Strong sprinkling of Wicklow men recall St. Patrick’s College victory
38 YEARS to the day since St. Patrick's College's first ever victory in a Higher Education Hurling League final, team members met for a reunion at the college to celebrate the event.
The final being celebrated was played in Nowlan Park, Kilkenny on March 10, 1976 and the result was Carlow 3-9: Thurles 3-3. Carlow fielded a strong team.
Four of the panel had played intercounty hurling for Cork, John Collins, Pat Lawton, Finbarr Crowley and Denis Forde. Declan Foley had played intercounty hurling and football with Wicklow. Dan Dunne had played football for Laois.
Tom Hannon had played hurling for Offaly, John Byrne had played with Carlow and John Burke had won a National League medal with Westmeath .
The Tipperary side was led by Tipperary Senior Players Tom Fogarty and Pat O'Neill and former inter-county stars Christy O'Dwyer and Seamus Ryan.
The game itself was a thrilling affair. A crucial second- half save by goalie John Byrne and a spectacular goal by Gerard Hurley were the highpoints .
The re-union dinner was a grand occasion. Former president of the college Monsignor John MCDonald was there as were Frs. John McEvoy and Conn O Maoldhomhnaigh. Fr. Gerry Byrne also dropped in to pay his respects.
Mentor and Logistics Manager Fr.Tom Dooley, PP Portarlington, was back for the occasion A special guest was Martin Doogue from Baltinglass and Dublin Road, Carlow, who was motivational coach to the winning team in 1976.
A surprise visitor at the dinner was Uachtarán CLG Liam Ó Néill who had played for UCD against the Carlow team in 1975. His presence was greatly appreciated.
Fr. Caoimhin Ó Neill, current President of the college who hosted the event, had been team manager to the victorious side and in his address thanked all who had travelled from all over Ireland and from London for the gathering.
He recalled some of the great moments in the 1976 campaign and the key input of Kilkenny stars Liam Chunky O'Brien, Noel Skehan and Tommy Murphy to the final skills- training session.
He remembered three members of the panel who had died in the intervening years, one of whom was Fr.Billy Murphy from Muine Bheag. R.I.P.
A feature of the evening was the presentation by Martin Doogue of Appreciation Awards to Fr. Pat Lawton, Fr. Tom Hannon, Fr. Tom Little, John Burke and Fr. Tom Hanley for their services to Kiltegan Hurling Club. Unfortunately Fr. Tom Hanley could not attend as he is a missionary in Chile.
Martin Doogue also presented Fr. Caoimhín Ó Neill with a state of the art golf driver in recognition of his service to sport.
38 years to the day after St. Patrick’s College Carlow’s first ever victory in a Higher Education Hurling League final, team members met for a re-union at the college on Monday March 10th 2014 to celebrate the event. Front Row: Fr.John Byrne, Fr. Pat Lawton, Fr. Declan Foley and Fr.John Burke. Middle Row: Fr.Conn O Maoldhomhnaigh, Monsignor Caoimhín Ó Neill, Martin Doogue, Fr.Tom Hannon, Fr. Finbar Crowley, Fr. Tommy Dooley. Back Row: Fr John Mc Evoy, Fr. John Collins, Fr. Tom Lyttle, Fr. John Mc carthy, Denis Forde, Fr. Michael Cooney and Monsignor John McDonald.