The plaque displayed at the tree planted to honour the Louth team that won the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship 60 years ago has been installed.
The tree, planted just north of Hatch’s Castle on Market Street back in February, is the brainchild of Fine Gael councillor Dolores Minogue who during her term as Cathaoirleach of the Ardee Municipal District wanted to honour the great Louth team of 1957, which had a large Ardee-contingent.
GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghaíl – along with the Sam Maguire itself – was among those in attendance on the day as the tree was planted, alongside members of the team including Patsy Coleman, Jim McArdle, Jim Roe, Jim McDonnell, Kevin Beahan, Sean Og Flood and Frank Lynch.
Players who are no longer with us, such as Ollie Reilly (Hunterstown Rovers), Stephen White (Cooley Kickhams) and captain Dermot O’Brien of Ardee St Marys, were represented at the event by family members. Among those to speak to a large crowd assembled in Ardee on the day were Ó Fearghaíl, Louth GAA County Board Chairman Des Halpenny and Ardee St Marys chairman Mickey Rooney.
The triumph is closely associated with Mid-Louth. Infact, there were eight players based in the area part of the panel that beat Cork 1-09 to 1-07 at Croke Park that year – Beahan, Coleman, O’Brien, Roe, Barney McCoy and Aidan Magennis of Ardee St Marys were joined by Reilly (Hunterstown Rovers) and Tom Conlon (Stabannon Parnells).
Expressing her delight that the plaque could now be added to the tree and complete the tribute to the 1957 heroes, Minogue told ThisIsArdee.ie, “I’m delighted to see that the plaque has been installed and what a great time for it to happen on the anniversary of the 60 years since Louth won.
“We had a great day at the planting of the tree on the 1st of Feb, where I got to witness the pride that still lives with the team of 57 and their families,” she continues. I hope that the 57 team are as proud of this plaque as the people of Ardee are.
“Speaking with vice captain Patsy Coleman, Dermot O’Brien’s son Ronan and Ollie Reilly’s son Colum they are delighted that this tree is here in it’s rightful place Ardee town were seven of the team hailed from.
“I would like to once again thank Ardee Traders, Ardee St Mary’s and Mick Arthur who sponsored the tree, Brendan Mathews, Tom Muldoon and Tony Kane Engineers for their full support on the day,” Minogue added.
The 1957 team will also be honoured at this year’s senior football county final and Louth GAA have announced that they will also be celebrated at the county’s annual awards evening at the Four Seasons Hotel in Carlingford on November 3rd. The 60th anniversary of the ’57 final will take place a week today on Friday September 22nd.