Seventy years ago

Seventy years ago

Seventy years ago this week the main topic of conversation among local Gaels was the meeting on the following Sunday (August 15th) of Ulster champions Cavan and Munster champions Cork at Croke Park in the All Ireland senior football championship semi final of 1943. Shrewd judges of Gaelic football were mildy confident that the men of Breffni would qualify for the final for the first time in six years as Cavan’s last appearance in an all Ireland senior final was in 1937. For the thousands of loyal fans anxious to travel to the game there were many obstacles for as world war raged across Europe travel facilities were seriously disrupted due mainly to the shortage of petrol. In an effort to ensure that essential services would be maintained the government had introduced legislation preventing motor car owners from using their vehicles with hackney car owners clergymen , medical doctors and veterinary surgeons exempt from the new regulation. Trains and buses were also effected by the fuel shortage but for seven young men from the Garrymore Ballinagh district a solution was arrived at when at mid day they left their homes to cycle the eighty four plus miles to the capital city where they were greeted by family members and friends based in Dublin. For local followers the game was of special interest as six of Cavan’s players were local with team captains Big Tom O’Reilly and his brother John Joe being native sons of our parish being born and raised at Derries upper while Seamus Maguire (Bingfield) Peter Paul Galligan (Thomascourt) Paddy Smith (Drumkilly and Paddy Boylan (Drumavaddy) were all from the local district. Sunday’s game was played in favourable weather but with a strong breeze blowing into the canal goal which in the opening half favoured Cork and at half time the men from the Lee held a five point lead 1-5 to 0-3. With the elements now in their favour Cavan came well into the game in the second half and by the end of the third quarter the scores were level. What had been a sporting encounter until that stage soon became over robust with a number of Cavan players receiving nasty injuries in off the ball incidents with team captain Tom O’Reilly regarded as one of gaelic football’s cleanest and most sporting players – badly injured in a robust tackle with the player forced to retire. The loss of their captain was a major blow to Cavan but with eight minutes to play the sides were level and as Cavan went in front excitement was intense with Cavan supporters cheering on their heroes. The final minutes were nail biting as Cavan strove to retain their lead and the sounding of the full time whistle saw the Ulster champions victorious by the narrowest of margins 1-8 to 1-7 and thus qualify for the final against recently crowned Connacht champions Roscommon at Croke Park on Sunday September 26th. In preparation for the final the Cavan panel underwent two weeks of collective training at Cherrybank house Cornafean owned by the McSean family with sergeant Michael O’Reilly and former Cavan stars John P Murphy and Willie Young in charge. The final at Croke Park despite travel restrictions saw an attendance of 68023 spectators. Cavan were on top in the opening half leading 1-4 to 0-3 at the interval but the second half saw Roscommon much more in the game and when referee Garda Sergeant Paddy McKenna from Bruff Co Limerick and a native of North Longford sounded the full time whistle the sides finished level at 1-6 each and the date for the replay announced for Sunday October 10th.

Car boot sale

There will be a car boot sale at the community centre Ballinagh in aid of Flemings Folly Restoration and walkway on Saturday, 24th August from 12 noon to 5pm with refreshments available in the community centre. A variety of cakes baked by people from the community will be for sale, cars 10 euro and vans 15 euro. Contact 087 9243689/ 086 8154407/ 087 2458490 or 087 2413845.

Precious pets

The organisers of the recent family fun day wish to sincerely thank all who supported the event . To date they have raised 10,300 euro which is being donated to Cavan branch of multiple sclerosis, Tabora Africa and Holy family school, Cootehill with a special thanks to all their sponsors and to the public for their support.

Kids Hip Hop workshops

In the Realtog Centre Kilnaleck on Thursday 22nd August with from eight years and under 10am to 11am and from nine years and over 11am to 12 midday. Free to all children whose parents are in receipt of social welfare or medical card holders.


A large group of local people will travel to Knock shrine on this Thursday August 15th for the ceremonies which will see Ireland consecrated to the immaculate heart of Mary with Cardinal Sean Brady Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland leading the act of consecration. The ceremonies commence at 2pm.