I wish to respond to the letter from the Leitrim “exile” in Roscommon in your July 6th issue. My first reaction was to think of John McEnroe’s quotation “you cannot be serious”.
When George Dugdale was appointed joint manager of the Leitrim team I wrote to him to congratulate him on his appointment. I pointed out to him the three problems he faced - unemployment, emigration and low population.
The statistics militate against him. I worked in Bradshaw & Clarks in the 1950s and 1960s where 40 people were employed - 37 being male. Six of the staff were on the Mohill Senior team with two county players. We also had two players on the Mohill Junior team. Quinns had a staff of 70, most of whom were male. They too had players on local teams.
Sadly, that employment has gone. Leitrim needs industry to employ our youth otherwise they (and our footballers) will continue to emigrate.
Could I remind the “exile” that Leitrim have had Ireland’s greatest footballers in my time - Packie McGarty, Cathal Flynn, Josie Murray and Noel Blessing. Who is to say that we will not have great footballers again?
We’ll be back - keep the faith.
Castleknock, Dublin 15.