The recent death of Sonny Moore, Cleenrath, Aughnacliffe brings back memories of Colmcille football in the early 1950s and his role in the club’s first ever success at Minor level in 1950.
There was very little underage football competition in Longford until the late 1940s and, as yet, Colmcille were not taking part.
A group of lads from around Cleenrath used meet in the evenings and kick football in Moore’s field until nightfall.
Sean Lynch recalls that Joe Stafford, who played on the Cavan team that won the 1947 and 1948 All Ireland titles, stood on the ditch looking in at them and advised them “Take your points and the goals will come”.
Stafford worked with Cully’s Bakery, Arva and used deliver bread to Kinlan’s shop.
After these training sessions, the lads used adjourn to Moore’s house and it was there a plot was hatched to affiliate a team for the Minor League in 1950.
Tom Donohoe, Seán Lynch, Charlie and Sonny Moore were mainly instrumental in this move.
The net was spread wide and a number of Granard lads were willing to throw in their lot with Colmcille, as Granard were not fielding a team.
The players travelled to all the matches on bicycles and won their way to the final against Rathcline which was played on September 3, 1950 in Pearse Park. Sonny Moore played in goals and Colmcille won by 2-9 to 0-4. Colmcille’s first ever Minor success.
Many of those players formed the backbone of the Colmcille which took the Senior Championship in 1952 and 1958.
When the Fr Phil McGee Memorial Park was being developed in the early 1980s, Sonny Moore was joint Treasurer of the Committee.
The panel of players, assembled by Sonny Moore and others, who brought Colmcille their first Minor success in 1950 was as follows:
John Rudden (Fostra Capt), Colm Murphy (Aughamore Lower), Larry Kiernan, Frank Murphy and Owen Corcoran (Aughagreagh), Pee Kiernan (Culray), Noel Dodd (Aughnacliffe), Michael Timoney, Seán Lynch and Sonny Moore (Cleenrath), Mel and Matt Murtagh (Aughamore Upper), Seán McEvoy (Lislea), Micheál Lynch (Pulladoey), Jimmy Reilly (Aughaward), Frank Kiernan (Aughakeeran), Fintan Tierney, Liam Moore and Seán Barry (Granard).
Colmcille GAA club provided a guard of honour at John ‘Sonny’ Moore’s funeral in Colmcille on September 27. Sonas síoraí ar a anam uasal.
John ‘Sonny’ Moore died in his 85th year, peacefully, at Laurel Lodge Nursing Home, surrounded by his loving family. He was predeceased by his parents Michael and Anna-Teresa Moore and sister Margaret (Maggie) Igoe/Kelleher, Killoe.
Sympathy is extended to his wife Mary, sons Michael and Declan and daughters Mairead and Sharon, daughters-in-law Anna and Eva, son-in-law Finian and grandchildren Nicholas, Ella, Patricia, Robin and Irene, nephews and nieces, extended family, neighbours and friends.
Funeral Mass took place on Thursday, September 27 in St. Colmcille's Church, Aughnacliffe, followed by burial afterwards in adjoining cemetery.
- Appreciation by Seán Lynch