Seán óg O Ceallacháin [RIP]
The Friends of Dublin Hurling lost a true friend when one of our patrons Seán Óg Ó Ceallacháin sadly passed away on Sunday February 17th 2013.
When our committee was originally set up one of the first names put forward as patron was Seán and he was delighted to accept. In 2008 Seán was presented with FODH Hall of Fame Award.
Even though he was born in Newcastlewest in Limerick in 1923, Seán was true legend in Dublin hurling. He was reared in Fairview and went to school in Scoil Colmcille and attended secondary school in Scoil Mhuire. His first club was St. Vincent’s and as an underage player he moved to Eoghan Ruadh where he won three minor county titles.
Seán had done it all – represented Dublin at hurling and football at minor and senior inter-county level, played soccer, cricket, snooker and golf at a very high level. He was an accomplished actor and playwright. He was also a former All-Ireland final referee.
When RTE began televising the All-Ireland finals in the 1960’s Seán was chosen to be one of the first commentators and when the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali or Cassius Clay as he was then known travelled to London to fight Henry Cooper Seán was trusted by RTE to conduct an interview with the greatest boxer of all time.
In Ireland, the 2nd World War was known as the Emergency. In 1944 Seán took this literally as he believed there was a special emergency going on in Mongahan hurling and Seán being a helpful man wanted to help out.
Seán along with a couple of Eoghan Ruadh hurlers decided to assist Monaghan in the Ulster Senior Hurling Championship.
They played Down in the semi-final and beat them by 3 points which was a major shock. They then went on to play Antrim in the final and actually drew with them, which was a greater shock.
But needless to say the draw aroused some suspicion in high places in Antrim GAA and they began to enquire into the much improved Monaghan hurlers. In light of this attention a few of the lads, including Seán, decided that it was best not to travel for the replay. Of course without all of the helpers from Eoghan Ruadh Monaghan were just not good enough and lost easily to Antrim.
Interestingly, Seán’s brother Seamus, who was one of the helpers, played so well that one of the Antrim selectors promised him a place on the following year’s Ulster Railway Cup team.
In 1946 Seán captained Eoghan Ruadh to win the Dublin Senior League and the Boland Cup. In 1948 he played half forward on the Dublin team that lost to Waterford in the All-Ireland Senior hurling final. He won three Leinster senior hurling medals in 1944, 1948 and 1952.
Seán presented the Gaelic Sports Results show which became the longest running radio show in the world from 1953 to 2011. Our sincere condolences to his son and daughters.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.