Annual 2017 cover and index page

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About The Annual

The Lions Club of Tullamore have dedicate themselves to the production of this annual publication. It will portray many facets of life in Tullamore and its environs. There will be a strong focus on people – in community activities, at leisure, in education and in sport.

Quality is guaranteed in this publication, the Editorial team have gone to great pain to ensure quality articles, quality photography.

This is a publication that Tullamore will be proud of and it is hoped that many people will collect issues of our book and that over time the collection will serve as a reference source for those interested in the contemporary history of the area.

Absolutely all proceeds (after costs) from this publication will go directly back into our community, via Tullamore Lions Club.

 

That’s Joe Dooley by Brian Lowry

“When the ball’s in the sky in Croke Park in July - that’s Joe Dooley” a line from the song produced by ‘Stars on P45’ for the All Ireland final in 1995. For decades, Offaly folk were used to the sight of Joe Dooley gracing Croke Park and for the man himself, the memories will never fade. They were the best of times, with Joe Dooley one of the constants in the Offaly hurling renaissance that spanned over two decades.

Joe Dooley and Jim Troy are the only Offaly men to hold three All Ireland senior hurling medals. While Troy was sub goalkeeper in 1981 and played in 1985 and 1994, Dooley terrorised defences from the start to earn his three Celtic crosses in 1985, 1994 and 1998.

The Spollenstown resident enjoys having the bragging rights over most of his former team-mates. “I have three from the field of play and Jim Troy has three as well. It gives you bragging rights over all the other lads around Offaly and the brothers as well. It keeps them and lads like Michael Duignan in their place. When you have 50 percent more medals than them lads, it is able to ground them. Fellas with two All Ireland medals are two a penny everywhere”, joked the man who played in six All Ireland finals.

All Ireland Day The All Ireland final still holds a special place in his heart. He still sets out from Tullamore every year to attend no matter what the final makeup while knowing what the players are going through.

“I go to it every year. It is a great day out. Having played in them, you know what it means to the player and it is just a great day out. “It is massive for the players …..the build up, trying to get yourself right and managing tickets. On the actual day itself then, you are hoping you wake up fresh and that you’ve got a good night’s sleep. Once you get on the bus and head for Croke Park, your time is mapped out for you and you are never too long in the one place.

“We used to go to the Spa Hotel and in later years to the Ashling hotel and head for Croke Park then with the Garda Escort. We would go in through the Liberties and down through Dorset Street. You would have people coming out of the pubs roaring and shouting at you and then you knew it was getting close to battle time. “They were great games to test player’s character and if you haven’t players that can stand up to that sort of pressure, then you won’t win All Irelands. We had plenty of them though.”

The convoy heading for those All Ireland’s in the 90’s were extremely different to that of the Kilkenny and Tipperary camps heading for this year’s final. “Shane and the girls were small at the time. In 1998 they were with us as well. Having your own kids on the bus in ‘98 was great too. There used to be two buses back then to bring everyone including wives, girlfriends and the gear. They were great days.

“When we lost, you just wanted the ground to open you up and to disappear but when you win you are everyone’s friend for a few months.”

See the Tullamore Annual 2017 to read the full article and much more