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McCarthyisms - A back door look at Sunday's final

by Irish Times was published in the Irish Times on Thursday the 11th of September 1997

Padraig Horan - (Offaly v Galway)

Offaly's historic breakthroughs in Leinster in 1980 and at All-Ireland level in '81 were achieved under the captaincy of Padraig Horan. He was still playing four years later when the team won its second All-Ireland and he managed the county to a National League in 1991. Offaly were underdogs in 1981, against reigning champions Galway, and came late in the match to win a memorable final.

"We were fierce well prepared for the match by Dermot (Healy, Offaly manager). He talked an awful lot about crowds and what to expect. That morning we went to mass in Tullamore and got the train to Dublin, avoiding most of the crowds. When we got there, we had a puckaround in Trinity College during the minor match and by the time we headed up, most of the spectators had gone ahead.

"When it was over, I remember the bedlam at the presentation. It was most uncivilised, I'd just got my hands on the cup when it was whipped away and gone. I didn't get to say a speech hardly at all - there was so much shouting - just a few words. These things are more dignified nowadays. None of us minded once our hands were on the McCarthy. Eventually I gave it to Pat Carroll, Lord rest him, and he nearly got killed bringing it back to the dressing-room. "What I remember most was the homecoming and the crowds in Tullamore and Birr - I didn't think there were so many people in the whole county. It was great for me because the year before when we won our first Leinster, my father had died during the match so I didn't go home with the team on that occasion.

"Healy's speeches (at the homecoming) actually laid the foundations for the under-age success to come and I suppose the All-Ireland a couple of years ago."

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