By Seán Creedon

Back in the early sixties when RTÉ Television was launched, we didn’t have a television set in our house in East Kerry. However, there was a grocery shop nearby and the shopkeeper, a lovely lady named Margaret Cremin, allowed us to watch Telefís Éireann.

It was in Cremin’s sitting room that a few of us neighbouring children, and indeed a few adults also, were allowed to watch programmes like: The Jack Benny Show, Tolka Row, The School Around the Corner and Lugs Brannigan refereeing boxing matches at the National Stadium.

In August 1963 some 20 months after Telefís Éireann went on air we saw our first-ever showjumping event from the Dublin Horse Show in Ballsbridge. That was the first year that a mixed army-civilian team represented Ireland.
Among the civilian riders was Diana Connolly-Carew, who along with Tommy Wade, Seamus Wade and Captain William (Billy) Ringrose, helped Ireland win the Aga Khan Cup for the first time since 1949.

Coming from farming stock, I was fascinated when I heard commentator Micheál Ó Hehir say that Dundrum, who was ridden by Tommy Wade, had a few years earlier been used by his owner to take milk churns to the creamery!
Diana Connolly-Carew rode Barrymore, Seamus Wade’s horse was Goodbye and Captain Ringrose rode Loch an Easpaigh. Ringrose was the grandfather of current Irish rugby international Gary Ringrose.

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own