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Wednesday 26 July 2017

A day to rival any in Ardee...

GAA President's praise for the heroes of 1957

Members of the Monastery Boys U/13 County Champions Tadhg McDonnell, Nathan Halpenny and James Kieran with Patsy Coleman
Members of the Monastery Boys U/13 County Champions Tadhg McDonnell, Nathan Halpenny and James Kieran with Patsy Coleman
Some of the many who attended
Members of the Louth 1957 All Ireland winning team Jim Roe, Kevin Beahan, Jimmy McDonnell, Jim McArdle, Patsy Coleman, Frank Lynch and Sean Óg Flood with President of the GAA Aogán Ó Fearghail, Cllr. Dolores Minogue and Des Halpenny, Chairman of Louth County Board

Hubert Murphy

It was a magical moment and one that summed up a special and heartwarming occasion in the heart of mid Louth.

The President of the GAA, Aogan O' Fearghail, had parked his car outside the pet shop in Ardee as over 100 guests watched on.

They were waiting for a poignant occasion - a tree planting ceremony to mark the 60 anniversary of Louth's last All-Ireland win in 1957.

As the president chatted with people, he made his way to the boot of his car and opened it up.

Inside was a case and when he unlocked it, a certain man's eyes lit up.

Maybe it was like 60 years ago again for Patsy Coleman when he was a young fella with Frank Lynch and Danno, Red Meehan and Kevin Beahan at the end of that final.

He was called in to take the 'special guest' and introduce him to the waiting public - Sam Maguire had returned to Louth again.

And with a mighty roar he lifted the silver cup into the Ardee air!

What followed were words of praise from every corner, every facet of local life, for those that felt the exploits of the men of 1957 deserved to be recalled in a special way.

The new tree on Ardee's main street will now stand as a tribute to those men - many gone from us sadly - but now remembered for being supreme heroes.

The GAA president described them as 'wonderful ambassadors' for Louth and their families and said that nothing should ever be seemed impossible, back then the smallest county in Ireland defeating the biggest one.

He hoped the youth of today would be inspired by the men of 1957 and what they achieved.

Hughie O'Neill from the Ardee Business Association said they were delighted to be part of such a prestigious occasion for the town while like a number of others thanked Cllr Dolores Minogue for her determination to get the event organised.

Michael Rooney from St Mary's GAA club said they were proud to be part of the event as they had seven members as part of the panel 60 years ago.

Speaking on behalf of the players. Kevin Beahan said that the town already had a statue to famous warriors in Cuchulainn and Ferdia, but now there was one for the players of 1957 who had 'won their own battle'.

He said it was a great gesture that the area was remembering them all these years later.

He further praised the role of the De La Salle Brothers and all they did for the GAA.

Louth GAA chairman Des Halpenny said it was only right for the men who had pulled off the 'ultimate achievement' to be recognised in such a way.

Canon Peter Murphy also blessed the tree.

Drogheda Independent

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