Past stars' big day
One of the most pleasant functions on the annual domestic G.A.A. calendar is sure to draw another bumper crowd to the Ferrycarrig Hotel on Sunday when Liam Griffin's establishment plays host once again to the annual Coiste na Seana Ghael presentations.
Wexford were the forerunners in first establishing this fitting means of honouring the players of the past in the early eighties.
And while several counties have followed their good example since, none have matched or bettered the Model in terms of the sheer scope of personnel honoured down through the years.
Sunday's event will be no different, with the grand total of 63 names from the various G.A.A. codes set to be feted in the hotel's main function room from 2 to 6 p.m.
Many unsung club heroes with years of diligent service figure on the list of recipients, but there's also some stand-out names who graced Croke Park with the Wexford Senior hurling team at the height of their distinguished careers.
Tony Doran, Mick Jacob and Teddy O'Connor have a wealth of big-game experience between them, and they will get a chance to reflect on those memorable days once more next Sunday when they are honoured by the committee.
All four Districts are well represented on the list, and the pride will be tinged with sadness for one family as an award will be presented posthumously to the late Paddy Bennett of Clongeen.
John Denton, one of the finest referees the county has ever produced, will also join this prestigious hall of fame, while another prominent name on the list is camogie legend Margaret Leacy, widely and rightly acclaimed as the best-ever player to have donned the Wexford jersey.
Numerous individuals whose work with An Garda Síochána brought them to Slaneyside have been feted through the years, and this theme continues with the inclusion of Laois duo Donal Behan and Tom Miller along with Corkman John O'Dwyer.
Another notable non-native on the list is Dubliner Denis Noonan who represented the county in Senior football in the early 1970s during his spell as a court clerk in Gorey. Limerick-born Con Nunan falls into that category also, having worked diligently in the revival of St. Mogue's (Fethard) who will be in the All-Ireland Junior hurling semi-final on Saturday week.
On a personal note, I'm delighted to see that Mickey Doran from Geraldine O'Hanrahans has been selected this year, because he is exactly the type of lifelong G.A.A. activist deserving of such an accolade - never one to seek the limelight, but a great worker.
A county Minor and Under-21 hurler in the 1960s, he is regularly seen attending matches all over the country along with his great friends, Dick Bailey and Ollie Roche.
The awards will be presented at Sunday's function by Carlow's Jim Bolger, Chairman of the Leinster Council, and Bishop Denis Brennan who always makes time in his busy schedule to attend the event.
All of the 63 recipients will receive a framed scroll outlining their many achievements on the playing fields, with the hard work in compiling those profiles carried out as ever by P.J. Daly.
P.J. would like to avail of this opportunity to thank the following for their assistance: Mary Hiney of C&R Print, Enniscorthy; Catherine Doyle, calligraphy expert; Alex Robinson of Bellefield Design; Lorraine Daly for her assistance with typing; People Newspapers for publicising the event; Ferrycarrig Hotel for tending to the organisers' every need.
A reminder that the function is on from 2 to 6 p.m. this coming Sunday, and any past Seana Ghael recipients are more than welcome to attend and meet up with their old friends from the hurling and football fields.
The full list of recipients (in alphabetical order) is: Denis Asple (Ballyhogue); Donal Behan (Ferns St. Aidan's and Monageer-Boolavogue); Paddy Bennett (Clongeen, R.I.P.); Brendan Benson (St. Martin's and Clonard); Paddy Berney (Crossabeg-Ballymurn); Jimmy Bishop (St. Mary's, Rosslare); Joe Boardman (Ballygarrett); James Bolger (Rathgarogue-Cushinstown); Seamus Bradley (Adamstown); Vincent Byrne (Castletown); Mickey Connors (HWH-Bunclody); Michael Dempsey (Rapparees-Starlights); John Denton (St. Joseph's); Leo Donnelly (Tara Rocks); Mickey Doran (Geraldine O'Hanrahans); Tony Doran (Buffers Alley); Garry Doyle (Dan O'Connell's); Johnny Doyle (St. James'); Michael Doyle (St. Brendan's, Craanford); Nick Doyle (Marshalstown, Liam Mellows and Rapparees); Philip Doyle (Raheen Heartbreakers and Adamstown); Seamus Dunne (Ballinavary Emmets and St. Bennan's); Jim Earle (Duffry Rovers); Tom Goff (St. Martin's); Michael Griffin (Our Lady's Island); John Healy (Dan O'Connell's); Philip Hore (St. Patrick's, Kilmore); Pat Howell (St. Aidan's, Enniscorthy); Pat Hughes (Kilanerin-Ballyfad); Pat Hynes (Na Fianna); Mick Jacob (Oulart-The Ballagh); John Kehoe (Cloughbawn); Aidan Kent (Horeswood); John Kinsella (Askamore-Kilrush); Noel Kinsella (Ferns St. Aidan's); Simon Kirwan (Sarsfields); Pat Lacey (Taghmon-Camross); Margaret Leacy (camogie); Tom Maher (Starlights); Terry Martin (Geraldine O'Hanrahans); John McCormack (Gusserane); Gerry McGrath (Hollow Rangers); Mick McMahon (Volunteers); John Meyler (Faythe Harriers, St. Joseph's, Dan O'Connell's); Tom Miller (Ferns St. Aidan's, Duffry Rovers, Starlights and Oylegate-Glenbrien); Jim Murphy (Blackwater); Kevin Murphy (Clonee); Larry Murphy (St. Patrick's); Denis Noonan (Naomh Eanna and St. Michael's); Con Nunan (Fethard); Teddy O'Connor (Rathnure); John O'Dwyer (Bannow-Ballymitty and St. Mary's, Bannow); Seán O'Keeffe (Oylegate-Glenbrien, Shamrocks and Rapparees); Mick O'Leary (Davidstown-Courtnacuddy and Scoby Rovers); Tommy Owens (St. Martin's, Ferns and Ferns St. Aidan's); Andy Pierce (Glynn-Barntown and St. Martin's); Oliver Roche (Fr. Murphy's, London and Birmingham); Tom Rossiter (Shelmaliers); Fr. Jim Ryan (St. Fintan's); Martin Ryan (St. Anne's); Richie Walsh (handball); Albert Willoughby (Gorey Wolfe Tones and Naomh Eanna); Bill Woodbyrne (Kilanerin-Ballyfad).