A trip down memory lane
This year marks the 50th anniversary of a golden era for GAA in the Ballisodare, Collooney and West Sligo area.
Ballisodare/Collooney won the Championship in 1960 and 1961, defeating Tourlestrane and Curry respectively in the finals, while Ballisodare/St. Pat's won the senior title in 1962 and 1963, accounting for Sooey and Craobh Ruadh in the deciders.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the last of these four titles, a special programme of celebrations were organised, embracing a whole range of GAA activities.
Under 8 and Under 10 mixed teams from the local areas played each other in a special tournament and also took part in a long kick competition. This was well attended and afterwards Joe Hannon, former Ballisodare, County and Railway Cup player shared his advice with the young players.
Sligo's legendary handballer Paddy Walsh also joined in the celebrations, passing on his vast knowledge and advice to young enthusiasts.
He was amember of the four-in-a-row team and is also the holder of 29 All Ireland Handball medals.
It was a throwback to times of old when large groups gathered to watch local players train and compete in various competitions.
The players from this golden era of football met at the Sally Gardens, formally O'Rourkes, the old haunt used 50 years ago when travelling to matches. There was a magnificent atmosphere with some of the players not having met up in many years.
As part of the anniversary celebrations, the former greats visited Markievicz Park on county final day where they were given a warm reception.
A reception was held in the Sally Gardens. Guest of Honour Dr Michael Loftus, former President of the GAA, made a presentation to all of the players from this golden era. Sligo GAA was represented by Chairman Cyril Feehily and Tommy Kilcoyne.
John Leydon and Fr Tommy Towey from the organising committee thanked all three clubs and volunteers from the catchment area who helped organise the underage football, handball and catering.
The 1960 Ballisodare/Collooney team: T Parkes, J Finan, D Walsh, M Gallagher, J Sherlock, G O'Connor, P Cafferky, C McLoughlin, N McMunn, J Hannon, T Gray, P Walsh, T Harte, B Weir, S Henry.
the 1961 Ballisodare/Collooney team: T Parkes, J Finan, D Walsh, M Gallagher, J Sherlock, G O'Connor, P Cafferky, C McLoughlin, N McMunn, J Hannon, T Gray, P Walsh, T Harte, J Cavanagh, S Henry.
The 1962 Ballisodare/St Pat's team:
T Parkes, S Donegan, B Weir, P Savage, T Dooner, G O'Connor, J Sherlock, N McMunn, M Kerins, J Hannon, C McLoughlin, J Hannon, V McHugh, C Nicholson, J Finan.
The 1963 Ballisodare/St Pat's team:
T Parkes, F Leonard, B Weir, P Conlon, J Sherlock, G O'Connor, S Delaney, J Cuffe, N McMunn, P McMunn, M Kerins, J Hannon, V McHugh, M Cummins, T Weir.