Farmers agitated,
Ballinamore on top in 1972

Eddie Leddy competes in 1972 Olympics in Munich as Annaduff claim Junior title

Eddie Leddy competes in 1972 Olympics in Munich as Annaduff claim Junior title

The prospect of land agitation in north Leitrim was raised on the front page of the Leitrim Observer of September 3, 1972, as Ballinamore atoned for their County Final defeat of the previous year by easily accounting for Mohill in the decider 40 years ago.

With news as varied as a road accident tragedy near Boyle, the death of a former Sinn Fein TD and the debut of Eddie Leddy in the Olympics, it was an action packed newspaper that greeted readers in Leitrim.

Contrasting the times we live in, the exploits of Leddy in Munich was covered by a single column article on the front page, under the headline “Irish happy in Munich” as the Observer recorded that Leddy had recorded a time of 8.45.4 in a competition prior to the Games and would be competing in the Steeplechase.

In north Leitrim, the issue of afforestation was concentrating minds as Fr Felim Kelly, chairman of the North Leitrim Development Federation, told farmers at a meeting in Ballinagar Hall in Dromahair that his organisation would support land agitation on the issue throughout north Leitrim.

Particular attention was drawn to the estate at Cloonbonnive which local farmers wanted to buy and which was in the hands of the Forestry for planting as the meeting agreed to seek a meeting with the Minister for Lands on the matter.

The front page also recorded the death of former Sinn Fein TD, Sean O’Farrell, a native of Dromard, Dromod who served as Brigadier Commaning in the Old IRA in Leitrim as well as tragic accident that saw a 16 year old boy killed in a road accident near Boyle.

In sport, the Olympics may have been on but attention was firmly on the County Senior and Junior Finals where Ballinamore and Annaduff took home the titles while Aughawillan took the U-16 title for their first ever underage title with captain Frank Smyth receiving the Cup on a team that included Frank Holohan, Martin Flanagan, Charlie Kelly and Michael Quinn.

Ballinamore, according to the main report, “amply compensated for last season’s failure when on Sunday last in Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada, Carrick-on-Shannon they inflicted a five points defeat (1-12 to 1-7) on holders Mohill ... a game which far surpassed the 1971 decider and which produced an abundance of top class football.”

The report noted that a record attendance of 2,500 people brought in record receipts of £450 for the triple decker programme, noting that Ballinamore won their 11th title and adding “Make no mistake about it, this was Ballinamore at their brilliant best.”

The stars for Balliamore included Michael McTeague, Brendan Burns, Michael Martin, Sean Kavanagh, Brian McKiernan, Patsy Prior, Tommy Galligan, Dermot Gannon, Hughie Smyth, Paddy Dolan and Peter Crossan.

The Junior Final saw Annaduff “confound their critics” when they claimed their fifth Junior Championship title when defeating Ballinamore by 2-7 to 0-9 as the report noted that the underdogs “proved that when the chips were down they could rise to the occasion and this they did in no uncertain fashion on Sunday.”

Among the names to star in the Junior Final were Gerry & Shay Reynolds, Stephen Faughnan, Tom Reynolds, Henry Faughnan and Jimmy O’Connor.