Tipperary’s last success at this grade came in 2008 when they secured a 0-14 to 1-8 win over Munster rivals Clare played in Croke Park. That day it was Edel Hanley who was the star of the show kicking over a personal tally of 0-10 as Paddy Morrissey’s heroines kicked six unanswered points in the final quarter to turn a goal deficit into a three-point winning margin with captain Angie McDermott securing the honour of the TG4 Player of the Match accolade.
Tipperary scorers: E Hanley 0-10, 7f), S Costello, A McDermott, M Morrissey and G O’Brien 0-1 each.
Team: P Hickey, A O’Dwyer, M Corcoran, C Carroll, A O’Dwyer, T McManus, S Costello, A McDermott, M Morrissey, C Lambert, S Carew, J Grant, E Carroll, G O’Brien, E hanley.
Substitutions: M Luttrell for Grant (42m), C Walsh for E Carroll (42m), N Ferris for Lambert (48m).
— Shane Ronayne (@spronayne) September 15, 2017
Having overcome the challenge of Wexford in the quarter-final (whom they also defeated earlier this year in the league final) and Meath in the semi-final tomorrow’s game promises to be a mouth watering clash, one not to be missed and details of tickets for the game can be accessed here.
For those who can’t make the trip, the game will be broadcast live on TG4 and the station will also show the junior final between Derry and Fermanagh as well as live coverage of the senior decider between Mayo and Dublin. Derry incidentally will be captained by Tipperary native Cait Glass and we wish her and her team the very best in their final.
The Tipperary team to line out tomorrow has been named by manager Shane Ronayne:
1. Lauren Fitzpatrick, Ballymacarbry
2. Siobhan Condon, Aherlow
3. Maria Curley, Templemore
4. Emma Buckley, Cahir
5. Bríd Condon, Aherlow
6. Samantha Lambert, Ardfinnan
7. Laura Dillon, Ardfinnan
8. Aisling McCarthy, Cahir
9. Jennifer Grant, Brian Borus
10. Niamh Lonergan, Moyle Rovers
11. Mairead Morrissey, Brian Borus
12. Aishling Moloney, Cahir
13. Roisin Howard, Cahir
14. Gillian O’Brien, Moyle Rovers
15. Orla O’Dwyer, Boherlahan
16. Patricia Hickey, Brian Borus
17. Caomihe Condon, Brian Borus
18. Anna Rose Kennedy, Aherlow
19. Catherina Walsh, Moycarkey Borris
20. Rachel O’Donnell, Cahir
21. Sarah Everard, Moyle Rovers
22. Laura Morrissey, Brian Borus
23. Anna Carey, Clonmel Commercials
24. Elaine Kelly, Cappawhite
25. Alison Lonergan, Galtee Rovers
26. Aine Fitzgerald, Moyle Rovers
27. Evrena Everard, Moyle Rovers
28. Nicola Loughnane, Thurles Sarsfields
29. Elaine Fitzpatrick, Templemore
30. Aoibhe O’Shea, Mullinahone
Tyrone have also announced their starting fifteen:
— Brian McDonnell (@sixtwofourtwo) September 19, 2017
— Comeragh College (@ComeraghCollege) September 21, 2017
— The42.ie (@The42_ie) September 22, 2017
posted by Friends of Tipperary FootballFriends of Tipperary Football on Tue Sep 12, 2017
— Jerome Quinn (@JeromeQuinn) September 21, 2017
For those of you old enough to remember the Leaving Cert poetry book, Soundings, you may recall Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem “Stanza’s written in dejection near Naples” being included in that book. So, taking my cue from my namesake I’m calling this blog “Lines written in dejection near Templemore”.
Why the dejection? I hear you ask
Because our local rivals Loughmore/Castleiney made it a half century of Mid Tipperary senior football titles on Saturday evening in Littleton. (Of course, before they amalgamated, Loughmore had won five titles on their own and Castleiney had also won three to bring the total between the two parishes to 58). It’s a record they can be and should be rightly proud of but also a record the rest of Mid Tipperary, and particularly us in Templemore, should be ashamed of.
Coming out of the match I met an imperfect stranger who said they were a great team who play it “off the cuff”. It was a curious statement and he was only half right.
I’ve heard time and time again over the past twenty years that Loughmore play “off the cuff”. The phrase “off the cuff” means “to be spontaneous or without preparation”. It dates back to the early 20th century when actors, politicians or after-dinner speakers would write notes on their shirt cuffs. If they were reading from notes on their shirt cuffs, they may have looked like they were being spontaneous but in fact they were being the complete opposite as they had come well prepared.
Likewise, with Loughmore/Castleiney. They are a well-prepared team who play to a system and are anything but spontaneous. You don’t win three county finals in four years by just playing “off the cuff”.
Upperchuch/Dombane went into this game not only as underdogs but undercats as well. Their relationship with football is a bit like Maggie’s relationship with her husband The Bull McCabe in “The Field”. They just about put up with it and don’t speak about it too often. But they do have men like Conor O’ Dwyer who love the game as Othello would put it “not wisely but too well” and who certainly has given his club and indeed his county “some service”.
And so having arrived at the game via an English poet, 20th century actors, John B Keane plays and a Shakespearean tragedy, you won’t be surprised to hear the game was three minutes old when I finally took my seat in Littleton.
The first 25 minutes or so of this game were the most enjoyable. Upperchuch set up well, had a good kick-out strategy and were going about their business with enthusiasm. They had a simple enough game plan based around hard work and not giving away possession but over elaborated on occasions in the final third when a quicker more direct ball might have delivered better results. To play a possession game you need superb fitness and good ball skills. Their hurling schedule over the past few weeks was bound to have sapped energy from the legs and one suspects, judging by the amount of misplaced and intercepted hand-passes, they hadn’t enough football training done to fine tune their skills to the level required.
Loughmore on the other hand play a limited form of the possession game. They don’t pass for the sake of passing and when they move the ball it’s generally worked to a teammate in a better position. It’s an uncomplicated game plan that simply involves working the ball into space!
During the first act, Upperchurch enjoyed more possession than a lion could handle and with 25 minutes gone the sides were level at four points each. Paul Shanahan and Colm Stapleton the scorers for Upperchurch while for Loughmore, Liam McGrath (2), Liam Treacy and Noel McGrath kept the man on the scoreboard in gainful employment. You felt if Upperchurch could get a couple of unanswered scores before half time it would be all to play for in the second half.
But the footballing gods had other ideas. Noel McGrath, who was outstanding all afternoon, picked Jack Butlers pocket and emptied the contents over the bar to put Loughmore 0:05 to 0:04 on 28 minutes before a pointed Liam McGrath free sent his team in for the Jaffa Cakes two points ahead.
From the re-start, Loughmore took control and unlike Upperchurch in the first half, they were translating their territorial advantage into scores. Liam McGrath (2), Liam Treacy, Eamon Connolly and the evergreen David Kennedy extended Loughmore’s lead with Upperchurch’s sole reply a Niall Grant free. Their task was made impossible when Colm Ryan’s boot caught David Kennedy on the head. It looked accidental from where I was sitting and indeed referee Sean Everard initially deemed it so but his umpire, who had the best view, deemed it deliberate and after a quick chat, a red card was shown.
All that was left now was for Loughmore to moonwalk over the line, which they did and eventually ran out 0.17 to 0.06 winners.
You could not fault Upperchurch for effort and courage but of course you will recall John F. Kennedy telling us that effort and courage isn’t enough. Still they had fine performances from Paul Shanahan, Colm Stapleton, Padraig Greene and Niall Grant. Goalkeeper Loughlin Ryan also had a fine game. Not only did he keep his goal neat and tidy, his distribution was good and his solo runs from goal often found him out around the 65m line. They say you have to be a little crazy to be a goalkeeper but I suspect Loughlin might be a little crazier than most.
Upperchurch certainly are a team capable of winning a Mid senior football title but as we know, unless they make an early exit from the hurling championship, they won’t put in the work on the training field to fulfil their footballing potential.
At the final whistle I met Mid-Board chairman Joe Kennedy, who had spent the day giving out more cups than Mrs Doyle on Craggy Island. He informed me that Liam McGrath’s seven point contribution earned him Man of The Match award and you couldn’t argue. He was aided and abetted by his cousin Noel McGrath whose three points were a reward for his hard work over the hour while I remain convinced that John McGrath could find Shergar with a pass. David Kennedy may be past his “best before date” but certainly isn’t past his “use by date”. At the back Willie Eviston and John Meagher had the “thou shall not pass” sign on display for the afternoon.
Loughmore/Castleiney will face tougher challenges as the bid to retain their county title. I haven’t seen them moving this well in football for a long time.
People speak of their hard work and never say die attitude as if this is all they bring to the table. That sort of lazy analysis doesn’t do justice to the players they have. Ernest Hemingway said that “to make war you need intelligence but to win you need talent”. This Loughmore/Castleiney team epitomise Hemingway’s theory. Declan Laffan and his backroom team provide the intelligence but more importantly on the field of play they have the talent and when the talent is prepared to work, then you have a formidable outfit who will win many wars.
posted by Friends of Tipperary FootballFriends of Tipperary Football on Wed Sep 06, 2017
In October 2013, Mark Sheahan sat down and did an interview for the upcoming third volume of the Nenagh Éire Óg history book, ‘A Central Culture – Gaelic Sport in Nenagh‘. In it he recounted his club and inter-county career and reflected on the highs and lows. Mark is without doubt the greatest footballer Nenagh Éire Óg has ever produced and in 1993 he became the first Nenagh produced footballer to play in a Munster senior football final. Robert McGann had won a Munster senior medal in 1935 but wasn’t originally from the town. Here is Mark’s story.
My earliest memories of playing GAA are of the hurling street leagues that were organised by the club. I think they were under-10 but they were very well organised and our team won.
My first introduction was in school during P.E. In the early primary school days I didn’t have the greatest interest in hurling or football, I was more interested in athletics, a love that was inbred into us by my dad. Derek Conroy, Cyril Bailey and John Kennedy would have been three of best friends in primary school and were all GAA mad and these friendships were major influences on my growing love for both hurling and football.
I loved going to matches before we were old enough to play and watching the older teams in the school playing especially football. They had some exceptional footballers like Mike Burns, Sean O’Meara, Kevin O’Carroll and Barry O’Brien to name a few.
Playing ourselves my best memory in school was winning the schools’ hurling county final in a replay in Nenagh against Thurles. We only got the replay after Alan O’Dywer scored a goal that I am still sure was wide but the net wasn’t secured to the goalpost and it slipped in beside the post. I can’t remember who the umpire was but he was well connected with Éire Óg!
With Éire Óg we won the Under-12 north and county double in 1984 which was an unbelievable achievement, a culmination of great work being put in by Jimmy Conroy, John Tucker, Denis McSweeney and John Martin. I’m sure I probably forgot someone so apologies to everybody else who drove us up and down the country to challenge matches and encouraged us all the way.
Winning a Munster under-16½ hurling schools final and being part of the first Nenagh CBS team to ever make a Harty Cup Final. The journey to the Harty Cup final was more enjoyable than the day but it was great to be part of the first team to ever represent the CBS in the Harty final.
A lot of great work was being put in by Jimmy Conroy and John Tucker with the underage hurling in the club and John Kissane, Patsy Bonnar and Denis McSweeney in the football and we enjoyed another under-16 county hurling title but it was in football where the club were unbeatable winning under-14 north and county, Féile na nGael finals, under-16 and minor finals. I think it was the first time any club had won all the titles with the same team up the years from twelve to minor.
I played rugby from under-14 with Nenagh Ormond and played soccer at underage with Toomevara. Later I played soccer with Ardcroney and with Nenagh Town. With Nenagh Town I was lucky enough to play with an exceptionally talented team that got to the Munster Senior Cup quarter-final.
Jack O’Shea in football, he was just an immense presence in a great Kerry team with a great engine and was always someone I hoped I could someday be as good as. My hurling hero growing up was Philip Kennedy, John’s brother. Philip was the only person from Nenagh Éire Óg on the county senior team when I first started playing and had been part of a team that had won two All-Ireland under-21’s as well. The picture of Jacko and Philip with John Kennedy, Cyril Bailey and I after they presented us with our under-12 north and county medals still hangs in our kitchen at home.
At an early age it was definitely Jimmy Conroy, he gave so much time to the young lads in the club honing their skills. He was a gentleman and very dedicated to the club and the young lads he was looking after. At later stages John Tucker and Jimmy Minogue were also great mentors.
I always had the support of the likes of Denis McSweeney, John Martin, John Kissane and Patsy Bonnar over various stages of my early career. They would always give you the encouragement and confidence in yourself to believe you can be better than anybody else on the field. Their belief in me and my team mates always made me feel that we should fear no one we played and we always believed that we would win every underage game we played in our own age group. My parents also gave me great encouragement and supported most decisions I made in relation to my sporting career. They rarely ever missed a match no matter where it was played.
There was no under-14 county team back then and your first opportunity to play at inter divisional level was at under-16. I was invited to join the under-16 county team when I was fifteen for a weeks development and training in Carrignavar in Cork which I turned down as I didn’t think I would be able to get a week off from the shop at home. My Dad wasn’t happy with me when he found out but it was too late then. Work was important but so were Gaelic games. The following year I played for the inter divisional team and went with the county team to Carrignvar for the weeks development and training. I ended up with a nasty injury and concussion on the last night of the training week in a match against Clare and spent ten weeks with my arm in a sling. I have no recollection of that match nor the incident where I got injured.
I played minor with Tipperary in 1990. I was a sub in 1989 when we got hammered by Cork. In 1990 we were beaten by a Kerry team that included Seamus Moynihan, Billy O’Shea and Declan O’Keeffe. We were only one or two points down when we were reduced to fourteen players and ended up losing by six or seven points. That Kerry team went on to win the All-Ireland minor that year. I played three years on the under-21 team, the first year we were well beaten by Cork in Paírc Uí Chaoimh. I captained the team the following year which was a great honour and was joined in midfield by clubman Kevin Coonan, again we were beaten by Cork and ended up with fourteen men early enough in the game. The following year we played Waterford in the Munster semi-final and after being well behind at half-time we came back and drew the match with Kevin Coonan popping over frees from everywhere. We were beaten in the replay after extra time, Tipp scored twelve points in the replay with eight coming from Kevin and three from myself. We lost the Munster senior final just over a week later but the under-21 loss hurt more as I felt that team should have done a lot better.
In August 1991, Seamus McCarthy was appointed senior manager and I was invited to join the panel again and I had no hesitation in accepting. Seamus had been my manager in 1990 with the minor team. He was passionate about Tipperary football and from early during my term under his management of the minor team there was a great respect for each other between the two of us. I expected to have to work hard to get into the starting team and went to my first match against Limerick in the All-Ireland B championship expecting to warm the bench for the day. That lasted fifteen minutes and I was called into the game. I started every game for the next four years during Seamus’ management with the exception of a few games I missed through injury. Seamus built a new team and a lot of the minor team that got to the All-Ireland final in 1994 made up the backbone of his teams and we made the ‘93 and ‘94 Munster finals under Seamus. Winning the All-Ireland B in 1995 was the highlight, we beat Longford in the final and was some reward for a few seasons when we had got to the Munster final without success. The low of my senior career was losing to Kerry in the ‘98 Munster final when we really fancied our chances, we should have beaten Kerry the year before in Kerry and had beaten a full strength Kerry team in the McGrath Cup earlier the same year.
No, I was never fortunate enough to play in the Railway Cup.
I played Trench Cup (tier below the Sigerson) with DIT and we were beaten in the semi-final. I also played in a Trench Cup Final with LIT two years later which we lost. LIT wouldn’t have been known as a football stronghold but we had a very good team that included Hughie Emerson of Laois who was at the time regarding as one of the best in the country.
At underage it wasn’t a struggle as we all played both codes and football matches rarely ever were played while the senior hurling championship was in play. We played in three county football under-21 finals in a row, all staged in November to January, including the famous Effin Eddie match, winning two of these and winning the hurling under-21 in the same year.
When you played senior football for the club it was a different matter if the hurlers were playing in the coming week or two. We played Clonmel Commercials in the county quarter-final in 1992 and only lost out to a team with six members of the senior county squad by a point. The team that played that day was left without most of the under-21 team that had won the previous year’s county final as the hurlers were playing in the following weeks. Clonmel went on to win the county final and drew the Munster final with Laune Rangers. To know that you could potentially be good enough to win the county final and not be able to field your best team was very disheartening. Hurling was always going to be the main focus of the club but when the club pulled out of the 1995 county championship it was the catalyst that led to me moving clubs.
The club were always very supportive of my football career. However the North Board weren’t as supportive which was highlighted by the Board fixing the North hurling senior semi-finals for the same day as the Munster football final against Cork on the same day.
No, but when the opportunity came to play in Dublin I jumped at it. I played four years with St Sylvester’s in Dublin at a time when each game was just below inter-county level such was the strength in depth of all teams.
The combination teams were set up a couple of years after I left the club and I would have loved the opportunity to play in one of those teams.
Yes but football in general was treated that way in Tipperary even when the county seniors were performing very well every year.
Winning an All-Ireland B, McGrath Cup and Dublin Senior Cup medals were highlights. Losing the 98 Munster final was definitely the biggest disappointment, the county had a sense of expectation that this was a really good Tipp team that had already defeated Kerry that year. We had three forwards who would have made any inter county team in Browne, Lambert and Cummins and coming up four points short again was hard to take.
At club level, Kevin Coonan had as good a pass and scoring ability as anybody in the country. Later I played club with Glen Ryan who was exemplary in everything he did. At county level you had the likes of Declan Browne, recognised as the best player Tipperary ever produced, unfortunately most people only saw the glimpses of the talent he had. He was exceptional and the toughest opponent I ever played against.
These days the training has progressed to be near to seven days a week between team and gym training. We did three to four sessions a week and gym was left up to yourself. It definitely has gone to a different level of fitness levels now.
It had gone quite negative with mass defending and it was refreshing to see two teams who played football all year getting to the All-Ireland this year. While I would have loved to see Mayo win, the fact that they both play such an expansive game is positive. Football had become such a poor relation from a spectator point of view with some very poor games in the past number of years that this year has been great with Dublin Kerry being a stand out match.
*Please note that this interview took place in 2013 and Mark is referring to the All-Ireland final between Dublin and Mayo which Dublin won 2-12 to 1-14.
It always takes a couple of years for minors to fully make the break through and make an impact, very few of even the best minor teams make a meaningful impact straight away and often don’t reach prime until they are 22/23. If they can keep the group together we should hopefully see the fruits of these underage teams in the next two to three years. The one area where we have been lacking over the last fifteen years is having powerful highly skilled midfielders. The team I played on were very lucky to have Brian Burke, Derry Foley and John Costelloe all who played Railway Cup and two who played Compromise Rules for Ireland. You need to be able to compete at midfield if you are going to be successful and the minors had a super midfielder in Ian Fahey. Three of Dublin minor team that Tipperary beat in that final started for Dublin in this years All Ireland which has to encourage the Tipp players.
I am involved with the club here in Naas. I played up to last year and this year I joined the selection team for the Senior B team. We were beaten in the county semi-final. The intention will be to get involved more over the coming years once the kids are old enough t come to some of the training/matches.
I fractured my jaw in a league game in 1995 which kept me sidelined for over three months. In the Munster final in ‘98, I injured my groin in the last few minutes and ended up having a Gilmour groin operation. I didn’t play for seven months after that game, the rehab from this injury was the hardest as most of this was done on my own, I never enjoyed training on my own!
posted by Friends of Tipperary FootballFriends of Tipperary Football on Thu Aug 24, 2017
The Friends of Tipperary Football extend our best wishes to the ladies football team who contest the TG4 All-Ireland semi-final this Saturday where they will face the challenge of Leinster champions Meath in the intermediate championship. This game throws in at 16:45 in Semple Stadium and is followed by the mouth-watering clash between old rivals Kerry and Dublin the senior semi-final at 18:30.
Meath defeated Wexford in the Leinster final by five points while Tipperary needed extra time to overcome the same opposition in the last round. The winners will be rewarded with a trip to Croke Park for the All-Ireland intermediate final where they will face either Sligo or Tyrone who are in the other semi-final.
The Tipperary panel is as follows:
Bríd Condon (Aherlow), Siobhán Condon (Aherlow), Anna Rose Kennedy (Aherlow), Samantha Lambert (Ardfinnan), Laura Dillon (Ardfinnan), Lauren Fitzpatrick (Ballymacarbry), Orla O’Dwyer (Boherlahan), Patricia Hickey (Brian Ború’s), Jennifer Grant (Brian Ború’s), Mairead Morrissey (Brian Ború’s), Laura Morrissey (Brian Ború’s), Caoimhe Condon (Brian Ború’s), Rachel O’Donnell (Cahir), Roisín Howard (Cahir), Aoife Corcoran (Cahir), Emma Buckley (Cahir), Aisling McCarthy (Cahir), Aishling Moloney (Cahir), Elaine Kelly (Cappawhite), Anna Carey (Clonmel Commercials), Alison Lonergan (Galtee Rovers), Catherina Walsh (Moycarkey-Borris), Niamh Lonergan (Moyle Rovers), Sarah Everard (Moyle Rovers), Evrena Everard (Moyle Rovers), Aine Fitzgerald (Moyle Rovers), Gillian O’Brien (Moyle Rovers), Aoibhe O’Shea (Mullinahone), Maria Curley (Templemore), Elaine Fitzpatrick (Templemore) & Nicola Loughnane (Thurles Sarsfields).
The management team are Shane Ronayne, Alan O’Connor, Tony Smith, Elaine Harte & Tomás Mac a tSaoir.
For Brian McDonnell’s preview of this game please click here.
The 2017 season is over for us and the summer is coming to an end but for me I am preparing for my college course in TV and film production at Limerick College of further education. Tipperary football has given me the belief to continue ahead with my education especially with the football lads with there never give up attitude has driven me on to be at this point specially having their support along the way is a big help too!
When I think of the journey I have been on there has been plenty of ups and downs along the way but Tipperary GAA has been a big part of my life from my first Tipperary GAA game on the 2 August 1998. It was the Munster final and to be honest I don’t really remember much of the game as I was only 3 1/2 years old. My father told me I fell asleep for the second half but thankfully that was the one and only time that ever happened to me! Unfortunately, the game ended up Tipperary 1-10 – 0-17 Kerry. When I think back from that moment I would have never thought in 2017 I would be planning to do a TV and film production course while being a dedicated football supporter and being part of the Tipp football family!! To be honest I didn’t ever think I would ever achieve half the things I have so far, anything is possible in life or in sport I guess the secret is don’t give up…
When we look ahead we can never say for sure what’s around the corner even on or off the field but, we can only take it one step at a time, when planning for 2018 with Tipperary football as we have a lot to look forward to. Firstly, pre-season training which players can’t wait for, secondly division two football which is a good platform to bring on players for the championship ahead where lies the hopes, dreams and ambitions to make men into Tipperary legends!!
With knowing this the lads have inspired me to put in everything into my education and to never give up but also knowing they have my back is a big help. Yes, when I do start in September I will be a bit anxious so hopefully it will all go ok and who knows maybe someday I might make it in Hollywood or even better I might be helping with the Sunday Game again …
One thing will always stay the same which is my hopes, dreams and ambitions for Tipperary football because I know we will have more great days while making history along the way. It goes without saying I can’t wait for 2018 to be out and about with all the Tipperary supporters again both football and hurling! #tippfootballfamilyposted by Friends of Tipperary FootballFriends of Tipperary Football on Tue Aug 22, 2017
Back in the early eighties I had started collecting stories and ballads on tape of hurlers and various other people who might have a story to tell of the past. Someone at the time suggested that I should go out to Bill Ryan, (Laha), as he was the only surviving player of the “Bloody Sunday” game. So in due course it was arranged that I call out and I would be very welcome. On the night of the sixth of February, 1984, I arrived at Bill’s home at 9 p.m. I was immediately struck by his gentle and quiet manner as he came out to meet and welcome me inside. The following is an account of his story:
Q. Bill would you relate the events as you remember them?
Bill: On Saturday night, we stopped at Barry’s Hotel there near Findlater’s Church on the way to Croke Park. We slept there that night. We didn’t know anything happened at all that morning. There were a lot of secret service men out there — they were living throughout the city and Collins had tracked them down, anyway, they were all shot that morning — about twelve of them — that’s what the reprisals were about.
Q: You were playing Dublin?
Bill: Yes, but I can remember the match was only on ten or twelve minutes when they came in the Canal Gate and fired few shots.
Q. Who fired?
Bill: The Black and Tans, but the soldiers had it surrounded at the time. The first thing happened was a plane came and circled over the pitch — came down very low and went away — ’twas they gave the signal that the match was on of course, so they came in the Canal Gate, we were playing into the railway goal. I was playing on the half back line, out about on the fifty yards mark, when the shooting started. I looked back and Mick Hogan, who was playing behind me in right corner back and he was coming running towards where I was, himself and a Dublin player, and I turned and ran the same way down the field towards the railway end, there was a Dublin player in front of me and I followed him, and when we went down near the railway end, he went out of the playing pitch — he went out over the wire on top of the fence, three or four rows of thorny wire on the top sloped out against the spectators, ’twas hard to get over it, but eventually I got over it anyway and when I got over it I could see no sign of the Dublin player, he had disappeared, so I went on, on my own then on what you call Hill Sixteen.
Q. Where did you go then?
Bill: I went out of the ground altogether, the crowd had the outside wall levelled to the ground, it was only galvanised sheeting you know.
Q. I’m sure many were injured on that?
Bill: Oh there were — but they had it surrounded now. We were all held up about two hundred of us, of course all the rest of the crowd had escaped at the time.
Q. Were you still in togs?
Bill: Oh I was still in togs, but we were all brought back in and all lined up.
Q. They caught you outside?
Bill: They did and we all had to come back in and all lined up here and there, there were searches going on, there were a lot of detectives in civvy clothes, they were viewing the lads and asking questions and all this. But where I was I could see two Tipperary players lying flat on the field, now it would be about the far end of the Cusack Stand, about in that position out near the sideline, I could see these two Tipperary players lying flat on the ground, of course I thought they were lying for safety. So there was a lad with fixed bayonet up and down, and if you let down your hands or anything, he was over to you and I was a kind of sideways to this and I had to wait for an opportunity in order to have a look, but eventually I heard a shout, like a command, that’s when I got the opportunity, I looked, I saw one of the Tipperary players going away across the field with two or three Tans with him and his hands over his head and they were all covered with blood — so I knew the other player then was dead.
Q. Did you know who he was at that time?
Bill: I didn’t know who he was — no. But I was searched anyhow and I wasn’t told to go — they were letting some lads go but I wasn’t let go at all, but eventually this young officer came along, he was viewing lads that were in the queue but when he came to where I was, he came over to me and I was sure I was going to be for it, but he asked how long we were playing and who was winning. Ah ’twas only a matter of saying something then, I’d say he wasn’t satisfied with what was after happening, evenutually he said to me, are you feeling cold? I said I wasn’t – ’twasn’t the cold was troubling me to tell the truth at the time, but he ordered a spectator to take off his overcoat and give it to me, and when I had the overcoat got he told me you can go now, so I went flying out over Hill Sixteen again and there were three or four soldiers there, one of them was a sergeant and he said to me, who ordered to let you go? I said, a young officer in there told me to go, “come back we’ll have to have another word with you” the sergeant said to me. They were bringing me, anyway, and for good luck, the young officer was there, he wasn’t gone away — he shouted at them let off that chap he’s all right, so I was let go.
Q. Did you ever get the owner of the coat?
Bill: I’ll tell you now, with the coat, I went off out when I was let go the second time and I had to come back in under a railway bridge and back by the Hogan Stand, and when I got to where the Hogan Stand is now, there was a crowd of sightseers there, after all the shooting do you know, there was a priest among them, and he came over to me to ask me how I got on, and he said to me, “do you know one of your comrades is shot dead?” I said I did but I didn’t know which one of them it was, and he said to me, ”it was Mick Hogan”. So I got away then and got back to Barry’s Hotel. When we got back to Barry’s there was some Secret Service crowd, the I.R.A., I think it was, they told me not to stop there that night, so none of us stopped there that night, we stopped out through the city everywhere. But they cancelled all the trains out of Dublin, then we didn’t get home until I think the following Thursday.
Q. Were your clothes in Barry’s?
Bill: Yes. We togged out there and I left the overcoat there, and I was sorry that I didn’t bring it —it would be worth a lot now said Bill with a laugh. Bill reflected back again to the scene on the field.
Before he (officer) came to me that day, there was seven or eight Tipperary, players held at the Hogan Stand, they ran to that side and they were held then and like me, they were not told to go. They were holding them up and he (officer) came along and he let the whole lot away and he came on to where I was and he let me go. And I often heard Jerry Shelly, he was a Grangemockler man, saying ‘we should never say our prayers, but we should say one for that chap (officer)’.
Q. It was a frightening experience?
Bill: Well like, you were in the middle of it before you knew anything — ’twas like a battle while it lasted, nothing only shooting everywhere around.
Q. Was there any score in the match?
Bill: There were no scores.
Q. Call you recall the referee?
Bill: I do, he was a Kildare footballer at the time, Mick Salmon.
Q. How about the team, do you still remember them?
Bill: I do. In goal, Frank Butler; right corner back, Mick Hogan; full back, Ned Shea; left corner back, Jerry Shelly; right half back, myself; centre back, Jim Egan; left half back, Tommy Powell; the two centre fields, Jim Ryan and Tommy Ryan; right half forward, Billy Barrett; centre forward, Jimmy McNamara; left half forward, Jimmy Doran; right corner forward, Gus McCarthy; Full forward, Jack Kickham and left corner forward, Jackie Brett.
I wouldn’t ever forget that team said Bill with a certain sadness in his voice.
Q. The match was abandoned of course and played twelve months later in Croke Park?
Bill: Yes, that’s correct.
Q. Who were the victors?
Bill: We won it, won it well, and there was a grand set of medals for it.
Q. How would you compare the football teams of those days with the football teams of say the Dublin/Kerry or Cork teams of today?
Bill: It’s completely different. I imagine it was faster in our time, because this solo running is slowing up the game altogether, sure the ball travelled twice as fast up and down the field, catch and kick, bar the forward line of course.
Q. Did you prefer the old style game?
Bill: Well from a spectators’ point of view, it was a better type of game to watch.
Q. What colours did ye have on ‘ ‘Bloody Sunday”?
Bill: A white jersey with a green body sash. The first inter-county match we played, it was a red jersey with two gold keys across the chest, with gold cuffs and collars, those were the colours up to about 1920 until Bloody Sunday. The word ”Tipperary” was written across the chest of the Bloody Sunday jerseys which was white with green and gold body sash. The blue and gold didn’t come up to the time we finished playing in 1926, as far as I can remember.
Had he lived Bill would have been proud to see the Blue and Gold contesting a Munster Final in senior football here today. Sadly, Bill departed from this life in August 1991. An accomplished footballer, Bill played with the county from 1914 to 1926. During that time he won a senior All-Ireland medal in the 1920 final, a game not decided until 1922
He won a Munster senior medal in 1922 when Tipperary accounted for Limerick. At club level he played with his native Castleiney and also Templemore and Templetuohy winning championships with them. He also played hurling and won championships with Castleiney in 1923, ’25 and ’28.
To quote Bill’s comrade from Grangemockler, Jerry Shelly “We should never say our prayers, but we should say one for Bill, and his team-mates of Bloody Sunday”
Ar dheis Dé go raibh anam na marbh.
Le gach dea-ghuí dhiobh go leir
Below are four ballads, taken from Tipperary’s G.A.A. Ballads collected and compiled by Seamus J. King, Liam Ó Donnchú and Jimmy Smyth, about Michael Hogan and the events of Bloody Sunday.
Source: Centenary, F.N.T. Átha Cliath
One Sunday in the month of Samhain
The spies of England were cut down
In Dublin city by command
Of Michael Collins. That viper’s band,
Shot in their beds, were men of blood
Who suffered the fate their spying brood
Had planned for Ireland patriot’s sons.
When tyrant’s armies feel what guns
Of freedom’s fighters have to say
They let their violent vengeance play
On innocent civilians. Soon
The blood of Irish victims doomed
By cruel fate was spilt by guns
Of England’s scum. The Black-and-Tans
Came to Croke Park on that same day,
Where Tipperary and Dublin were to play
A football challenge. A hail of death
Swept through the crowds, life’s last breath
Sighed from the lips of young and old,
And on the field caught in the cold
Rigidity of death, a young man lay
Who had been active in the play
As one of the Tipperary team.
The blood that poured in that vital stream
From Michael Hogan’s heart has made
That green Croke Park a holy glade
Where Ireland’s children, born free,
Can learn the price of liberty,
For Hogan and all who died
On Bloody Sunday our nation’s pride
Has raised a mighty stand to bear
His name where gathered thousands hear
The Artane Boy’s Band proudly play
Received from Liam O Donnchå, Ballymoreen, Littleton.
Beneath the shadow of the chapel
At the foot of Slievenamon,
Lies Mick Hogan in his early grave,
Now fifty years have gone,
Since that Sunday in November,
When he donned the white and green,
And he strolled out on that Gaelic field,
With Tipperary’s football team.
The match had scarcely started;
How the people sang and cheered,
Until John Bull’s sons with their vengeful guns,
Brought death down on that field.
Mick Hogan fell in a hail of lead,
That swept across Croke Park—
He dyed the yass a crimson red,
With the young blood of his heart.
His comrade Egan saw him fall,
Upon that field of play—
Undaunted he rushed to his side,
The final prayers to say.
The Saxon had his vengeance,
For his spies who died that day,
By shooting down Mick Hogan,
In this cowardly brutal way.
His mother! Oh God help her,
How those bullets pierced her breast,
And burning tears ran down her cheeks,
As they laid her boy to rest.
Now fifty years have passed away.
Since they laid her martyred son,
In Grangemockler’s hallowed graveyard,
At the foot of Slievenamon.
Source: Tommy Barrett, lar Runai, Tipp. GAA, Thurles.
In Croke Park one Sunday evening
Drunken forces of the Crown
Turned their guns upon the Irish
And like dogs they slayed them down.
A gallant Gael from Tipperary
As he played his native game
Was laid low by British bullets,
Michael Hogan was his name.
Take him home to Tipperary,
To his silent lonely grave,
Take him home to Tipperary,
There to rest among the brave.
Men like Hogan loved their country,
It was proved that fatal day,
When the mighty British Empire
Tried to smash the GAA.
Little known that Sunday evening
When the teams came out to play
That the murder gang from England
To Croke Park were on their way.
‘Till an aeroplane it hovered,
O’er that quiet yet tranquil scene
And sent down a shower of bullets
On the crowd on Hill ’16.
Then the Tans jumped from their lorries,
Scruff and scum of London town,
With their rifles at the ready,
Our young hero was gunned down.
Every year the Gaels assemble
At the site of that sad scene.
When the rosary was recited
For our one and only Queen.
While her martyrs gather round her
In that holy place above
There to rest with her forever,
Those young Gaels we Irish love.
And in memory of our martyr
Is the mighty Hogan Stand—
Where underneath they play the anthem,
Those grand boys of the Artane Band
Now you Gaels from all o’er Ireland
When Croke Park you will attend
Give a thought to Bloody Sunday
And let this little prayer ascend
It’s not much that I am asking
Just one Pater and Ave,
For all those the British murdered
On that bleak November day.
Take him home to Tipperary,
To his silent lonely grave
Take him home to Old Grangemockler
There to rest among the brave.
Men like Hogan loved their country
It was proved that fatal day,
When the mighty British Empire
Tried to smash the GAA
source: Ms Áine Hogan Breanormore, Ninemilehouse, Carrick On Suir and Tommy Barrett, lar-Runai GAA, Thurles.
‘Twas not within his home he died nor ‘mid the battle grim,
But when playing a grand Old Irish game British guns killed him.
When Croke Park grounds were crowded and leaden hail swept
Upon the sod he loved so well ’twas there Mick Hogan died.
His lifeblood trickled o’er the sward; his soul had flown on high—
Machine guns swept the playing pitch no comrade dares draw nigh.
But when the ‘Amritsar’ was o’er his comrades gazed upon
The still and lifeless form of their Gael from Slievenamon.
It was not thus he’d wish to die a soldier of his land,
For he had answered duty’s call when freedom’s flame was fann’d
But on that Bloody Sunday when England’s work was done,
Another rebel heart lay still in the Gael from Slievenamon.
When Grangemockler will muster on the green sward once again
And the blood of Ireland’s brave and best has not been shed in vain.
The memory of our martyred dead will in our hearts live on,
Ah, we won’t forget Mick Hogan then who sleeps ‘neath Slievenamon.
When the flag of Irish freedom waves throughout the land we love,
The souls of those who died to save will guard it from above.
For they that bore their cross for Him have heard the words ‘well done’ ,
And amongst the host of Ireland’s best is a Gael from Slievenamon.
This song was kept alive by Ned Hanrahan, a singer from Mick Hogan’s own parish.
Click here for a video interview with Bill Ryan who played for Tipperary that day.
If you would like to learn more about Bloody Sunday we recommend that you read Michael Foley’s brilliant book on the subject, The Bloodied Field. This can be purchased here.
For a brilliant essay on Bloody Sunday survivor Tommy Ryan by Wexford’s Roisin Cooney please click here.posted by Friends of Tipperary FootballFriends of Tipperary Football on Sun Aug 13, 2017
The teams were level at the end of normal time 1-12 to 2-9 and a superb effort in extra time saw the Premier emerge victorious by one point.