Longford Gaelic Stats
Senior Football Championship

Seán Connolly Cup

The Longford Senior Football Championships has been played 106 times between 1890 and 2022, including one Championship started but not finished in 1891. The Seán Connolly cup has been presented to the winner of the Longford Senior Football Championship since 1960. The 2022 competition was the 106th played and 105th completed since 1890, and marked the 62nd year that the Connolly Cup was presented to the winner. The names of the winning captains from 1960 to 2022 are listed below. Shane Mulligan, Dermot Brady and Frank McNamee all got their hands on the cup on three occasions, while Paddy Hanrahan holds the record for having raised the cup on four occasions, and also has the distinction, as an accomplished musician, of having a hit record in Ireland’s Top Ten in the 1960’s. Mark Mimnagh (1995) and Daniel Mimnagh (2020) are the only father-son combo to lift the cup, while Enda (2003) and Paul (2009) Barden are the only brothers to have done so. The cup is identical in design to the St. Andrews Links golf trophy in Scotland (🔗 link)

A motion (Motion #4) was proposed at the Longford GAA Convention in January 1960 by Éire Óg (Drumlish) & Killoe Young Emmets clubs that the County Committee provide a cup for the Senior Championship competition. Mr. Eivers of the Éire Óg club said that the Senior Championship was the premier competition in the county and it was the opinion of many people that a cup should go to the winners as well as medals. The motion was agreed to. The new trophy was presented for the first time to the winners of the 1960 decider, and in November of that year the cup was given it’s new name. The Corn Seán Uí Chonghaile has been presented to the winners of the Longford Senior Football Championships every year since. In presenting the cup to the Killoe captain Billy Morgan in September 1960, the County Chairman Liam Hastings (who himself won three titles with Longford Slashers in 1950’s) stated:

“Everyone knows who I would like to see winning the cup. However, it is a very great pleasure to present the new trophy to a man who has, not alone given great service to the parish team, but also to the county team”.

In 2010, John Greene wrote the following on the purchase of the Connolly Cup in that years county final match programme:

Mattie Fox from the Seán Connollys club was the County Secretary and was charged with the task of purchasing the new cup. At that time, and until the early 2000’s the County Board purchased their championship medals from John Miller and Sons, Duke Street, Dublin. This is the same jewelers where the All-Ireland medals were purchased too. Mattie contacted the manager Des O’Donnell and ordered a cup off him that would be a fitting trophy for the senior football championship. Des told Mattie that he had a beautiful cup which had been purchased by the Feis Áth Cliath committee to be presented to the best overall dancer at the Feis, but there was then a major split and the Feis never took place. Des was willing to sell the cup at a reasonable price as it had been engraved, and he assured Mattie that he could blank that out and engrave over it again. The deal was done and the cup purchased. In the week leading up to the final of 1960 however, the cup was forgotten about and it was only at the last minute the realisation came that the cup was still in Millers. Fortunately, there was a meeting of the Leinster Council in Dublin on the Saturday night and Longford’s delegates Seamus Greene and Jimmy O’Brien were attending and were going by hackney driven by Tommy Harold. Mattie arranged to leave the cup in Barry’s hotel and it was collected there; on the way home the boys decided to drop into Finn’s public house in Kilcock for a drink and brought the cup with them into the pub. It was a Saturday night so the pub was full and they informed all and sundry that they were coming from the dogs in Harold’s Cross and that their greyhound had won this magnificent trophy. The cup was duly filled several times and a great night was had by all. The following day the 1960 County Final took place between Killoe and Longford Slashers with Killoe coming out on top. It was a great honour for winning captain Billy Morgan to be the first man to receive the Cup – after a major polishing overnight!

It is a little known fact that the cup was not yet named when it was presented to Billy Morgan after the 1960 county final. In November 1960 a proposal to the Longford County Board from Mattie Fox was adopted, naming the cup in honour of his fellow clubman Seán Connolly, a Clonbroney native and former Senior Championship winner with Clonbroney Camlin Rovers (now Seán Connollys) in 1919, and who was synonymous with the War of Independence as Officer Commanding the Longford Brigade. [📷 Link]

Image: Longford Historical Society
Image: Syl Healy (2019)

Seán Connolly was born in the townland of France near the village of Ballinalee, the second of seven children of John and Margaret Connolly. He joined the Irish Volunteers in 1917 and rose to the rank of Vice Commandant of the North Longford 1st Battalion. He was the principal organiser of and strategist behind the attacks on R.I.C. Barracks at Drumlish, Edgeworthstown, Ballinamuck, Ballymahon and Arva during the War of Independence. Connolly was transferred to Roscommon/Leitrim district on orders from HQ and continued the policy of attacking R.I.C. Barracks. When Michael Collins ordered Connolly into Leitrim, he warned that it was “the most treacherous county in Ireland”. His warning was well founded.

As Connolly was running a training camp at Selton Hill in early 1921, his position was made known to the RIC. The RIC District Inspector had been alerted to Connolly’s position by a local doctor who had served in the British Army. A large force of RIC and Auxiliaries, based in Mohill, surrounded and then attacked the camp on 11 March. A total of six IRA volunteers were killed. The RIC suffered no losses. The IRA dead were Seán Connolly from Longford, Seamus Wrynne, Joseph O’Beirne, John Reilly, Joseph Reilly, and Capt ME Baxter. Seán was interred in Clonbroney Graveyard. The Cavalry Barracks in Longford and the GAA club in Clonbroney are named in his honour. The centenary of his death was marked on 11th March 2021.

Senior Football Championship

Winners & Captains

YearConnolly Cup WinnerWinning Captain
2022ColmcilleJack Macken
2021Mullinalaghta St. ColumbasDonal McElligott
2020Killoe Young EmmetsDaniel Mimnagh
2019Killoe Young EmmetsSeán McCormack
2018Mullinalaghta St. ColumbasShane Mulligan
2017Mullinalaghta St. ColumbasShane Mulligan
2016Mullinalaghta St. ColumbasShane Mulligan
2015Killoe Young EmmetsMichael Quinn
2014Killoe Young EmmetsJoe McCormack
2013Longford SlashersDermot Brady
2012Killoe Young EmmetsJoe McCormack
2011Longford SlashersDermot Brady
2010Longford SlashersDermot Brady
2009ClonguishPaul Barden
2008ColmcilleFrancis Kavanagh
2007DromardPadraig Jones
2006AbbeylaraDonal Ledwith
2005DromardCathal Conefrey
2004ClonguishBrendan Burke
2003ClonguishEnda Barden
2002BallymahonKen Cooney
2001Fr. Manning GaelsDavid Hannify
2000AbbeylaraNiall Sheridan
1999DromardCathal Conefrey
1998Fr. Manning GaelsFrank McNamee
1997Fr. Manning GaelsFrank McNamee
1996Fr. Manning GaelsFrank McNamee
1995Killoe Young EmmetsMark Mimnagh
1994Longford SlashersNiall Caslin
1993Killoe Young EmmetsJohn McCormack
1992MostrimGerry Lynn
1991Longford SlashersDessie Barry
1990Longford SlashersDessie Barry
1989Longford SlashersDermot Caslin
1988Killoe Young EmmetsDeclan Rowley
1987Ardagh St. PatricksSean Kiernan
1986CashelFrank Carberry
1985MostrimMickey O'Hara
1984CashelGerry Farrell
1983CashelPeter Bannon
1982St. Marys GranardPadraig Kearney
1981ClonguishJohn Blessing
1980Longford SlashersJohn Murphy
1979Longford SlashersJohn Murphy
1978Ardagh St. PatricksJJ Orohoe
1977CashelMike Kenny
1976RathclinePat McCormack
1975Longford SlashersHal Carey
1974MostrimDeclan Dockery
1973ClonguishKevin Doyle
1972ClonguishSeamus Flynn
1971Longford SlashersAlex Baxter
1970St. Marys GranardCharlie Martin
1969ClonguishPat Burke
1968ClonguishSeamus Flynn
1967St. Marys GranardMartin Clyne
1966St. Marys GranardSeán O'Rourke
1965ClonguishPaddy Hanrahan
1964ClonguishPaddy Hanrahan
1963ClonguishPaddy Hanrahan
1962ClonguishPaddy Hanrahan
1961Longford SlashersMichael Kelly
1960Killoe Young EmmetsBilly Morgan

This content was researched & compiled independently from 2014 to 2022.
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