Foley brothers’ contribution to Dublin and Leinster recalled at St Vincent’s jersey presentation
Former Dublin great Lar Foley and his brother Des were honoured by St Vincent’s on St Patrick’s Day.
By RORY KERR
Tuesday March 27 2012
THERE wasn’t room to swing a hurl at the hallowed St Vincent’s Clubhouse at Marino last Saturday week as the famed Dublin Northside club proudly took ownership of the two jersey worn by Des and Lar Foley for Leinster fifty years ago.
March 17th 1962 marked a momentous day in the history of the games as Des became the first player to line out and win gold in consecutive games for Leinster in both hurling and football, a feat that has never been achieved since.
The Railway Cup games at Croke Park drew particular interest from Foley’s extended family clan where Des’s brother-in-law then based in Connecticut travelled 100 miles just to hear a radio broadcast of the game. One of those to play that day with Des (brother Lar lined out for the footballers) was Vincent’s team mate Mickey Whelan who remembers it fondly. ‘When we were going out onto the pitch, he had to go in and get a cup of tea and a biscuit before he went out playing the second game. ‘At that stage it was a very big exertion because the teams wouldn’t have been as fit as they are today. ‘I speak comparatively because they (Des and Lar) were hard workers.
They were farmers who were in the peak of their condition then.’ Both Des and Lar who also represented Ireland in shooting were two of five brothers in the family and sisters Pat and Betty were both there on the day to witness the handing over of the jerseys. The Foleys had very strong Fingal connections through their farming background in Kinsealy and surviving sisters Betty and Pat were both in attendance to witness the ceremonial handing over of the jerseys. And Betty who travelled up from Cork had some fond memories of watching her two brothers in action. ‘Des played midfield and he would have played against Mick O’connell. I remember the match where Liam (Lar) ran all the way from full back to score a goal against Kerry. ‘But the thing I remember most is the comradeship between Kerry and Dublin and it lasted forever.’ And sister Pat also remembers Des for being a very modest person. ‘Des was a very shy man. If ever there was any made fuss about him he would have the look of a man who didn’t want to be there.
But he always used to enthuse about players on the other team.’ Des captained Dublin to an All Ireland football success over Galway in 1963 while brother Lar, captured the Texaco Footballer of the year in 1963. And Whelan having played with both at Vincents had great memories of the two. ‘I played with Des for all of his career. He was a phenomenal fielder of the ball. ‘He had some beautiful touches in hurling. He could take a ball out of the sky but he had great stick work as well and could score from long distance. ‘Lar was a brilliant hurler as well. He played in an Ail-ireland final with Des where they were unlucky to lose to Tipperary.’
– RORY KERR