WHEN Mícheál O Muircheartaigh relates the yarn that a player who competed in the first game he commentated on in 1949 is still in receipt of the children’s allowance, it’s probably taken as a tall tale.
Who would believe 88-year-old Mick Finucane of Urlee, Lisselton, in the parish of Ballydonoghue Co Kerry would be eligible?
But he is, thanks to his 17-year-old daughter Niamh, born when Finucane found love again following a tragic farming accident in 1980 which killed his wife Peggy, with whom he had six children.
He met his present wife – Roscommon woman, Anne – working as a field supervisor at the daffodil farms in west Limerick. The couple were married in 1992 – and a year later, Niamh was born.
Although she won’t be playing for Kerry, Niamh is making a name for herself in gymnastics and has received an award from the President, her father said.
Finucane, fondly remembered by O Muircheartaigh on RTÉ radio yesterday, played with the Kerry senior team in the National League and championship from 1946 to 1952. Selected for the Munster team, he was a member of the team that won the Railway Cup final in 1949 at Croke Park before an attendance of 40,000 – O Muircheartaigh’s first live broadcast.
Finucane is one of just three surviving members of that team, he says.
The secret to his longevity, he maintains, is that like O Muircheartaigh, he never smoked nor drank.
His predication for Sunday’s game? Cork 1-8, Down 2-6.
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