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Local Studies Department

All-Ireland Final

Leinster Leader, Saturday 6th October 1928.





After the match when Mr. Tom Lawler, the President of the County Board, and Mr. Tim Clarke, the Co. Secretary, brought the team back to their hotel for dinner they were accorded an enthusiastic welcome by a dense crowd which had assembled in and around the building. Photographers were busy for some time and it was a considerable length before the Kildare players extricated themselves from the hands of their enthusiastic admirers.

In the large dining-room the centre of the table was occupied by the Sam Maguire Cup which was much admired by all present. The cup is of very large dimensions and is a beautiful specimen of the silversmiths' art. It commemorates the memory of a noted Gael and great Irishman who was a main Pillar of the Irish movement in England for many years. The cup is a perpetual one and will be held each year by the All-Ireland Senior Football Champions.

Mr. R. O'Keeffe, President of the Leinster Council G.A.A. (who was introduced by Mr. Lawler) said that he came there for the purpose of congratulating the Kildare Gaels on winning the premier football honour for their county, and for Leinster. He knew the Kildare Gaels for a long time and what he knew of them was altogether to their credit. They were an honour to Leinster. They played the game in a great, manly spirit and they were a credit to His Lordship, the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, who was present at the match to do them honour. He hoped his Lordship's presence that day would be an incentive to the youth and residents generally of his diocese to play and patronise the games of the Gael, which ought to be supported by all classes of Irishmen (applause).

Their win that day was a narrow one, but a one point victory was better than a forty point victory in an All-Ireland Final, and everyone admired the way in which the Kildare players had gone all out, right up to the final whistle. They honoured the Cavan players also for the great and plucky fight they had put up (loud applause). The Gaels of Kildare were an honour to the G.A.A. and he was proud of them. He wished them one and all a happy and successful future with more All Ireland honours to come (loud applause).

Mr. Tom Lawler, on behalf of the Kildare Gaels, thanked Mr. O'Keeffe for his kind remarks. As President of the Leinster Council Mr. O'Keeffe had always displayed a keen interest in the progress of the Kildare team, and had always given the Kildare representatives a fair cut of the whip (applause). As one of the Kildare delegates he could state that Mr. O'Keeffe always gave the representations they put forward a fair show, and there was a complete absence of anything in the nature of wire-pulling (applause). Everything was above board, and whilst Mr. O'Keeffe was President that was bound to remain so. He again thanked Mr. O'Keeffe for his very kind remarks (applause).
The toast of the Chairmen of the Leinster Council and of the Kildare County Board was proposed by Mr. Tommy Kelly, and enthusiastically honoured.

Mr. Willie Gannon, Captain of the Kildare team, said that he felt a duty devolved upon him as captain, but before carrying it out he would like to say how proud he was that day to be captain of the Kildare All-Ireland team and the team that also held the magnificent cup there before them (applause). He hoped that next year they would still hold the championship and the cup (applause). If they continued working smoothly along as they were doing he did not see why they should not be able to win them for the next three years (applause). He for one, and he felt that they were all of the same mind, was willing to stand down from the team at any time that the interest of the county demanded it, and that a better man was available. If they were celebrating a great victory that day it was mainly due to men like Tom Lawler, their president (applause) Tim Clarke, their Secretary (applause); Tommy Kelly (applause), and men like that who helped and encouraged them on every possible occasion (applause). No one knew all that these men had done for them, and he proposed a toast of their health.

The toast was honoured amidst loud and prolonged applause.

In response to deafening demands for "Tim! Tim!" Mr. Tim Clarke, the Co. Secretary for Kildare, thanked the captain for his very kind remarks and said that it was a great honour for him to be Secretary of the county which produced such great footballers. Their Captain was one who had earned the confidence of every footballer and was one of the most respected and beloved of the Gaels produced by Kildare (applause). His captaincy of the team which had culminated in the present great success, was all that could be desired. He fully reciprocated the Captain's hopes for the future, and believed that they could be brought about if the players were determined to achieve the task (applause). Their team was second to none, and their defeat by Kerry in the National League which deprived them of an unbeaten record, was mostly in the nature of a "snap." That was not said in any disparaging sense. The defeat might have had its good side by making them more careful on this occasion (applause). With the material available for filling up the gaps in the team he had no doubt that if all went well they would win the championship in 1929-30-and 31 (applause), and thus beat the record claimed by Wexford.

Mr. Tom Lawler, President of the Co. Board, who was enthusiastically received, said that he desired to offer his heartiest congratulations to the team on their great success. He felt honoured at being their Chairman- Chairman of the county that had produced what was the best football team in Ireland for some years (applause). In G.A.A. circles all over Ireland the team was known as more even than that. It was described as a team of gentlemen on and off the field (applause). It was said that the Gaels of Kildare were a credit to the Association, or to any body they were attached to. Their sportsmanship on the field and their conduct off the field was creditable to any body of young men in the country (applause). He had travelled all over Ireland with the team and it was a pleasure to do so. If there was rough play they never retaliated or stooped to any unsporting tactics. The old policy of "take the man' had no place in their rules of play. He once more heartily congratulated them on their great victory, and whether their Chairman or not his interest in the Kildare team would never be less than now. He hoped, if God spared him, that next year he would be sitting there again celebrating a similar victory with just as great an interest as now (applause).

Mr A. Farlong, Mr. Joe Stynes and Mr. Eddie O'Neill, both of Kildare, but now resident in America, said that on behalf of the Kildare men in the States they were commissioned to convey heartiest congratulations to the Kildare players and assue them of the whole-hearted interest their American fellow-countrymen followed their progress in the G.A.A., and with what pride they hailed their repeated victories (applause).

Sergt. Mick O'Reilly, A.M.G., Curragh, trainer of the Kildare team, said that no one felt more proud than he did that day. They had been up against a great and a well-trained team in the Cavan men (applause), and if they had not been fully trained, a fact due to the assistance they had given him in his efforts, they would not have been able to cope with the Cavan representatives. He hoped that they would persevere in their training and that they would retain the honours they had won in future contests. Every man on the team would do the same training work to attain perfection. Curtis had come on at the last moment and given of his best under great difficulties (applause). His advice to them would be-"Keep fit and keep the flag flying" (applause).

Mr. Sean Ryan solr., Chairman of the Central Council, who was cordially received, said that he would like to offer them his best congratulations on their great victory. Their actions on and off the field were always a credit to the organisation (applause). Kildare was one of the best teams the G.A.A. ever had (applause). All he was sorry for was that both teams could not win. (hear, hear). Cavan was equally good (applause) and each man did his piece. As long as the G.A.A could boast of teams like these they need never fear any external forces (applause). He was proud of the Kildare team and heartily congratulated them upon their great victory (applause).

Leinster Leader, Saturday 6th October 1928.

Back to 1928 All-Ireland Football Championship