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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Barney Hennessy


A Footballing Giant

Page 1

Barney Hennessy
Image: Carlow People Sept 2010

Carlow - Graigue Young Ireland G.F.C. 1908-09

Carlow - Graigue Young Ireland G.F.C. 1908-09This is a special prize for me. The two gentlemen in the back row on the far left are my Great Grandfather, Thomas James Nolan (on the end of the row) and next to him is my Grandfather John Joseph Nolan.

Image sent in by Maribeth E. Nolan c.2010

A Tribute to Barney Hennessy R.I.P.
The Co. Carlow Football Club (Rugby)

Barney also played rugby football for Co.Carlow Football Club at Oak Park. He was one of the most colourful players of this era 1909, he came to the rugby code from the Gaelic football field. He was a player of massive size and endowed with exceptional speed. However, the greatest attribute of this gifted player was his safe hands and his prodigious length of kick either from punt or place which made him part of local legend even in his time. Barney always played at full back, but in the 1912 final he played on the wing, while in the 1913 final he was in the forwards.

Such was his performance in the 1913 cup matches that he came under the eye of the international selectors and was widely tipped to gain an Irish final trial. Unfortunately the First World War intervened, the trial teams were never picked, and so an oppurtunity for a Carlow player to gain an International cap for the club was lost. Barney is reputed to have scored with the longest kick ever struck in Lansdowne Road.

Barney played for Carlow
1905 - Carlow's First Final
(The picture above was taken 3 years after this game)

Carlow reach the inaugural Leinster Junior Final at the third attempt. Carlow played Wicklow on three occassions to reach the final.

As was the norm in that era the championship ran behind time and all games were played in 1906. March 18, 1906, saw Carlow gain their first inter-county 'result' when by scoring 2-2 in the second-half against Wicklow in Jones Road they forced a 2-3 to 9 points draw.

The replay in Enniscorthy also ended level, Carlow scoring 2-5 to Wicklow's 1-8. It was back to Jones Road on May 20 where a first half performance laid the foundations for their first ever inter-county victory by building a 1-8 to 0-2 half-time lead. The end secured Carlow’s place in the final on a 1-13 to 0-4 score line.

The final took place in Jones Road on July 22 where Westmeath emerged narrow and controversial, 1-4 to 1-3 victors.

To D. Haughney fell the honour of scoring Carlow's first point in a Provincial final and by half-time Carlow led 0-3 to 0-1. On the changeover Carlow launched a series of attacks, eventually breaking through for a goal, this historic first 'major' being registered by James Hennessy.

Westmeath rallied with a brace of points before striking for a controversial goal. The leather went over the sideline but the linesman did not raise his flag. A Westmeath player kicked from across the line to his centre forward who scored a goal while the Carlow backs stood waiting the referee’s decision.

Westmeath then procured the point, which put them ahead for the first time and despite strong Carlow pressure held out to become the inaugural Leinster No. 2 champions.

Carlow - P. Haughney (Captain), John Fennell (goal), D. Farrell, B. Hennessy, William Mulhall, M. Murray, L. Nolan, P. Moran, John Hoare, M. Haughney, M. Callanan, W. Ryan, J. Sleator, E. Webster, D. Haughney, M. Byrne, James Hennessy.

You can read much more about Barney Hennessy Memorial Golf Society website:

Page 2 - His Son

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