Barney Hennessy R.I.P.
Co.Carlow Football Club (Rugby
Barney also played rugby football for Co.Carlow Football Club at Oak Park. He was one of the most colourful players of this era 1909, he came to the rugby code from the Gaelic football field. He was a player of massive size and endowed with exceptional speed. However, the greatest attribute of this gifted player was his safe hands and his prodigious length of kick either from punt or place which made him part of local legend even in his time. Barney always played at full back, but in the 1912 final he played on the wing, while in the 1913 final he was in the forwards.
Such was his performance in the 1913 cup matches that he came under the eye of the international selectors and was widely tipped to gain an Irish final trial. Unfortunately the First World War intervened, the trial teams were never picked, and so an oppurtunity for a Carlow player to gain an International cap for the club was lost.
Barney is reputed to have scored with the longest kick ever struck in Lansdowne Road.
1905 - Carlow's First Final
Carlow reach the inaugural Leinster Junior Final at the third attempt. Carlow played Wicklow on three occassions to reach the final.
As was the norm in that era the championship ran behind time and all games were played in 1906. March 18, 1906, saw Carlow gain their first inter-county 'result' when by scoring 2-2 in the second-half against Wicklow in Jones Road they forced a 2-3 to 9 points draw.
The replay in Enniscorthy also ended level, Carlow scoring 2-5 to Wicklow's 1-8. It was back to Jones Road on May 20 where a first half performance laid the foundations for their first ever inter-county victory by building a 1-8 to 0-2 half-time lead. The end secured Carlow’s place in the final on a 1-13 to 0-4 score line.
The final took place in Jones Road on July 22 where Westmeath emerged narrow and controversial, 1-4 to 1-3 victors.
To D. Haughney fell the honour of scoring Carlow's first point in a Provincial final and by half-time Carlow led 0-3 to 0-1. On the changeover Carlow launched a series of attacks, eventually breaking through for a goal, this historic first 'major' being registered by James Hennessy.
Westmeath rallied with a brace of points before striking for a controversial goal. The leather went over the sideline but the linesman did not raise his flag. A Westmeath player kicked from across the line to his centre forward who scored a goal while the Carlow backs stood waiting the referee’s decision.
Westmeath then procured the point, which put them ahead for the first time and despite strong Carlow pressure held out to become the inaugural Leinster No. 2 champions.
Carlow - P. Haughney (Captain), John Fennell (goal), D. Farrell, B. Hennessy, William Mulhall, M. Murray, L. Nolan, P. Moran, John Hoare, M. Haughney, M. Callanan, W. Ryan, J. Sleator, E. Webster, D. Haughney, M. Byrne, James Hennessy.
A photo of Carlow - Graigue Young Ireland GFC. 1908-09
I have no names.
Barney played rugby in 1912-1913, and went away to France in 1913 to fight in the First World War.
1912 - Second Leinster Football Final
Carlow contested their second Leinster Junior Football Championship final on October 27, 1912 but again narrow defeat was the outcome, Louth winning by 3-1 to 2-2 in Jones Road.
The Wee County played to the Clonliffe end in opening half and took an early 1-1 to no score advantage.
Michael Leo registered Carlow's opening score, a good point, being his sides only first half 'flag-raiser'. Louth led 3-1 to 0-1 at the break. Mulhall opened the second-half scoring with a Carlow point, his shot hitting the crossbar and going over. Another fierce Carlow attack ended in a goal, the ball entering the net off a Louth player. Carlow, captained by John Millet of Borris, continued to attack and were rewarded with a William Murphy goal. Just two points separated the sides and Carlow were in possession when the final whistle sounded.
Carlow's path to the final was an impressive one, beating Dublin 1-3 to 0-1 in Carlow-Graigue, Kildare 5-5 to 0-1 in Athy and Westmeath 2-7 to 0-2 in Jones Road.
The Carlow team that lined out in the final was: John Millet (captain), William Kennedy, Michael Leo, William Quinn, Michael Cody, Joseph Redmond, James Murphy, P. May (goal), A. Murphy, William Murphy, P. Haughney, C. Haughney, Martin Hogan, William Cooney, Michael Lawler, J. Mulhall, L. Shaw.
1913 - Carlow's First football Title
Carlow's first football title was won in brilliant fashion when on November 30, 1913 at Jones Road the Barrowsiders hammered Meath 3-4 to 0-0 in the Leinster Junior Football Championship final.
On their way to the final Carlow had given promise of their worth, beating Kildare 1-3 to 0-1 in Athy, Dublin and Wicklow, 2-3 to 0-1 in Jones Road.
The Nationalist's final preview stated 'the latest news from the training camp says Captain Mulhall and his men are as fit as fiddles. Training was wound up on Thursday evening by a very fast practice on the football grounds, it being continued for two hours without a stop, so they ought not to lack stamina.
'Players are asked to be beware of their so-called admirers during the weekend. All players to be at the station at 9.45 a.m. sharp. Travellers having GAA badges are requested to bring them for the occasion'.
Jones Road was in good condition for the final and the weather conditions all that could be desired.
From the very first it was realised that Carlow were the superior fifteen, the Carlow players showing remarkable skill and knowledge of the finesse of the game. Andrew Murphy opened the scoring with a clever Carlow goal and following good combination play Willie Murphy tacked on a point. A Hogan point and Donohue goal helped Carlow to a 2-2 to 0-0 interval lead.
A Willie Murphy point opened the second-half scoring and the same player goaled when dashing in to finish the leather to the net after Hogan had tipped over the goalkeeper's head. Hogan himself closed the scoring with a point. News pf the victory was telephoned to Carlow after the match, and was received with the utmost enthusiasm by the local gaels.
It was decided to organise a demonstration in honour of the victory, and when the team and their followers arrived at Carlow that night they were met at the station by an enormous crowd, accompanied by the Graigue Temperance Band. A torchlight procession was then formed and the captain, William Mulhall, was carried shoulder high amidst great enthusiasm, the band playing national and popular airs.
The historic, Graigue powered, Carlow team was: William Mulhall (captain), D. Fitzpatrick, M. Lawler, W. Cooney, J. Millet, James Murphy, M. Hyland, P. Haughney, Andrew Murphy, Michael Haughney, C. Callanan, L. Shaw, M. Hogan, William Murphy, P. Donohue.
1914 - First All Ireland Final
The All-Ireland Junior Football Championship was first introduced in 1913 and Carlow's Leinster final triumph put them straight through to the National decider.
That final, though, did not take place until July 19, 1914, when Carlow faced Kerry in Cork. Carlow travelled overnight to Leeside and their lineout was considerably strengthened by the arrival of the great Barney Hennessy, who along with captain William Mulhall, were the side's outstanding players in the All-Ireland final.
Carlow defended the City end in the opening half. Hogan's grand drop kick led to the Kerry goalman being bowled over, Hogan being credited with Carlow goal.
Haughney and Hogan added Carlow points to help the Leinster champions to a 1-2 to 0-3 interval lead.
Carlow failed to score in the second-half while Kerry registered four crucial points, points that clinched for the Kingdom the inaugural All-Ireland Junior Football Championship.
The first Carlow team to contest an All-Ireland final was: William Mulhall (captain), Michael Lawler, D. Fitzpatrick (goal), J. Millet, William Cooney, Barney Hennessy, J. Murphy, P. Haughney, A. Murphy, D. Hogan, L. Shaw, M. Haughney, M. Hogan, F. Tobin, William Murphy. Subs: M. Regan, C. Callinan, M. Hyland, M. Dawson.
1923 - Second Leinster Football Title
Led by the inspirational Barney Hennessy of Graigue - rated as one of the greatest footballers of the era - Carlow won their second Leinster Junior Football Championship on November 25, 1923, when beating Dublin 2-5 to 1-1 in Croke Park.
Carlow, who returned to junior ranks in 1922 after eight years at senior level, saw off Kilkenny, Louth (2-4 to 2-2 in a replay) and Offaly by 3-4 to 1-2 in Athy en route to the final.
The game got off to a sensational start. Doyle, within firing range, was fouled badly. Up stepped the redoubtable Hennessy and a beautiful centre into the square saw Martin 'Red' Hogan punch to the net inside the first minute.
A great move led to Carlow's second goal. Barney Hennessy sold a dummy to perfection. Instead of the usual skyscraper he short-kicked straight into Willie Hogan's hands, who made no mistake in stretching the lead.
Hennessy (free), Rexie McDonnell, William Doyle and Martin Hogan kicked good Carlow points to give the Barrowsiders a 2-4 to 0-0 interval advantage. 'Red' Hogan added a further point in the second-half during which Dublin scored 1-1 to leave a dashing Carlow outfit deserving seven point winners.
Apart from Hennessy, 'Red' Hogan and Benny Nolan came in for special praise while the backs as a unit were considered 'a grand lot'.
Carlow - Barney Hennessy (captain), William Hogan, E. Wall, Matt Hanley, M. Murray, P. Haughney, Benny Nolan, Tom Dillon, Joe Price, Martin Hogan, William Doyle, John Moore, Rexie McDonnell, Willie Quigley, Tom Dunne.
1924 - First All Ireland Semi Final
Carlow's first experience of an All-Ireland semi-final came in Croke Park on October 19, 1924, when beating Ulster champions, Antrim, 2-3 to 0-3, a game played almost a full 12 months after Carlow were crowned Leinster champions!
By the time the 1923 junior semi-final was played Carlow had exited the Leinster Senior Championship, losing to Wexford 1-2 to 4-1 in Barrett's Park, New Ross. That game took place on April 13 and Carlow were forced to field seven substitutes as 'a heavy fall of snow put the idea that there would be no match into some of the most wanted'!
There were no such problems for the Antrim game. Over 300 travelled on the train from Carlow Railway Station and saw Carlow go into an early 0-2 to 0-1 lead, Dillon and Doyle the point scorers. The sides were level 0-2 apiece at half-time and Moore and an Antrim player exchanged points before Carlow struck for their two goals.
Willie Cooney set a Carlow attack in motion, which ended with Mick Tobin netting and from a Murray clearance, Haughney shot the Barrowsiders second goal. Carlow were the clear masters at this stage with the popular Barney Hennessy here, there and everywhere.
Carlow - B. Hennessy (captain), T. Bolger (goal), W. Hogan, J. Moore, M. Tobin, P. Haughney, W. Cooney, W. Quigley, W. Doyle, W. Murray, B. Nolan, T. Nolan, T. Dillon, M. Hanley, R. McDonnell. Subs: J. Price, L. Hogan, L. Sweeney.
1924 - Second All Ireland Final
On November 9, 1924, Carlow took on Munster champions, Tipperary, in the 1923 All-Ireland Junior Football Championship final at Croke Park. But the Barrowsiders were outpaced and outweighed by the Premier County who emerged 2-6 to 1-1 victors.
Tipperary shot over three points and then broke through for a goal to establish a 1-3 to 0-0 advantage at the break. A very strong wind favoured Carlow on the resumption but a Tipp point, a second goal, and another point saw the Munster men into an unassailable 2-5 to 0-0 lead.
A Tipperary goal-kick was charged down and rebounded straight to the net for a fortuitous Carlow goal and good play led to a Barney Hennessy point for Carlow but Tipperary closed the scoring with a point and condemned Carlow to their second All-Ireland final defeat.
The second Carlow team to play in an All-Ireland final was: Barney Hennessy (captain), William Hogan, Willie Cooney, William Quigley, William Doyle, Mick Tobin, M. Murphy, John Moore, Patrick Haughney, Benny Nolan, Tom Nolan, T. Bolger, Matt Hanley, Rexie McDonnell, Tom Dillon.
A little story about Carlow GAA
1942 - Champions for 24 Hours
In late July 1942 Carlow were Leinster Senior Football champions for 24 hours! Having lost 0-8 to 0-6 to Dublin in the Provincial final in Athy on July 19, Carlow objected.
On Monday, July 27, 1942, the Leinster Council held a meeting to deal with the Carlow objection to Dublin on the grounds that James Joy was a constant rugby player.
Carlow called as a witness, Joseph Fox, a respected member of the Kildare GAA, who stated he saw Joy enter Kilcock Rugby Grounds on April 26th.
Joy admitted being in Kilcock on that date but not playing rugby. He had played rugby but was re-instated in 1941.
On a 6-3 vote, with 4 abstentions, Carlow were awarded the match. An emergency meeting of the Central Council took place the following night, Tuesday, July 28, commencing at 10 p.m. and not finishing until 1 a.m.
The Leinster Council decision was over-ruled as the President of the GAA, Seamus Gardiner (Tipperary), ruled that Mr. Fox's evidence was inadmissible due to the fact that he was not a member of the Vigilance Committee.
Thus, Carlow were Leinster champions for 24 hours!
So to the action on the field of play during 1942. Carlow beat Wexford at the first time of asking in the opening round, winning 0-10 to 0-7 in Kilkenny.
Offaly provided the semi-final opposition in Athy on June 14 and the game ended level, Carlow scoring 0-13 to the Faithful County's 1-10, John Doyle kicking Carlow's last point from a free following a great Jimma Rea run.
In the replay at Portlaoise on June 28 Carlow were leading 1-9 to 0-6 when the game came to a premature finish, the referee blowing the final whistle with minutes remaining.
Confusion ensued as the crowd came on the field. At a Leinster Council meeting in Kilkenny the following Sunday, Carlow were awarded the game as Offaly refused to continue after the referee realised his mistake.
Offaly also received a 6 months suspension. Offaly appealed the result of the game to Central Council but on Friday, July 3, it was ruled out by P. McNamee, though the suspension was lifted.
The Leinster Senior Football Championship final took place in Athy on July 19 and Carlow's gallant effort just failed, going down 0-8 to 0-6. Jim Morris gave a great display at mid-field with Peenie Whelan outstanding in the half back line.
Carlow trailed 0-2 to 0-0 at half-time but points from John Doyle and Jimma Rea had the Barrowsiders level early in the second-half. Quinn and Rea bartered points to leave matters all square after 41 minutes play.
The Metropolitans, through P. O'Connor and T. Banks (2 frees), went 0-6 to 0-3 up by the 47th minute. Carlow rallied strongly and shot three points in a four minute burst from the 50th to the 53rd minutes, Tom 'Drakes' Walker hoisting over two, John Doyle levelling from a free, 0-6 apiece.
Unfortunately, that was to prove Carlow's last score and in the closing seven minutes Banks (his fifth free of the hour) and the one and only Jimmy Joy kicked the title clinching points.
Dublin went on to win the All-Ireland SFC, beating Cavan 1-6 to 1-3 on August 2 in Croke Park in the semi-final before ousting Galway 1-10 to 1-8 in the final.
The Carlow team that came so close to glory was - John Quinlan; Johnny Darcy, Johnny Lawler, Paddy Farrell; Peenie Whelan, Tom Donohue, Lar Moran; Jim Morris, Luke Kelly; John Moore, Tom Walker, Willie Hosey; Micky Byrne, John Doyle, Jimma Rea.
Graiguecullen, a club famous for giving the football world Tommy Murphy, the Boy Wonder, have paraded a host of great players down the years with Murphy’s colleagues Michael ‘Cuthchie’ Haughney and Jim Slator among the county’s all-time greats as is Willie Brennan of a later era while Willie’s son, Barry, maintained Graiguecullen proud record of having player involvement with all Laois Leinster SFC winning teams since 1936.
One of Graiguecullen’s most legendary footballers of all was the great Barney Hennessy and a reporter with the Laois Nationalist stated in January 1916 “a special word of praise is due to the redoubtable Barney whom all Gaels in the county were glad to see back safe and sound after doing his best for 15 months in the trenches”. The spectre of World War I was all too clear.
Nine years later things are far more tranquil as the Laois Nationalist ahead of the 1925 County final against Milford in Bagenalstown, tells us “cars will leave bridge at 2 o’clock sharp. The boating excursion in connection with the game will leave Webster’s Lock at 10 o’clock sharp and return from Bagenalstown at 6 o’clock”.
The Graiguecullen panel that day was: Bill Quigley (Capt), Willie Hogan, Christy Townsend, Barney Hennessy, Mickie Tobin, Joe Price, John Moore, P Haughney, John Byrne, Ned Byrne, John Farrell, Martin Farrell, Mickie Comerford, John McDarby, M Hogan, C Callanan, M Haughney, J Scully, J Slator, M Hennessy.
Alas, the following year’s County final was not so peaceful, and exit stage left went Graiguecullen from the Carlow GAA scene. Their impact in Laois was huge, proof of which can be gauged from the fact that a sensational senior/minor championship double was completed on six occasions between 1939 and 1949. Amazingly, the ’49 double was the end of the glory days, only one title won since in each grade, that senior win of 1965 and the minor success of 1992.
Around about this time 1926 St. Clares Church (St.Annes as it was known then) was purchased by the late Very Rev, James Fogarty, P.P. Graiguecullen, taken down stone for stone and re-erected in Graiguecullen on what once was Haughton property.
St. Clare's Church Graiguecullen, click on this link to view history -
I would like to pay tribute to
Mr Michael J Brennan
whom I contacted by e-mail and
who has allowed me to link to.
Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)
HERE IS A SMALL PROFILE OF MICHAEL
THAT I TOOK FROM HIS SITE
(My name is Michael J.Brennan)
I am the County Carlow Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGPTM) administrator and coordinator.
This website www.igp-web.com is dedicated to all Carlovian's at home and around the world for without their generous contributions that they have all made to this website, it would not have become one of the largest Irish County websites that it is today.
The aim is to bring to life various elements of the Carlow communities by way of its people, heritage, culture and arts and to acknowledge those who have contributed to its history both past and present. Provide historical information about the county and it's records within the county, which we hope will assist people trace their ancestors and enlighten people, young and old, about this great Irish county of Carlow. It also means that the material is archived for its future generations.
The following web addresses make great reading for Carlow and Laois. These addresses were kindly sent by e-mail to me from Michael J Brennan. Our members should visit and enter the Carlow site where there is a host of information.
Carlow Website: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlcar2/
My Laois Page: http://freepages.family.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mjbrennan/index.htm
Below is a picture taken in 1927 when Carlow-Graigue returned to play football in Laoise.
Members please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any interesting photos etc. to upload to our site. Also our members should visit
and go to the Carlow site, the site offers fantastic information about Carlow and you may link to Barney Hennessy Memorial Golf Society from this site.