1963 - Resurgence

Resurgence (by Tom Barry)


For the first and only time in 1963 a non-club side won the Dublin Senior Hurling Championship.  This was the John Howard trained Dublin Junior Board Selection.  Three clubs Crokes, Aer Corps and Grocers made up the team.  Each of these played in the Senior Hurling League and Intermediate Championship.  With the trainer, eight players and a number of substitutes Crokes were very definitely the “majority shareholders”.  Five of the Crokes players were senior intercounty championship men – Maher (Kilkenny), Cooney and Bermingham for Dublin and Regan and Fox for Galway.  The remainder also had intercounty experience.


The Board Selection took two games to beat Faughs in the semi-final, winning the reply by 5-10 to 3-8.  Young Irelands were defeated by a 4-13 to 2-6 margin in the final.  “The Gaelic Athletic Association in Dublin 1884-2000” p 584 informs us “an elusive Mick Bermingham with 1-9 and John Sheils with three goals laid the foundations ……. and Brian Cooney, another Dublin county player, starred at midfield.”  Cooney and Fox scored a point apiece.




Mickey Whelan (Grocer's), John Maher (Crokes), Alex Cross (Aer Corps), Tommy Burke (Aer Corps or Grocer's?), Sean O'Meara (Aer Corps), Paddy Fox (Crokes), Mick O'Brien (Aer Corps), Brian Cooney (Crokes), Billy Byrne (Crokes), Mick Regan (Crokes), PJ Lally (Grocer's), Connie Walsh (Aer Corps), Jimmy Sheiles (Crokes), Mattie Fox (Crokes), Mick Bermingham (Crokes).  Subs: Sean Ryan (Crokes), W Byrne (Crokes), Tommy O'Connor (Good Counsel), Pat Corcoran (Good Counsel), ?  unidentified (from St Ita's Portrane), James Kenny (Kickhams), Sean Maher (Grocer's), Frank Berry (Whitehall Colmcille's), Fintan Cooney (Aer Corps), Ted Kiely (Aer Corps), Stephen Kenny (Crokes).


A short time later Crokes clinched the Intermediate crown, with a 5-12 to 1-9 victory over the airmen “in a most impressive fashion at Croke Park.”  The Evening Herald of 3rd November 1963 singled out one player saying “it was fitting one of the longest serving members of the club, John Howard, should play an outstanding role …………  Others to shine were Cooney, M Fox and Ryan.”


The Aer Corps players cannot have been too begrudging of their conquerors as, following their disbandment in 1965, three of them Connie Walsh, Mick O’Brien and Fintan Cooney (brother of Brian) were to gain senior championship medals with Crokes in 1966.