Honouring Longford's Champions

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Honouring Longford's Champions
By alan walsh

GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghaíl and Leinster Council Chairperson John Horan will be among the special guests as Longford honours their football heroes of the sixties at a Golden Jubilee Gala Banquet on Saturday night in the Longford Arms Hotel.

During a glorious era, Longford captured the National Football League title in 1966 and they followed this up by capturing the Leinster Senior Football Championship crown in 1968.

Longford’s hopes of appearing in the Sam Maguire Cup showdown of ‘68 were dashed by Kerry and those against the odds milestone triumphs from half a century ago haven’t been emulated since.

The thirty-two players, five of whom have passed to their eternal reward, that shaped those memorable breakthrough successes were;

Players that figured in both the 1966 & ‘68 squads - John Heneghan, Seamus Flynn, Larry Gillen, Brendan Gilmore, Brendan Barden (captain ‘66), John Donlon (RIP), Jimmy Hannify, Jimmy Flynn, Jackie Devine, Mick Hopkins, Mickey Burns, Seán Murray (RIP), Seán Donnelly, Seán Ryan, Tom Mulvihill, JP Reilly, Pat Barden and Dessie Kiernan.

1966 squad - Terry McGovern, Bobby Burns (RIP), Peter Sheridan (RIP), Andy Tynan, Michael Fay (RIP), Jodie Sheridan and Frank McGann.

1968 squad - Vincent Daly (captain), Mickey Reilly, Pat Burke, Sean Feely, John Donlon (goalkeeper), Noel Cumiskey and Niall Nally.

A limited number of tickets for the gala banquet are available and they can be purchased from County Board Chairperson Brendan Gilmore 087 6737105.

The banquet is part of what promises to be a huge weekend for Longford GAA as on Sunday, April 17, the County Board will be staging their Official 1916 Rising Commemoration event.

This will feature a tribute to Rathcline native Patrick Belton, who participated in the 1916 Easter Rising, a parade of Longford GAA Club representatives, while a Longford selection will also play St Kiernan’s from London in an exhibition football game at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park.

The programme for April 17 is;

12.15pm - Parade of all Longford Clubs bearing their flag led by Longford Pipe Band from Battery Rd.

1pm - Longford selection will play St Kiernan’s GAA Club, London in Glennon Brothers Pearse Park

2:30pm – Unveiling of plaques in honour of Padraig Pearse and local man Patrick Belton.