It was a weekend of remembrance and celebration for the Wexford All-Ireland senior hurling champions of 1968 at a special function to mark 50 years since that memorable sporting occasion organised by the Wexford Association Carlow and held at the Lord Bagenal Hotel, Leighlinbridge.
There was an impressive start to the night as the gallant heroes, led by the captain Dan Quigley, paraded from the foyer into the function room where they were given a rousing welcome.
Guest speaker and master of ceremonies, Cllr Tony Dempsey, who is a former Chairman of Wexford GAA County Board, gave an appraisal of that big day in Croke Park half a century earlier and spoke of the famous everlasting sporting memories that they have brought to themselves, their families and friends and the people of Wexford.
Each player was presented with a specially designed bronze wall plaque featuring a hurler (minus a helmet – helmets hadn’t been invented for the game back then) by well-known racehorse trainer and Wexfordman, Jim Bolger, who lives in Carlow.
On behalf of the team, the captain Dan Quigley thanked the Wexford Association Carlow for honouring the 1968 team 50 years after winning the All-Ireland hurling final. “It is good to be remembered and we are all grateful to the committee behind this wonderful occasion.”
All surviving players were present and deceased members, Tom Neville, Paul Lynch and Jack Berry, were remembered and represented by family members.
The guests were also treated to a dinner, dancing by Wexford group Slaney Mist, and over-night accommodation. Everyone had a great time.
Chief organiser Tom O’Keeffe said they had made a special effort to honour the 1968 team in style, it was a costly exercise, but thanks and appreciation is extended to a number of generous sponsors who came on board and contributed to the success of the event.
The attendance included Kathleen and Ned Wheeler, who are honorary presidents, and a number of people travelled from Wexford to be amongst the 150 present.