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‘The Tyrone GAA Web Weaves On’

By tyronepro Tue 2nd Aug

Garvaghey was host to a very unique event last Friday night when members of our mould-breaking 1946/47/48/49 Minor and 1956/57 Senior sides and their families came together to celebrate and reminisce on the 60th Anniversary of Tyrone’s first-ever Ulster Senior title on 29 July 1956.
We were blessed with a wonderful turnout on the night, from 1940s Minors like Liam Campbell, Barney Eastwood and Harry Hartop, through 1956 Seniors from goal-keeper Thady Turbett to full-forward Frank Higgins.
While Tyrone’s fortunes dipped a bit in the early 1960s, those men of the late-1940s-on-into-the-1950s (and many were involved across that historic decade) created a momentum that has brought us to where we are now.
One thing which the night showed was the significance of continuity. Jody O’Neill captained Tyrone to that historic first Ulster Senior title … and 17 years later, in 1973, would manage Tyrone to our third Ulster crown. The legendary Eddie Devlin, rated by many as the best pound-for-pound player they ever saw, played for Tyrone for four years at Minor level, captaining us to two All-Ireland titles. In the audience listening to Eddie was Damian O’Hagan, son of Eddie’s team-mate John Joe O’Hagan … and Damian of course, thirty years later, would also play for Tyrone at Minor level for four years.
We also had Tony McKenna, a young member of the 1950s side who would later become (as did his team-mate, the late Jim Devlin) a referee and Tyrone County Chair. Frank Higgins’ son James meanwhile became a member of our Club Tyrone Committee and is now Finance Director at our Title Sponsors McAleer & Rushe. Dessie Ryan, once he returned from many years in New York, would revolutionise coaching across Tyrone, Derry and beyond.
And in proper GAA style we were also honoured by the presence of two contemporaries of those wonderful Tyronemen – the legendary Jim McKeever from Derry and Jim McDonnell from Cavan.
Among the other Tyrone mould-breakers sharing the night with us were Tony Connolly, Barry Corr, Patsy Forbes, Mick Kerr, Mick McElkenny, Donal McSorley, Mgr Gerry McSorley, Peadar Montague, Dr Pat O’Neill and John O’Reilly.
As a line from a different context goes, “We may have good men, But we’ll never have better”.

By tyronepro Tue 2nd Aug

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