Wednesday 24 July 2019

Region mourns the loss of two great 1957 stars

Hubert Murphy

Another glorious link to the men of 1957 was lost last week with the death of Jim Roe, the St Mary's Ardee clubman, regarded as one of the best close range place kickers of his era.

Within days, one of his fellow stars of that era, Aidan Magennis also passed away.

Brother of fellow county star of the early 50s, Nicky, Jim Roe was just 20 when he was drafted into the county set up in early 1957, making his senior debut in the championship against Carlow.

His starring performances with the Mary's earned him a further call up against Kildare in the semi-final that year, combining brilliantly with his Ardee clubmate, Kevin Beahan.

Beahan was the long range kicker, with Jim taking on the responsibility closer in. He bagged a goal early on in the game and that set up the victory.

He then won a Leinster title against Dublin and was again instrumental in the All-Ireland semi-final win over Tyrone.

He got the call for the final against Cork and scored three points in his best performance of the season.

It was pretty much a short but magnificent career for Jim Roe at senior level. He'd feature again in 1958 and 1959 but by 1960, he was off to England and he rarely played again.

Jim enjoyed great success with the Mary's too, claiming a Minor Championship in 1954 while he helped the Pairc Mhuire club to SFC wins in 1955 and 1956 and again in 1960, when he came home to line out.

Jim recalled many great memories of his days wearing the Louth colours and was part of the legendary trip to New York after the 1957 win, when he played in the Polo Grounds.

Jim worked in Navan Carpets after his return from England in the 1960s.

He is survived by wife Josephine and family, Catriona, Maura, Brian, Kieran and Shane, grandad to James, Dilly, Madeleine and Padraig.

Aidan Magennis was part of the squad that won 'Sam' in 1957 and was a magnificent player with both club and county.

Aidan was predeceased by his brothers Eamonn, Oliver, Barney, Dessie and Seamus and is survived by wife Nancy and family, Shirley, Martina, Mary and Adrian and other relatives and friends.

His funeral was on Monday to the Church of the Nativity of Our Lady.

In a tribute, St Mary's GAA club remarked, 'Aidan's greatest honour was being part of that famous Louth 1957 panel that won the All Ireland. He won many accolades with his club including playing on the 55 and 56 championship winning sides. Many of his achievements wasn't just on the field but also on the sideline and was part of many a management team with St Mary's and Louth. Aidan was also a past Hall of fame winner and was a former president with St Mary's and will be sadly missed not just by his family but all at Ardee St Marys and Louth GAA.'

He was a very versatile player and famously played in goals in the 1955 final v Stabannon, midfield the following year, right full in the 1959 clash with the Clans and in that replay, switched to full back.

Passing out as a garda in October 1957, he also served as Senior Executive Officer at St Brigid's Hospital and was a great advocate for the Louth/Meath mental health group.

In 2017, the pair were some of those honoured with the planting of a 1957 tree.

Cathaoirleach of the municipal council, Cllr Dolores Minogue, who also organised that occasion, says it is now so significant.

'Jim and Aidan, like the rest of those players, hold a very special place in the hearts of Louth people and it was an honour to recognise them in 2017 on the 60th anniversary of their All-Ireland win.

'I know a lot of them enjoyed meeting up again and meeting the GAA President at the time,' she stated.

'I believe we should always remember people who gave so much of their time for the enjoyment of others.'

Drogheda Independent