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Sunday 25 August 2019

Dual star Andy Doyle had a wonderful GAA career

THE RECENT death of popular Taghmon man Andy Doyle has brought great sadness to his family and friends. A well known and respected member of the local parish and community, Andy passed away peacefully on Monday the 25th June at home with his family after a brief illness.

Born in Bunclody in 1932, Andy's family moved to Murrintown, just outside Taghmon in 1939. Along with his brother Maurice and sisters Nan, Mary, Liz, Kate, Margaret and Nora, Andy enjoyed a wonderful childhood, raised on the family farm. He attended school initially in Caroreigh then later in Taghmon National School.

On leaving school Andy worked in various jobs before establishing his own well boring business in the early 60's which he ran successfully for many years, also around this time he began running bingo in various halls around the county and as far afield as Kilkenny and Clonmel.

On the romantic front Andy met the woman of his dreams, Eileen, from the Nolan family of Polehore, near Glynn. After a year long courtship the couple got engaged in 1963 and married on the 5th September 1964 and set up house in Chapel Street, Taghmon. They had four children, Honor, David, Shelly, and Andrew.

Andy's business activities moved along during this time also. Eileen and Andy sold the well-boring business and bought Jamesie Cullen's hardware shop in the village square, opening a drapery shop there called ' The House Of Value'. The shop traded successfully for over twenty years and then later became a video outlet. When Andy and Eileen retired, the premises were sold to Jim McGee who opened a pub called Alice Brady's.

Over the years Andy represented his club, county and province with distinction in both hurling and football. As a Minor footballer Andy was part of the Wexford team which reached the AllIreland final in 1950, losing out to a great Kerry team. He was also part of the Wexford Senior team in 1957 who were unlucky to be beaten by eventual All-Ireland winners Louth. A call to represent Leinster came in 1959 and Leinster duly won the Railway Cup that year with Andy playing a big part at full back marking the great John Dowling of Kerry. At club level three senior county titles were won in 1955, 1957 and 1958 with St. Munns as the Taghmon side were then known.

As a dual player Andy also enjoyed success as a hurler with the Wexford Senior county team. His most memorable display was in the Leinster semi final of 1961 where Andy scored an impressive four goals and two points from play (only Nickey Rackard can boast a greater individual tally) against Kilkenny. Unfortunately, Wexford lost out to Dublin in the final that year.

Cruel luck in terms of illness, injury and promotion deprived Andy of a Senior All-Ireland hurling medal, perhaps a Leinster football medal as well as an All-Ireland Intermediate hurling medal in 1961.

He did, however, win an Intermediate medal in 1964, a Leinster Senior hurling medal, a Railway Cup football medal along with a host of tournament medals making for a very impressive collection. When Andy retired as a player he went on to manage both local and county footballers and maintained a keen interest in the fortunes of Wexford teams.

Andy was not only interested in GAA, he also had a great interest in stage and drama. For many years he played a leading role in production of ' Tops Of The Parish' and various pantomimes. Each summer in Taghmon the 'Mardi Gras' was a huge event on the calendar, and Andy more than played his part to ensure the event was a success.

Andy's pride in his community and village could be clearly seen by the varied committees on which he served, including Taghmon Community Centre Inaugural Committee of 1980, Tidy Towns for many years and Village and Square Committee.

In the summer months hanging baskets were erected and maintained and at Christmas time a nativity scene was created in the square. Another example of Andy's hard work for the village would be the beautiful fountain in the village square in which he played a leading role getting it to its completion, sometimes ruffling a few feathers along the way.

Andy enjoyed a great social life as he loved to mix with people whether through golf, games of cards, following the fortunes of Wexford GAA or simply 'setting the world to rights' over a few 'Jemmies' with his friends.

Although Andy kept himself busy and active in the community, he was a very committed and loving family man. Andy's family have many fond memories of shared summer holidays, special occasions and gatherings together made very special by Andy's wit and humour. His presence filled a room and will never be forgotten.

He is lovingly remembered by his wife Eileen, sons David and Andrew, daughters Honor and Shelly and his grandchildren Tomás, Laura, Ciara, Niamh, Aoife, Eoin, Shane and Sarah.

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