Faithful Pioneers: Offaly's Football breakthrough 1960-1961

November 24, 2011
A new book on Offaly's football breakthrough, 1960- 1961 will be launched on Saturday 3 December at 3.30pm in the Offaly Research Centre, Bury Quay Tullamore by former 1982 Offaly All Ireland winning manager, Eugene McGee.

As most seasoned GAA followers within the county of Offaly are no doubt aware, this year is the 50th anniversary of Offaly's first historic appearance in an All Ireland final. In 1961 Down and Offaly met in the All Ireland Football final before the largest ever recorded attendance at a sporting event in Ireland, where Down narrowly emerged as the victors. In order to mark these highly significant achievements two Edenderry men Padraig Foy and Ciarán Reilly have recorded these events in a revealing new book drawing largely on the memories of the players who played in these historic matches. Together they have chronicled the events that best describe this important period and bring to light the achievements of this team to a wide audience including both young and old.

The achievements of the 1960-61 team are highly noteworthy, and while they have not been neglected in terms of recognition, the spotlight deserves to be placed on these men once again in order to record the unique breakthrough that this team achieved. The exploits of men such as the great Mick Casey, Har Donnelly, Tommy Greene, Mick Brady, Tommy Cullen, Sean Foran, Phil O Reilly, Donie Hanlon, Sean Ryan, Greg Hughes and captain Willie Nolan will be recalled. The central theme of the book is from an Offaly perspective, encompassing the insights, recollections and reflections of all the central participants involved in what was an exciting time in Offaly GAA circles. The book also incorporates the outlook from a number of Down GAA figures who were prominent during this period. With a foreword by Tullamore historian, Paul Rouse, this book is a must for all Offaly GAA fans. 90,000 people gathered in 1961 for the All Ireland final between Offaly and Down while another 30,000 were left outside for one of the most remarkable days in the GAA's history. For the players involved it was a day they would never forget.

A must for all GAA fans in Offaly, the book launch promises to be a memorable occasion where member's of Offaly's GAA fraternity will gather to pay tribute to the great 1960-1961 team. Copies of the book will be on sale on the day and will be available widely throughout the county as well as of course from the authors themselves who can be contacted on [email protected] or 086-8745090

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