Celebrating Conahy’s past

Shem Downey, Paddy Harding and Neddy Phelan duel GAA players for Conahy, were among the guests at a function hosted in the local clubhouse by the local Heritage Society celebrating former GAA players.

Shem Downey, Paddy Harding and Neddy Phelan duel GAA players for Conahy, were among the guests at a function hosted in the local clubhouse by the local Heritage Society celebrating former GAA players.

The meeting started with a 20-minute conversation on Skype with Martin Rice in New Zealand. Martin’s recall was excellent and brought smiles and laughter from those assembled. Later his nephew Joe Rice read a witty letter from Johnny Rice in Australia. Tom Downey gave a presentation on early sport in Conahy, from 1886 ‘till 1950. Shem Downey, who also played for a time with Tullaroan, won an All Ireland with Kilkenny in ’47, said his favourite memory and game was the 1950 Kilkenny Tipperary match. Paddy Harding played for a time with Eire Og and was goalie for the Kilkenny football team, recalled the training grounds and facilities then available. Neddy Phelan, Radestown, Nicholas Healy and Eamon Murphy Kilmacar, Michael Healy Newtown, Shem’s daughter Ann Downey, Jim Byrne Lisnafunshin, and Nicholas Griffin Tullowglass all contributed. Larry Bergin Rathkyle had his father Con’s 1947 County medal. Shem Downey’s father in law, Martin Dwyer Castlecomer, captained Conahy in 1918. Two sons of Conahy people were mentioned, Paddy Buggy former GAA President, his father, Billy Buggy Ardaloo, played with Conahy, his mother was Molly Dooley Suttonsrath. Nicky Brennan, former GAA President, greeted and spoke with all the guests. Many incidents recalled with humour had everyone smiling and more conversation followed.