented to the league winners at a special ball held in the Saddle Room of the Castle. A half barrel (or three) was tapped for the occasion and the revelry continued into the early hours.

An amusing tale is told of two certain gentlemen from “Davittland” who were heading for home on bicycles after one of these ‘balls’. They cycled on either side of the avenue leading from the Castle. Neither, of course, had a light on his bicycle. As they discussed the day’s and night’s fortunes, suddenly there was a loud crash and a thump which abruptly ended the conversation.

On returning to the scene of the commotion one of the gentlemen discovered his partner and bicycle entangled in one of the main gates! It was a double gate with one half open with one half open and (unfortunately) the other half closed. Those were the days!

Occasionally a team representing the Castle travelled away to matches to which they were ‘chauffeur driven’ and provided with plenty of food as well as football gear (a hint of early professionalism perhaps?). They were envied by players from other areas and regarded as the elite of the game.

Nonetheless, life continued outside the estate with the odd game played among the locals themselves. It is interesting to note that in the late ‘40s Joe Turner (former owner of Clarke’s Bar) played minor football for Claremorris, junior for Garrymore and senior for Mayo Abbey – this was quite within the rules of the day.

In the early 1950s more concerted efforts were made to bring some organisation into the whole football scene. One of the main instigators of this was a Guard McHugh, a native of Knocknagashel in Kerry. The two ‘teams’ of Irishtown and Ballindine amalgamated and affiliated in 1952. The team took part in the South Mayo Junior Championship of that year but without any success. Mattie Sheridan was the first chairman of the club with Laddie Griffith acting as secretary. The club was called Ballindine and the players practiced in ‘Duffy’s Field’ which is adjacent to Davitt Park. Opposition at the time was provided by Hollymount, Carramore, Garrymore, Shrule, Kilmaine and The Neale, among others. Some of the more prominent players of the early ‘50s were Laddie Griffith, Pa Kirrane, Patsy Bourke, Michael Guilmore, Michael Devane, Henry Cleary, Herbie Glynn, Jimmy Bourke, Billy Godfrey, Jimmy Kilkenny, Pete Bourke, Willie Corley, Brendan Rattigan, James Raftery , John Mongan, Pete McHugh, Dinny Browne (a C.I.E. employee from Limerick), Mick Connelly, Paddy McTigue, Tom Niland , Tom Hosty, John Callaghan and Edmund Cleary.

The management staff included Mattie Sheridan, Laddie Griffith, Tom Connolly and Barney Donnellan. As was the case during the ‘40s, migration and emigration took its toll. It is interesting to compare travel arrangements in those days to present day coach busses etc. Michael Guilmore recalled travelling to Kilmaine to play the local side in an O’Mara Cup game in 1953. Some of the team including Michael travelled on the back of an open truck which had little or no exhaust. Naturally the fumes were ‘choking’ so that by the time they reached Kilmaine many stomachs were beginning to roll. The game was only five minutes old when Michael ‘revealed’ to all present what he had eaten for dinner that day. After getting that ‘load off his chest’ Michael went on to play what he described as “the only good match I ever played”.

Despite those little problems the team continued to play, but with little or no success. A ‘mix-up’ occurred within the club however about 1956, and the team split up with some players going to Garrymore and others going to Crossboyne club.

This break-up lasted for about two years, until the club was revived through the efforts of men like Mattie Sheridan (Chairman), Laddie Griffith, Tom Connolly, Hugh Treacy , Christy Rattigan, Sergeant McBride, Sonny Cummins (who also refereed in those days), Dr. Waldron and Paddy Gleeson. A minor split occurred again about 1959 but didn’t last very long, and the team was reformed again. Some of the local players however didn’t return to join the team, then named Ballindine, until about 1964, as Crossboyne, who they played for, were enjoying some success.

Despite some minor hic-cups the club continued to take part in the junior championship and O’Mara Cup through the late ‘50s and into the ‘60s. Success on the field however, was, to say the least, limited, as one mentor of the era (who shall remain nameless) recalls playing 34 matches without recording a win. Certainly there can be no doubting the loyalty of the players at that period in the club’s history.

Some of the players to represent the club in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s were Laddie Griffith, Tom Niland, Patsy Bourke, Billy Griffin, John Joyce, Henry Cleary, Lar Murphy, Mattie Moran, Jimmy Corr, John Joe McGee, Jimmy Treacy, Seamus Kirrane, Martian Kearney, Dave Kearney, Austin O’Donnell, Michael Devane, J. McTigue, M. Connolly, Jackie Gleeson and Mickie Treacy.

The club began to expand somewhat in the early ‘60s with players from Brickens joining – man like Eddie Prendergast, Enda Cleary, Tom and Dennis Waldron, Sean Moore, John Clancy and Sean and Tom Hestor (who actually cycled from Castlerea for a match). The junior championship was played on a league basis at this time and the first win that can be recalled was the defeat of Shrule in 1962.

‘Carraleena Park’ (the old pitch) was acquired officially about this time and the first match played on it was against Garrymore. While the local team received great support on the day they failed to defeat ‘Garry’ having conceded two soft goals. Referee for the game was Jim Heneghan, Mayo Abbey. Among the players to represent Garrymore on that day were Patsy Higgins, Pete Fallon, Tony Hynes, Vincent Nally, Jim and Tom Tierney and Joe Corcoran.

An interesting feature of Carraleena Park was the famous hollow in the ground. It was quite deep and whenever players followed the ball into it they disappeared from view. Many a tale is told of the ‘goings on’ in the said hollow and many an unsuspecting visiting young player in his enthusiasm to gain possession, ruefully regretted his youthful folly. The hollow was eventually filled in to afford better visibility to all concerned.

July 9, 2009

My Years (1963-1973) by Tom FitzGearld

In 1964 when Crossboyne GAA Club amalgamated with Garrymore, Irishtown players like Mark Connelly, Pa Kirrane, Kevin Mitchell and I, urged on by a sense of pride in our locality, decided to form a club in Irishtown under the guidance of Jimmy Curran, N.T., and Barney Donnellan, Garryduff. We formed a junior football club which was affiliated under the name of Irishtown and competed in the junior and O’Meara Cup championships for that year.

With emigration rampant during the sixties and the parish playing rules not properly enforced, our greatest difficulty was to field a team. Foreign lands had claimed stars like John J. Fitzgearld (one of the brightest prospects at the time), Kevin Mitchell, Johnny Mooney, Sean Connor to name but a few. Garrymore club was backboned by four or five of our players from the village of Ballindine. Against these odds we fielded a junior team made up of six to eight lads from Brickens, and the remainder from Irishtown.

Anybody who was involved during the years 1964-1973 can recall with pride the wonderful comradeship that existed amongst the lads involved. Even though it was our dream to win a South Mayo junior title, having to play against teams like Garrymore, Claremorris, Hollymount, Ballinrobe and Kilmaine was a great source of pride for us and often the lads did themselves proud on these occasions because junior football during these years was on par with senior today. During these years county senior players played junior football with their local clubs as senior club football was confined mainly to towns like Castlebar and Ballina. During these years players of the calibre of Padraic Prendergast, Matt McGrath, Eddie Prendergast and Pa Kirrane, to name but a few, would in today’s world of training techniques, selection and opportunities, be wearing the county jersey with distinction.

There were no sophisticated methods of training during these years. We met every evening in the playground in Irishtown. Training usually consisted of a crowd outfield, some in togs and jerseys, others in togs and shirts, others in their Sunday suits (on their way to meet some girl), and more in wellington boots after returning home from a day in the bog. In order to put some ‘bite’ into training some bright spark suggested we form teams, one called “Road down from the crossroads” and the other an amalgamation of “the road back and road over”. This arrangement produced the necessary ‘bite’ and nearly put and end to the club as we discovered that pride in our roads far exceeded pride in the club, so luckily enough somebody stepped in before boiling point was reached and we returned to the ‘ould’ method of training again. As part of our training programme, we played Ballyhaunis on a few occasions, often running them to a point which was no mean achievement against a team backboned by county stars like J.J. Cribben, John Cleary, Doc Healy and Johnny Biesty. During these years we were proud to have three representatives wearing the county jersey and minor level – Bernie and Matt McGrath, and their brother Frank at both minor and Under 21 level.

For the record, when the club was formed only two of our players (who shall remain nameless) took Guinness for strength and courage. The team’s performance did nothing, however, to prove the theory that players perform better with no alcohol in their systems! In 1967 we fielded a minor team but due to lack of numbers it had to be propped up by a number of overage players, qualifications being…very little hair on your legs and just a trace of stubble on the jaw. It was from this era that the term “Hairy minor” originated. During one of their first outings against Hollymount in Hollymount, their trainer, Jimmy Curran, felt that the referee was rather harsh and upsetting to his team so he took them off the field in protest.

In 1968 our years of perseverance began to yield results, our team reaching the play-off stages of the South Mayo championship, losing by two points to Garrymore (5 points to 3). On that particular day lady luck turned her back on us as Frank McTigue blasted a penalty off the crossbar at a vital stage of the game. In 1969 we again reached the play-off stages, his time to be beaten by Ballinrobe. On this occasion we had difficulty in fielding a team as we had lost two of our stars – Padraic Prendergast to Ballyhaunis and Frank McGrath to Crossmolina.

The year 1970 started as a very lean year, as defeat in 1969 had finally smashed our morale. When all seemed lost Austin O’Donnell, Michael Roche and myself decided to rally the team and have another try at winning the South title. Our efforts almost bore fruit as, for the first time, we reached the South Mayo final, having beaten Mayo Abbey in a thriller of a semi-final. For me, it was a very proud day as I was lucky enough to be captain at the time. Garrymore beat us by two point, a team which included stars like Danny Dolan, T.J. Farragher, Joe Mellett, and many others who later went on to become the finest senior championship club in Mayo during the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, winning no fewer than six senior county titles.

During my years with the club I had the honour and pleasure with playing with stars like Sean Sweeney, Eddie Prendergast, John McLoughlin, Padraic and Jarleth Prendergast, Pa Kirrane, Tom Waldron, the McGrath brothers and Frank McTigue. In my years playing and being associated with the club from 1964 to 1972 and having competed in every league and championship fixture, only seven medals were won by our team members and they were won by Tom Connor, Pa Kirrane, Matt McGrath, Frank McGrath, Frank McTigue, Tom Waldron, Eddie Prendergast at a seven-a-side tournament in Mayo Abbey. I think this warrants a space in the Guinness Book of Records. Even though we have no plaques or medals to display, one thing those years achieved was comradeship and friendship both amongst the team members and with outside clubs – a friendship that is still in existence.

During those years money to run the club was raised by holding dances in Dunmore (Gannon’s Hall), Milltown (CYMS Hall), Ballindine (People’s Hall) and Claremorris (Savoy Ballroom). The Paramount Showband was one of our most regular bands and men like Pa Kirrane and Tom Connor had the dangerous task of counting the door takings. On one occasion the committee decided to put on a big show so the Gallowglass Ceili Band was booked for the People’s Hall in Ballindine. The band’s fee was £60 (big money in 1965) and a meal was provided by Mrs. Moran. The admission fee for the night was six shillings. The Hall was jammed tight, leaving a profit of £5.00. Our greatest source of revenue during these years was a play staged in the People’s Hall, Ballindine, every Christmas night by our local Drama Group. The group was tutored by Jimmy Curran, John Duignan, Willie Corley and Fr. Pat McGrath. This was always a great social occasion for the locality and, like football, it also created lasting friendships. No Oscars came our way but it was a pleasure to be part of a group which included Austin O’Donnell, Pat Kirrane, Willie Corley, Mary Commins, Sheila Diskin, Freddie Goggins and Peggy Reapy.

Let me recall some incidents from those years which are often discussed whenever we meet; like the evening after being humiliated on the football field by Mayo Abbey we took over a certain pub in Claremorris and a few lads who hadn’t fared too well on the field decided to have a go at the piano and microphone hoping that their talents were in the musical field if not on the football field. Men like Joe McNamara brought a deafening silence over the place as he painfully tore into a version of Danny Boy, proving to us all that his musical talents equalled his football ones!!

Another event I can’t let go without mention was one certain player who always insisted on a ‘fag’ at half time, and when the game was re-started he insisted on finishing off his smoke so he was often seen going for a ball with the butt stuck in the side of his mouth! Another incident I can recall concerned Pa Kirrane who, when at the twilight of his football career, switched from full back to full forward. I was given the task of filling his shoes (not so easy) if and when things were not going so well. In my first game Pa came running down the field and told me to “get too hell out of there”. The following Sunday when I lined out at full back again I had to keep an eye on two full forwards, my own man and the fellow wearing No. 14 on our team, as if he moved too far outfield I knew I was in for a long walk again! These were some of the events which made playing the game a pleasure for us all.

Looking back over the years I would like to put on record the names of local footballers who impressed me and who, I believe, would under today’s methods of selection and training be household names not alone in the county, but wherever football would be discussed in Ireland. Players like James Raftery, Logrea and Willie Corley, Burrish were a class above most. James Raftery was the complete athlete, the pride of any trainer in today’s scene. Padraic Prendergast was a player in the mould of Mick O’Connell of Kerry. Most people involved with him during his playing days will tell you of the utmost respect he had for each of his opponents. Another great player was John J. Fitzgearld whom many named as the best centre back playing club football in his time, a man who made light of any opposition he met during his playing days. Men like Eddie Prendergast, Fr. Matt McGrath, Sean Sweeney and John McLoughlin were fit to take their places amongst any group of county footballers, but unfortunately all these belonged to an era when county teams were selected from within certain towns and clubs – a time which has thankfully passed away.

I would also like to pay a special tribute to a man who gave unselfishly of time during the ‘60s. A man who often cycled to South Mayo meetings in Hollymount where he always fearlessly defended our club, a man who often stood on his own in the worst of weather conditions on the sideline watching us play, a man who also gave encouragement to us. The man I refer to is Barney Donnellan of Garryduff.

In conclusion, I would like to give the team that lined out for Irishtown in the ‘70s when we contested the South Mayo final against Garrymore. These were years when match programmes were unheard of, and, unlike today’s scene where every game gets press coverage, we have no records to look back on.

1. John Waldron
2. Tom Fitzgearld
3. Jarleth Prendergast
4. Bernie McGrath
5. Michael Mooney
6. Sean Sweeney
7. Jim Roche
8. John McLoughlin
9. Matt McGrath
10. Jarleth Griffin
11. Eddie Prendergast
12. Frank McGrath
13. Mark Connelly
14. Patsy McGrath
15. Sean Kirrane

Subs: Tom Connor, Mickey McTigue, Michael Roche, Finbarr Conroy.

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