Brendan was a Carlow GAA legend

May 21, 2019

Two GAA greats. The late Brendan Hayden with Mick O'Dwyer.

Brendan Hayden Snr., who passed away on Monday, was one of Carlow's greatest-ever footballers.

A brilliant dual player, he served Carlow GAA magnificently in a variety of capacities over the decades. Whilst representing the Barrowsiders with distinction on the playing pitches of Ireland for 15 years – mostly at wing forward and also on the edge of the square - Brendan made a massive impression against All-Ireland champions Down in the 1961/62 national football league semi-final, the Mourne County prevailing by a mere two points.

A regular on Leinster's Railway Cup panel from 1959 until 1966, the Carlow man was rated by Kerry greats Mick O’Connell and Mick O’Dwyer as one of the best footballers they ever played against.

He lined out for Tinryland at senior level for a quarter of a century, winning SFCs in 1971, '72 and '75 - and collected five Carlow SHC medals with three different clubs - Carlow town (3), St Fintan’s and Palatine. He garnered a senior double in 1972. During his only season with Eire Og – 1960 – he helped the Carlow town club to their first county senior football championship.

A former chairman of Tinryland, Brendan also served on Carlow County Board and Leinster Council, was a noted referee at all levels locally and nationally and was named at right half forward on the Carlow Team of the Millennium.

Brendan’s sons Joseph, Colm, Martin and Brendan Jnr. all togged out for Eire Og, where the Hayden name is particularly renowned, while his daughter Marion represented the Carlow ladies team.

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