Club pays tribute to 'best pound-for-pound hurler in Ireland'

Jimmy Duggan who passed away this week at the age of 93, was once described as “the best pound-for-pound hurler in Ireland.”

He, like his brothers Sean and Paddy (Mogan ) was born into a hurling tradition in College Road, Galway City and “the Duggans” were to become, and still are, household names throughout hurling communities, all over the country.

The Duggan hurling lineage goes back to the 1890s when their grand-uncles were members of the College Road team which brought the first Galway Senior Hurling Championship titles to the city in 1892 and 1893 and Jimmy’s sister, Monica, played camogie for Galway for twenty years.

Jimmy attended school at the Monastery, Lombard Street where the Patrician Brothers were doing magnificent work promoting hurling in the City. There, he captained the St. Patrick’s team which represented Woodquay, Bohermore, College Road and Renmore and he won his first hurling medal when they won the Galway City Street League.

In 1947 Jimmy captained the Liam Mellows Minor team which won the County Hurling title, and he was presented with the Fr. Griffin Cup by Canon James O’Dea, President of the County Board. He was also a member of the Liam Mellows team which competed a unique double by winning the County Minor Football title the same year.

Jimmy played with the County Minor Hurling team in 1947 and 1948 and in 1949 he was selected on the Galway team for the All-Ireland Junior semi-final.

He was a constant member of the Liam Mellows Senior team for over four decades, from 1949 to 1974, a phenomenal record, and he won four Senior Hurling medals with the club, in 1954, 1955, 1968 and 1970.

Jimmy’s senior inter-county career began in 1949 and he was a member of the outstanding Galway team which won the National League in 1951, defeating New York in the final, at the Polo Grounds.

He was on the Galway team that was narrowly defeated by Cork in the 1953 All-Ireland final and he was captain when Galway were defeated by Wexford in the 1955 final. He also played in the 1958 All-Ireland final loss to Tipperary.

Jimmy was selected to play for Ireland against the combined universities in 1955 and 1956 and he won an Oireachtas medal in 1958. In 1965 he was chosen together with Christy Ring (Cork ), Tom Neville (Waterford ) and Paddy Molloy (Offaly ) to play in the Cardinal Cushing games in New York, Connecticut, and Boston.

Jimmy Duggan was also an outstanding and much respected Referee. He refereed numerous County Championship games, the All-Ireland Minor Hurling Final of 1964, the All-Ireland Under-21 Hurling Final of 1965 and the Railway Cup Final of 1966.

In addition to being an outstanding player Jimmy also served the Liam Mellows Club as Chairperson and Secretary, and he trained and managed numerous club teams down the years.

He was Chairman of Coiste Ioman na nOg, Vice-Chairman of the Galway County Board, President of Galway County Board and is the current President of the Galway Hurling Board.

Jimmy Duggan was an outstanding player, official and administrator for both club and county and in 2008 NUI Galway conferred an Honorary Master’s Degrees to Jimmy, and his brother Sean, in recognition of their lifetime contribution to Galway hurling.

Predeceased by his beloved wife Annie, his parents Martin and Mary Nora, sisters Monica and Nora and brothers Sean, Pakie (Mogan ) and Martin, and grand-daughter Jessica, Jimmy will be missed by all who knew him.

All members of the Liam Mellows Club extended their heartfelt condolences to Jimmy’s children, Peter, Colette, Dolores, Martina, Fidelma and Seamus, and to his daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, relatives, neighbours, and a wide circle of friends, especially those in the GAA community.

Ni bheidh a leithid aris ann

 

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