The North Mayo Heritage Centre is dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich heritage of the region. As part of our annual cultural programme for 2019 they have researched and curated a number of exhibitions which are displayed in the centre with free admission.
Mayo has had a long history of emigration for reasons of economics or famine. Men and women left their homes to travel all over the world seeking abetter life. This exhibition tells the unique ‘untold’ stories of four such people whowould go on to excel in sport in their adopted countries. The four sports stars are Jim Donnelly, Jimmy Walsh, Pat Tunney and Jimmy Murphy.
Jim Donnelly was born in Clare Street, Ballina in 1889 and played for Blackburn Rovers and three other sides in an eight year playing career before going on to become a coach in London. His career took him abroad and he was appointed Austria national coach in 1938. He also had stints as manager or coach at Fenerbahce, Inter Milan and elsewhere.
Killala native Jimmy Walsh was born in 1887 and was a two time winner of the baseball World Series with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. He was named in Connie Mack’s All Time Irish Greats team and was one of the last Irish born players in MLB bringing to a close a period of extraordinary Irish dominance in the game.
Pat Tunney was born in Killasser in 1872. He was a miner at Croxdale Colliery, Co Durham and was one of Connacht’s first ever profesional rugby player. He played rugby union for Durham City RFC, then rugby League with Salford RFC and played in the first-ever Rugby League international fixture.
Jimmy Murphy was born in San Francisco 1894, his mother emigrated from Crossmolina, to California and his father hailed from Wexford. He had a dazzling career in Speedway and motor racing. Winning his debut at the Hollywood Speedway in Los Angeles, he then won Indy 500, European Grand Prix and twice American drivers’ champion before he was killed in racing accident in 1924.
This exhibition will run until November 3 a number of talks and workshops will take place while the exhibition is in place. Admission is free and you don’t have to be a sports fan to enjoy it.
For further information please contact Hugh Trayer, Manager, North Mayo Heritage Centre, Enniscoe, Crossmolina, by phoning (096 ) 31809 or by email to: [email protected].