Bray People - - Sports -

Some Snip­pets from The Rich his­tory of Bray Em­mets: Now that we are reach­ing the end of 2008 it is ap­pro­pri­ate that we look back and re­mem­ber our past. There are many fa­mous sto­ries and per­son­al­i­ties as­so­ci­ated with Bray Em­mets so as an oc­ca­sional piece we try and record some for pos­ter­ity. Thanks to Jackie Napier and Michael O’Byrne who con­trib­uted to the fol­low­ing. We would wel­come con­tri­bu­tions from any oth­ers who have any in­ter­est­ing pieces of his­tory.

Bray Em­mets has a great his­tory, both on the play­ing fields and in the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the GAA. There have been many in­di­vid­u­als who have con­trib­uted to this his­tory, and in this is­sue we re­mem­ber two great fig­ures, who had strong as­so­ci­a­tion with Bray Em­mets and who held the top post of Pres­i­dent of the GAA. Th­ese were Pa­trick Breen and Hugh Byrne.

Bray Em­mets had the hon­our of winning the 1902 All-Ire­land (rep­re­sent­ing Dublin). On that team was Pa­trick Breen, a na­tive of Wex­ford, but se­lected by Bray Em­mets. (At that time the winning County Club had the right to pick from all play­ers within the County). He held the post of Pres­i­dent of the GAA from 1924 to 1926.

In more re­cent times Hugh Byrne held the post of Pres­i­dent of the GAA from 1961-1964. Hugh Byrne, who was a na­tive of Rath­dan­gan, taught in St. Peter’s, Bray in the 1930s af­ter grad­u­at­ing from UCD with a BA and an MA and joined Bray Em­mets.. He won two Se­nior Foot­ball cham­pi­onships with Bray Em­mets in 1934 and 35 be­fore re­turn­ing to Rath­dan­gan where he took over as Prin­ci­pal of the Na­tional School, re­plac­ing his fa­ther PJ. He re­joined the lo­cal team and played a key role on the 1936 Se­nior Cham­pi­onship with his three broth­ers Mick, Nick and Paddy. It was ironic that Rath­dan­gan de­feated Bray Em­mets in the semi-fi­nal. (An amus­ing story from that game was that Hugh, hav­ing won the ball from the first throw-in in­ad­vert­edly kicked the ball into the Rath­dan­gan net thus giv­ing his old club a great start, how­ever it was enough. He went on make a ma­jor con­tri­bu­tion to the Rath­dan­gan per­for­mance dur­ing that game).

In 1936 Wick­low went on to win their first All-Ire­land Ju­nior Foot­ball Fi­nal and while Hugh did not make the panel, his broth­ers Mick and Paddy both won All-Ire­land medals that year.

Hugh went on to be­come Chair­man of the West Board and in 1947 County Chair­man, later Chair­man of the Le­in­ster Coun­cil and a Trus­tee of the As­so­ci­a­tion cul­mi­nat­ing in that fa­mous day in the Gre­sham Ho­tel in 1961 when he be­came Wick­low’s first Pres­i­dent of the GAA. He served in var­i­ous roles right up to his death in the 90s. His daugh­ter Mar­cella also a teacher, is a mem­ber of Greysones GAA and her hus­band, Con O Suil­leab­hain is the well known Gaelic Cor­re­spon­dent for Grey­stones. The con­nec­tion with Bray Em­mets con­tin­ues also as Hugh Byrne’s nephew, Michael O’Byrne was the Chair­man of Bray Em­mets and is a very ac­tive men­tor of the club.

Don’t For­get!!: Bray Em­met’s Pre­sen­ta­tion and An­nual Din­ner Dance will be held on Fe­bru­ary 20th.

Deep­est Sym­pa­thy: Bray Em­mets club ex­presses its deep­est sym­pa­thy to Gaye Finn and her fam­ily on the death of her fa­ther, Noel Tay­lor and also to Linda Wo­gan and fam­ily, on the death of her mother, Sheila Whe­lan. Solas, suaimh­neas na bflaithis dóibh.

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