Meehan, Jim 'Red'

The fifth member of Louth's last All-Ireland SFC winning team in 1957 passed away with the death of left full back Jim 'Red' Meehan, Drogheda, who was also a member of the Meath panel for their first Sam Maguire Cup triumph in 1949. Jim played football in the Royal and Wee County with two since defunct clubs, Fordstown and Naomh Mhuire. With brother Johnny, he got on the Meath senior squad in the historic year of '49. However, contrary to some reports, neither were presented with All-Ireland medals following the famous breakthrough. The substitutes only received pocket watches and in an interview a number of years later, Jim expressed disappointment at not being awarded a medal. "After all, the subs were just as much part of the team as the first 15," he said. The following year he was full forward in the NFL home final in which Meath lost out to Cavan. However, 'Red' travelled to New York in 1951 when outright league honours were gained with a final victory over the Exiles in the Polo Grounds. Jim Meehan helped Naomh Mhuire to a Louth JFC success but returned to Fordstown for a short spell and missed out on the Drogheda club's SFC triumph in 1953, the only time they lifted the title. On moving back to Naomh Mhuire, he played in three SFC finals but defeat was his lot each time. However, the Meath native enjoyed some great days after first donning the red and white of his adopted county in 1955. He certainly proved his worth in the memorable 1957 campaign. After being dropped for the Leinster semi-final against Kildare, he bounced back to star in the provincial final victory over Dublin. Following the penultimate round win over Tyrone, Jim was seen to outstanding effect in the 1-9 to 1-7 All-Ireland final triumph over Cork, bringing off a crucial goal line save near the end. He was also in the No.4 berth for the Leinster finals in 1958 and '60 when Louth were denied by Dublin and Offaly respectively. Jim Meehan enjoyed another trip to New York with the Louth team in 1958 and he was selected on the Leinster Railway Cup side that year. He played with the Wee County up until 1961. Jim was the fifth member of Louth's last All-Ireland winning team to pass away, following fellow full backs Tom Conlon and Ollie Reilly as well as forwards, team captain Dermot O'Brien and Sean Cunningham, who punched in the winning goal.

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