Sad passing of Leitrim and Ballinamore GAA legend

Fiona Heavey

Reporter:

Fiona Heavey

Sad passing of Leitrim and Ballinamore GAA legend

Paddy Dolan RIP

The death of Paddy Dolan, Ballinamore, will be mourned by his family, the local community and Ballinamore Sean O’Heslins, Leitrim and Connacht GAA.


Paddy Dolan was selected as the right half forward, on the Leitrim Millennium Team, an accolade well deserved by this will of the wisp star over a long career in the green and gold.
Paddy’s talents came to light at an early age and he first played with Leitrim in the National League at just 16 years of age, one of the many distinctions he shared with fellow great Packie McGarty.


Paddy lined out and performed in a large number of National League and the Connacht Championship games at a time when Leitrim was so unlucky not to have captured at least one provincial senior title and bridge the long gap from 1927.
Paddy Dolan did win a Connacht title with the Leitrim Minors in 1956 and starred at left half forward in the All Ireland Final against Dublin in Croke Park.
He played in Senior Connacht Championship finals of 1958, 59, 60 and 67.

Ballinamore Champion
In 1956 Paddy won the first of his eight county senior titles with Ballinamore and was the youngest member of the side.
The team captain that day, Columba Cryan and his midfield partner Brian Sweeney, would line out with Paddy Dolan in Croke Park in 1959, when Leitrim played Derry in the National League Semi-final.
Paddy’s other seven county medals were won in 1964, 67, 68, 69, 72, 73 and 79 and he had the honour of being captain of the three-in-a-row champions.


In 1969 Paddy was the main organiser, with Pat Murray and Joe McInerney of the Ballinamore club’s historic trip to Gaelic Park, New York and again to New England and Boston in 1989. Paddy also traveled to New York with the Leitrim team in a later tour.


Paddy lined out with the Leitrim hurlers on many occasions, a sport in which he also excelled in.
Apart from his skill on the field of play, Paddy was beloved by the Ballinamore community as a charismatic, friendly, charming and lovable personality.


He ran a grocery and pub at the top of Ballinamore for years. He has four children.
Paddy Dolan was well respected in the county and cut the ribbon at a wall mural at Ballinamore Sean O’Heslins GAA Park in 2012.
He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Sympathies to his family.


Funeral arrangements to follow.