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Shirt story fits heroic Foleys

DES and Lar, the Kings of Kinsealy. The Foley brothers will always be cherished in the north county, and at their beloved St Vincent's.

A charming event took place at Páirc Naomh Uinsionn last Saturday at noon to celebrate a famous afternoon 50 years ago.

On St Patrick's Day, 1962, Des Foley created history by becoming the first player to win both the Railway Cup hurling and football titles in Croke Park on the same day.

Remarkably, Des and Lar won three Railway Cup medals on that memorable afternoon!

Des played at midfield as Leinster beat Munster in the hurling, and then, with Lar as a team-mate, Des again played at midfield as the Leinster footballers defeated Ulster.

"Last Saturday, the Foley family presented us with the jerseys Des and Lar wore back on that day in 1962," explains St Vincent's PRO, Noeleen Fleming.

"We were so honoured to accept them. It was a lovely gesture by the family and it was a proud occasion for the club.

"We had a big turn-out. Mícheál ó Muircheartaigh was the compere. He did a beautiful job. He had many tales to tell," added Noeleen.

Des also created another slice of history when he became the first man to captain both All-Ireland winning minor and senior football teams.

In 1958, he was the skipper as he led the Dubs to the minor title against Mayo and he collected Sam when the Blues beat Galway in 1963.

Lar played at full-back in that '63 victory, and Mickey Whelan provided the guile in attack.


Des recalled his epic Railway Cup double-shift in Brian Carthy's Football Captains.

He had to rush into the dressing-room at full-time in the hurling to get ready for the football.

He had a quick wash, changed his gear and hurried out again. But he missed the parade.

The brilliant Down footballer, Seán O'Neill, was the first person to wish him luck as he ran to his position.

Des had a sore throat that day and a cold. His mother had given him raw quinine to ease the discomfort. "It tasted like seaweed."

Des revealed how his parents took a huge interest, "but my mother was always concerned in case we got injured. Imagine worrying whether Lar would get hurt!"

At the time, Des said there was little fuss about winning the two medals on the one day. And life went on as normal on the family farm.

No matter what hurling or football games were to be played, the hens had to be fed and the fire-wood gathered.

He outlined his build-up to the '63 All-Ireland final in Brian's book. "I went to confession in Malahide on the Saturday night. I also had the habit of getting my hair cut nearly every week.

"I was always at home by 9.15pm and in bed for 10pm. On Sunday, I'd cycle to 8am mass in Malahide and then home for breakfast. I'd have a little lie-down then, wash myself in cold water and I never changed my routine."

St Vincent's, and the Foley family, did their memory justice on the golden jubilee of that day of days.