THE ALL POWERFUL Dubs wrote another chapter in their illustrious history on Sunday and not for the first time two men of Wicklow descent played an important role.
Eoghan O'Gara came very close to piping Brogan for man of the match while Nickie Devereux led the defence in style.
Any suggestions that the pair might go easy on Wicklow in the championship after we have beaten Laois is for the birds.
Casey O'Brien's braves take on Kildare in the first round of the Christy Ring Cup at Newbridge on Saturday and can do with all the support they can get at this convent venue.
Winning the League Cup has to be a big boost to the team as they make another bit for Championship glory.
While the return of Eamonn Kearns in time for this match does not appear to have worked out, Casey is still confident that his side can do the job.
Christy Moorehouse will be a big loss but reports from the camp are good, everyone else are fit and well and confidence is high.
Good luck also to Kiltegan who are the first of three Wicklow teams that will be contesting the final of a Leinster Club League final. That match against Mountmellick of Laois will be played at Dr Cullen Park on Sunday.
Where are they now?
To return to that picture of the Scoil Chonglass team the appeared in the Corner two weeks ago gives us a chance to look back on the part played by the Vocational Schools - now called Post Primary Schools - in the development of football in Wicklow but in particularly in the west of the County - or as a former County Chairman Pat Murphy called it, 'West of the Hills'.
The first Vocational in the western area was set up in Baltinglass in the mid 1930s but was only finding its feet when the Second World War broke out in 1939. Sport of all sorts went on hold all over the country at that time with only the well established championships surviving.
Young men who up to that were spending their Sundays and any other time they could spare in the football fields were now enlisting in the National Defence force or the National Security force and were spending their weekends drilling on village greens or other such places, preparing for the invasion that never came.
Clothing, footwear, and everything else were in short supply and could only be purchased when you produced your ration book.
I can tell you that the army uniform and the boots supplied to the recruits free with the job were very welcome indeed.
Procuring a football was another problem. Leather was in very short supply - it was required for the very important function of making harness for the cavalry on the battle fields of Europe and other war time operations.
The football was a long way down the priorities list.
While the war ended in 1945, war time conditions, including the ration card, were still in operating up to the end of the decade.
It was only in 1949 that Vocational Schools football got going in a small way. While the first properly constituted Gaelic Games Committee did not come until 1968, almost 20 years later the Baltinglass School was making its presence felt in the west long before that.
Cork man, Ben Hooper, was the highly respected Principal at the time and he was mainly responsible for the first schools transport system in the west.
Pupils from as far away as Blessington, Kilbride, Dunlavin and even Ballymore Eustace came to the Slaneyside town to receive their second level education.
Up to that time the football power in west Wicklow was to be found mainly in the small villages.
Blessington, then just a village at the end of a tramway line from the city brought the first ever Senior football championship to the west in 1915.
Next to collect silver was Granabeg, a little townsland in the parish of Valleymount.
That was in 1923 and at that time another football stronghold was just emerging in the south west.
The little village of Rathdangan had just served notice that it was on the way by winning the Junior championship in 1924 and taking their place in Senior ranks.
They could scarcely have chosen a worse time to enter Senior ranks; the mighty men of Rathnew were the champions while the great Annacurra team of the day were going stronger than ever.
They won the Senior championship for the next two years and were bidding for a second 'three in a row'. Carnew and Kilcoole were also knocking at the door at the time leaving little room for newcomers from the west.
Rome or no room Rathdangan made it to the top; after losing the 1928 final to the might men of Rathnew they came storming back to beat the men from the thatched village in the final of 1930 and so became the third club from the west to bring the Cup back across the mountain. They went one better than Blessington or Granabeg by winning a second title in 1936.
The other football power in the west up to then was Hollywood. They were always there or thereabouts in senior football.
They reached two county finals in the 1930's but never made the breakthrough. Annacurra beat them on a replay in 1931 to take their ninth Senior title while in 1939 it was Kilcoole that stood in the way. The men from the 'Goosebank' winning that final by 2-10 to 1-2 against an aging western side.
Another little village, Donard, arrived on the scene in the 1930s and made the biggest impression of them all for over 20 years. They won six Senior championships from 1937 to 1957 and at the peek of their powers were supplying almost half of the half the Wicklow county team as well as having three players - Paddy Lennon, Jim Rodgers and Gerry O'Reilly on the Leinster Railway Cup team. They were the fourth west Wicklow club to crash the success barrier in Senior ranks.
Up to that time the towns like Baltin- glass and Dunlavin were making little progress. Baltinglass had won a Junior championship in 1913 and claimed a piece of history by playing and winning the final against Newcastle at a venue that was soon to become Croke Park.
You may well ask why two Junior teams from Wicklow were brought all the way to a north Dublin venue to play a county final.
Transport difficulties in the mountains was probably the answer. The Great Southern Railway had just opened a branch line from Sallins in Kildare to Tullow in Carlow. It went through that part of west Wicklow that took in Dunlavin, Grangecon, and Baltinglass and gave that area a mighty lift both socially and economically.
On the eastern side of the county the train passed through Newcastle so both teams could just step on the train and travel in comfort to the city instead of trying to find a neutral venue somewhere in the Wicklow Mountains. - made sense.
Compare that to the west Wicklow we have today. Since vocational education came to the west with schools in Baltinglass, Dunlavin, and Blessington, things have definitely changed.
Just to prove the point we will draw a comparison. When CM Byrne and Wicklow People journalist P.J. Noonan sat down to compile the history of the first 50 years of GAA in Wicklow they found that only on three occasions had the senior title crossed the hills to the west.
We saw the first real input of the VS in 1958 when Baltinglass won their first SFC.
Almost all of that team were past pupils of the local Vocational School. Take the next 50 years from 1958 to 2008 and 26 of the SFCs came to the west; Baltinglass won 21; Dunlavin and Kiltegan two each and Blessington one.
Again the great majority of the players involved on all teams were past pupils of the three local Vocational Schools. I rest my case
Last Week’s Picture
Jackie Napier, Eamonn Darcy and Ned Foley were the first callers with the right answer and were able to name all, or nearly all of the players in the picture. It was the Leinster Railway
Cup team of 1955 and came from the archives of Tommy Kehoe.
There are two great Wicklow men in the picture - Joe Fitzpatrick from Wicklow town and Jim Rogers from Donard. That should have been three because when the programme was printed Gerry O'Rielly was listed at right half back.
He cried off very late because with Dublin's Kevin Heffernan coming in to the team. That caused a reshuffle with Stephen White of Louth dropping back to fill O'Reilly's place and Heffo taking over his usual place in the forwards.
That was the day when Leinster won their fourth Railway Cup in a row which proved the strength of football in the province at the time.
The fact that Wicklow had three players on the starting 15 was also an indication of the health of the game in the Garden County at the time. Meath were ruling the roost in Leinster at the time, having won their second All Ireland final in 1954 and they had six players on the team. Dublin had three and Wicklow two but had the team lined out as selected that would have been reversed - Wicklow would have had three and Dublin two
According to Jackie Napier, Billy Lawless was one of the selectors and the official in charge - the equivalent of 'team manager' in today's lingo.
Others to come with the correct answer include Martin Doogue (related to Andy Murphy).
The Men in the Picture
Back row -L to R - Cathal O'Leary; Kevin Heffernan, Joe Fitzpatrick, Jim Rogers, Tom Moriarity, Mick O'Brien and Paddy Casey
Front - Ollie Franey, Kevin McConnell, Stephen White, Patsy Gearty, Andy Murphy, Jim McDonnell, Mattie McDonell and Paddy O'Brien.
This week we turn the clock back 30 years to the centenary of the foundation of the Association to see what was going on in the Garden County at the time.
The Cunningham Cup
The Cunningham Cup, a trophy donated to the old North Wicklow Board by Meath man, Bill Cunningham, for a local competition had just gone county wide after the District Boards were scrapped and was having a new lease of life.
Donard made the trip across the hills to play Enniskerry at Parknasillogue but found themselves training by 0-1 to 1-6 at half time.
Then a great fight back sparked off by two goals by Tommy Dwyer and another by Paul Monihan saw then scrape a win 3-3 to 1-8.
Donard - M. Flynn, J. Lawlor, E. Dwyer, D. Hickey; S Lynch, John Egar, E. Doyle; Tony Walsh, T. Moynihan; P. Lawlor, M. Manley, (0-2), Egar; P. Moynihan (1-0,) G. Egar, T. Wyer (2-1).
Enniskerry - P. Driver; D. Driver, T. Gor- man, J. Cronin; P. Sherlock, T. Cronin, P. Vaughen; (0-2), J. Cameron, P. McHugh (0-2); Gerry Corbett (0-1), J. Chadwick; J. Tobin (0-2), P. Murphy, J. Martin (1-1), A. Nolan.
The referee was Jimmie O'Keeffe, Kilcoole.
Nancy O'Toole R.I.P.
The death took place on Friday of one of Rathdangan's oldest and most respected residents Nancy O'Toole.
Nancy was close to her 96th birthday and her life span, and that of her late husband, covers covered the greater part of the history of the GAA in Rathdangan.
Her husband Tom O'Toole captained Rathdangan to win their first ever football championship in 1924, exactly 90 years ago.
Even before that he was on a Hacketstown parish team that won the Carlow JFC in 1923.
Tom was captain when Rathdangan crashed the Senior barrier in 1930, beating Rathnew in the final by 2-5 to 1-1.
He was still captain when the little village at the gateway to the west won the SFC again in 1936. Her family are still deeply involved in GAA affairs. Son Jim won an under-16 football championship with Baltinglass before playing with the Rathdangan team. Michael is arguably one of the best known men in Wicklow GAA;
He won a total of eight Senior championship medals between football and hurling with the St Tegan's Club that replaced the old Rathdangan club. He was on the Wicklow Senior football team for over 10 years, winning an O'Byrne Cup medal in 1986.
Her daughters are all deeply involved in the GAA, in both camogie, football, and hurling.
One of her grandsons - Brendan Murphy was an Aussie Rules and Carlow county player. One of her granddaughters Maura Murphy was a contestant in the 'Rose of Tralee finals. No wonder she had such pride in her family.
Nancy herself was president of the Kiltegan Camogie Club and held that post up to her death.
All GAA and camogie activities in Kiltegan and Rathdangan were suspended at the weekend as a mark of respect
The members of the Kiltegan Camogie Club formed as guard of honour at her funeral which was one of the biggest in the area in years.
Our sincere sympathy to her sons, daughters, grandchildren, great grandchildren and extended family.
May she rest in peace.
Some fine strapping young men in the picture above. But can you name them and the competition in which they are about to play on what looks to be a sunny day? If so contact Peter on 087 6907589 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.