CON Houlihan was a rare bird: a journalist who truly loved writing and words.
For the past two weeks the Irish Independent have been running on Saturdays, a series of pieces written by the late great Kerryman.
On Saturday they published a piece he wrote about Dundalk.
“Turgesius,” said Con, “that most famous of all Norsemen, captured Dundalk and was so much in love with the place he wanted to make it the capital of Ireland, and if he had Patrick Kavanagh might have been a happier man and an even better poet.”
He even quotes the lines in which Kavanagh “gave the capital of Louth a mite of immortality”:
We borrowed the loan of Kerr’s big
To go to Dundalk with butter.
Brought him home on Sunday after last Mass
An exile that night in Mucker.”
Kavanagh of course, was first published in the Dundalk Democrat and The Green Fool was rejected by William Tempest publishing which is the building where The Democrat is now produced.
Con also remembers that it was Louth and Kerry footballers that first brought “a little bit of glamour to the GAA”, and not Kerry and Dublin.
A shrewd observation.
It was the money from Louth-Kerry games that paid for Croke Park.
As for Drogheda, that unholy place full of Meath men and Dubliners, Con, quite rightly, has nothing to say.