THE death took place last Wednesday of former Louth All-Ireland finalist Nicholas (Nicky) Roe.
Regarded as one of the county’s finest ever footballers, the Ballybailie man was a member of the St Mary’s club in nearby Ardee.
Nicky, at centre half forward, led the Wee County attack in the All-Ireland decider of 1950. Flanked by two other legendary Louth players, Stephen White and Jim McDonnell, the Leinster champions narrowly lost out to Mayo on a 2-5 to 1-6 scoreline.
Nicky scored all but one point of Louth’s 1-6 total but a late shoulder injury to him didn’t help the Wee County as Mayo hit 1-1 late on to seal what remains their last All-Ireland triumph.
Earlier that summer Roe played a pivotal role as Louth beat neighbours Meath by 3-5 to 0-13 to win the Leinster title before seeing off Kerry by 1-7 to 0-8 in the All-Ireland semi-final - a game in which he had dislocated his shoulder.
Roe, who made his debut for Louth in 1946, previosuly won a Leinster Championship in 1948. Unfortunately, injury cut short his footballing career and he was forced to retire in the early ‘Fifties - missing out on the Leinster title win of 1953 and the All-Ireland success of 1957 - of which his younger brother Jim was a pivotal member of the side.
Nicky started his club career as a defender and wore the number four jersey as St Mary’s won their first Louth senior championship title in 1946. Young Irelands were beaten in the final. Irelands were likewise ousted in the final of 1948 and again Nicky Roe found himself at left full back. He would win a third and last senior title in 1951.
Nicky Roe wore the St Mary’s jersey with pride and on retiring continued to serve the Ardee club in a number of capacities. He trained the mid-Louth side to four Minor Championships during the 1960s, was involved with the Marys’ seniors, the Louth senior team as a selector and became a well-known referee.
Always a popular figure, Nicky was honoured in 2007 when he was inducted into the Louth GAA Supporters Club Hall of Fame.
His funeral Mass took place in The Church of the Nativity of Our Lady in Ardee on Saturday, followed by burial in Ballapousta Cemetery.