Cathaoirleach Dolores Minogue has thanked everyone who helped make Wednesday’s tree planting in honour of Louth’s 1957 All-Ireland Football Championship winning team a success – after scores of people braved the cold to honour the great team yesterday afternoon.
Mingoue first raised the idea of a tree planting to pay tribute to the team on the 60th anniversary of the triumph at the Ardee Municipal District committee meeting in December – but here idea was shot down by fellow councillors who did not back the idea.
However, the Fine Gael councillor pressed ahead with making the commemoration happen – and soon got the backing of local groups, the Ardee public and the GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghaíl. He brought the Sam Maguire cup to the town on his visit for the event on Wednesday.
“We faced many barriers in making today happen but I would like to acknowledge that the president accepted our invite on the first phone call. We are very honoured,” Minogue said in her speech to the crowd on Market Street yesterday.
“It was a struggle to bring this idea to fruition but the support and encouragement shown by the Ardee Traders, Ardee St Marys, members of the team of 1957 and the general public – they like me see the significance of the tree – and it will flourish here in Ardee in memory of the 1957 tree of whom we as a county are so proud of.”
The local councillor thanked everyone who contributed to the day. “I would like to Mick and David Arthur’s Garden centre for sponsoring the tree and Brian Muldoons & Sons for sponsoring light refreshments for everyone here,” she said.
Thanks were also expressed to Brendan Matthews of Ardee Tidy Towns for his help in the tree planting, Father Peter Murphy who was on hand to bless the tree at the ceremony also and local community workers who helped patrol the crowd.
“Thanks also to Micky McCreanor who sang the national anthem and he also came up to Muldoons and sang The Turfman from Ardee,” she added. The Turfman from Ardee is a famous hit from Ardee St Marys man and captain of the 1957 Louth team – Dermot O’Brien.
“It went so well and everyone was so happy. It means so much to them because they’re a wee family on their own,” she told ThisIsArdee.ie.
“I’d also like to give a huge thanks to the President. He was absolutely fabulous. He was very calm and we was excellent with the children from autism class at the Community School. He never rushed anybody.
“Back at Muldoons we sang Happy Birthday to Patsy Coleman, who was celebrating his 81st. That was nice, the whole crowd in Muldoons. It was a community event at the end of the day. People were absolutely delighted.”
Ardee Traders Association chairman Hughie O’Neill singled out Minogue for praise, saying her hard work and dedication was the reason why the great team were being remembered and commemorated.
“I would like to congratulate Dolores on her persistence and determination to commemorate the Louth team on this their 60th anniversary of the win. On behalf of the Ardee Traders Association, it’s great to see this tree planted here for times to come,” he said.
After the ceremony and celebrations in the town, GAA President O’Fearghail paid a visit to Ardee St Marys club house where chairman Mickey Rooney and committee members showed him their top class facilities and talked him through their development plans for the club.
With Sam Maguire and Patsy Coleman nearby, the club also presented him with his very own honourary seat in their newly developed stand at Pairc Mhuire (pictured below).