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PAUL DOYLE MEMORIAL UNVEILED

Leinster Leader 31 October 1953

Paul Doyle Memorial unveiled
Army’s tribute to a great Gael

Striking tributes were paid to the late Paul Doyle, former Kildare footballer and Army C.Q.M.S., when a handsome memorial, in the form of a Celtic Cross, was unveiled over the grave of the great Gael at Carna, Suncroft, on Sunday last. A very large crowd representative of the Army, G.A.A., and the general public, watched Col. A. T. Lawlor, O.C., Curragh Training Camp, unveil the memorial.
The magnificent cross, with an inset photograph of the dead footballer, was subscribed for and erected by the officers and non-commissioned officers throughout the Army; their action reflects the high esteem and regard in which the late Paul Doyle was held in the Forces.
Among those present on the platform for the unveiling ceremony were: Very Rev. J. Kelly, P.P., Suncroft, and Rev. P. Boylan, C.F., Curragh. Rev. Father Kelly blessed the memorial and recited a decade of the Rosary over the grave. The simple ceremony concluded with the playing of the Last Post by Army buglers and drummer. A number of relatives of the deceased were present for the occasion.
Col.  A. T. Lawlor, having welcomed those present in Gaelic, went on to express his pleasure at being invited to unveil the magnificent memorial.
“This is a memorable occasion,” he said, “for we are witnessing the unveiling of a memorial to a man who was very dear to his countymen and to his comrades in the Army. Who was Paul Doyle one might ask – the question would seem foolish to those who knew him. Yet, for the sake of those present who might not know his history he (speaker) would refer to the career of the late footballer.”
Continuing, Col. Lawlor said that C.Q.M.S. Doyle had died at the age of 54 on May 29th, 1953. He had served in the Army from 1922 to 1953. During his life he had won numerous Army football championship medals; he had captained the All-Army team which opposed the Gardai teams in 1927, 1928 and 1929, and in the same period he had captained the Army Metro teams.
He had represented his native Kildare from 1917 to 1931, and had won All-Ireland medals in 1919, 1927 and 1928. He had also won Provincial medals on numerous occasions and had captained the winning team at the Tailteann Games in 1928.
A Proud Record
Paul Doyle had a most extraordinary record and a truly proud one. He was dear to everyone in the county and in the Army; in his association with the Defence Forces he served with the 3rd Battalion, the General Training Depot and the Cavalry Corps, with which last unit he was serving with when he died.
“I feel the whole story of Gaelic games in the county is one of which every Kildareman can feel proud,” said Col. Lawlor. “Here the Gaelic sportsmen were first to join in the struggle for freedom; I hope that this memorial will be a shrine at which your young men will unite to stand in the Gaelic tradition and by the games of the G.A.A. Paul Doyle was a splendid, a noble character, of whom everyone, in Kildare could justly be proud.”
Col. Lawlor said he was proud of the N.C.O.’s throughout the Army, who had devised and provided the memorial. It was a fitting tribute from his former comrades to Paul Doyle.
Example to follow
Lieut.-Col. P. Hassett, O.C., Cavalry Corps, said he would reiterate Col. Lawlor’s words regarding the value of the G.A.A. It might be said that the War of Independence was won the playing fields of the G.A.A. – Company Captains in the movement were also the leaders in the parochial G.A.A. and athletic clubs. He would appeal to the young people to become interested in G.A.A. and athletic affairs; in that way they would be following the shining example set by the late C.Q.M.S. Doyle. He thanked the Officer Commanding and the N.C.O.’s responsible for the memorial.
Mr. Liam Geraghty, Chairman Kildare County Board, G.A.A., said the G.A.A. were very mindful of the greatness of Paul Doyle, and in expressing appreciation of the sympathy and help extended to Paul Doyle by the Army authorities he, Chairman of the County Board, would assure the Army that they would continue to seek, as always, to give to the Army men of such sterling calibre as Paul Doyle.
Sergt.-Major Dan Douglas said Paul Doyle was a great Gael and a good friend. On or off the playing field his conduct was exemplary and his sporting partners and soldier comrades looked up to him and sought to follow his example.
The Sergt.-Major returned thanks to all the N.C.O.’s who had contributed towards the venture; to Col. Lawlor for his kind assistance; to Rev. Fathers Kelly and Boylan; to Mr. Liam Geraghty and to Lieut.-Col. Hassett.

The unveiling of a memorial to the Kildare footballer Paul Doyle from the Leinster Leader of 31 October 1953


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