Queens mark first Sigerson success

December 2nd, 2008

qub-1958-sigerson-team.jpgGAA President to attend special dinner to honour 1958 Sigerson champions

Event: Dinner to mark the 50th Anniversary of Queen’s University’s victory in the 1958 Sigerson Cup
When: Saturday, 13th December 2008 at 7.00pm
Where: Queen’s University, Belfast

GAA President Nickey Brennan will attend a special dinner in Belfast on Saturday, 13th December to mark the 50th anniversary of Queen’s University’s first Sigerson Cup success.  He will be joined by the surviving members of that team and a number of other guests, including some members of the losing UCD side of ’58.

The Sigerson Cup is the premier intervarsity sports competition in Ireland.

The Queen’s success of 50 years ago precipitated the eventual breakthrough of Down in 1960, and came only months after Derry had competed in the All-Ireland final.

Queen’s have since won the competition another seven times, most recently in 2007.

The 1958 team featured a number of intercounty stars of the time, including Seán O’Neill of Down who would later win three All-Irelands, two Allstars and a place on the GAA Team of the Millennium and is regarded as the greatest of Ulster’s Gaelic Footballers.

The late Paddy O’Hara (Antrim) who passed away in August, was manager of the successful team. O’Hara was a star of the Ulster championship winning Antrim sides of 1946 and 1951.

Other members of the team included Phil Stuart, Peter Smith, Leo O’Neill, Gerry O’Neill and Tom Scullion, all of whom had featured for Derry in the 1958 All-Ireland final.  Leo and Gerry O’Neill are brothers of Martin O’Neill (the current Aston Villa manager).

Two of the victorious side have passed on – Christy Mallon (Tyrone) and Mick Brewster of Fermanagh (whose sons Paul and Tom have starred for Fermanagh and both were Sigerson Cup winners with Queen’s – Paul as captain in 1993 and Tom in 2000).

Queen’s overcame an eleven-point half-time deficit in the 1958 Sigerson Cup final to draw level with UCD on the stroke of full-time, thanks to a last gasp Phil Stuart goal.  The replay took place in Ballybay, Co Monaghan in February 1959.  Once again, QUB trailed at the break, this time by six points.  But they eventually rallied with Tom Scullion scoring the winner in a 0-10 to 0-9 victory.

The Golden Jubilee dinner will be hosted by the Queen’s University GAA Past Members’ Union.

John Devaney, QUB GAA PMU Chairman, said that “it is a welcome opportunity to honour the team that pioneered Queens’ success in the Sigerson Cup.  The success in 1958 was a milestone achievement, not just for the GAA at the university, but also in terms of its impact across Ulster”.

Mr Devaney added that “Paddy O’Hara and the members of the ’58 side have been iconic figures for the hundreds who have represented Queen’s in the Sigerson Cup ever since.  The surviving members of the team, as well as representative of the Mallon and Brewster families, will be travelling to this event from across Ulster and Ireland so it should be a special occasion”.

Further details on the Golden Jubilee dinner are available from Karl Oakes, QUB GAA PMU Secretary at 02890387688 or k.oakes@qub.ac.uk.

PHOTOGRAPH ENCLOSED:

Back Row (l-r):             Seán O’Kane, Peter Smith, Christy Mallon (RIP), Phil Stuart, Seán O’Neill, Patsy McDonald, Seamus McMahon, Henry McRory

Middle Row (l-r):          John O’Neill, Tom Scullion, Barney McNally, Paddy McGuckian, Mick Brewster (RIP), Frank Higgins, Gerry O’Neill, Charlie Murphy, Leo O’Neill, Eamonn Flanigan

Front Row (l-r):            Dessie O’Rourke, Kevin Halpenny, Paddy O’Hara (RIP), Hugh O’Kane (Captain), Dr John Macaulay (RIP), Seamus Mallon, Brendan Donaghy

CONTACT:
Mr Karl Oakes
Secretary
Queen’s University GAA Past Members’ Union
Tel       + 44 (0)2890 387688
Mob     + 44 (0) 7841235877
Email    k.oakes@qub.ac.uk