Friends of Sligo Football
Congratulations to Sligo Football team on a deserved
victory over Antrim and emerging as Champions of their League last Saturday in Longford. In doing so they
beat every other team in the division and emerged with jewellery again. In the
last 4 or 5 years Sligo teams have tasted a reasonable degree of success
including St Attracts College and Sligo ladies - both crowned All Ireland
Champions, Sligo Hurlers Nickey Rackard winners last year and Sligo mens
team Connaught champions in 2007.So
hopefully we can build on this recent success. On Kevin Walsh’s appointment
there was scepticism in some quarters and vitriolic comment on the Sligo web
page but so far he and his selectors and players have delivered on their first
objective and we wish them well for the Championship.
With regard to the match we had to line out without
Kenneth Sweeney but Stephen Coen acquitted himself well and after a shaky
passage in the first half Sligo finished the half strongly and continued the
momentum at the start of the second half. Not for the first time there were
some confusion in the referee’s interpretation and one wonders how does one strike
deserve a red card while other dangerous strikes by the opposition merit only a
yellow card or no censure?
Congratulations to Marty Duffy on his selection as
referee for the Division League final.
We extend congratulations to Hugh Cawley, our First President
and a leading light in Friends of Sligo Football since inception, who was
elected to the Coisti Bainisti (the 10
person Management team, which advises
the GAA President) at the GAA convention in Cork recently. Hugh has been
chairman of Croke Park Committee in recent years and oversaw negotiations
relating to the opening of Croke Park to other sports. He has given a lifetime
to the GAA and his counsel his often sought and much appreciated. He rarely
misses a Sligo game despite his heavy schedule.
At the same convention former Connaught President,
Lauri Quinn from Shamrock Gaels was elected Chairman of the Finance and audit
Committees so Shamrock Gaels club hold
two prestigious positions on the inner circle of the GAA and we wish them both
the best of luck. It is a great honour for the individuals, their club and
Continuing our review of famous Sligo players this
week we take a quick look back at the great half back line of 1975-
collectively probably the best in the
country at the time. At right half we had the tenacious Mattie Brennan, whose
surging runs up the wing were legendary and his teak defending kept his
opponent under control. Mattie first came to prominence playing for the
Vocational school, Tubbercurry under the watchful eye of Colm Mullarkey -
Manager of the great Sligo minor team
1968 and have played minor for Sligo he quickly progressed to the senior team
and represented Sligo in Croke Park in the league Semi final 1968 against Kildare
at corner forward. He made his championship debut on 23rd June 1968
and was an ever present until his retirement after Mayo game 3 July 1983
playing 26 championship games.
On the other wing was Mattie’s neighbour and club
colleague Paddy Henry a very stylish player and a great reader of the game.
Paddy was a very talented under age player with Club and St Nathy’s,
Ballaghdereen and later as a Sigerson cup player with Maynooth College and it
was from these exploits he was called into the county squad and made the number
7 jersey his own. Like Mattie he played for a while as a forward and perhaps it
was this experience which prompted their attacking instincts. Paddy made his
debut against Mayo on 18th June 1972 against Mayo and played 23
championship matches up to his last game 16th June 1985. More
recently he has excelled at commentating on matches an as an analyst and is a
superb raconteur and his stories are
In the centre stood Barnes Murphy strong and direct,
who won an all star in 1974 and managed and captained the team to a Connaught
title in 1975. Barnes made his championship debut on 2nd June 1968
against Leitrim and went on to play 21 times up to his retirement on 14th
June 1981. Barnes, like paddy played college football for St Nathys and played
club football with his native Castleconnor before switching to St Mary’s where he won major success with
that very successful team. He is a regular analyst on local media and still has
a huge interest in Sligo football.
These 3 men between them played 70 champioship matches
for Sligo (and this was pre back door days) and several league matches and gave
sterling service to the county. Still they are visible at nearly every Sligo
match encouraging today’s heroes. In the embryonic days of Friends of Sligo
football Paddy and Mattie travelled to Dublin to support one of our first
functions, which was greatly appreciated.
Last weeks notes we referred to Kathleen Kilcoyne(nee
Egan) who died recently and described our good friend and supporter Padraic as
her nephew , he is of course her brother and we apologise for this error.
We extend sympathy to the family of Tom Walsh, – an
iconic man down through the years around Bunnadden and Tubbercurry .
A Final reminder about John McDwyer's play Love is, which we are hosting this Thursday night in the
Civic Theatre Tallaght at 8 pm. Tickets €20 available from Vincent Brett at 086