Kenny, Fr Martin

The late Fr Martin Kenny was part of the GAA fabric in County Louth. He served the Association as a player, mentor and club officer and had a strong connection in particular with Cooley Kickhams GFC as well as Oliver Plunketts and Roche Emmets. During his 49 years as a priest, Fr Kenny worked in the catchment areas of all three clubs, but his most remarkable contribution to the GAA was as one of the men on the line for Cooley's golden era. He trained the Cooley Kickhams side that won the 1971 Louth SFC - their first success in 32 years - and they contested eight more finals during the 1970s, winning five in total. Cooley also won numerous Cardinal O'Donnell and Old Gaels Cups and twice contested Leinster club finals. While studying for the priesthood, Fr Kenny played for Cooley and he was good enough to earn selection for first the Louth juniors and then the county seniors during the late 1950s, when Wee County football was riding the crest of a wave. He also managed the Clann Mhuire minor team that contested the championship final in 1961 and the St Michael's College, Omeath team that won the McLarnon Cup that year. After his own playing career was brought to an end in the late '60s by a serious leg injury, Fr Kenny - ably assisted by Mick O'Callaghan - masterminded the historic breakthrough of '71 as well as Cooley's continued dominance of Louth football for the best part of a decade thereafter. He also served the club as chairman - the third member of the priesthood to have done so.

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