Valen­tia’s Mossie was key to Dublin club suc­cess

The Kerryman (Tralee Edition) - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

A RE­CENT Is­land­man is­sue re­ferred to the visit of Mick Byrne, Jack Charl­ton’s Ir­ish In­ter­na­tional physio to Valen­tia Is­land. It also made note of the fact that Valen­tia Is­lan­ders Ti­mothy Lyne, Pat O’Con­nell and Tadhg O’Donoghue played foot­ball with Mick as they rep­re­sented the Clanna Gael club of Dublin.

A no­table and very sig­nif­i­cant om­mis­sion from that ref­er­ence was Mau­rice (Mossie) O’Driscoll of Do­hilla, Valen­tia, who was also a team-mate of Byrne’s at Clanna Gael. ‘Mossie’, as he is af­fec­tion­ately re­ferred to in Valen­tia Is­land, cap­tained the club – mainly drawn from the Ringsend area and com­prised of stu­dents from St Pa­trick’s Pri­mary Teach­ing Train­ing Col­lege – to County Se­nior Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship vic­tory as Clanna Gael de­feated Scoil Ui Chonaill in a fi­nal played in Croke Park on June 19, 1968.

They de­feated Na Fianna in a very tough semi-fi­nal. He also cap­tained them to a County Se­nior League Fi­nal win that year and in 1967 cap­tained the club to a County Un­der 21 Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship vic­tory in which Valen­tia’s Ti­mothy Lyne and James McGill of Ard­cost also played. That un­der 21 team is re­garded as the finest un­der-age team ever pro­duced by the club, con­tain­ing a con­sid­er­able num­ber of in­ter-co. play­ers.

Prior to the 1968 County Cham­pi­onship vic­tory, Clanna Gael last won it in 1936, cap­tained by Sean O’Siochain, for many years Sec­re­tary and Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the GAA.

Through the 1940s and 1950s they fielded many out­stand­ing teams with the club amal­ga­mat­ing suc­cess­fully into a team of some of the best Kerry and Dublin in­ter-county stars, also aided by es­tab­lished play­ers from other coun­ties. The strong teams of Dublin foot­ball in the 1950s were St Vin­cents, Sean McDer­mott’s, The Gar­dai, UCD and Clanna Gael. Clanna Gael ap­peared in many fi­nals with many years of hard luck un­til that vic­tory of ‘68 af­ter 32 years.

When Dublin won the All-Ire­land in 1963, the il­lus­tri­ous Ringsend out­fit sup­plied Mickey Whe­lan, Paddy Holden, Gerry Davy, Chris Kane, Ai­dan Don­nelly and Tony Gilleen to the team. The ap­point­ment of Mossie O’Driscoll – fresh from the un­der 21’s – as the se­nior cap­tain in 1968 was re­garded as an in­spired move. The se­lec­tors showed great fore­sight and courage in this en­deav­our as they ap­pointed a very young player in a team con­tain­ing such il­lus­tri­ous Dublin se­nior foot­ballers as Paddy Holden and Mickey Whe­lan.

Both play­ers were com­ing to the end of their ca­reers, hav­ing achieved ev­ery hon­our in gaelic foot­ball, ex­cept for that elu­sive Dublin Se­nior Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship medal. In­ter­est­ingly, Valen­tia’s Pat O’Con­nell also played on that win­ning team of ’68 as well as James McGill of Ard­cost and Thady O’Donoghue from Firies. The afore­men­tioned Ir­ish in­ter­na­tional soc­cer physio, Mick Byrne played at right cor­ner for­ward in a team which left it’s in­deli­ble mark on Dublin GAA fields.

The Clanna Gael team, win­ners of the 1968 Dublin Se­nior Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship. Valen­tia’s Pat O’Con­nell is sev­enth from the left in the back row. In the front row Thady O’Donoghue of Firies is first on the left, James McGill of Ard­cost is fourth from...

Mem­bers of the Clanna Gael Foot­ball Club with the Dublin County Se­nior Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship tro­phy at the Spa Ho­tel, Lu­can in 1968. From left: Mick Byrne (Ir­ish In­ter­na­tional soc­cer physio), Mossie O’Driscoll (Valen­tia and cap­tain), Mickey Whe­lan...

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