To the Editor, We are now entering the final days of 2012. It was a successful year for Tipperary in Gaelic Games but weak on the economic front. It is worth recalling some events that took place one hundred years ago in 1912. The year 1912 will always be remembered as the year of the Titanic. The massive ship built by Harland and Wolf in Belfast set on its first and only voyage. It was deemed to be the unsinkable ship but became “sinkable”.
It was the year that James Connolly came to the Town Hall in Clonmel to form the Irish Labour Party with others. This was the same James Connolly who was condemned to death for his part in the 1916 Easter Rising. He was so weak that he could not stand up against the wall in Kilmainham Jail to be shot, so he was put in a chair with his hands tied behind his back faced by three “brave” British marksman from about 30 feet in range who shot him through the head. These marksmen were the upholders of British law and imperialism which was at its zenith in this country at that time.
1912 was also the year of the birth of one of Irelands greatest ever hurlers of Castleconnell, Co. Limerick, the late Mick Mackey.
To Tipperary people and especially football followers it will be remembered through the history books with pride as the year the Premier County Junior Footballers are accredited with winning the first All-Ireland Junior Football championship ever played. The final was not played until February 1913 and it took place in Jones Road (now Croke Park). Tipperary had won the Munster final defeating Cork by 5 points to 2 points and faced the Leinster Champions, Louth in the All-Ireland final. Tipperary triumphed on a scoreline of 1-5 to 1-4 and so enshrined their names forever in Tipperary Gaeldom as the winners of the first All-Ireland Junior football final played at this level.
The team was managed and selected by Charlie O’Leary, a Cashel man who was Chairman of the South Tipperary board in 1912. The team was an all South selection as Cashel, Bansha, Killmoyler and Tipperary town were under the jurisdiction of the South Tipperary board as the West Tipperary board were not formed until 1930.
The panel of players were as follows:
Ned and John O’Shea, Lar Gorman, Mick O’Meara, Ned Delahunty, (Fethard), Paddy, Ned and Jim Egan, Frank O’Brien, Nicholas Vaughan, (C.J. Kickhams, Mullinahone), Tom Connors and Mick Devitt, (Cashel), Hugh Kennedy, Jim Quinn, Ricky Burke, (Bansha), Davy Stapleton, Dick Heffernan, (Clonmel), Pat Dwyer, Tom Rodgers, (Tipperary Town), Jerry Shelley and Bill Scully, (Grangemockler).
The hurling equivalent was won on the same day by the Rebel hurlers of Cork who defeated the Leinster champions, Westmeath on a score of Cork 3-6, Westmeath 2-1 thus recording a notable Munster double, the Premier County in football and the Rebel county in hurling.
Yours in sport,