No, I never went to Galway University, or any other university; Dundalk’s Friary and CBS were good enough for me. But having paid two quid for a daily ‘paper last week, I was given a free copy of Cois Coiribe, “the magazine for NUI Galway Alumni & Friends.”
Lots of photos of RTE’s Sean O’Rourke were in it as well as a number of sports-related stories. Sean is the current Alumni Association chairman and is profiled in a well-crafted article by Mona Wise. He was born only a stone’s throw from the university.
A few of the sports photos caught my attention. One of them showed racehorse trainers, Dermot Weld and Jim Bolger, smiling on the day they were conferred with honorary degrees; while another had Eamon O’Shea, a professor at the university, running the line at Croke Park in his role as Tipperary hurling team manager.
The photo of the 1962 Sigerson Cup-winning side includes four players who would go on to figure in the the three-in-a-row Galway team, Enda Colleran, Martin Newell, Pat Donnellan and Christy Tyrell. Also there are Sean Donnelly, a National League medal-winner with Longford, and Sligo’s Hugh McGonigle, who captained the side.
Could the Jimmy Jordan in the front row be from this county? He could indeed, only that he was better known in his days as a championship medal-winner with St Patrick’s as Seamus Jordan.
The Junior Championship win of 1960 was a first for St Pat’s, who had made their debut in Louth football seven years earlier, and Jordan was one of the youngest on the team that routed Parnells, from Drogheda, in the final, 3-11 to 0-2. His brother, Paddy, who helped Louth to the All-Ireland junior title the following year, was at midfield on the team that read:
Jim Clifford; John Jordan, Jim Savage; Jimmy Sheelan, Gerry McIntyre, Jim Burns; P Jordan, Jim Savage; Jemmy Sheelan, Gerry McIntyre, S Jordan; Johnny Burns, Henry Donnelly, Carl Traynor.
Victory gave Pat’s a place in senior football, but they regraded for the 1964 season and didn’t make it back to the top division until after their second Junior Championship win, in 1972, Henry Donnelly and Jemmy Sheelan the only survivors of the 1960 who played in the defeat of St Mochta’s in the decider.
Seamus Jordan, from Ravensdale, is one of only a handful of Louth players to win a Sigerson Cup medal. Another is Benny Gaughran, who captained the UCD team in 1968. He was also an All-Ireland club championship winner with the college side.