Minors win first County Hurling Title ♦ Three-in-a-row for Galway Senior Fooballers ♦ First hurling helmet worn by Cork player


1966 Galway All Ireland Football Champions
Galway All-Ireland Senior Football Champions 1965
Front Row: (left to right) Greg Higgins, Martin Newell, John Donnellan, Sean Cleary, Cyril Dunne, Christy Tyrrell, Enda Colleran (Captain), Brian Geraghty, Tommy Keenan, Johnny Geraghty, Pat Donnellan. Back Row: (left to right) Seamus Leydon, Noel Tierney, Bosco McDermott, Tom Sands, Sean Meade, Mattie McDonagh, Mick Garrett, Mick Reynolds, Jimmy Glynn and John Keenan.

Strict 'Parish Rule' helps win first County Minor Hurling Title

In a lifeless County Senior Hurling championiship game at Loughrea Mullagh defeated Athenry by 5-11 tol-8. From the outset Athenry were under heavy pressure and goalie Paddy Lally was kept extremely busy. By halftime Mullagh had the game sewn up and were leading by 3-8 to 1-4. The second period followed the same pattern with Athenry adding only four points. Defenders Mick Rooney, Anthony Freaney and Anthony Poniard tried hardest for Athenry with Martin Maloney and J. J. Kelly being the pick of the forwards.

After an objection Athenry were awarded a replay against the championship favourites and caused a major surprise winning by 6-1 to 4-5. The Athenry fifteen showed considerable improvement on the previous encounter. Goals by Mick Rooney and Martin Maloney kept Athenry in touch in the first half against the wind and rain and at the break the scores were level.

Mullagh took the lead early in the second half with a goal but Bozo Hession levelled the scores again with one for Athenry before Hubert Conway put them ahead with another from a 21 yards free. Mullagh fought back to take the lead again but J. J. Kelly, who was outstanding for Athenry, soloed through and had the ball in the Mullagh net. The 'goal' was not allowed as referee Aubrey Higgins had blown for a free. For the second time during the hour Hubert Conway sent a sizzling shot to the net. Anthony Poniard clinched the issue with a point to earn a surprise victory.

It was now Mullagh's turn to object and after considerable debate they were awarded the game. The County Board rejected Mullagh's objection but the Connacht Council upheld an appeal by the Club.

The Athenry minor team qualified for the County semi-final after receiving a walkover in the North Board Championship from Ahascragh. They caused a major surprise when they defeated Portumna by 7-5 to 6-7 to reach the County decider. A fancied Portumna side had no answer when Athenry piled on the pressure. Three goals by Ignatius Madden and two by Juno Barrett put Athenry ahead but goals by Frank Canning levelled the scores with just over five minutes remaining.

Tension was at its peak when Ray Glynn pointed a free from seventy yards to give his side the lead again, which they held until the final whistle.

In glorious sunshine at Kenny Park the home team won their first County Minor title defeating Castlegar by 6-5 to 3-3. Starting favourites the Athenry side was slow to settle but nevertheless looked the better side from start to finish.

Goals by John Joe Brady and Michael Coffey in the first half gave Athenry a halftime lead of 2-3 to 1-5. On the resumption Castlegar launched an all out attack but Tom Howley saved brilliantly in the Athenry goal. With John Connolly doing trogan work for Castlegar at centreback, and proving to be Athenry's biggest obstacle, they had to improve as the game progressed. Willie Cummins pointed from a free before the bustling Ignatius Madden put the home team further ahead when he banged in a goal. Chirsty Coffey added another point and, after a fine solo run, Johnny Crosby passed to opportunist Michael Coffey for another goal. The dust had barely settled when Juno Barrett with the best score of the day shook the net from forty yards. It was now 'Cashels' turn, John Connolly goaled from a free with Gerry Glynn adding a point from play. Athenry however, were too far ahead and to clinch the title Michael Coffey completed his hat trick with another goal before the final whistle.

Tom Howley could not be faulted in the Athenry goal while Tom Long played a Captain's part at right full back and his long crisp clearances were a feature of the game. Gerry Donoghue was like a rock at full back and Jim Jordan in the other corner was a staunch defender. County minor Willie Cummins enhanced his reputation at wing back as did centre half Ray Glynn and wing back Paddy Gannon played himself to a standstill. Anthony Poniard and Christy Coffey were magnificent at midfield and gave a good supply of the ball to their forwards. Eamonn Mullins held his own against John Connotly with Juno Barrett and John Crosby playing havoc with the 'Cashei' backs. Michael Coffey was an opportunist corner forward as was John Joe Brady in the opposite corner with big full forward lgnatius Madden having a hand in most of the scores.

Team: Tom Howley, Tom Long, Gerry Donoghue, Jim Jordan, Paddy Gannon, Ray G]ynn, Willie Cummins, Christy Coffey, Anthony Poniard, Juno Barrett, Eamonn Mullins, John Crosby, Michael Coffey, Ignatius Madden, John J. Brady. Willie Cummins played at left half back for Galway against Cork in the Munster Minor Hurling Final at Limerick. Cussane had a six points win over Annaghdown in the North Board Intermediate Final and qualified to meet Oranmore in the County Semi-Final. Played at Kinvara they lost by a similar amount in an entertaining game. Mattie Feeney opened the scoring with a point for Cussane after three minutes. However, Oranmore took control and had a comfortable five points lead at the break.

The second half saw Cussane making many switches to try to pull down 'Orans' ever rising score. lt was not until Robert Cooley moved to the forwards that any impression was made.

Team: Eamonn Mullins, Frank Coen, Richard Finn, Michael Hession, Josie Cummins, Robert Cooley, Peter Feeney, Tom Qualter, Richie Williams, Noel Keogh, Eamonn Egan, Michael Mullins, Mattie Keary, Mattie Feeney, J J Connaughton.

First hurling 'helmet' worn by player in Cork 

The first helmet to be used in Hurling was worn by Mícheál Murphy of UCC who wore a motorcycle helmet in the Cork Senior Hurling final in 1966. Mícheál had sustained a head injury a few years previous. He then imported a Spalding American Football Helmet for the Fitzgibbon Cup in 1967.

Micheál then was sent a Canadian ice hockey helmet and the game of hurling was changed forever. The Cooper SK100 was introduced to the world of hurling in the UCC v UCD Fitzgibbon Cup game in Croke Park in February 1969. (From Jan 1st 2010 hurling helmets with face guards became compulsory in all levels of the game.)

1966 Galway Junior Team Connacht Champ
Galway Connacht Junior Football Champions
1965 Derrydonnell AC Members
Members of Derrdonnell Athletic Club at their Annual Social
Front Row: (left to right) W. Morris, T. Murray, Canon Heaney PP, T Connelly, T. Madden. Back Row: (left to right) B. Ruane, J. Corsican, M. Connelly, J. Freaney, P. Cahill, J. Quinn, P. Madden, N. Cannon, E. Collegian, T. Kelly, P. Caulfield and Fr. M. Gleeson.




margie in the mineral bar
Margie Murphy behind the Mineral Bar which she ran for decades in The Town Hall, Athenry.  She's accompanied by Tom Fahy who ran shops in the town including Fahy's VG Foodmarket on Northgate Street.  Behind them are ads for Fox's Glacier Mints, Afton Cigarettes, Aspro, Cadbury's Choffees, some Tayto Quips cards, posters for showbands including the Premier Aces, and several photos of showbands including Athenry's own Swingtime Aces. (Photo: Murphy Family, Clarke Street)
Swongtime Aces04
The Astrals
The Doves01
Swongtime Aces02
1966 Comm Stamps


GAA Publications in Digital Flipping Book Format

1966 All-Ireland Senior Football Final Programme