Monday 25 March 2019

Goalkeeper Pat relives '68 in Croke Park

Pat Nolan
Pat Nolan

David Looby

All Ireland-winning Wexford goalkeeper Pat Nolan re-lived the magic of the great victory over Tipperary fifty years ago at a special function in Croke Park, with almost all of his former teammates.

New Ross man Pat Nolan was joined by all but two of the team for a memorable afternoon in the company of GAA greats, including members of the All Ireland football winning team Down.

The 500-strong crowd enjoyed a meal and a 'free bar' hosted by the Gaelic Players Association.

Among the guests in attendance from County Wexford were Sean O'Neill and Paddy Doherty, while New Ross GAA Club Geraldine O'Hanrahans were represented by Tom Neville, Ned Colfer, Jimmy O'Brien and Pat.

Pat said: 'It was a big do and there were players there from Kerry, Galway, Down, all over Ireland. It was a great occasion to be surrounded by players who lined out with that year.'

Pat played for the Geraldine O'Hanrahan GAA Club and with the county team bringing great glory to Wexford in the 1960s, with the 1968 win over Tipperary being a particular highlight in his playing career, when the Wexford hurlers beat Tipperary 5-8 to 3-12.

He said: 'It was a great day. All of the team were there except for the late Jack Berry and Paul Lynch. I was meeting players whose names I remembered but who I had never met before. It brought back so many memories. I played in goals and so did another Pat Nolan so there was always a Pat Nolan in the Wexford goalmouth back then. My legs weren't great at the reception but I managed to get around Croke Park with sheer willpower.'

The event was chaired by Tony Hanahoe, Marty Morrissey and Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh. Pat enjoyed the ceremony and the awarding of the Hall of Fame honours and the speeches. This Friday Wexford GAA County Board are holding a civic reception to honour the 1968 winning team who brought so much joy to tens of thousands of Wexford people fifty years ago.

Pat said he hopes other great Wexford teams including the senior camogie team, the tug of war team and the victorious minor hurling team will all be acknowledged at the event, along with all the great sports people from the Model County who enjoyed success at national level in 1968.

New Ross Standard