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Tuesday 23 October 2018

Rush mourns loss of a GAA legend

Once the darling of Croke Park, Seamus McGuinness always spoke freely about the great days against Mayo, Kerry and the rest and one occasion stands out - the All-Ireland SFC final of 1955 and McGuinness was lining out in centrefield with Jim Crowley and a star studded Dublin side, containing the likes of Kevin Heffernan, Ollie Freeney, Des Ferguson and Mickey Whelan.We were fav



Once the darling of Croke Park, Seamus McGuinness always spoke freely about the great days against Mayo, Kerry and the rest and one occasion stands out - the All-Ireland SFC final of 1955 and McGuinness was lining out in centrefield with Jim Crowley and a star studded Dublin side, containing the likes of Kevin Heffernan, Ollie Freeney, Des Ferguson and Mickey Whelan.We were favourites but it all began to go wrong even before we got onto the pitch,? he admitted.

He got hurt on the Monday before the match and was in bed until the Thursday while a couple of others were doubtful.

At the end of the day, the Kerry men got the result 0-12 to 1-6 and McGuinness had to come off injured in the second half.

His first introduction to the county set up was when he attended minor trials but failed to win a place. Still, he worked his way onto the junior set up, with the likes of Tommy Bell, Johnny Bell, Peter Faulkner, Mick Jenkinson and Andy Monks.They claimed a Leinster title in 1949.

Soon he was part of the seniors, a sub on the 1950/51 NFL final team and featuring in tournament games in Armagh and Louth before his Leinster SFC debut against Meath in 1952 when he marked Paddy Meegan.

1955 had started well with a NFL win over Meath but he tore ligaments in his knee towards the end and that sidelined him for the start of Leinster.

He came back for the provincial decider against Meath and the side won well.

Next up was Mayo and he had John Nallen to battle with. Nallen was best the first day as the sides drew but McGuinness came good in the reply to help the Dubs home to the final showdown with Kerry.

His career did bring him to London and New York and he enjoyed a few more big days with the boys in blue before, at the age of 28, he had to retire.At one stage I was on crutches for 15 or 16 weeks and still had to work. The knee never really got better and I went to see Dr Kevin O?Flanagan and he asked me did I get paid for playing this game. When I said no, he advised me to go home and give it up.It was hard at the time, I must admit, but I went off and put my name down for Rush Golf Club and didn?t look back,? he added.

He also enjoyed some big occasions with his club. In 1946 they won the Fingal Cup and four years later St Maurs had a very successful campaign in the Dublin Junior Championship, and although they failed to O?Dwyers in the final, they came back the following year to take the title, with Seamus forming a most effective partnership with the great Jack Newcomen. He played club football right up to 1960, collecting a host of Fingal League medals.

He recalled where his love of GAA all began ? on the green at Millbank where once a ball appeared, a mighty rush would come from nearby homes, half eaten dinners left lost, mothers suddenly bereft of sons in a flash!I?d often go out to work at 5am and get back that evening exhausted but once you?d hear the thud of the ball on boot you were all set to go again. Lads like the Bollards, Mickey and Tony and Joe Martin in goals, we?d all enjoy a game.?





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