Editor's Welcome

Hello and welcome
to this year’s All-Ireland Finals Special.

We are well and truly into the heart of another Irish summer and this week we are delighted to present our All-Ireland Finals Special 2024. Last Sunday’s epic encounter between Cork and Limerick in the All-Ireland Hurling semi-final has since provided the country with those ‘water-cooler moment’ topics of conversation that our national games have traditionally given us down the years. It was a glorious game that sizzled with excitement from start to finish, and we will look forward to more of the same come All-Ireland Final Day! And what a Special we have prepared for you this year.

Seán Creedon met up with popular presenter and commentator Marty Morrissey, who shares his fascinating life and career stories with Ireland’s Own readers. As the GAA celebrates its 140th anniversary, John Scally charts its history and takes a look back on some memorable moments that people still talk about today. We have lots of other GAA articles too remembering special days out for Leitrim, Meath, Dublin and characters that lit up the game like Paddy Bawn Brosnan, Lory Meagher, Mick O’Connell, the late John O’Mahony and more. John Scally also pays special tribute to the late master of the spoken word, Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh.

In ‘The Hunt for Liam MacCarthy’s Grave’ Henry Wymbs recalls a conversation he had with journalist John Meaney who was a relative of the man who gave his name to hurling’s most prestigious Cup. Anthony F. Hughes brings us another instalment in his ‘Classic Westerns’ series, while in a separate feature he takes a look at the authentic life of outlaw, Billy the Kid. Paul Clarke remembers when the country’s media went in search of the Whitewood Lake Monster back in July 1981.

The years between the end of the Civil War in 1923 and his assassination in 1927 were busy years for Kevin O’Higgins, the controversial Minister for Justice and Vice President of the Executive Council of the Free State, writes Arthur Mathews in his new book Walled in Hate – Kevin O’Higgins, His Friends and Enemies. Joe Cushnan has a special memory piece from when Bill Haley, of ‘Rock Around the Clock’ fame played in Ireland in 1957. Were you there?

We have the final instalment in our Miss Flanagan Summer Serial – The Hunted Handyman. We hope that you enjoyed our extended story featuring Benford’s popular amateur sleuth as she reveals, beyond doubt, who it was that attacked businessman Noel Sharkey. We have lots more new mysteries for Miss Flanagan to solve between now and then end of the years. Kitty the Hare returns this week too, with a shilling tale about ‘The Campanologist’. 

Our columnists Mary Kennedy and Michael Lyster return with their monthly musings while Maxi chats to former RTE presenter Barry Lang (remember The Hotline and The Beatbox?) who is now an airline pilot and Barry shares the songs he considers to be the soundtrack to his life. We have original short stories and lots of new ‘Just A Memory’ pieces for you to enjoy too.

In his series ‘The Irish Priests’ Maolsheachlann O Ceallaigh remembers Fr. Henry Young, a priest who once smashed bagpipes and fiddles and also cut a tightrope while a female entertainer had still to finish her walk. In the ‘Lure and Allure of the Crossword Puzzle’ Denis J. Hickey tells the origins of the popular puzzle so many of us enjoy tackling on a daily basis.

Seán Creedon looks back on fifty years of ladies’ Gaelic football and reveals the stories of the Roscommon nun who had to plead with her Reverend Mother to be allowed home to play in the All-Ireland Final, and the Cavan midfielder who become one of the country’s most popular entertainers, Kathy Durkin.

We have all this for you to enjoy alongside your regular favourites such as Cassidy Says, Dan Conway’s Corner, Learn to Draw with Don Conroy, What’s In Your Name, June McDonnell’s Irish Music Diary, Pen Friends, the Lilt of Irish Laughter, songwords, The Ballad Sheet, Owen’s Club, Marjorie’s Kitchen, competitions, Eddie Ryan’s Monthly Sports Column, health advice from Alex Dobbs, Hannah Huxley visits Glendalough, the Rock ‘n’ roll Hall of Fame, Great Movie Remakes – Wuthering Heights, recommended new books,Thanksgivings and Classifieds, Eddie Lenihan, the Clint Eastwood Season, Thomas Myler reviews Tom Selleck’s autobiography and much much more. Plus we launch our Writing Competition 2024.

I hope that you enjoy this year’s All-Ireland Finals Special and pretty soon we will find out who will be going head to head in this year’s Gaelic Football Final – there is still lots to look forward to on the sporting front in the coming weeks! Until next week, take care, and I will look forward to catching up with you again.


Best wishes, Seán Nolan, Editor, Ireland’s Own

Inside this week's issue