Christmas is a great time for catching up with old friends – and that’s exactly what The Heath GAA did on December 28 when they held a reunion in Treacy’s for the members of the club’s 1993 Laois SFC winning side.
That famous triumph occurred 25 years ago in October and spirits were high in Treacy’s as they looked back on that magical time in the club”s history.
The Heath have 10 Laois SFC titles in total but that 1993 win represents their most recent when they ended a 19-year wait since their last.
That 1993 success was particularly sweet, coming as it did on a scoreline of 2-17 to 2-15 after a replayed extra-time epic against Ballyroan.
It was the second game in a row that The Heath needed extra time in a replay, having also gone to two games in the semi-final against Stradbally, a game remembered for a massive melee in O’Moore Park.
Indeed a feature of The Heath’s success that year was a series of wins over their neighbours on all side. In the opening round they beat Emo, the next day out they beat Portlaoise, then Park-Ratheniska in the quarter-final, then Stradbally and Ballyroan.
Another element of course was the strong family ties. Six sets of brothers were on the starting team – three Lalors, two Roes, two Booths, two Brownes, two Dunnes and two McNamees. Paul Daly and Donie Norton were the only ones not to be joined by a brother – but amazingly Donie Norton’s brother Greg was part of the Ballyroan setup.
A good representation of those players were present for what was an entertaining evening but one that also had a touch of poignancy as they remembered their late team-mate Don Browne who passed away a couple of years back.
Manager at the time Seamus Fitzpatrick was also present as well as selectors Jackie Hyland and Mattie Bergin.
Jack Nolan acted for MC on the night while the ACFL Division 3 medals – won in a thrilling final against Portarlington last July – were also presented.