The surviving players and deceased officials responsible for shaping Longford’s breakthrough victories from 1965 to ‘68 will be remembered and honoured at a gala banquet on Saturday night in the Longford Arms Hotel.
GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghaíl and Leinster Council Chairperson John Horan will be among the special guests at the Golden Jubilee Gala banquet.
Patrons are advised that a very limited number of tickets are still available and they can be purchased by contacting Longford GAA County Board Chairperson Brendan Gilmore at 087 6737105.
In 1965, Longford announced their arrival on the big stage, contesting the Leinster SFC Final and winning four trophies, including the O’Byrne Cup and Gaelic Weekly Cup.
In 1966 they were National League champions, defeating then All-Ireland champions Galway in the NFL ‘Home’ Final, and in ‘68 they were crowned Leinster champions, defeating Dublin, Meath (the 1967 All-Ireland champions) and Laois along the way.
The thirty-two players, five of whom have passed to their eternal reward, that shaped those memorable breakthrough successes were;
Players that figured 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.
The team was trained by mercurial Cavan man Mick Higgins, assisted by manager Fr Phil McGee, and selectors over the years were Jimmy Flynn (‘65 - ‘68), John McGrath & Paddy Mulligan (‘65 - ‘67), Gerry Hennessy (‘65), JJ Reilly (‘65 & ‘66), Billy Morgan (‘66 & ‘67), Mickey Reynolds (‘67), Mel McCormack, Mickey Kelly, Patsy Reilly & Bertie Allen (all ‘68).
County Board officials of that era were Chairman Jimmy Flynn, Vice Chairman James Maguire, Secretary Mattie Fox (up to ‘67), Seán Donnelly, Treasurer Paddy Scanlon, Registrar Tom Donlon, Central Council Fr Phil McGee, Leinster Council delegates Seamus Greene & Jimmy O’Brien.
In this week’s Longford Leader we have produced a souvenir twenty-page supplement honouring Longford’s champions of the Sixties.
The supplement features extensive interviews with Longford stars from that era Brendan Barden, Jackie Devine and Brendan Gilmore, along with the views of some of the players they came up against - Mick O’Dwyer (Kerry), Tony McTague (Offaly) and Cyril Dunne (Galway).
The supplement also includes articles from former Longford Leader Managing Editor and Irish Independent columnist Eugene McGee, retired Tuam Herald Sports Editor Jim Carney, Sunday Independent Sports Editor John Greene Jnr and former Longford GAA Secretary, current GAA Trustee John Greene Snr.
The Longford Leader is on sale from today and we hope you enjoy your trip down memory lane.