Standing ovation for Haughey

In a lengthy address to the huge attendance at Saturday night’s gala Hurling Presentations Night, recently retired County Board secretary Johnny Haughey spoke of his love for the GAA and his pride in the feats of Roscommon hurlers in 2007.    In a speech which earned a spontaneous standing ovation, Mr. Haughey said that the GAA owed him nothing – and he concluded by wishing the organisation and all involved in it continued success in the future.    Mr. Haughey, who served as Roscommon County Hurling Board secretary for fifty-five years up to his retirement late last year, said that he was honoured to have been selected to present special medals to the night’s guests of honour, the Roscommon team which won the 1965 All-Ireland Junior title.    Mr. Haughey said the stars of 1965 were a wonderful team and added that he remembers the final in St. Coman’s Park with great fondness. He wished to acknowledge the role of players who had since passed on and also that of people like the late Gerry Dolan (team trainer) and Tommy Dolan and Jim Waldron.    Mr. Haughey said that part of the reason there was such a huge crowd at the 1965 final was because people had come from different parts of Ireland to see the great Gerry O’Malley finally secure an All-Ireland medal.    Complimenting Roscommon on a ‘deserved if narrow’ win over a very good Warwickshire team in 1965, Mr. Haughey thanked all concerned for ‘the very happy memories.’    The Athleague man went on to thank the various County Board officials he had worked with over the years for all their co-operation. Chairpersons he had worked with included the current official, Brian McDonnell, as well as Gerry O’Malley and Tommy Healy, the latter having held office for 27 years. He had worked with four treasurers and wished to single out the current holder of that position, Gerry Keane, who he said was great to work with.    Continuing in this vein, Mr. Haughey singled out Phonsie Tully for special mention, commenting that the work, much of it unseen, that he has done for Roscommon hurling for twenty-five or thirty years had not always been appreciated.    ‘We had some poor times, but we had some great times. I appreciate what the GAA did for me. To the young players here, I say, something along the lines of what John F. Kennedy said