Galway may be celebrating its 49th Connacht title success but the county is also mourning a decorated dual player who has died.
Joe Young was one of three Army officers who helped Galway win the 1956 All-Ireland title when they defeated Cork in the final.
The Dublin native, who has died in his 90th year at his home in Barna outside Galway city, played hurling and football for his adopted county.
He also enjoyed considerable success in both codes with the St Vincent’s club in Dublin with the Donnycarney native winning an All-Ireland junior hurling medal with Dublin before moving to Galway where was he was stationed at Renmore barracks on the east of the city.
The Army team were strong in the Galway hurling and football championships back then and three of them — Young, Cork’s Billy O’Neill and Jack Kissane from Kerry — became key members of the team which netted the county’s fourth All-Ireland title in 1956 in an era where Frank Stockwell and Seán Purcell, ‘the Terrible Twins’, were also leaders.
O’Neill died in 2015 and Kissane passed away earlier last year and former Galway chairman John Joe Holleran said the contribution made by the Army players was huge for the county.
“There is a good history there of people making a big contribution to the GAA in Galway after moving here with the Army. All the army lads were super fit and Billy O’Neill trained the team a year or two after that win in ’56.
“In many ways, they should have won more All-Irelands but they laid the foundation for what was to come with the three-in-a-row in the 1960s.
“The Army team were strong in the county championship and teams had to raise their own fitness to match them and that, in turn, led to higher standards all round,” said Holleran.
Joe Young, a retired colonel, continued to be a strong supporter of both codes in his adopted county.
He is survived by his wife Barbara (née Mullan) and daughters, Aisling, Karen, Shirine and Orla.
Reposing at the ‘Cillin’ within the Church of Mary Immaculate Queen, Barna ( H91 A2T7) on Monday, from 5.30 p.m. with removal at 7 p.m.. Requiem Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday at 12 noon. He will be laid to rest afterwards at ‘Realt na Mara’ cemetery in Furbo.
Source : Irishexaminer