Seana Ghael awards on Sunday
IT’S ALWAYS nice to be remembered, and nobody does that better than the Coiste na Seana Ghael committee.
This group was established in 1982 with a view to honouring past G.A.A. players and officials with a small token of appreciation for their efforts, and it has grown to such an extent that the Wexford model has been copied in counties all over Ireland.
The latest annual event will take place in the Ferrycarrig Hotel next Sunday afternoon from 2 p.m., with another 63 worthy recipients set to receive commemorative scrolls which have been compiled by one of the chief organisers, P.J. Daly.
As ever, there’s a wide mix of clubs represented from the four Districts, and previous award winners are reminded that they’re more than welcome to attend and meet up with old friends, team-mates and opponents to recall the many highlights of the past.
The general criteria is that recipients are over 70 years of age and have given a lifelong commitment to their club and the G.A.A. in general.
This year a new addition to the scheme will see Gaels who have passed the 90 mark getting a special award, and there’s an ideal candidate to set the ball rolling in Wexford’s wonderful hurling goalkeeper of the 1950s, Art Foley, who has been based in the United States for many years.
As ever, the full list of those to be honoured reads like a who’s who of G.A.A. in the county, and it’s no surprise that there’s a number of links with the historic year of 1968.
One of the stand-out names in the line-up is Wexford’s stylish young midfielder from that glorious hurling triumph, Dave Bernie from Ferns St. Aidan’s, and he will be joined by Adamstown’s Jimmy Furlong who was a substitute on the victorious team.
One representative from camogie and handball features in the Seana Ghael selections on a yearly basis, and this time around the recipients were also part of those wonderful Wexford wins in 1968: Brigid Doyle and Joe Howlin.
Long-serving ex-T.D. and Rapparees-Starlights driving force John Browne will also receive a scroll, along with former Co. Chairman Tony Dempsey who has also been actively involved in political circles for many years.
Many members of An Garda Síochána who have served in Wexford over the years have been selected in the past, and this time around the list includes Tom Byrne, formerly of Starlights, St. Aidan’s (Enniscorthy) and HWH-Bunclody, and Michael Hyland who was a top goalkeeper with Ferns St. Aidan’s and Monageer-Boolavogue.
Willie O’Neill from Kilmore, captain of the All-Ireland winning Wexford Under-21 hurling team of 1965, has been chosen for an award along with Rathnure’s Pat Quigley who was one of his colleagues on that victorious team.
That is a mere sample of the names on the list, which also includes: Thompson and Cyril Byrne (Castletown-Liam Mellows); Jimmy Carr (Shelmaliers); Vincent Codd (Mountain Slashers); Jim Foley (Faythe Harriers); Nick Hayes (Our Lady’s Island); Billy Howlin (Sarsfields); Tommy Hynes (Volunteers); Paddy Kehoe (Fr. Murphy’s, Dublin); Tom Kehoe (Na Fianna); Gerald Kelly (Taghmon-Camross); Peter Moore (Raheenduff Moonlighters); Willie Doyle (HWH-Bunclody); George Donovan (Glynn-Barntown); Con Donnelly (Clongeen); Tom Cummins (Horeswood); Willie Cullen (Oulart-The Ballagh); Denis Coughlan (Shamrocks); Anthony Cosgrave (Ballygarrett); Charlie Christopher (St. Martin’s, Ferns); John Byrne (Craanford); Richie Butler (St. James’); Pierie Butler (Buffers Alley); Barry Burke (St. Mary’s, Rosslare); Nicky Broaders (St. Martin’s); Jim Brennan (Rathgarogue-Cushinstown); Joe Breen (Tara Rocks); George Blackburn (Monageer-Boolavogue and St. Mary’s, Enniscorthy); Tony Berney (Ballyhogue); John Bennett (Bannow-Ballymitty); Patsy Farrell (Gusserane); Jimmy Furlong (Ballyfad); Charlie Gordon (Crossabeg-Ballymurn); Johnny Hammond (Dan O’Connell’s); Michael Healy (Young Ireland’s); Mick Higgins (Kilanerin); Denis Howell (St. Patrick’s); Joe Keegan (Gorey Blues, Gorey Wolfe Tones and Naomh Eanna); Barty Kennedy (Cloughbawn); Ned Kirwan (Clonee and St. Columba’s, Ballyduff); Fonzo Mahon (Clonard); Matty Mernagh (Duffry Rovers); Mike Nolan (St. Mary’s, Maudlintown); Peter O’Dwyer (Geraldine O’Hanrahans); Tom O’Leary (Blackwater); John Quirke (Oylegate-Glenbrien); Jim Roche (Marshalstown); Pat Rossiter (St. Fintan’s); Tom Rossiter (St. Joseph’s and Faythe Harriers); Thos. Ryan (St. Anne’s); John Tobin (Askamore-Kilrush); Tom Tweedy (St. Mogue’s, Fethard).
Hundreds of ex-players and administrators have been honoured to receive a Seana Ghael award since its start from humble beginnings at the first function in Murphy-Flood’s Hotel in Enniscorthy in 1982, and the latest batch of recipients will be no exception. The ongoing work of the committee is to be commended.