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Leinster Leader 23 October 2008
Gaels rally in Kilcock to bid farewell to football stars

The departure of two Kildare football stars for the United States brought a great crowd of Gaels to St. Coca’s Hall in Kilcock in October 1958. There was a big attendance representing many clubs in the county when a farewell dinner was given to Kilcock and Kildare footballers, Larry McCormack and Noel Moran, in St. Coca’s Hall, Kilcock.
It was the occasion also of the presentation of medals to the Kilcock team, football champions for the second year in succession and the third time in four years.
Mr. Liam Geraghty, Chairman of the County Board, said that it was a pleasure for him to come to the function along with County Secretary, Mr. T. Clarke and Mr. Tom Lawler of the County Board. It was good to see so many Gaels from various parts of the county gathered together for this auspicious dinner and presentation. He was glad to see the revered Parish Priest, Very Reverend Father O’Meara, the Christian Brothers, and their old friend Mr. Rory O’Donnell present.
On behalf of the County Board he extended congratulations to Kilcock on winning the county championship, doubly rewarding since it was the second championship in succession won by Kilcock. He expressed regret that two such fine footballers and sportsmen as Larry McCormack and Noel Moran should be leaving for America but he wished them the best of luck in their adopted land. What was Kildare’s loss would be America’s gain.
Mr. T.P. Clarke, Kildare County Board Secretary, said it was very sad that these two men should be leaving the county. He recalled the early glories of Kilcock in the Gaelic football annals and he remembered coming to Kilcock in 1916 or 1917 and the only one he knew then was the late Tommy Kelly. Kilcock was only a small corner of county Kildare but they had nothing to learn as regards football, or how it should be played, and it was a remarkable feat that they were able to supply so many players to the county team. In every game the Kilcock men were foremost and today they had brilliant footballers from Kilcock again.
He recalled that against Louth some years ago Noel Moran played a wonderful and dominating game at centrefield. Subsequently Larry McCormack, at Mullingar, even outdid that great performance, Kildare achieving Leinster honours and failing only in the semi-final.
There was praise for Kilcock too from neighbouring Gaels, rivals on the sporting field but friends in promoting the interest of Gaelic games. Mr. Joe Foxe of the Leixlip club stated that Kilock and Leixlip had been great rivals but at the same time were the greatest friends. Kilcock, he remarked, were a great body of sportsmen and played like sportsmen and none were greater than Larry McCormack and Noel Moran, not forgetting that staunch and capable mentor, Addy Higgins. He wished good luck to Kilcock, who had done so much to keep the flag of Kildare flying.
Mr. Jim Mackey, Kildare Round Towers, the defeated finalists, said that the Round Towers admitted that they were beaten by a better team. But winning wasn’t everything and Kildare would continue to play the game in all their engagements.
Mr. John Dunphy, Celbridge, stated that he was delighted to see Kilcock winning just as much as he would like to see his own team winning. Father O’Meara then presented the County Championship medals to the members of the Kilcock team. The medal recipients were P. Gibbons (captain), M. Foley (vice-captain), T. Hanrahan, D. Gleeson, B O’Connell, Noel Moran, T. Golden, P. Maguire, F. Gibbons, P.Flynn, L. McCormack, B. Maguire, P. Daly, A. Byrne, D. Dalton, P. Fitzsimons, Phil Keene, John Quinn, Joe Breen and P. Holmes.
And the GAA festivities finished with a flourish when one of the emigrating pair, Noel Moran, led off an impromptu concert with the well-known item ‘The Boys from the County Armagh.’ Other vocalists were Jack Barnes, Tom Golden, John Dunphy and Danny Gleeson, with Tommy Lube at the piano.  So on that note, the Kilcock men displayed their full range of talents, sporting and choral as they said farewell to two of their local heroes and county footballing stars.

The Leinster Leader report on the departure of two Kildare football stars for the United States in October 1958 is examined here by Liam Kenny in his regular column 'Nothing New Under the Sun.'

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