The men who first brought Sam to Galway

Galway reached the All-Ireland football final for the first time in 1919, when they were beaten by Kildare by 2 – 5 to 0 – 1. In 1922 they were beaten by Dublin by 6 points to 4. In 1925 they won it for the first time, beating Cavan by 3 – 2 to 1 - 2. In 1928, the Sam Maguire Trophy was presented to the GAA, and ever since, it has been the dream of every county in Ireland to hold it aloft in Croke Park on the third Sunday in September.

In 1933 Cavan beat Galway in the final by 2 – 5 to 1 – 4, but in defeat the Galway team were hailed as a major force for the future, a prediction that turned out to be accurate as they beat Dublin the following year by 3 – 5 to 1 – 9, the first Galway team to wear the maroon and white colours and the first Galway team to bring the Sam Maguire west. The crowd at the game numbered 36,143.

Our photograph today (for which we thank Mrs Joan Kenny of Renmore) shows that 1934 Galway team on board ship on their way to New York. They played a couple of games in New York subsequently, which they won comfortably.

They are, front row, left to right: Mick Higgins (captain), Mick Ferriter, Frank Fox, Dinny Sullivan, and Tadg McCarthy. In the middle row are Fr Brune, ----------- , Toddy Ryan (masseur), Martin Regan (secretary of the County Board, wearing glasses), Mick Connaire, Brendan Nestor, Frank Burke, Michael Brennan (goalkeeper), Joe Kelleher, and Paddy Stephens. At the back are ------------ , ---------------- , ---------------- , Ralph Griffin, John Dunne, Dermot Mitchell, --------------, Hugo Carey, Pat McDonnell, Tommy Hughes, -------------, Tom Molloy (trainer), ---------------, and Fr Eugene McLoughlin.

Bobby Beggs was on the defeated Dublin team but in 1938 he was on the Galway team that triumphed by beating Kerry by 2 – 4 to 0 – 7. Then, they lost three in a row, in 1940 to Kerry by 0 – 7 to 1 – 3; in 1941 to Kerry by 1 – 8 to 0 – 7; and in 1942 to Dublin by 1 – 10 to 1 – 8. In 1956 the ‘terrible twins’ guided them to victory over Cork by 2 – 13 to 3 – 7. In 1959, Kerry beat them 3 – 7 to 1 – 4, and in 1963 that Simon Behan goal for Dublin beat us, the score 1 – 9 to 0 – 10. Then came the three in a row team who in 1964 beat Kerry by 0 – 15 to 0 – 10; in 1965 it was Galway 0 – 12 to Kerry 0 – 9, and in 1966 Galway 1 – 10 to Meath’s 0 – 7. Offaly beat us in 1971 by 1 – 14 to 2 – 8, and in 1973, Cork beat us by 3 – 17 to 2 – 13. In 1974, the final score was Dublin 0 – 14 to Galway’s 1 – 6, and in 1983 Dublin repeated the victory by 1 – 10 to our 1 – 8. In 1998, we were champions again by beating Kildare 1 – 14 to 1 – 10. Kerry beat us in 2000 by 1 – 17 to 1 – 10, but the following year we won, beating Meath by 0 – 17 to 0 – 8.

For the record, Galway appeared in League finals in 1940, 1957, 1965, 1966, 1981, 1984, 2001, 2004, and 2006. We won in 1940, 1957, 1965 and 1981.

The Old Galway Society are hosting what sounds like a fascinating lecture this evening (April 14) in the Mercy School in Newtownsmith at 8.30pm. It will be giver by Maud Hand on the subject of “Poaching in Galway”, and all are welcome.

On Wednesday next, April 20, An Taisce is hosting a talk in The Ardilaun at 8pm. The title is “Radio Times” and the speaker is the distinguished author and broadcaster John Quinn. Entertainment guaranteed. All are welcome.

 

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