Fingal Independent

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William Sonny Leonard was a star of the Rush GAA world

OVER the years great players have come and great players have gone but was there any to match William Sonny Leonard - the pride of Rush.50 years ago, this paper caught up with the ace and he spoke of his career, which began as a 16 year old in 1917 with the St Maurs team.He then went to Skerries Harps and in 1919, with a few more locals, departed for life

OVER the years great players have come and great players have gone but was there any to match William ‘Sonny’ Leonard - the pride of Rush.

50 years ago, this paper caught up with the ace and he spoke of his career, which began as a 16 year old in 1917 with the St Maur’s team.

He then went to Skerries Harps and in 1919, with a few more locals, departed for life with St Patrick’s, Drumcondra senior side.

He played football on Saturday and Sunday and he recalled walking two miles to the train each day to catch the train for the game.

Life then brought him back to Fingal and O’Dwyers and he won a senior league medal with them. He was on a crack side and played in the Kells Tournament and won it for three years in a row, their last success coming against Louth when he scored 1-1, operating from the ‘40’.

He moved again, to O’Tooles, and enjoyed seven years of sustained action for club and county, winning two Dublin senior league titles and a SFC. He also lined out with the county in 1929/30/31 and 1932.

Sonny was on the Dublin side that won the Cusack park tournament final against Kildare. He was an expert in toeing the ball from the ground to the hand.

He recalled the 1932 Dublin SFC final as his hardest ever game. Playing against Erins Hope, it was a titanic struggle and only in the closing minutes did a point from Sonny spark O’Tooles into going on and claiming the crown.

As part of his fitness regime for that game he walked his horse and cart the 14 miles to Dublin market four nights a week for three weeks beforehand!

In 1933, with St Maur’s re-organised, he returned to the club and helped them to the Fingal Championship title before he retired. In his 20 years in the game he won 18 trophies and never missed a game through injury. He was also never reprimanded for misconduct in that time.

He feels the 1934 All-Ireland, Kerry v Dublin, was the best game he has ever seen.

Balbriggan up set at rent charges

ALMOST 50 Balbriggan residents have blasted the decision to increase rents in two parts of the town.

The residents from Gibbon’s, Lawless and St Margaret’s Terraces are irate over the 9d per week increase on the basic rents and have said so to Balbriggan Town Commission.

Mr J Larkin said that the rent of 9d was increased in these areas but in St Peter’s Terrace and Ardan Mhuire it was increased by 1- and 6d respectively. The rents went up to recoup the costs for water-rate expenditure paid to the council.

Mike Walsh goes to rescue of Shennick stranded

THERE was high drama in Skerries last week when a rescue took place. Two visitors went over to Shennick Island and when they decided to return found that the tide had come in and they were stranded.

Standing on high ground, they were spotted by the Gardai who got local fisherman Mike Walsh to go out and safely bring the pair ashore.

CYMS players from Rush put on ‘Shadow and Substance’

THE CYMS players from Rush recently visited Balbriggan with their finished production of Paul Vincent Carroll’s four-act play ‘Shadow and Substance’.

Kitty Weldon gave an almost faultless performance as Brigid, Canon Skerritt’s housekeeper and Jim Carty’s role as the canon drew great applause. Paddy Carty and P.Clerkin along with Annie Martin were also superb with Andy Monks as Francis O’Connor, Vera Hand, Joe Walsh, Dolores Weldon and David Langan.

Christy Smith reports fox problems in Newbridge Demesne

DONABATE is having major problems with foxes at the moment. Christy Smith, land steward of the Newbridge Demesne reported that he shot six of them last week alone.

Ros Mor breaks propeller 10 miles

THERE was a moment of drama out at sea when the Ros Mor, out of Skerries, broke her propeller shaft while 10 miles off the coast. Captain, Joe Plunkett, radioed in and Ros Sean skipper Jack Corr answered and went out and towed the stranded vessel ashore.

Miss Clinton wins De La Salle Whist Drive

Miss Clinton was the winner of the De La Salle Whist Drive in Skerries last week. Mrs McLoughlin was second with Mrs McDonnell in third.

Only Irish functions at the Town Hall please!

THE issue of holding anything but ceili or Irish functions in the Balbriggan Town Hall on St Patrick’s Day or Easter Sunday was raised last week by the commissioners after a local organisation held an old-time and modern dancing function there this year.

After much discussion it was felt that the Town Hall should be open to all at all times.

St Dympna’s soccer club, Portrane, lose out 3-1

ST DYMPNA’S soccer club from Portrane lost out 3-1 to Belgrove in the semi-final of the AUL Youths Cup. K Cahill at right full starred with J Kavanagh at centre half and right half T Deeney.

Ian Morrison and

his big game

THERE was an excellent turnout at the Sailing Club in Skerries for a film by Ian Morrison of his big game hunting trip he made to Africa.

Carty brings off treble at Rush table tennis

CONGRATS to J Carty for bringing off a great treble at the Rush CYMS table tennis tournament.

New seats will cost £500 in Balbriggan

REPAIRS and the provision of seats at Balbriggan Town Hall will cost £500.

Burrow residents want direct bus to Dublin

THE residents of The Burrow in Portrane want a direct bus service to Dublin.Residents met with the company at Amiens St last week and the company will make its decision shortly.

Dangerous ruin at Ardan Mhuire

THE dangerous ruin at Ardan Mhuire, Balbriggan, will be demolished shortly by the council in conjunction with the Balrothery Board of Assistance.

Minister to open new Portrane hospital units

The Minister for Health, Mr T P O’Higgins TD will perform the official opening ceremony of the two new units at Portrane Mental Hospital this week.

Mrs Bracken is president of Skerries

At the annual general meeting of the Skerries Guild, Mrs. Bracken was elected the new president. Other officers elected Hon. Secretary, Mrs. Keane: Hon. Treasurer, K. Clinton: Committee; Mrs. McManer, Mrs. Corcoran, Mrs. Reid, Mrs. Clinton, Mrs. Lane, Mrs. Noel McDonough, Mrs. Rice, Mrs. Power and Mrs. Keeley.