Late Seamus Morris
There was a deep sense of loss and sadness throughout the community as the news spread on Tuesday last October 7 of the death of Seamus Morris, Lynn Cross, Mullingar and formerly from Main Street, Arva.
Seamus was born on September 12, 1923 and celebrated his 91st birthday last month. He started working in the family drapery business in 1939 at just 16 years of age with his father and following his marriage to his beloved wife Kay in 1951 they oversaw the continuation of a great family tradition where top quality clothing and footwear were available for all the family. Customers came from far and wide as people knew they could get whatever they needed in Morris’s.
Seamus was devastated when Kay passed away in 1988 and the following year he retired from the business after 50 years serving his community. He moved first to Dublin and has lived happily for the last 15 years in Mullingar. While he may have moved away Seamus never lost his love for his home town and county and was always delighted to have visitors and find out all the happenings in the area. He was blessed with a fantastic memory and could give a rundown on team from 50 years ago.
Seamus was a modest man but he was a much loved man by his family and many friends. He had a deep and abiding interest in all matters pertaining to the GAA and was a noted goalkeeper who won an All Ireland with Cavan in 1952 – the last senior title to come to the county. He was delighted to hear only a couple of months ago that Cavan had won the Junior All Ireland Championship and knew the families of the Arva players on the team.
Seamus played at full forward on the 1939 Arva team that won the Minor Championship when he was just 15 years of age and this was to be the first of many medals he collected during a brilliant career. He played in goals for Arva in the 1942 and 1944 Senior Leagues when the beat Bailieboro in both finals and was in the forwards when they were defeated by Cavan Slashers in 1946. The Arva team broke up for a number of years and Seamus joined his neighbours in Cornafean when they reached the Senior County Finals of 1953 which they lost but was still there in 1956 when they won their last Senior title.
Funnily enough the first time he played in goal was by accident. His brother, Fr Paddy, had been the keeper but he had to return to the seminary for studies for the priesthood. This was 1942 and Arva had drawn with a star studded Cavan Slashers in the senior football championship semi-final. The Arva party was going into Cavan on the bus when an official informed Seamus that he would be in goal because there was nobody else to kick out the ball. There was an attendance of 4,000 at the replay and Seamus didn’t let any goal in, though Slashers won by one point. As a full-forward he played on the county minor team in 1941-42. In 1944 he was in goal for Cavan Juniors and won the Ulster title. That was a great year because he also played on the senior team and won the Ulster Senior Football Championship.
Seamus was renowned as one of the top goalkeepers in the country during his playing days when he played for the Cavan Senior Team for over 10 years. He won an All-Ireland in 1952, a National League in 1948, a Railway Cup in 1956 when he Captained the team, five Ulster Championships and four McKenna Cup medals and was nominated for the number one position on the Cavan Team of the Millennium in 2000. He played for Ireland against the Combined University’s in 1953. In 1952 he had the Anglo Celt Cup and the Sam Maguire Cup proudly displayed in his shop window – how we would love to have them back again. Seamus’s last game for Cavan was in the Ulster Senior Football Championship against Derry in Monaghan in 1958.
Following his playing career he Managed numerous underage teams in Arva over many years before taking on County Teams at different grades. Seamus was Manager of the Cavan Minor team which won the Ulster Championship in 1974 the last one until 2011. He managed the U-16 team to Fr Manning Cup success in 1976 and was Manager of the Cavan U-21 team that was defeated in the Ulster Finals of 1977 and 1978. It is quite poignant that Seamus would pass away in the week after his beloved Arva had captured a championship title for the first time in 21 years.
Badminton played a big part in his life and he was a top class player representing Ulster on more than one occasion. He was a regular winner at the local Open Week’s organised by clubs in those years. Seamus had a deep interest in Greyhounds and raced at tracks all over Ireland – North and South. He won a Race in Belfast on one occasion for which he received a huge Cup. He raced dogs in Shelbourne Park, Dublin, Mullingar, Longford, Clones, Belfast etc. In later years he loved going to the Greyhound racing where he met friends from all over the country among them the late Mick Higgins and Kevin Smith (Butlersbridge). When he first moved to Mullingar he would visit the local track every week.
Seamus took a keen interest in all sports and in later years he would watch most sports on television. He was predeceased by his wife Kay and his brother Fr Paddy (former Chairman of Cavan Minor Board). Seamus is survived by his daughters Geraldine , Katherina and Deirdre, son-in-law Tommy Swarbrigg, grand children, great grandchildren, brothers Gerard and Vincent, sisters-in-law nieces, nephews and extended family to all of whom we extend sincere sympathy. His remains reposed at Newbrook Nursing Home, Mullingar on Wednesday before removal to the Church of the Sacred Heart, Arva where they were received by Rev Colm Hurley, Killeshandra.
As the hearse arrived at the top of Main Street it was joined by a Guard of Honour consisting of members of Arva GAA Club, Officers of Cavan County Board and most of the members of the 1974 County Minor Team. Fr Hurley read a message from Seamus’s good friend Cardinal Sean Brady offering his sympathy to the family and regretting he could not be present as he was on his way to Rome for a meeting. Rev Donald Hannon C.C. Arva celebrated his Requiem Mass on Thursday morning with burial afterwards in Coronea Cemetery where the Chairman of Cavan County Board delivered an Oration covering his feats on the GAA pitches during his career.
St Patrick’s GAA
The Arva Football Club Lotto draw was held in the club rooms on Monday, September 29. Jackpot €7,050 – Numbers drawn were 8, 12, 18 and 19. There was no jackpot winner. €50 each – Johnny Duffy, Drumhaldry. Padraig Brady, Arva. Clare Mc Gann, Corlisbratten. The Jackpot on Monday night last was €7,100. Lotto envelopes can be left in the Letterbox in St Patrick’s Hall next to the National School for collection on Monday evenings and everyone is welcome to attend the draw.
Championship: There were great celebrations after the Junior Championship Final victory made all the sweeter because of last year’s loss. On behalf of the Arva Club we thank all those who attended the celebrations and all the people who made contact with club members expressing their congratulations – it is much appreciated. The club is indebted to all those who contributed to the club funds leading up to the final and they offer a big Thank You for your generosity. There is still a limited amount of Club Gear available in Lynch’s Newsagents if anyone wishes to purchase. The players have to come back to earth for a hugely important game in the Brady’s Arva Division 2 League as they have to travel to Belturbet this Saturday to play the home side where a win would bring the club closer to promotion to Division 1A for 2015. Let’s get all our supporters out to cheer on the players – 16th man.
Church Services for the Arva Church of Ireland Parish Group – Thursday, October 16 at 8pm in the Breffni Arms Hotel, Arva. Men’s Irish Breakfast evening. Speaker Rev Chuck Owens S Carolina. All men welcome. Friday, October 17 at 8pm in Arva Church Hall - Café Church - Tea/coffee and treats served at 8pm followed by informal worship as people are seated around tables. There will be worship songs, Bible reading, prayers and a talk. Everyone welcome Sunday, October 19 – Family Service in Carrigallen at 10am and in Arva at 11.30am. Morning Prayer Service in Columbkille at 10am and in Gowna at 11.30am.
Church of the Sacred Heart, Arva
Rev Donald Hannon C.C. produced a leaflet for the weekend Masses outlining different events that are happening in the Arva and Coronea areas over the coming weeks and it was well received. It also detailed expenditure on power washing the church and what he thinks it will cost to have the walls Pointed. Next Sunday (October 19) is Mission Sunday and he asked parishioners to be as generous as possible towards the approximately 1,300 Irish born Missionaries who are working all over the world. He also asked that people who donate more than €250 per year to the church if they would sign a form then the church could claim back the Tax on their contributions. Please contact Rev Hannon if you are in that position.
Arva Foróige Club meeting’s every Friday in St Patrick’s Hall, Arva at 7.30pm for second level students.
Cash for Clobber
St Mary’s National School, Arva will hold a Cash for Clobber collection on Wednesday, October 22. Bags can be left into the GP Room on the previous day. Great time to de-clutter.
The Breffni Kickers Line Dancing Classes continue each Thursday in the Breffni Arms Hotel, Arva with classes for beginners at 8.30pm and for the more advanced at 9.30pm. Come along and enjoy a good night of dancing and fun.
Meditation/mindfulness classes begin in Arva on this Thursday, October 16 for eight weeks. Places are limited so to find out more & book your place contact 087 2968924.
Slimming World continues every Wednesday evening in the Memorial Hall, Church Road, Arva. Great weight loss recorded each week in a fun and welcoming environment. For further details contact Jacinta on 086 1056 223.
Arva Branch Library
Your Library service is free! Opening hours - Thursday 2 - 5pm & 6pm - 8.30pm. Friday 2 - 5pm & 6 - 8.30pm. Saturday: 10am - 1pm & 2 - 5pm. Computerised Services extend to Arva branch library from October 1. They can - request items online, renew their items, Update their account details. Users may also use their library cards in all Cavan Library Service automated branches throughout the county.
Killeshandra community bingo in the Community Hall every Wednesday night at 9pm.There is €3,190 in prize money to be won; with jackpot of €1,000 each night.
North Longford and Arva Credit Union
Opening hours in Arva - Monday to Wednesday 10am – 2.30pm. Friday 10am - 4.00 pm. Saturday 1pm- 5pm & 8.30pm – 9.30pm.
Gentle Exercise and Line Dancing will take place each Tuesday morning in St Patrick’s Hall, Arva at 10am. Everyone is welcome to attend and take part.
The Arva Social Club will hold an afternoon tea party on this Sunday, October 19 at 4pm in the Breffni Arms Hotel, Arva.
The Cavan Branch of the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland are bringing an Awareness Bus to all the large towns of Cavan and will be in Arva on this Saturday, October 18 from 3 to 4pm. Are you worried about memory loss? Please call in for free information or a confidential chat.
Gallant 15km Challenge
The 11th annual Gallant 15km Challenge in aid of St Christopher’s Hospice Cavan takes place Saturday week, October 25. Main sponsor is MacManus Pharmacies Cavan. People can either walk, run or cycle the 15km from Cavan to Cornafean or choose the smaller course of Ballinagh to Cornafean. Over the previous 10 years the Challenge has been an outstanding success raising €289,000 for this wonderful cause. Sponsorship cards are available from St Christopher’s Hospice 049 4332999, Ciaran Weir 086 0753309 or William Hughes on 086 3584700.
Arva Active Age
Tullmongan Tea Party takes place on Sunday afternoon October 19. Bus will leave St Patrick’s Hall at 3.30pm.
Gentle exercise classes continue in St Patrick’s Hall, Arva each Tuesday morning at 10am.