Mayo mourns death of League winner Fr JJ Cribbin

Mayo mourns death of League winner Fr JJ Cribbin
Fr JJ Cribbin

Mayo GAA is in mourning following the death of Fr JJ Cribbin, one of the country’s top forwards in the late 60s and 70s.

A native of Ballyhaunis, Fr Cribbin, who was parish priest in Milltown, Co Galway, passed away this Friday morning following an illness.

Fr Cribbin helped Mayo to victory in the 1970 National League final following their win over Down, the first senior final success at Croke Park for the county since winning the same title in 1954.

He scored 2-1 for Mayo that day, but it wasn’t his first taste of Croke Park action. In the 1967 U-21 All-Ireland final, he was one of the first seminarians to be allowed play football while training for the priesthood in Maynooth.

While the 1970 League final success was the highlight of his playing career, Fr Cribbin also tasted plenty of sorrow with Mayo and left Croke Park empty handed in three consecutive minor finals and semi-finals in 1962, ’63, and ’64.

After the glory of their senior league win in 1970 – and victory over Kerry in that year’s semi-final – Mayo went on to finish runners-up two years on the trot to the men from the Kingdom in 1971 and ’72.

In an era of such talent, Mayo went through the 70s without a Connacht senior title – the closest Fr Cribbin came to picking up the Nestor Cup was in 1972 when another two-goal performance was not quite enough to stop Roscommon claiming the win on a scoreline of 5-8 to 3-10.

Fr Cribbin passed away in Mayo University Hospital on Friday, and in keeping with current HSE guidelines his funeral Mass at St Patrick’s church, Ballyhaunis, will not be a public event.

The funeral Mass can be viewed on Ballyhaunis parish webcam and also listened to on Ballyhaunis parish radio from 12 noon this Sunday.

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