For many years the Galway hurling team qualified automatically for the All Ireland semi-finals as Connacht champions. The problem for them was the semi-final was always their first championship game, whereas the team they were playing always had a few good tough games under their belt. As a result, we only had the one championship game in the season and rarely got to the final.
Michael O’Donohue from Ballyglunin gave us this photograph of the Galway team that played in the semi-final on August 15 1948, when they were beaten by Waterford by three goals and seven points to a goal and six points.
They are, back row, left to right: Mick Sylver, Paddy Jordan, Mick Nestor, Colm Corless, Frank Duignan, Tommy Moroney, MJ “Inky” Flaherty, Hubert Gordon, John Killeen, Willy Fahy. In front are: --------------, Josie Gallagher, Bernie Power, Brendan Hannify, Tadg Kelly, Dick Quinn, Jim Brophy, and Seán Duggan.
Tommy Moroney played with the Galway team for six years, winning two Oireachtas medals and a National Hurling League medal. He hurled with Castlegar and won a county championship with them. He was an all-rounder, played football, and was a very good athlete. He was also a fine horseman and was a member of the Army Equitation School for a number of years, and went on to earn a ‘cap’ by becoming a member of the Irish international showjumping team in 1954.
Sadly, Tommy died in Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester on December 17 2013 after a fall at his home. He often said that his hurling days were the best of his life. He followed the Galway team from afar, watching and listening to every game he could. A Galwegian to the end, we dedicate this column to his memory. Solas na Fhlaitheas dá anam uasal.