Special night for Louth GAA Supporters
On Friday night I headed for the Four Seasons Hotel in Carlingford where the Louth GAA Presentation Night was taking place where the awards for Player of the Year at various levels, the Geraghty Perpetual Award, Hall of Fame and special awards for the All Ireland winners from 1957 and the Junior team of 1966 were being presented.
I wasn't too long in the door when I met up with Benny Grogan from Phillipstown, Harry McCarthy from Cooley and Noel Coogan from Drogheda who told me they were part of the 1966 squad who told me they beat Kildare after a replay and were looking forward to a great night.
After this I met up with Jim and Josephine Roe from Clontarf who is one of the remaining '57 All Ireland winners. Jim said he really enjoys the reunion but "it's Sam we want."
Next I caught up with two ladies who were looking exceptionally well Marie McCarthy from Cooley and Marion Finegan who told me it was going to be a lovely night and they were really looking forward to it.
I then got a word with Joe and Nuala Gogarty from Blackrock and Joe said he was part of the '66 squad. He said things have certainly changed from those days, there was no training with the county team, you were picked, you came along, pulled on your jersey and away you went!
After this I headed over for a word with county chairman Des Halpenny from Ardee who was with his daughter Kerri and he was chatting to Ollie McDonnell from Darver who was with his brothers Jim and Jody who were there to represent their late father Jimmy who was part of the 57 team who were being honoured on the 60th anniversary. The lads were there by themselves and Ollie told me it would be remiss of them not to give a mention to their respective wives Mairead, Sinead and Annmarie who were at home minding the kids while the lads were there.
Not too long later I had the pleasure of meeting up with Christine Duff from Dromin who was with Betty Meehan from Drogheda who told me she was there to represent her late husband Jim 'Red' Meehan who was also part of the 57 team and she was delighted to be there on the night.
One man who was nearly too busy to talk on the night was Paddy McMahon from Point Road who is a central council delegate and was definitely looking fo rward to the 60th and 55th celebrations on the night.
I then headed over for a chat with my old friend Frank Watters from Thomastown representing the Dundalk Credit Union along with CEO Billy Doyle who told me they'll be sponsoring the Louth underage panel between 2017 and 2021. When I asked how they were getting on since the retirement of Paddy 'the lone arranger' Hanratty they said he was just irreplaceable!
Not too long later I then got a word with Irene Kilgallen from Dublin who was with Mary Gilmore from Ardee who was with dad Jim McArdle along with Pat and May all from Avenue Road and brother John McArdle from Ard Easmuinn who were looking forward to a fantastic night together.
I then caught up with Mairead, Padraig and Bevan Duffy from Drogheda who told me they were looking forward to the night and said that Bevan was going to presented with his player of the year trophy too.
Making my way into the ballroom I then got talking to Elizabeth Matthews from Smarmore who was with husband Joe and they were there to support the night and enjoy the awards.
At an adjacent table I then got talking to Jim Thornton Jnr from Multyfarnham in Westmeath who was with Majella Reilly from Shore Road who were with Jim Thornton Snr who was to be awarded the Geraghty Award and he was with wife Angela Thornton from Greenore and his sister Claudine Richardson from Monksland, Joanna, Barbara and Helen Thornton all from Greenore who wanted to wish him all the best on the night and were certainly out to make the best of it.
Not too far away I then got talking to junior player of the year William Woods from Drumcar who was there on the night with Maeve McGinn from Castleblaney who were up for making it an epic night and no mistake!
After this I got a word with Johnny Osborne from Togher who was with his delightful wife Carmel and son Hugh who was there to take the award for u21 player of the year and assured me it was going to be a great night.
Finally before I departed I caught up with Richard Kieran from Dunleer with Niamh Gargan from Clogherhead who representing Dickie Kieran from the '66 squad and were definitely up for making the best of the night.